Local attractions include Pilot Mountain State Park and Stone Mountain State Park; the annual Labor Day Flea Market & Gun Show in Hillsville, Virginia; the Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, North Carolina (hometown of The Andy Griffith Show); Annual Galax Fiddler’s Convention; Merle Fest; and many more local events featured every season!
The Cascade Highlands is home to an exciting and diverse landscape of mountains, rivers and parks providing an endless variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Whether you prefer an active day of cycling, paddling, fishing, hunting, hiking, equestrian or motorcycle riding or a relaxing evening on the back porch or around a campfire, our region beckons. Our mountains and rivers are among the oldest in the world. The clean, refreshing headwaters of major rivers such as the New, Yadkin and Dan originate in The Cascade Highlands before beginning their long journey to the sea. Our ancient Appalachian mountains and foothills rise impressively and are among the most beautiful landscapes in Eastern America. Large expanses of undeveloped, picturesque landscapes are a delight for visitors wishing to escape the rigors of urban life and to enjoy the magic and majesty of our mountains.
Parks & Trails
- The Blue Ridge Parkway Association
- Virginia Creeper Trail
- NC Division of Parks and Recreation
- New River Trail State Park
- Fairy Stone State Park
Art, Craft & Culture
- Yadkin Valley Craft Guild Craft workshops and retail locations in the Yadkin Valley.
- Round the Mountain A visitor resource for artisans, farms, galleries, craft venues, and other creative points of interest in Southwest Virginia.
- Chestnut Creek School of the Arts Provides classes in visual and performing arts, contemporary craft and traditional music in downtown Galax, VA.
- Hungry Mother Arts & Crafts Festival This juried craft show, held the third week of July at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion, VA, has showcased arts and crafts for more than 30 years. 276.783.2901
- Alleghany Arts and Craft Peruse the handiwork of local artisans of this local arts cooperative next to the courthouse in Sparta, NC 336.372.1776
- New River Crafts Arts, crafts, and artisans displayed on Alleghany County’s arts and crafts e-commerce web site.
- Foothills Arts Council Visual and performing arts in Elkin and southwest Surry County.
- Surry Arts Council Featuring Andy Griffith Playhouse programs, annual Mayberry Days, and trip planning services.
- Cultural Arts Council of Wilkes Community arts, educational programs, and exhibits.
- Yadkin Arts Council Enriching the lives of the citizens of Yadkin County through the arts.
- Roof Top Crafts Arts and crafts by natives of North Carolina and Virginia with reasonable prices. Buy online or visit the location in Galax, Virginia.
- Stokes County NC Information about local artists, architectural antiques, organic vegetables and much, much more.
Festivals & Events
- Mountain Heritage Festival A festival for the craft lover with live music, crafts, food, antique cars and children’s activities. Held the third Saturday in Sept.
- 21st Annual Mayberry Days September 23-26, 2010 Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Andy Griffith Show
- Blue Ridge Music Center Summer Concert Series The Blue Ridge Music Center presents a series of concerts showcasing local‚ regional‚ and nationally known musicians on Saturday evenings (June – Sept.) on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 213.
- Smoke on the Mountain A blend of barbecue and music is highlighted at this Virginia state barbecue championship and street festival in Galax, VA.
- Whitetop Mountain Ramp Festival Festival featuring the ramp, a type of strongly-flavored wild onion gathered in the highlands of Virginia. This event includes bluegrass and old-time players, crafts, games, mountain dancing and a ramp eating contest. Third Sunday in May.
- Mountain Foliage Festival & Grand Privy Races On the second Saturday in October‚ Independence, VA, commemorates autumn with a parade, arts and crafts, and—best of all—the Grand Privy Race (yes, they race outhouses!).
- Chilhowie Apple Festival Each September, the town of Chilhowie, VA, celebrates the apple with activities including a parade, food and crafts.
- Rich Valley Fair and Horse Show Each last week in July, equestrian lovers bring their best-looking calves, steers and horses for the livestock and horse shows. Other events include the horse and tractor pulling contest, music, carnival, and an ATV rodeo.
- Stokes Stomp Festival on the Dan The Stomp Festival is held in Moratock Park each September on the Dan River in Danbury, NC, where crafters, musicians and vendors gather to celebrate the river and the arts.
- Flea Market & Gun Show Every Labor Day weekend in Hillsville. One of the largest shows of guns, antiques, and collectibles in the Southeastern US.
- Galax Leaf & String Festival Showcasing traditional music, local history, local artisans, and handmade crafts.
- MerleFest The Americana Music Celebration, held the last weekend in April, always features nationally renown performers.
- Brushy Mountain Apple Festival One of the largest one-day arts and crafts festivals in the Southeastern United States. First Saturday in October, North Wilkesboro.
- Autumn Leaves Festival Filled with crafts, live entertainment, great food and even a pageant.
- Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, Virginia Come to the decades old fiddlers’ convention for live music and competitions. You can even camp.
- The Yadkin Valley Wine Festival Held the 3rd Saturday in May at the Elkin Municipal Park in Elkin, North
Carolina. The festival is sponsored by the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce. The annual festival is free and open to the public, including families with children.
- The Yadkin Valley Grape Festival Held the third Saturday in October in downtown Yadkinville NC, sponsored by the Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce. The festival showcases Yadkin Valley wines along with entertainment, food, crafts and children’s activities.
- The Yadkinville Bluegrass Contest & Fiddlers Convention Held the third Saturday in April in downtown Yadkinville NC. This event features some of the best in local and regional bluegrass talent from northwest North Carolina, southwest Virginia, northeast Tennessee, and beyond.
- Olde Mill Bed and Breakfast Snuggled in East Tennessee’s Northern Mountains is the perfect place for Romance, Relaxation, Family, and Adventure. The Olde Mill Inn Bed & Breakfast, in Historic Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.
- The Gap Cafe & Deli: Visit the Gap Deli for breakfast lunch or dinner and find a variety of wonderful foods to choose from. They offer sandwiches, soups, and salads for lunch and also have a kids menu. For dinner The Gap offers hot entrées and side dishes after 4:00 pm. Be sure and try their homemade desserts and ice cream. The Gap also has local art and gift items for sale and is open from 7:00am to 9:00 pm seven days a week. Hwy 52 Parkway Bridge at milepost 199.5 Phone: 276-728-0003
- The Hungry Farmer: The Hungry Farmer offers breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a full menu and a full buffet. Taste local specialties like fried chicken, chicken pot pie, mashed potatos and gravy, baked beans, and a variety of desserts. Located just off Hwy. 52 in Cana, VA. Phone: (276) 755-4341