By Guest Blogger Julie Fritz

We started taking trips to Ashe County in 2002. We were living in Asheville and had made friends with a group of people who had grown up there. Since our families were in Florida, if we couldn’t go home for a holiday, we were always invited to to go there to celebrate with a friend’s family. We grew to love this area and got to know it well. We still go a few times a year to see friends and just to explore. Ashe County is in the northwest corner of the state and is in one of the most beautiful parts of NC. Whether you are up for some outdoor adventure, or just want to shop around and have lunch, you will not be disappointed.

Here are a few things you can check out on your visit.

Outdoor Adventure

Mount Jefferson State Natural Area

Mount Jefferson is a great place for a hike. There are 5 trails to choose from which range from easy to hard. There are amazing overlooks you can hike to, where you can see most of Ashe County from the top.

New River State Park

New River State Park has trails, camping and access to the river for paddling, fishing and wading. They also have a visitors’ center with information about the river’s history and ecology.

Zaloo’s Canoes

There are lots of places to rent canoes and tubes along the new river, but Zaloo’s is my favorite. They specialize in kayak, canoe and tubing trips down the river. They do a good job of arranging your trip and getting you to and from the drop off and pick up areas.  


Fun Around Town

Ashe County Cheese

Do you know how cheese is made? At Ashe County Cheese, you can watch the process as it happens and get a chance to taste fresh made cheese. After the tour, you can go to the gift shop and buy lots of great fresh cheese products and more.  

West Jefferson

Downtown West Jefferson is a must do if you are going to make this trip. There are great restaurants, pubs, shops, art galleries, and a park all within walking distance. You will thoroughly enjoy this small downtown area. Havana Cafe is my favorite restaurant in town.  As a native of South Florida, the one thing I miss about my hometown is authentic Cuban food. This restaurant gets Cuban food right! If you get a chance, try it out.

Farmer’s Market

The Ashe County Farmers Market is open from April to October on Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm and is located on Back Street in Jefferson. You won’t just find great local produce here, you will also find beautiful crafts, art, candles, and organic and vegan body products.  

Ashe County Christmas Trees

Ashe County is the largest producer of Christmas trees in the country. They have tons of choose and cut farms. You can find a small family-owned farm, or go to to a large farm that will have hayrides and smores by the fire.  We have made this an annual tradition in our family and is one of my favorite holiday activities.


Since Ashe County is only an hour and a half to two hours from anywhere in the Triad, it makes it a perfect destination for a day trip or even a weekend getaway. We have enjoyed making this a go to destination for our family and love the memories we have made there.

See other day trip ideas here!

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