PC: @solitarytravelerphoto

Summer time is here and Mitchell County is gearing up for a great season full of fun, festivals, and special events! A visit to Bakersville should make the top of any vacation to-do list. With great festivals, a rich history, a vibrant arts scene, and natural beauty, Bakersville is worth the trip.

Summer is one of the best times to visit Bakersville to take advantage of all the activities that the town has to offer. One place that any traveler must visit is Roan Mountain. Reaching 6,286 feet at its highest point, Roan Mountain is home to multiple hiking trails, picnic areas, and even a portion of the famous Appalachian Trail. Roan Mountain features stunning 360-degree views of North Carolina and Tennessee from one of the serene grassy balds. The one characteristic that makes Roan Mountain so unique is it is the world’s largest naturally occurring rhododendron gardens. Every June, the gardens produce thousands of brilliant pink blooms all over the mountain, and has commonly been referred to as the “the mountain that turns pink”.

PC: NC Rhododendron Festival Facebook

These beautiful rhododendrons are celebrated every year at the Annual North Carolina Rhododendron Festival in Bakersville. This festival takes place every third weekend of June, and after more than 70 years, the event is more popular than ever as it continues to be one of the state’s most longstanding festivals! The Rhododendron Festival features handmade crafts, food, a car show, a 10k run, a beauty pageant, nightly street dances, and those are just a few of the many highlights. Bakersville blossoms during the festival, with visitors getting to experience live music from local bands and musicians and tasting true southern cuisine with food from local vendors and restaurants. At night, the main street of Bakersville closes to traffic and opens for dancers of all ages (and skill level) to participate in the famous nightly street dances that last until midnight or later.

The NC Rhododendron Festival gives visitors the chance to explore all that the town of Bakersville has to offer, including many local art galleries, restaurants, antique shops, and more! Take a trip to Bakersville and experience small town charm and one of the area’s most anticipated events of the season!