The NC High Country’s Art, Craft, and Nature

Spruce Pine, NC & the Richmond Inn

  • High Country small towns
  • Penland School of Craft
  • Appalachian escarpment


August 20 - 22, 2024


  • Small town charm: Spruce Pine, Bakersville, Crossnore, and Little Switzerland
  • High country exhilaration: scenic drives, fresh mountain air, and stunning vistas
  • Up-close views of traditional crafts, artist studios, and galleries
  • Engaging stories: mineral mother-lode, craft revival, and mountain road-building

Trip Description

Let’s explore NC’s Appalachian High Country in the last full rays of the summer sun!  Our home for two nights will be the Richmond Inn—a comfortable residence built by Spruce Pine’s one and only doctor in the mid-1920s.  From our hospitable home base, we’ll explore sites that range from the Appalachian escarpment at Alta Pass to the high slopes of Roan Mountain.  We’ll uncover stories about the earliest settlers, the coming of the railroad, and the development of retreats founded for renewal and nature-inspired art: Wild Acres, the Penland School of Craft, the Springmaid Resort.

Featured Experiences

Richmond Inn

Calming and tranquil lodging with an emphasis on comfort and personal service. The perfect place to spend your time while you visit beautiful Spruce Pine North Carolina and the High Country,and all of its' attractions!

Built in 1929, The Richmond Inn is a two-story country estate located just steps away from Historic Downtown Spruce Pine, North Carolina. The rustic Bed and Breakfast Inn offers warmly furnished guest rooms lodgings, each with distinct character and decor.

Located in the heart of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, the Richmond Inn is only a short drive away from Linville Falls & Caverns, Mt, Mitchell, Boone, Asheville, and the Biltmore House. Enjoy outdoor recreation, local attractions including parks, art galleries, local crafts and rivers galore! Or just kick back relax and enjoy the view. Just a few miles from exit 331 on the Blue Ridge Parkway!

What's Included

  • Comfortable van transportation
  • Accommodation for 2 nights
  • Breakfast, 2 lunches, and 1 dinners
  • All activities / admissions per the itinerary
  • Guide and concierge service throughout the trip

Trip Price

$1,687 / person (double occupancy; single supplement, $185)

What's Not Included

Price does not include alcohol, other meals, or optional trip insurance.

You planned everything perfectly - just the right pace, and a wonderful trip!

Trip insurance safeguards your travel investment, your belongings, and most importantly, you. Though trip insurance is optional, we strongly encourage travelers to purchase trip insurance in the event you have to cancel or leave a trip for any reason. Please note, all trip participants should wait for confirmation from Explore Up Close that the trip has the minimum sign-up required to be a “go” before purchasing travel insurance. Please confirm with Explore Up Close before making any additional travel arrangements.

Once you have received confirmation from Explore Up Close, we recommend contacting a travel insurance provider directly to request a quote and compare pricing and features. You can find other providers that may fit your needs at, or we can gladly connect you with our travel agent.

This trip departs from Greenville / Spartanburg, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina. If you live elsewhere, please contact us to discuss travel arrangements, and we will look forward to assisting you!

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