15 Best Things to Do in West Jefferson, NC

Mount Jefferson,West Jefferson, NC
Gary Rolband / shutterstock.com

Life in the big city can bog you down with stress and worry, so don’t be afraid to take a change of pace.

Perhaps you need to visit a smaller, quieter place.

Wash your anxieties away through meaningful strolls along the park or visiting historic attractions.

Otherwise, you can sweat your troubles out through outdoor adventures or thrilling escapades.

In this case, the city of West Jefferson, North Carolina, should do the trick.

Slow down a little by entering one of its many retreats, and reconnect with nature by visiting its mountainside destinations.

Find yourself again amid the smiles and greetings of friendly locals who’ll make you feel like you’ve found another home.

Do you want to know more about West Jefferson, NC? Check out this list below.

Admire the Frescoes at the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church

Front View of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
Bill Fitzpatrick, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A great way to unwind is by looking at masterpieces of art.

If you’re in West Jefferson, head to the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, where you can look at a series of frescoes.

These frescoes also comprise one of the city’s most popular attractions.

You’ll need to enter the Episcopal Parish of the Holy Communion to see the artwork.

In 1974, local artist Ben Long began work on the frescoes.

For decades, the images remained unspoiled. However, in 2012, Long returned to fix up the paintings.

When you enter the Chapel, you’ll find his paintings titled “John the Baptist,” “The Mystery of Faith,” and “Mary, Great with Child.”

Ben Long’s students also painted murals that adorn the church to this day.

If you want to reflect on life while admiring great art, you won’t go wrong at the Church of St. Mary’s.

Visit the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church at 400 Beaver Creek School Rd, West Jefferson, NC 28694.

Spend the Day at the West Jefferson Municipal Park

West Jefferson also has multiple parks for the weary traveler.

For instance, you can visit the West Jefferson Municipal Park, also known as the Bowie-Seagraves Municipal Park.

The park allows you to engage in several sports and outdoor activities.

You can play tennis, basketball, and baseball.

Likewise, you can bring your kids to the playground while you walk down the grounds’ trail.

Pack a lunch and spend an afternoon under the park’s picnic shelters.

Make the most of your West Jefferson trip by chilling at this park.

Visit the West Jefferson Municipal Park at 201 S Church, West Jefferson, NC 28694.

See the Latest Blockbuster at the Parkway Theater

The independently owned Parkway Theater is one of West Jefferson’s many historic buildings.

Opened in 1947, the theater has screened several movies for the entertainment of West Jefferson residents.

The theater underwent significant remodeling and renovation in 1978.

Right away, you’ll know that the Parkway is a retro building because of its giant marquee.

The marquee comes with yellow tile and neon lights spelling out the theater’s name.

It reminds you of old-fashioned 1950s theaters you see in movies.

Today, you can still see classic films and the latest blockbusters at the Parkway.

You can find the Parkway Theater at 10 E Main St., West Jefferson, NC 28694.

See the City From Afar at the Mount Jefferson State Natural Area

If hiking is your thing, you might want to try going up the Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, rising 1,600 feet above the landscape.

Its height makes the place perfect for taking panoramic photographs of nature.

From the top, you could even survey the surrounding states.

Besides photos, you’ll also get to check out the area’s diverse plant life.

If you like geology, you’ll also find rare geologic formations you won’t find anywhere else.

Finish up your hike by a picnic at the shelters on the area grounds and enjoy the cool mountain breeze.

Visit the Mount Jefferson State Natural Area at 1481 Mount Jefferson State Park Road, West Jefferson, NC 28694.

Browse Unique Items at the Great Southern Gothic: Escape Room & Curiosity Shop

If you need more mystery in your trip, drop by the Great Southern Gothic curiosity shop to browse the unique items on display.

It’s still a relatively new shop, having opened in 2014, but it’s quickly became one of West Jefferson’s prime attractions.

The building’s design alone reminds you of spooky haunted houses, adding to the atmosphere.

What can you see inside the store?

The shop offers alternative artwork, bath items, anointing oils, crystal balls, and runes.

Poring through these items should also teach you about the folk history of the region.

Visit the Great Southern Gothic at 103 N Jefferson Avenue, West Jefferson, NC 28694.

Catch a Thrill at the Great Southern Gothic Escape Room

Inside the Great Southern Gothic building, you’ll also find the themed escape room.

This escape room is unique because the owner, Zeea Darling, hand-created everything herself.

From the designs to the gimmicks, she has done it all.

The escape room’s theme changes once a year, but they are all artistic, creative, and quirkily off-beat.

So, if you want to try an escape room off the beaten path, you might want to visit the Great Southern Gothic Escape Room.

Try Local Craft Beer at Boondocks Brewing

In 2012, Boondocks Brewing opened to provide an engaging and vibrant spot for travelers and residents of Ashe County.

The brewery is also the first commercially licensed one in all of Ashe County.

On your visit to West Jefferson, you can go to either brewery’s two downtown locations.

Either way, you’re sure to have a good time.

Boondocks Brewing offers a selection of incredible locally made craft beers, along with a delectable full menu.

They also provide off-site catering options, and they offer special events hosting and brewery tours.

Whether you’re a local or a traveler, you’ll never want to miss out on dropping by Boondocks.

Visit Boondocks Brewing at 108 S Jefferson Avenue or 302 S Jefferson Avenue, West Jefferson, NC.

Grab Fresh Produce at the Ashe County Farmers Market

If you visit West Jefferson early in the year, you have a chance to catch the Ashe County Farmers Market.

Start eating healthier by grabbing the fresh fruits and vegetables sold at the market.

These items are also freshly washed and sustainably grown, so you’ll also protect the environment.

What can you buy at the farmers' market?

You can get vegetables like spinach, arugula, kale, and lettuce, among many others.

The farmers' market also contains a greenhouse, where they grow the plants.

Thanks to this greenhouse, you’ll never buy spoiled fruit or vegetable even if they’re not in season anymore.

If you want to add spice into your cooking, the Ashe County Farmers Market also sells organic and non-organic spices like garlic, onions, peppers.

They also offer carrots, beets, cauliflowers, and potatoes.

Go there in the fall to buy all sorts of pumpkins and gourds, too.

Visit the Ashe County Farmers Market at 108 BackStreet, West Jefferson, NC 28694.

Enjoy Snacking at the Ashe County Cheese Shop

Another historic business in West Jefferson is the Ashe County Cheese Shop, which began back in 1930.

Back then, the Kraft Corporation owned the company.

Today, the company has split into the Ashe County Cheese Company and the Ashe County Cheese Store.

When you visit West Jefferson, you’d want to head to the Ashe County Cheese Store.

The store stocks the cheese products made at the cheese company.

You’ll find specialty cheeses inside the store like classic cheddar daisy wheels, flavored cheeses, the original Sienna Cheese, and the latest Juusto cheese.

Of course, you can also buy butter there.

Visit the Ashe County Cheese Shop at 106 E Main St., West Jefferson, NC 28694.

See a Show at the Ashe Civic Center

Maybe the mood to see a live show catches you in West Jefferson.

When that happens, you can go to the Ashe Civic Center to get your fix.

The civic center comprises a 282-seat theater and auditorium, where the county holds music shows, live theatre, and dance recitals, among others.

Likewise, the Ashe Civic Center is home to the Ashe County Little Theater, which produces a variety of live productions.

The center also offers rentals to the public.

So, if you plan to hold a dance recital of your own, you can book the center, too.

They also accept beauty pageants, group meetings, plays, and fundraisers.

Visit the Ashe Civic Center at 962 Mt Jefferson Rd, West Jefferson, NC 28694.

Experience Local Flavor at the Ashe Arts Center

If you’d prefer to stay downtown, you can go ahead and explore the city through its popular arts district.

The district contains several art galleries and studios that feature artworks from yesteryear and the modern period.

Notably, both regional and local artists have contributed pieces to these galleries.

You can find many of these artworks inside the Ashe Arts Center.

Likewise, you can also shop for local arts and crafts at the gallery store.

The city built the stone Arts Center building in 1938 as a central spot for residents to gather.

Besides art exhibits, the Ashe Arts Center also holds various events throughout the year.

These events might be concerts, speaking tours, fundraisers, or outdoor arts and crafts exhibits.

Visit the Ashe Arts Center at 303 School Avenue, West Jefferson, NC 28694.

Explore West Jefferson Through Downtown Murals

Besides the Ashe Arts Center, you can also experience West Jefferson’s arts and culture scene by looking at the murals scattered downtown.

In all, you’ll find over 15 murals painted on several buildings, composing a whole walking tour.

Local artists banded together to design and paint these murals.

These murals reflect the unique natural character and rich history of West Jefferson.

Before starting the tour, just pick up a map at the Ashe Arts Center or the Ashe Chamber of Commerce.

Take a Break at the Backstreet Park

If you want to take a break from the walking tour, you can take a breather at Backstreet Park, located in the Backstreet section of downtown West Jefferson.

You can have lunch at the picnic areas and finish with some ice cream.

Otherwise, you can simply hang around for a while and breathe in West Jefferson’s unique atmosphere.

Backstreet Park also hosts the West Jefferson Community Partnership’s Summer Concert Series, which are free-admission shows.

If you visit after Thanksgiving, you might also see the town’s Hometown Christmas event.

The highlight of this event is the official lighting of the city’s community Christmas tree.

Visit Backstreet Park at 2nd Avenue, West Jefferson, NC 28694.

West Jefferson doesn’t just showcase paintings, but its arts district also features breathtaking photography.

If you want to see them yourself, go to the CatchLight Gallery in the heart of the city’s arts district.

Nicole Robinson, a photographer, opened the gallery in 2012 to create a space for photographers in West Jefferson to display their work.

Every month, the gallery features work by new photographers, exposing you to various talents.

You might also meet these artists yourselves if you’re lucky.

As a creative space, the artists are also willing to discuss their craft with visitors.

Visit the CatchLight Gallery at 118 N Jefferson Avenue, West Jefferson, NC 28694.

Grab Sweet Treats at the Honey Hole

One unique store you can visit in West Jefferson is The Honey Hole, which sells honey products.

Why is the store unique?

They keep honeybees in the store, which creates the honey they use to make their honey products.

If you’re a beekeeper yourself, you’re in luck.

The Honey Hole also stocks beekeeping supplies to help you maintain your hives.

Grab some souvenir items to keep your friends happy and your bee friends buzzing.

Visit The Honey Hole at 6 3rd Avenue, West Jefferson, NC 28694.

Final Thoughts

Get away from the hustle and grime of city life by taking a well-deserved break at West Jefferson, NC.

Take your mind off your worries by breathing in the city’s charming natural attractions.

Likewise, feed your curiosity with its many historical and cultural destinations.

Book your West Jefferson getaway today!