Pastoral Perfection in the High Country
Pronounced valley crew’sis, this peaceful, rural community was first formally settled more than 200 years ago.
Valle Crucis remains much as it was a century or more ago. When Levi Ives, the second Episcopal bishop of North Carolina, visited the area in the 1840s he looked into the valley from a hillside, noticed three streams forming the shape of a St. Andrew’s cross and deemed the location Valle Crucis, Latin for “Vale of the Cross.”
The community has grown in recent years, as the valley’s scenic beauty and majestic quality continuously mesmerizes residents and visitors from throughout the world. Just fifteen minutes from Boone and only a few hours from bigger cities, it's easy to enjoy a day and weekend getaway—but many people eventually return for a much longer stay.
Valle Crucis is North Carolina’s first rural historic district and the entire community is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nationally recognized historic buildings abound in Valle Crucis, with many, like The Baird House (1790), The Mast Farm Inn (1812), the Old Episcopal Mission (1842), the1861 Farmhouse Restaurant & Winery (1861), and the Mast General Store (1883), restored to their original splendor and still serving the area today.
The rustic countryside provides ample opportunities for recreational activities. Both residents and visitors alike can be found enjoying the amenities at the riverfront Valle Crucis Community Park, with multiple children’s playgrounds, athletic fields, picnic areas, and a walking/running trail around its border. Other outdoor enthusiasts can be found hiking the trail from the old Episcopal Mission, now the Valle Crucis Conference Center, to Crab Orchard Falls.
Riding horses through verdant farm fields in the valley and fishing for trout from the banks of streams and the Watauga River also provide an enjoyable glimpse at the days of old. Regardless of your choice of activity, the best way to recap the day’s events in Valle Crucis is from a rocking chair outside your lodging, in the crisp mountain air, overlooking a valley that historians and visitors alike have called "uncommon."