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Enjoy Eclectic Arts and Outdoor Adventure in Penland, N.C.

Penland, N.C., an unincorporated Mitchell County community, offers a serene setting from which to drink in the region’s beauty. Situated on the northern edge of the Black Mountains, and bisected by the North Toe River, Penland boasts a number of historical buildings as well as close proximity to adventure nestled in nature. The area is home to more than 100 professional craftspeople and artists, as well as the Penland School of Crafts, the largest and oldest professional crafts school in the country. 

Penland NC

A little under an hour northeast of Asheville, Penland has a small year-round population of 200. Looking to buy a home in the Penland area? Expect to find everything from modern, green builds to established ranches. Plenty of perfectly perched lots are available to create a truly private mountain retreat.

Famed Penland School of Craft

Among the area’s crown jewels is the famed Penland School of Craft, which draws thousands of students and prominent instructors to the area every year. The school features total-immersion workshops in fully equipped studios along with artist residencies, a gallery and visitors’ center, and community programs. If you’d like to take a class in a niche art medium, you’re in luck: Among its offerings are one-, two-, and eight-week workshops in books and paper, clay, drawing, glass, iron, metals, photography, printmaking, textiles and wood. Visitors are welcome to browse the galleries, shop in the art supply store, or walk through the historic campus.

Penland is the perfect spot for an afternoon of exploration. The community has a handful of historic buildings, including the Penland General Store and Post Office, the longest continuously operating post office in the area. Penland is also home to the Penland School Historic District’s Conley Ridge Cemetery and Beacon Church, as well as the Henry Willis House, a traditional log homestead. 

Nearby attractions in Western N.C.

Penland’s neighboring towns offer a range of activities to enjoy, from gallery crawls to breathtaking hikes to annual festivals. Bakersville, 8 miles from Penland, boasts several world-class galleries to visit, including the cooperative Mica gallery as well as In Tandem Gallery, featuring a wide selection of ceramics and jewelry. In addition, Bakersville is the gateway to majestic Roan Mountain, a popular destination for its stunning 360-degree views and miles of exhilarating trails along the Appalachian Trail. 

Also located near Penland is the charming town of Burnsville, N.C. Burnsville is part of Yancey County, home to towering peaks including the famed Mount Mitchell. An artistic mountain vibe defines its picturesque Main Street, which features interesting shops, restaurants, galleries and a lush town square. 

Spruce Pine, just 11 minutes from Penland, boasts deep roots in mountain culture and the arts. Its historic downtown offers quaint stores, restaurants and coffee shops along two Main Streets; an array of annual festivals and events celebrates the area’s heritage. The town’s multiple parks showcase everything from tennis courts to a public swimming pool to summer concert series and movies. 

For more information about real estate in Penland, or anywhere in Asheville or Western N.C., contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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