See the Western North Carolina high country with the leaf-peepers gone, the leaves down and the vistas unlimited?
Or do something cultural?
Or get some holiday shopping out of the way?
Your best answer – “Yes” – is coming up the weekend of Dec. 4-6, with the Toe River Studio Tour in Yancey and Mitchell counties. Get the guidebook and plan your self-guided stops in places like Burnsville, Bakersville, Penland, Celo, Micaville, Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland.
Along the Main Streets and back roads you’ll have the opportunity to meet more than 100 artisans – 23 of them new this year to the arts tour – at their studios and/or galleries. They work in disciplines that range from clay, fiber, glass, metal and wood to photography, painting and drawing.
The event is staged by the Toe River Arts Council, which this year was selected to coordinate the creation of ornaments for the holiday display at President’s Park, in Washington, D.C. The ornaments will be part of the 93rd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington on Dec. 3.
TRAC has galleries in Burnsville and Spruce Pine; go to either for your studio tour guide, or pick it up at participating studios and businesses. You can also find the guide (and more details) at www.ToeRiverArts.org.
Hours for the tour: noon-4 p.m. Dec. 4 (a Friday) and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5-6 (Saturday-Sunday)
For lodging options in the Burnsville area, visit www.ExploreBurnsville.com. It’s a good place to spend the night if you’re planning to spend more than a day in that area: Downtown Burnsville’s Christmas Parade is at 3 p.m. that Saturday.