We’re visiting an absolute gem of a destination tucked into the North Carolina mountains. A place that will make all your friends green with envy when you tell them all about your weekend exploits. Welcome to Emerald Village.
Located in Little Switzerland, North Carolina just off the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, Emerald Village and the North Carolina Mining Museum is a great place to dig up some interesting fun facts about the region while exploring some exciting gem, mining, and historical attractions.
There are 12 different historic mines that you can explore here – some with truly other-worldly experiences like the night-time black light tour, featured by Smithsonian Magazine.
We’re starting things off at the Bon Ami Mine on a self-guided tour of this cave that once produced Feldspar & Mica. This is where you can take in that world-famous glowing evening tour. Other mines that you can explore include the Big McKinney Mine, at one time the world’s largest Feldspar mine… Crabtree Emerald Mine where you can still dig for emeralds… and the Big Deal Mine, with a towering opening and a tiny crystal-clear lake inside.
And while the historic mines like Big Deal are truly amazing, there is another where you yourself can search for those hidden gemstones like the miners from long ago.
The Gemstone Mine is a flume experience that guarantees a find every time – featuring more than 20 local gemstones. You can pan for gold here too in the state where it was first discovered in North America a couple hundred years ago.
Nearby the Discovery Mill Building and its Museum are a great place to learn about the history of mining and the area in general.
This place features attractions like the Model Railroad Exhibit, the Worldwide Gem and Mineral Collection, the Homestead Museum, and the Stock Room.
Planning your visit to Emerald Village is an easy, fun day out that could just pay for itself. One thing’s for sure, the memories you’ll take with you are priceless.