Valle Crucis is a special place. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains between Boone and Banner Elk, Valle Crucis is home to fewer than 1,000 full-time residents but its rich cultural and natural heritage bring thousands of visitors to the community each year. The community was named Valle Crucis, Latin for Vale of the Cross, in the early 1840s by Episcopal Bishop Levi Ives upon discovering that the three creeks located in the valley appeared to form a cross.
Sparsely populated prior to Bishop Ives’ arrival, the community of Valle Crucis was largely organized around the Episcopal mission school Ives opened in 1845. The Episcopal mission still stands and serves as a conference and retreat center.
Today, activity in Valle Crucis is largely centered around tourism. Summers bring large numbers of second home owners and vacationers to the Valle as they seek to escape the heat of lower elevations. The area’s proximity to ski slopes and the Choose & Cut Christmas tree industry fuel winter tourism. Many people also come to the Valle each year to visit the Original Mast General Store and Annex. Built in 1883, the Original Store served the community for nearly 100 years until closing its doors in the late 1970s. The store was then purchased by John and Faye Cooper and reopened in June of 1980. Today the store has grown to a chain of nine outfitters located in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
In 2015, the community was listed as an Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. Mast General Store, Mast Farm Inn, and the Valle Crucis Episcopal Mission also are separately listed on the Register.
For more on the history of the Valle Crucis community, pick up a copy of Valle Crucis, North Carolina by David Yates or Valle Crucis: A History of an Uncommon Place by I. Harding Hughes, both available for purchase at the Mast General Store.
The Inn at Little Pond Farm (www.ncinn.com)
The Mast Farm Inn (www.themastfarminn.com)
Mountainside Lodge B&B (www.mountainsidelodgebb.com)
The Taylor House Inn (www.taylorhouseinn.com)
Valle Crucis Conference Center (www.vcconferences.org)
Valle Crucis Log Cabin Rentals (www.logcabinrentals.com)
Valle Crucis Vineyard (www.vallecrucisvineyard.com)
DO & SEE