Tourism is the leading industry in Avery County, generating $51 million in sales each year. The South's highest ski slopes, nine major golf resorts, and scenic Grandfather Mountain attract visitors year 'round to support a wonderful variety of quality restaurants and lodging facilities.
Beech and Sugar Mountain offer the finest skiing for the winter months. Each resort operates many runs catering to the beginner as well as the most advanced and offers a complete skiing experience. Night skiing is available for those enthusiasts who just can't get enough.
Avery boasts the finest collection of both private and public golf resorts in the South.The public is invited to enjoy the courses at Beech Mountain Golf Club, Mountain Glen Golf Club and Sugar Mountain Golf Club. Private clubs include Elk River Club, Grandfather Golf and Country Club, Linville Land Harbor, Linville Golf Club, and Linville Ridge Country Club.
The best combination of mountain golf courses and ski slopes in the South plus the highest average land elevation in Eastern America plus spectacular panoramic views make Avery the natural choice for retirees or a second home!
Hiking trails offer natural experiences not found anywhere else in Eastern America. Choices range from descents into gorges or alpine ascents to mountain peaks to Blue Ridge Parkway leisure trails or the rugged Appalachian Trail. Often they lead to many of the area's natural landmarks such as Linville Falls. Whether a gentle forest stroll or a challenging climb, the excitement and rewards are the same.
Natural landmarks such as Wiseman's View provide an awesome look into Linville Gorge, "Eastern America's Grand Canyon." A paved walkway makes it easily accessible. Elk River Falls is one of several beautiful waterfalls, which includes Wilson Creek Falls and Linville Falls.
Mountain handicrafts are prized possessions because of their fine workmanship and creative design. The county has a strong tradition in crafts ranging from pottery, quilts and other worven works to art toys, jewelry and furniture. Avery craftsmen show their work in open studios, shops, and local crafts festivals.
Christmas tree and ornamental shrubbery growing is the county's second leading industry, generating $30 million in sales currently and is expected to grow year by year. Over 900 families are active in the business, shipping more Fraser firs and ornamental shrubbery than any other county in the southern United States.
This industry puts Avery County on the map and provides the county's nickname of