If you've never visited West Jefferson, North Carolina, you're surely missing out! Some consider West Jefferson a hidden gem, located in Ashe County. This sweet little town is located close to Boone, North Carolina, but holds its own in terms of desirability. West Jefferson is historic, beautiful, and a wonderful place to raise a family.
With a population of about 1,500, West Jefferson is the definition of "charming small town." The median age is 41, with 45% of the households being families with children under 18 years of age. The median price of a home is $156,000. West Jefferson lies within the Ashe County school district, which offers a valuable education. West Jefferson offers all of the seasons, with cool winters, warm summers, and particularly vibrant autumns that are perfect for sight-seeing. No matter what walk of life you come from, West Jefferson has what you need.
Like many of our favorite Western North Carolina destinations, West Jefferson is within close proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which has tons of trails and waterfalls to offer its sight-seekers. However, West Jefferson has something particularly special to offer outdoor enthusiasts: Mount Jefferson State Natural Park. Mount Jefferson is perfect for a leisurely drive, where you can stop at one of many overlooks that offer a view of the county and further ridges. There are multiple trails on Mount Jefferson, some shorter and some longer. There are even areas that can be rented out for family gatherings and grill-outs. No matter how many times you come back, you'll find that the views never become less breathtaking.
There are also a number of parks within West Jefferson, with the most popular being West Jefferson Park. This large park is adjacent to the Ashe County Public Library and offers multiple playgrounds, walking trails, tennis courts, and wide-open spaces for you and your children to roam.
West Jefferson has some of the best local bites and brews. Downtown West Jefferson offers a wide range of different dining options, from the notorious Boondocks Brewing and Havana Cafe to the infamous Ashe County Cheese (ever heard of squeaky cheese?). Ashe County Cheese not only has a storefront where you can buy their yummy products, but you can even see their cheese made in-house. Look for the giant cows! Also along Main Street, you can find multiple coffee shops, such as Bohemia, or even stop in for a wine tasting at Carolina Country Wines. Many historic buildings now house some of the most visited destinations in town, such as The Hotel Tavern.
Outside of the city limits, Ashe County has much more to offer. Molley Chomper Hard Cider is located just down the road in Lansing, and while you're there, you can stop in for one of the best pizzas of your life at Pie On the Mountain. Another great aspect of Ashe County cuisine is the amount of produce which is local. The Ashe County Farmer's Market on the Backstreet is always booming on the weekends. Also on the Backstreet is where you'll find Christmas in July, one of West Jefferson's most famous events.
One of the first things you may notice about Downtown West Jefferson is the large number of murals displayed on the sides of buildings. Every mural you see will be as unique and as fun as the last. Though it's a quaint little town, you can surely find some sweet places to stop in to buy local crafts. West Jefferson is known for its art scene. The Ashe County Arts Council is constantly housing exhibits of local artists' work and putting on fun events. The Ashe County Civics Center is the host of theatrical plays, in which local actors participate often. If you're looking to catch a simple movie, both the Parkway Theater and Blue Ridge Movie Lounge have got you covered. Downtown, stop in the Florence Thomas Art School, where you can learn or showcase your painting skills, and purchase some sweet canvases. Some of the best shopping in West Jefferson includes the quirky Great Southern Gothic and Martha Mae's Emporium. West Jefferson truly does house southern charm and entertainment in the most perfect unity.