Sit a spell or shop? Your choice at Valle Crucis, North Carolina!

Lane House Porch, Mast Farm Inn, Valle Crucis, NC

With fall approaching and the urge to “git outta town” hitting us all, you might consider Western North Carolina for many reasons — colorful leaves, winding highways, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and clean country air. But one place in particular has it all: little ol’ Valle Crucis. We’re calling it little because if you want to visit its main store, the Mast General Store, you’ll have to put the town of Banner Elk in your GPS, ’cause Valle Crucis isn’t even recognized.

Two country buildings, Valle Crucis, NC
From a previous post: barns near the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, NC

We’ve shared some pictures once before in a post called Along Back Country Roads,” but we thought you like to see a few more from a stop we made Spring 2021. In fact, you just might want to consider bringing a bit of country living into your own life by spending a weekend at the Mast Farm Inn. It’s a complex of updated small cabins surrounding a two-story country house — all with private rooms and baths.

Main House, Mast Farm Inn, Valle Crucis, NC
The main inn at Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, NC

For a bit of history, it was Joseph Mast who, in 1792, walked from Pennsylvania to settle the land in Valle Crucis. His son David later built a two-room farmhouse that now faces the main building of the Mast Farm Inn. And it’s here that you can take in the views of pastoral land, organic farms, and log houses. It’s a lifestyle many of us envy, but can enjoy if we’re lucky enough to snag one of these comfy upscale rural retreats.

Cabin side view, Mast Farm Inn, Valle Crucis, NC
Rental cabins at Mast Farm Inn
Rental cabin, Mast Farm Inn, Valle Crucis, NC
Strolling the grounds at Mast Farm Inn, Valle Crucis

Although our photos were taken in the spring, you can imagine how lovely this area would be decked out in fall colors. We’ve stayed there once before, and we can tell you firsthand the glories of smelling fresh air, relaxing on the porches, and reveling in the peace and quiet.

Down the road a bit, you might want to check out the Mast General Store — since you’re in the area and all. It was Henry Taylor who bought land in Valle Crucis around 1851, establishing a store called Taylor and Moore Company, across the road from the original Mast General. His own home served as a boarding house for salesmen known as “drummers” who would visit the area and sell their goods.

Penny candy, Mast General Store, Valle Crucis, NC
Barrels of candy line up with preserves and jellies at Mast General Store

Today, the Mast General Store is a testament to preservation — not just land and buildings, but a way of life. You can find most anything there, but we enjoy the penny candy we gather from big barrels, drinks from old Coca Cola ice chests as well as dry goods, gardening supplies, and boots. You can even get a coffee for 5 cents on the honor system, but no one really checks . . . that we could tell!

If you can’t buy it here, you don’t need it!

Popular saying from Mast General Store

Later on, a couple from Florida, John and Faye Cooper, purchased the store in 1979 and moved their whole family to the mountains. While undergoing renovations, the Mast General Store was closed, and so was the Valle Crucis post office, located within the store. But without a postal identity, Valle Crucis was in danger of becoming a non-entity. In October 4, 1980, Valle Crucis regained its contracted station right inside the Mast General Store. It’s still operable and, of course, vital to the community — and worth seeing on its own.

Post Office, Valle Crucis, NC
The Post Office of Valle Crucis, right inside the Mast General Store

So, if what you need is time away, consider a trip to Valle Crucis where you can sit a spell or shop in the store that time forgot. Just don’t put Valle Crucis into your GPS.

If you want to get there, search for this address: 2918 Broadstone Road, Banner Elk, North Carolina.

Old barn, Valle Crucis, NC

Travel in the country,

Rusha & Bert

36 thoughts on “Sit a spell or shop? Your choice at Valle Crucis, North Carolina!

  1. Prior...

    I have never heard of this place in NC and looks like a great place to sit and shop a bit
    also, I can imagine it in fall – those trees must make it really colorful
    — and wow – hearing that he walked from PA to NC reminds me how good we have it now with cars, trains, and planes (and helicopters – thinking of your old gravatar image ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  2. Amy

    Hi Rusha, I really enjoyed this tour though your wonderful images. Love the second photo, it is like a beautiful painting! Thank you for introducing the general store, These cabinets are precious, which remind me the old library catalog cabinets.

  3. Pat

    How far is Valle Crucis from I-75? It might be a stop for us either going down to FL or driving home in the spring. How far from Knoxville?

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      I Googled “distance from Knoxville to Valle Crucis” and found a route using I-40 to I-81, turning at Johnson City and heading toward Valle Crucis: 151 miles, 2 hours, 51 minutes. I tried copying the map for you, but had no luck. Hope you can swing by. It’s a sweet spot.

      1. Pat

        I’m sorry. I could have Googled it and will. We will have to talk about it – but after we spend a week in the Upper Peninsula.

  4. maristravels

    I love those old stores. In my former home I had a long wall of pharmacy drawers in my kitchen which had the original Latin names on them but when I had to downsize to move into a smaller place (due to the old one being too big for me when my husband died) I couldn’t fit it in so it had to be sold. I still regret it’s going but that’s life. Thanks for showing us your towns still keeping up with the olden days.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      We, too, love adding antiques and unique pieces to our home. Our kitchen island is an old store counter. It even has the original coin till in a drawer. When you pull out the drawer, it bings! We’ll have to leave it here if we ever move. It’s too heavy and just belongs here!

      1. Washe Koda

        He he he postal service. When I mail my rent check ti goes to Knoxville then is delivered 6 blocks away to my landlord โ—๏ธ must be some kind of job security for them

      2. Washe Koda

        There are many many folks in the Tri-cities during the spring and fall races ๐•€๐•ฅ’๐•ค ๐”น๐•ฃ๐•š๐•ค๐•ฅ๐• ๐• ๐”น๐•’๐•“๐•ช ๐Ÿš— ๐Ÿ˜‰

      3. Washe Koda

        a few + years ago TN played Va in college football at the Bristol Moter Speed way Largest attendance recorded ever for a collegiate football game 300,000 + Rose Bowl only holds 80,000 โ—๏ธ I am proud to have retired in Johnson City 8 blocks away from the James H. Quillen Veterans Medical Center at Mountain Home, TN (within Johnson City boarders) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Leave a Reply to Oh, the Places We SeeCancel reply