The Northwest North Carolina Visiter Center, designed by the Raleigh-based architectural firm
Innovative Design, is the North Carolina Department of Transportation's first "sustainable" building design to implement LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The Center is LEED Gold Certified and in 2011 was selected by the federal Highway Administration to receive the Environmental Excellence Award. The Center offers visitors an opportunity to learn the many facets of sustainability through the utilization of solar domestic hot water, geothermal cooling and heating, rainwater reuse for toilet flushing, and photovoltaics. The Center’s property has been constructed with wetlands, bioswales, drought-tolerant landscaping, nature trails, and dark sky compliant site lighting. Visitors are always welcome to use the picnic facilities and enjoy the mountain views and the gentle breeze the property offers.
The Center’s Travel Specialists assist visitors with maps and information featured throughout the
Northwest NC ten county region. Click here to link to the area served. The knowledgeable and friendly
staff and volunteers are available to answer questions and provide complimentary brochures,
publications, newsletters, and details of cultural activities, recreational venues, scheduled festivals and
events, local and state parks, museums, wineries, distillers, and multiple historical sites.
The NWNC Visitor Center serves as an artisan center showcasing the magnificent artistries of the
numerous skilled craftsmen located throughout the Northwest region. The exhibits of local artists,
potters, carvers, and quilters rotate within the visitor center bi-monthly and create an educational and
welcoming environment for all ages. The Center also features in person exhibitions of art, music, and
crafts throughout the year for visitors to observe and enjoy.
The Northwest North Carolina Visitor Center and Rest Area serves thousands of travelers annually. The
Rest Area facilities are open to the public 24 hours 7 days a week. The Visitor Center is open Monday,
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9am until 5pm. Tuesday 10am until 2pm and on
Sunday from 12:30 until 5pm. The Visitor Center is closed New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.