Valdese, NC

Whether your Valdese visit is a family stopover or a couple’s weekend get-away, you don't want to miss the shopping our downtown has to offer or a trip through the 19th Century at the Waldensian Heritage Museum. You can experience the journey of the Waldensians at the Trail of Faith and take a bird’s eye view of mid-century Valdese at the model train museum operated by the Piedmont and Western Railroad Club. Check our schedule for special events, concerts, and showcased arts and crafts exhibits at the Old Rock School Art Galleries.

Shop downtown Valdese for antiques, jewelry, unique gifts, handmade crafts, and consignments. Visit our parks for a leisurely picnic or cool off at McGalliard Falls. Spend the evening enjoying one of our many outdoor concerts, festivals, car shows, and our must-see outdoor drama, “From This Day Forward".

Our Heritage:

During a period of Roman Catholic dominance, Waldenses vowed to live out the teachings of the Bible at a time when only priests were allowed to read and preach the Bible.  Going against the church's doctrines, they were declared heretics. 

Though many were massacred, miraculously some survived centuries of the Inquisition.  Those remaining joined the Reformation in 1532 and suffered more persecution as Christians were killed or imprisoned. Eventually, they were exiled into the Swiss Alps.  In 1689, a contingent of men began the journey back to their valleys in the "Glorious Return."  The Edict of Emancipation (Feb. 17, 1848) gave the Waldenses political and legal rights. The many beautiful displays in the museum tell the story of how they survived almost insurmountable odds to establish a thriving community in Burke County built upon hope and dreams based on the faith of their fathers. Read more about our heritage here.

For information on Town Services and town Government, go to


What to do

A small town with large celebrations- From our Annual Waldensian Festival to our Concerts at the Rock series, Valdese has something to offer for everyone. Our town boasts beautiful parks that are open year-round, and a vibrant downtown district filled with retail, restaurants, and more.


Where to stay

Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, AirBNBs, VRBOs & Campgrounds! Find the home away from home that suits your needs. Whether in Downtown, a mountain retreat or in the next town nearby, Valdese has accommodations that will make you want to extend your stay!


What to visit

Plan to spend your weekend in Valdese! Enjoy local attraction tours, downtown shopping, high quality entertainment and then relax at one of our many public parks.

Who we are

Located in the rolling foothills of western North Carolina, Valdese is not your average small town. Founded on the rich traditions of 19th century Waldensian settlers, the Town of Valdese honors the heritage and determination of the Waldenses and their journey from the Cottian Alps of northern Italy to edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Burke County during the early 1800’s.

Make Valdese your destination for a unique and educational family outing or bring your church, civic or social group to experience the Waldensian heritage as it is preserved by the Valdese community today. Stop in at the Valdese Tourism Department office located in the Old Rock School on Main Street for day-tripping information or a custom group tour itinerary.