Why visit Valdese?

Nestled between Mineral Springs Mountain and Lake Rhodhiss, Valdese is a picturesque small town in the foothills of Western North Carolina. Known for celebrations, Valdese also features beautiful parks, quaint walkable downtown, and a truly unique heritage showcased in a variety of attractions.


Valdese is the perfect stop along the way to Asheville, Boone, or Charlotte. Located within an hour of these locations, many visitors enjoy a break in their travel by stopping in Valdese for a bite to eat, downtown stroll or dog walk at Lakeside Park. Take I-40 exits 111 or 112 to visit Valdese.


Visitors who enjoy the arts may attend performing art productions ranging from the historic outdoor drama "From This Day Forward" to musicals created by Valdese community theatre, Old Colony Players. Local art exhibits at the Rock School Art Galleries change monthly in the two art galleries. Regional artists showcase their talents through several different medias. Art enthusiasts are also encouraged to visit the public art installations throughout downtown. The public art installations have a common theme. Many share the heroic story of the Waldensian settlers through mural depictions and sculpture.


Valdese is well known as a small town with big celebrations! And what's a celebration without music!? Throughout the summer months free concerts fill the streets with music and visitors alike. Visitors can plan their visit to Valdese around the annual event calendar found here. Concerts aren't the only events to enjoy. Craft shows, festivals, footraces, bocce, hikes, and scavenger hunts are just a few other events that the Town of Valdese hosts each year.


Discover the courageous journey of the Waldenses from the Cottian Alps of Northern Italy to the Town of Valdese by visiting the Waldensian Heritage Museum and Trail of Faith. The Waldensian Heritage Museum takes visitors through 800 years of Waldensian history by sharing a timeline exhibit, historic archives and a large collection of artifacts. Visitors can walk through history at the Trail of Faith. An eleven acre open air walking tour featuring sixteen exhibits that share the inspiring story of the Waldenses. Visitors are also encouraged to visit the Piedmont & Western Railroad Museum located at the Old Rock School.


Burke County Public Library: Valdese Branch

Through partnerships, BCPLS develops readers, communities, and cultural awareness by providing informational, education…
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Charters of Freedom

Foundation Forward, Inc. is a non-profit educational project, 501(c)(3). ​It is an educational organization that builds…

Community Theatre

Old Colony Players is a thriving community theatre company who calls Valdese home. Artfully performing since 1967, OCP …
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McGalliard Falls Park

Elegant waterfall, just minutes from Downtown Valdese. Easily walk to one of the overlooks or dip your toes in the McGalliard Creek. Perfect place to rewind with family, friends and pets!
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Meytre Grist Mill

McGalliard Falls Park has been a favorite gathering place for Valdese citizens and visitors alike for over a century. T…
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Old Rock School

The Old Rock School remains an iconic symbol of the Valdese community. All of the spaces in the School are available for public rental, so renters can enjoy the rich history of the Town while hosting their own special event.
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Outdoor Drama

4th longest running outdoor drama in NC. Held annually mid July through mid August.
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RSAF Studio 101

Discover unique workshops at Studio 101 presented by the Rock School Arts Foundation
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Rock School Arts Galleries

The Rock School Arts Foundation’s mission is to offer new and exciting exhibitions, programs, and art education for adults and children; to serve as a cultural destination for tourists and visitors; and a resource for the art communities.