Emerald Village

Useful Information

Location: Near Little Switzerland. Blue Ridge Parkway exit Little Switzerland. Follow Chestnut Grove Church Road north for 1.8 km, then turn left on McKinney Mine Road, 3.6 km to the mine.
Open: APR daily 10-16.
MAY daily 9-17.
Memorial Day to Labor Day daily 9-18.
SEP to OCT 9-17.
NOV to 25-NOV Fri, Sat, Sun 10-16.
Fee: Adults USD 6, Children (6-18) USD 5, Children (0-5) free, Seniors (55+) USD 5.50.
Groups (+): Adults USD 10, Children (6-18) USD 7.50.
Classification: MineEmerald Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Emerald Village & North Carolina Mining Museum, McKinney Mine Road, Little Switzerland, Tel: +1-828-765-6463, Tel: +1-828-765-0000. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.




Emerald Village is a theme park around three gemstone mines. Between the mines is a sort of miniature mining town. There is a mine boss' office, an assay office, and a post office. Various museums and exhibitions show different aspects of the old mining days. The mineral exhibition in the Discovery Mill shows minerals from North Carolina and around the world, including a black light display. In the Miner's Daughter's Attic is an exhibition about the friendly ghost Ellie Jo. She became wealthy when she found her fathers treasure, but she lost him, and until today her lantern can been seen in the mines at night, where she still searches for her missing father. Many types of mechanical music instruments from the 19th century are shown in the Antique Music Museum.

There are three mines close together, called Bon Ami Mine, Big Deal Mine, and Gemstone Mine. These are open cast mines where gems were mined, including aquamarine, emerald, garnet, smoky quartz, and uranium minerals. The Bon Ami Mine shows authentic mining equipment and is visited on self-guided tours.

This is the first time we saw group prices higher than individual prices. The reason is simple: group tours include a guide, an educational slide show, and the underground Bon Ami mine tour.