Agritourism in Western North Carolina


Until industry arrived in the western North Carolina and began developing timber and mineral rights, most Appalachians made their living farming land. This land was often handed down family lines for generations. Recently, however, with increasing land development and mechanization of farming, family farms are no longer able to remain solvent and descendents have been forced to sell family land. In the late 19th century a movement emerged that extolled Appalachia as a region where tourists could view picturesque farms and quaint mountain families hard at work farming the fields or making handicrafts. This movement came to be known as agricultural tourism, or agritourism, and has helped to maintain the solvency of the family farm in western North Carolina. This document is designed as an introduction to the literature about agritourism in western North Carolina available in the Belk Library, the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, through the Western North Carolina Library network, or online.

Introductory Text: 

A good introduction to agritourism in western North Carolina can be found in:
Starnes, Richard D. “Agricultural Tourism,” Encyclopedia of Appalachia. Rudy Abramson and Jean Haskell eds. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2006. pp. 617-18, 615, 408. ASU SPEC APP COLL F106 .E53 2006

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant

  • Agritourism
  • Agricultural Tourism
  • Farm Tourism
  • Farms—Recreational Use--Tourism

Also Relevant

More General

  • Farmers’ Markets—North Carolina
  • Rural Development
  • Related
  • Ecotourism
  • Cultural Heritage Tourism

Clipping Files Subject Headings – W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 
  • Agriculture
  • Tourist Trade
  • Watauga County—Farmers’ Market
Library of Congress Call Numbers: 
  • G155
  • S565

Egresi, Istvan Oliver. Analysis of Agri-tourism Development in the New River Basin, North Carolina. MA Thesis. Boone, North Carolina: Appalachian State University, Department of Geography and Planning, August 2002. ASU SPEC APP COLL G155.U6 E37 2002

Fritsch, Al and Kristin Johannsen. Ecotourism in Appalachia: Marketing the Mountains. Lexington, KY: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 2004. pp. 247-249. ASU SPEC APP COLL G155.U6 F72 2004

Hensley, Bill F. “Agritourism.” North Carolina. May 2004; 62(5): 72. Available in ASU Main Periodical Stacks.

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. Opportunities for Expanding Food and Farm Tourism in Western North Carolina. November 2006. Available online at

Brown, Dennis M. and Richard J. Reeder. Farm-based Recreation: A Statistical Profile. Washington, D.C.: USDA Economic Research Service, 2007. Available online at

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Division of Marketing. Agritourism Directory. Raleigh, NC: NCDA&CS Division of Marketing, 2006. ASU MICROFORM NC A9 15:A27 2006 ncdocs

Directory: A Consumer’s Guide to North Carolina’s Finest Home Grown Fruits, Vegetables, and Other ’Down Home Products’: Where to Find Pick-Your-Own Farms, Roadside Markets, Farmers Markets. Raleigh, NC: N.C. Dept. of Agriculture, Division of Marketing, 1995. ASU MICROFORM NC A9 15:D59

Appalachian Land Records Survey Collection 1976-1983. ASU SPEC APP COLL ARCHIVESCollection 104

United States Travel and Tourism Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. Rural Tourism Handbook: Selected Case Studies and Development Guide. Washington, DC: The Administration, 1994. ASU GOVT US C 47.12:T 64/4


Kennedy, Liam R. Promoting Tourism in Rural America. Beltsville, MD: National Agricultural Library, 1998. UNCA FED DOC A 17.29:60

Brown, Dennis M. Rural Tourism: An Annotated Bibliography. Rural Information Center, National Agricultural Library, 2002. Report published on

Abstracts and Indices: 

WorldCat (Available through ASU database.)
Agritourism AND North Carolina
Rural Tourism AND North Carolina
NetLibrary (ebooks) (Available through ASU database.)
Agriculture AND Tourism
JSTOR (Available through ASU database.)
Agriculture AND Tourism AND North Carolina


Tourism Management. Guildford, U.K. : Butterworths, c1982-. (Available online and bound through ASU Journal database and ASU library; Web version: v.16- 1995- Bound: v.18, 1997-v.23, 2002)

Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Clevedon, Avon, UK : Channel View Books/Multilingual Matters Ltd., c1993-. (Available online through ASU Journal database; Web version: v.4- 1996-)

Trends. Washington, D.C. : Park Practice, 1970-1998. (Available in ASU Periodicals; Bound: v.10, 1973-v.20, 1983; v.27, 1990-v.35, 1998 (Lack v.35, no.3))

Annals of Tourism Research. New York [etc.] Pergamon [etc.]. (Available at ASU; Web version: v.22- 1995- and Bound: v.3, 1975-v.11, 1984; v.13, 1986-v.29, 2002.)

Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change. Clevedon: Channel View Publications. (Available online through WCU; 04/2003-present.)

Audio and Video Sources: 

North Carolina Film Board, Raleigh, and WBTV-Television, Charlotte. The Vanishing Frontier. Raleigh, NC: NC Film Board, Charlotte, NC: WBTV-Television, 1963. ASU SPEC APP COLL VIDEO VC 547

Walton, April I. Standing at the Crossroads: A Portrait of Three North Carolina Farm Families. Pittsboro: Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, 2003. ASU SPEC APP COLL VIDEO VC 490

Sebak, Rick. To Market to Market to Buy a Fat Pig. Alexandria, VA: PBS Home Video, 2007. UNCA DVD HF5472.U6 T6 2007

Compiled by: 

Compiler: Anne Chesky, 11 November 2008