Visitor Center featuring a unique sample of the more than 300 varieties of North Carolina rocks and minerals. Numerous gemstones, such as ruby, aquamarine, and emerald are shown in both rough and polished states. Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce Office. Open year round. Hours 9 am to 5 am (closed for lunch 12 -1:00 pm Dec thru May) Great place for kids, only takes maybe an hour to see it all. FREE admission!