Marion, county seat of McDowell County, is OUR STATE magazine's Tar Heel town of the month. The town is located near major highways, which allows residents to enjoy the charm of a small town and still have easy access to the amenities of larger towns like Asheville and Hickory. Preservation is important in the downtown area with a number of buildings refurbished for modern-day uses. Marion is home to several structures on the National Register of Historic Places, including the McDowell County Courthouse. For the past nineteen years the Appalachian Potters Market, which brings sixty artisans from the Southeastern United States, has been a major tourist draw.