The holidays are behind us and winter is in full swing, making it the perfect time to snuggle up and reconnect with your loved one during Jackson County’s Secret Season. With fewer crowds, you’ll be able to enjoy more alone time on the trails and vistas all to yourself as you unplug and reconnect. With Valentine’s Day on Friday this year, you can make the most out of a romantic weekend getaway to the mountains. Here are the top reasons couples love escaping to the Western North Carolina mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva.
- Waterfalls and romance just go hand in hand.
Due to its prime location in the North Carolina mountains, Jackson County is home to dozens of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Southeast. To enjoy the sights and sounds of these falls, pack a picnic and blanket, a warm throw, and set out on one of the area’s waterfall hikes. It might even turn out to be the ideal spot for a proposal. To help you plan, waterfall maps are available to pick the perfect setting. If you are lucky, you might even get to see a frozen waterfall. Another great resource is Adventures Proposed, which will help you craft a memorable and romantic trip and even assist with a proposal. However, always be aware of slippery, icy rocks around the falls this time of year.
- Get your heart pumping and enjoy some quality time together with a hike.
In addition to gorgeous waterfalls, Jackson County also offers some of the most breathtaking vistas in the region. Set out on one of the many hiking trails and you’ll find more than enough to serve as a backdrop for a photo of the two of you. Our Secret Season is a fantastic–and less crowded–time to spot the natural phenomenon, Shadow of the Bear, viewable on clear sunny days in mid-February. Another spectacular locale for panoramic views is the 4,930-foot crest of Whiteside Mountain. The loop trail to the summit offers scenic beauty at every turn and the perfect photo op at the top.
- Beer and chocolate make the perfect pair.
Given Jackson County is the home to many shops specializing in sweet treats as well as an Ale Trail full of craft breweries, it’s not surprising the two come together to create the perfect pair. Try beer and chocolate pairings at either Innovation Brewing in Sylva which features Baxley’s Chocolates or Innovation Station in Dillsboro featuring Dillsboro Chocolate Factory. For something with a twist, head to Sylva, where you can sample the cocktails at The Cut Cocktail Lounge or relax with a handcrafted cocktail at The Paper Mill Lounge and Theatre.
- Indulge in a couple’s massage.
Nothing is more relaxing and indulgent than enjoying a couple’s massage at one of Jackson County’s many spas. After a hike, this can be an amazing afternoon to unwind before drinks and dinner. This is an ideal way to unplug, reconnect and spend quality time together without distractions. Book now before the weekend is full.
- Learn something new together.
A great bonding experience for any couple is learning something new together. At Sapphire Valley Resort, do just that by taking a couple’s ski or snowboard lesson. When you’re ready, hit the slopes or spend an exhilarating time tubing down the hill. While on the slopes this year, check out the Outhouse Races. Saturday, February 15 from 11am-3pm, enjoy one of the quirkiest (and Top 20) events as racers compete for the “throne.” For a different twist, sign up for a private cooking class at The Barn, where you’ll learn how to create a delicious dinner for two.
- Plan a romantic dinner.
Speaking of dinner, no romantic getaway is complete without a candlelit dinner for two. This time of year is a great time to sample the cuisine at Jackson County’s top dining establishments with minimal wait times. Of course, you’ll want to plan ahead for Valentine’s Day as both residents and visitors will be out enjoying a fabulous meal for two.
Make the most of Valentine’s Day this year and pick and choose from a long list of specials and packages to customize your romantic retreat in Jackson County. With this starter list, you’re well on your way to planning the perfect Valentine’s Day weekend getaway. And, given it’s our Secret Season, comfortable and reasonably priced accommodations are easy to find to fit any style and budget. Be sure to download a free Visitors Guide today to make planning easier than ever.
Feature photo of Blue Ridge Parkway by ashleysteffensphoto
Valentine’s Day Specials
Name: Bear Lake Reserve
Address: 412 Lake Forest Drive, Tuckasegee, NC 28783
Details and description of promotion/package: 20% off each night, a complimentary bottle of wine, and two tickets to our Kayak + Picnic Adventure. Click here to view Bear Lake’s Valentine’s Day flyer! *This offer is for new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other offer. Subject to the availability of participating homes. Cleaning fee and Occupancy, State, and County sales tax is not included. **Kayak + Picnic Adventure reservations must be made in advance by emailing Hannah@BearLakeReserve.com
Name: Cashiers Village Inn
Address: 7 Slab Town Road, Cashiers, NC 28717
Details and description of promotion/package: We are offering a 25% discount on the second night, when booking 2 nights or more, plus a special Valentine’s day welcome gift! Offer is valid only when booking directly on our website and using Promo code: JACKSONLOVE.
Name: Innisfree Boutique Inn By-The-Lake
Address: 105 Innisfree Drive, Glenville, NC 28736
Details and description of promotion/package: Complimentary Champagne and Red Roses, $25 discount for gourmet breakfast
Name: Whistle Stop Inn Bed & Breakfast
Phone number: 828.354.0470
Address: 364 Haywood Road, Dillsboro NC 28725
Details: Must call to book February specials. February 10 – 29th. Prices: $199 -249 (depending on the room) for one night stay
Room Packages include chocolate covered strawberries and roses. Free bottle of champagne with 2nd night stay. Stay 3 nights and get 25% off third night.
Dining, Entertainment and Relaxation
Name: Balsam Falls Brewing
Phone: 828 631-1987
Details: Special performance from Trippin Hardie. Along with a special brew for Valentine’s Day.
Name: Canyon Spa
Address: 120 Lonesome Valley Road
Details and description of promotion/package: 10% off 2 services on February 14 or 15+ glass of complimentary bubbles following treatment (couples encouraged) OR Free gift with the purchase of a gift certificate (probably a dry brush or a face masque) February 13, 14, or 15
Name: City Lights Café
Address: 3 E. Jackson Street Sylva NC 29889
Details and description of promotion/package:
Fixed price dinner options available February 13th,14th,15th
Big Sweetheart: Appetizer, 2 Entrees with Salads, Dessert to Share and Bottle of Wine or Champagne for $60.
Sweetheart Split: Entree to Split, 2 Salads, Dessert to Share and Bottle of Wine or Champagne for $40
Special Entrees and Regular Menu Entrees Available.
$1 Off Pints of Beer or Wine by the Glass
Buy One, Get One Free Dessert Crepes
Name: DaLaya Thai Cuisine
Details: Course Prix Fixe Chef’s Tasting Menu (Vegetarian option available), $55.00 per person with wine pairing – $40 per person without (plus tax & gratuity), Choose from two seatings: 5:00 pm or 7:30 pm. Call to make a reservation.
Name: Innovation Brewing
Address: 414 W Main St. Sylva NC 28779
Details and description of events:
Innovation Sylva –
Innovation Dillsboro –
Name: Sapphire Mountain Brewing Company
Address: 50 Slicers Ave, Sapphire NC
Details and description of packages: Valentine Dinner, February 14, 2020 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Choice of Appetizers, Entrees, Desert 25% off Champagne bottles
Name: The Cut Cocktail Lounge
Phone: (828) 631-4795
Details: Enjoy a Voodoo Vday with paired wine/chocolate menu using Baxley’s chocolate. Music by Throwback Mac. Special drink menu featuring Oshun-love goddess-themed.
Name: The Orchard Restaurant & Guest Cottage
Phone number: 828-743-7614
Address: 905 Highway 107 South, Cashiers
Details and description of promotion/package: Stay 3 nights at the Orchard Guest Cottage and receive a $50 credit for dinner at the Orchard Restaurant.
Name: The Paper Mill Lounge
Phone: (828) 507-6909
Details: Simpsons theme Valentine’s Day. Along with a special drink and doughnut and a charcuterie board.