Just 20 miles from the southern edge of the Smokies, the western North Carolina town of Sylva provides a strategic launch point for exploring one of the country’s most beloved natural wonders—the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The national park, spread between North Carolina and Tennessee, is the most visited in the country, boasting 16 peaks above 6,000-feet and 850 miles of trails. Even better, the park is best accessed from Sylva courtesy of a lofty stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the iconic motorway linking the Smokies with Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park.
Filled with sylvan streams winding through vast swathes of contiguous wilderness and crowned by the cloud-swaddled peaks of the southern Appalachians, Jackson County, North Carolina, is awash with natural wonders. Beyond the stunning backdrop, the mountain-nestled county is also peppered with inviting towns loaded with bountiful farmers markets, inventive craft breweries, farm-to-fork eateries, and boutiques showcasing locally produced artisanal crafts. Adventures are abundant in Jackson County, but here’s a shortlist of recommendations for an idyllic weekend escape.
With the cooler weather, the new vibrant colors of the leaves and exciting fall festivals, autumn is more than a season- it’s a time for joy and inspiration for artistic minds. So this fall, get outside, celebrate nature and play on in Jackson County, N.C. A haven for natural beauty and the arts, Jackson County is a must-experience fall escape with a lot more than inspiration alone to offer.
The annual Mountain Heritage Day beckons guests to embrace Appalachian tradition and dive into the thriving legacy of North Carolina’s mountain culture on September 24. The festival, held in Cullowhee, N.C. at Western Carolina University, invites you with open arms to this authentic experience, complete with music, entertainment, shopping, activities and history.
It is hard to keep your cool as temperatures everywhere suddenly spike into triple digits. The heat in the air is palpable and every outdoor task appears increasingly daunting. Luckily, in the mountain haven of Cashiers, N.C., the crisp mountain breeze makes it easy to remain cool. At an elevation of nearly 3,500 feet, the Cashiers area boasts mild summer temperatures resting between 70 and 80 degrees. Say goodbye to the muggy climate you left behind and say hello to our cool hidden gem of a town.