Where art meets the mountains: seven insider tips to make the most of Cashiers Plein Air Festival

woman painting the view from lonesome valley in jackson county

Where art meets the mountains: seven insider tips to make the most of Cashiers Plein Air Festival

Experience art live and on location with an elevated summer escape to the mountain hamlet of Cashiers, N.C. where visiting artists will crawl the town and countryside with easels and pallets in tow for five days this July. The Cashiers Plein Air Festival is a celebration of art that comes alive before your eyes — on sidewalks and patios, in gardens and pastures, overlooking mountainsides and scenic vistas. French for “open air,” plein air painting is a rare form of spectator art that’s yours to experience during this year’s festival from July 17-21.

Eight idyllic spots for a summer picnic in the mountains of Jackson County, N.C.

sunset over the mountains on a clear day in jackson county

Eight idyllic spots for a summer picnic in the mountains of Jackson County, N.C.

You can’t throw a pickle spear without hitting a picnic spot in Jackson County. Scenic beauty runs wild in these hills, setting the stage for the ultimate al fresco dining experience. Want a waterfall? No problem. A shady river bank? Got it. Summit views? Got those, too. From sunny lake shores to cool forests and manicured parks to secluded groves, discover the perfect picnic spot in the N.C. mountains of Jackson County. Once you’ve picked a spot, build the ultimate picnic feast with local flavors grown and made in Jackson County. Go gourmet with wood-oven bread drizzled with mountain honey and slathered in goat cheese. Pick up creative sandwiches, pastas, chicken salad and hearty meals to go. Graze away the afternoon with sampler platters and appetizer spreads. Cap it all off with a giant slice of pie or handmade chocolates. So, grab a blanket, pack a basket and Play On with our curated insider’s guide to mountain picnics. Bon appetite! Pick your spot The Village Green Lay of the land: Feast under the picnic shelter, or claim a patch of lawn in the sunshine or under a shade tree in this expansive park setting. Stroll the meandering paths, explore the gardens, view the outdoor sculpture exhibit, and turn the kids loose on the sprawling wooden playground. How to get there: Located at the crossroads of U.S. 64 and N.C. 107 in Cashiers, N.C. Pines Recreation Area Lay of the land: This sandy beach on scenic Lake Glenville has shady picnic […]

Rediscover Your Hometown

man on solo hike to see the waterfalls in jackson county

Rediscover Your Hometown

Break out of your everyday routine and immerse yourself in the beauty that surrounds you throughout your hometown. Whether it’s Sylva, Dillsboro, Cherokee, Glenville, Cashiers or Cullowhee, the nature, adventure, natural wonders and one-of-a-kind attractions unique to these towns are plentiful. Chances are that while you may feel like you know your town, there is still a great deal left to be discovered. Each town in the county has its individual personality and hidden gems, so head up, or down the mountain to experience the offerings that the other side of the county has to offer. When living amongst the natural beauty of Jackson County and seeing it in your everyday life, it can sometimes be easy to take those surroundings for granted no matter how awe-inspiring they might be. To experience the sense of wonderment that is usually found when traveling, try rediscovering what all there is to offer in your own neck of the woods, or in this case, the mountains. If you are from the area and coming home to visit, there are more than likely new places that you may have never thought to explore before. While visiting loved ones, take advantage of the opportunity to also reconnect with Jackson County. Try branching out to see what more there is to offer while visiting family and friends and introduce them to some spots that you all can discover together. Spend the day as a tourist would Why spend the time and money to travel when you […]

Break Away from the Beach and Head to the Mountains this Spring

Break Away from the Beach and Head to the Mountains this Spring

Avoid the mass crowds, bumper-to-bumper traffic and high prices that most spring break destinations have and experience Jackson County where wide-open spaces, scenic roadways and affordable accommodations ranging in setting and size await. Jackson County’s towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Sylva and Dillsboro have all the necessities to make spring break 2018 one for the books. Avoid the masses at the beach, explore the outdoors, relax and recharge, and enjoy farm-to-table food, beautiful scenery, and the area’s booming brewery scene, all without breaking the bank. Venture Out Nature is calling! Come check out the many outdoor excursions available to thrill seekers of all ages throughout the county. Plan a group rafting trip down the Tuckasegee River or try your hand at fly fishing in the pristine waters of the state’s Trout Capital. The county is filled with more than two dozen waterfalls, including one of the tallest east of the Rocky Mountains, Whitewater Falls (411’).  You can also take a dip in Lake Glenville, the largest lake in Jackson County. Pack a picnic and set up on the sandy beach where you can enjoy a mountain view, picnic tables and a fishing pier. Visit one of the local marinas to rent a pontoon boat, kayak, or Sea-Doo to add some adventure while exploring the lake’s 26 miles of shoreline. From novice to more adventurous, Jackson County is home to some of Western North Carolina’s finest hiking trails and as winter starts to melt into spring, these trails spring alive with bursts […]

How zany is your Easter? Take a walk on the wild side with Dillsboro’s Easter Hat Parade

How zany is your Easter? Take a walk on the wild side with Dillsboro’s Easter Hat Parade

Put a dash of whimsy into your Easter weekend with a spring getaway to the mountain hamlet of Dillsboro, NC, where hundreds will take to the streets for the annual Easter Hat Parade on Saturday, March 31. The spirited parade is open to all, transforming a four-block circuit through the quaint downtown into a cacophony of creative noggins.

Jackson County, North Carolina: A Destination Fit for Any Season

Jackson County, North Carolina: A Destination Fit for Any Season

With stunning summits, expansive rivers, spectacular waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes, Jackson County, North Carolina’s 494 square miles of natural beauty shines no matter what time of year.  Along with the wealth of natural wonders, the man-made treasures, culinary offerings and cultural attractions elevate the experience even further. The mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva in Jackson County, North Carolina await. The picturesque views that surround the county may change colors with the seasons, but the beauty of the destination never fades.

National Plan for Vacation Day in Jackson County

family on a hike in jackson county

National Plan for Vacation Day in Jackson County

With the holiday season in the rear-view mirror, there’s no better time than the present to focus on what’s ahead for 2019. Given that January 29 is National Plan for Vacation Day, it’s the perfect time to plan your vacations for the coming year. While it may come as a shock for those who make the most of their yearly vacation days, more than half of Americans – 54 percent – don’t use all their time off. There are an astounding 662 million unused vacation days every year. National Plan for Vacation Day serves to remind everyone to make vacation plans now with the goal of limiting the number of unused vacation days. By setting 2019 travel goals and making plans to accomplish those goals, it’s more likely every vacation day will be used to its fullest potential. Therefore, as frigid temperatures and holiday blues have many looking forward to warmer weather getaways, look no further than the Western North Carolina mountain towns of Jackson County – Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva. Thanks to our central location to America’s favorite National Park and sprawling mountain ranges, this region is full of a plethora of outdoor activities providing ample opportunity to escape cabin fever and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Plus, Jackson County’s variety of affordable accommodations takes the guess work out of finding an reasonably priced vacation spot! In fact, there are numerous benefits to vacationing in Jackson County. These include the chance to sit back, relax, rejuvenate and […]

So Many Mountains

So Many Mountains

Now that the last of fall’s leaves have blown away, our mountains are coming into sharper focus. Gazing up from the valleys, we are surrounded by peaks; looking down from the Blue Ridge Parkway reveals Jackson County’s seemingly endless array of mountains. In fact, winter with its long-range views may be the best time to hike.

Sylva’s Destination Library

Sylva’s Destination Library

Start with Jackson County’s most photographed building add a modern addition in the same architectural style, mix in dramatic views, then fill with books, computers and community gathering spaces. The result; Jackson County’s most photogenic library. Beautifully located on a hilltop overlooking historic downtown Sylva.