Sensory-inspired food & drink exploration through Sylva and Dillsboro

Sensory-inspired food & drink exploration through Sylva and Dillsboro

Sometimes the best way to experience a new destination is by letting your palate guide you through it! Here are our recommendations for a sensory-inspired foodie experience in Sylva and Dillsboro, our perfectly paired mountain towns within Jackson County, NC. HEAR| the Tuckasegee River roar as you dine outside on Foragers Canteen’s spacious patio. Set right along the mighty river, which flows almost the entire length of beautiful Jackson County, this local restaurant serves up a fusion of locally sourced, farm to table ingredients. It’s also near the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, so it’s possible you’d also hear the trains as they come by as you dine! SEE| Chef Santiago Guzzetti prepare Italian-Appalachian cuisine in the kitchen at ILDA, the space where his wife’s family opened her own restaurant nearly 40 years ago. ILDA has a growing reputation in the Southeast, and was even named “Mountain Restaurant of the Year” by Eater Carolinas in 2021. Its union of Italian and Southern Appalachian cuisine presents Instagram-worthy plates such as Saffron Paccheri pasta, Taleggio Crostinis to share, and eye-catching cocktail and mocktail creations. See for yourself here. TASTE | the farm fresh flavors at Guadalupe Cafe, like locally grown organic salad greens and regeneratively raised beef from Mountainside Family Farm. You probably wouldn’t think of the tropics when you think of dining in the mountains, but Guadalupe’s incredibly creative tropical fusion cuisine is not to be missed. When its menu was first developed, the intention was to take diners on a trip through Spain, the Middle East and the […]

Outhouse Races & more winter activities at Sapphire Valley Resort

people having fun and watching the outhouse races in jackson county

Outhouse Races & more winter activities at Sapphire Valley Resort

In Jackson County, hilarity ensues during our annual Outhouse Races at Sapphire Valley Resort. Come for the races and stay to hit the slopes and enjoy some great dining, too! Off-Beat & Oh, So Fun The Sapphire Valley Outhouse Races is as quirky as it gets and it’s just the way it sounds. Homemade outhouses are secured to a pair of skis and pushed down a 120-foot, snow-blanketed racecourse by two team members while a third member sits inside. Taking place annually over President’s Day Weekend, (this year on February 18), the Outhouse Races are fun for all. Dozens of teams return each year to compete by using a variety of materials like wood, cardboard and plastic and other handmade items to construct their ‘thrones’. Each outhouse is uniquely decorated and appropriately named like “The Royal Flush,” and to add to the fun, team members and spectators are always encouraged to wear crazy outfits and incorporate themes! Skiing, Snowboarding & Tubing While at Sapphire Valley, don’t miss out on your chance to ski or snowboard! The resort is home to a 1600-foot run, a chair lift, and an introductory slope with a moving carpet, making it ideal for first timers and beginner skiers. Unlike most crowded ski resorts, lift lines here are short, and there’s even an on-site learning center with certified instructors who can teach the fundamentals. Don’t worry about bringing gear either because you can rent everything you need from skis and boots to poles and snowboards.  There’s also a […]

Our Top 5 Trails to Explore during the NC Year of the Trail

Photo by anxiousmissadventures-Instagram

Our Top 5 Trails to Explore during the NC Year of the Trail

Lace up those hiking boots because in honor of 2023 being the NC Year of the Trail, we’re highlighting our top trails to explore during each season in Jackson County. WINTER – Schoolhouse Falls             Based in Panthertown Valley, this is one of our most beautiful waterfalls, and it’s definitely something to see when its frozen. While the navigation to it isn’t the easiest, nature’s beautiful display is well worth the effort. Just make sure you grab a map at one of our Visitor Centers before you hit the trail. **Why it made the list – for the mix of cascades coming down from a glorious 18-feet. SPRING – Pinnacle Park             This one has some strenuous terrain including a 7-mile trek that ascends for than 3,000 ft, but we wouldn’t include it on this list if the views at the top weren’t worth it. Go in prepared with snacks and water, and discover flowing streams, waterfalls, budding wildflowers and panoramic views along the way. **Why it made the list – because it became the first Certified Forest Therapy Trail in the state of North Carolina in 2022! SUMMER – Richland Balsam             Save this one for the summer months, because in that time you’ll smell the pleasant aroma of the spruce trees and experience surprisingly cool temperatures all along the route. With stunning views from Haywood-Jackson Overlook, this trail stretches a total of 6,410 feet and loops 1.5 miles. **Why it made the list – it holds the selfie-worthy […]

Find Your Perfect Holiday Centerpiece: Choose and Cut Guide to Jackson County

family with their dog picking out the perfect Christmas tree in jackson county

Find Your Perfect Holiday Centerpiece: Choose and Cut Guide to Jackson County

The return of the holiday season means reminiscing on years past, spending time with loved ones and sharing in traditions that are carried on through generations of families year-after-year. One such tradition that we enjoy being a part of in Jackson County is to choose and cut your own Christmas tree. Thanks to our county’s elevation, location, quality soil conditions and abundant rainfall, the county is perfectly situated for growing beautiful Christmas trees. In fact, genetics show our trees are the fastest-growing, most aesthetically pleasing trees in the region. As a result, Jackson County is home to many locally and family-owned Christmas tree farms offering a gorgeous selection of these holiday decoration centerpieces.

Your Mountain Home for the Holidays

Your Mountain Home for the Holidays

Although we may be focused on fall, big box stores already have the fake trees and inflatable Santas out, reminding us that it may be time to start making arrangements for the holidays. What better place to gather with friends and family this season than in a cozy mountain home in beautiful Jackson County, NC?