The holidays are right around the corner, and there’s nothing like the joy of gathering with loved ones. Finding the perfect gift for family members and friends can be difficult, but our NC Mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, and Sylva make it easier than you’d think. Avoid the crowded malls and take a shopping sabbatical to Jackson County – located about an hour west of Asheville for some of the best handmade gifts in the mountains. Check out our Holiday Gift Guide for one-of-a-kind gift inspiration and finish your holiday shopping with a stroll down Main Street.
Artisan Village of Dillsboro
Start at Dogwood Crafters – located on the corner of Front and Webster Street, a long log cabin-like structure sits, paying homage to a simpler time before Amazon one-click. This humble treasure known as Dogwood Crafters has served as a popular co-op of Appalachian artists for over 40 years and offers a welcoming atmosphere as soon as you enter the building. Here you’ll find various arts and crafts gifts such as jewelry, Christmas ornaments, paintings, home décor and more.
Continue along Front Street – and find Cannon’s Corner on the left. Located in a charming commons area, you’ll find several gift shops, including Monkey Toes, with a wide variety of gift types from funky socks to tee shirts, and The Artsy Olive, a gourmet cooking boutique for the cooking aficionado in your life. Next up, you’ll want to head into The Corn Crib to meet the mother-daughter ownership team, Carolyn and Anita, for a warm welcome. Their store houses homemade crafts, home goods, and unique gifts you won’t want to miss.
Take a left on Church Street – to discover two shops on either side of the small corridor. The Front Porch General Store sells unique finds and antiques that owner Lisa sources herself. Directly across from the Front Porch, the delicious Dillsboro Chocolate Factory will satisfy your sweet tooth. Options range from craft cocoa confections to fudge, coffee, and more. Check out the visitor board when you enter and place a pushpin on the map of where you call home.
Head back toward Front Street – and explore Tunnel Mountain Crafts. The iconic ‘LOCALLY HAND MADE’ sign will greet you as you enter the small shop. Tunnel Mountain Crafts offers gifts ranging from pottery and homemade soaps to locally made clothing and more. If you’re feeling ‘lazy,’ stop by the Lazy Bear General Store & Ice Cream next door for a pick-me-up.
Cross Haywood Road -and you’ll find Nancy Tut’s Christmas Shop. This iconic store has been in business for over 50 years and has nine rooms full of holiday items. From stockings to Santas, ornaments to inflatables, Nancy Tut’s is your holiday cheer destination year-round.
For Less than $20:
- Dogwood Crafters: small keepsakes, woodcarvings, handmade ornaments, and more
- Monkey Toes: has a fun and funky selection of socks
- The Artsy Olive: Signature olive oils can be purchased for $20 or less.
- Dillsboro Chocolate Factory: Enjoy a wide variety of chocolates, fudge, coffee, and truffle boxes
Historic Downtown Sylva
Your journey begins at the Jackson County Chamber & Visitors Center – located at the foot of the Historic Courthouse on the corner of Keener & West Main Street. Walk in to meet the welcoming Visitor Center staff who have the expertise to guide you to some of the best deals in town. Our Visitor Center sells unique Sylva gifts that can’t be found anywhere else, including a Courthouse Tree Ornament, WNC Fly Fishing Trail® gear, magnets, stickers, and more!
Two blocks down – the shopping begins at Dixie & Co., a sizable antique store with two stories of keepsakes. Continue along West Main Street to shop at B&B for fun decor and monogrammed goodies. Cross Spring Street to find The Farmhouse Mercantile, Black Balsam Outdoors, and the Tuckasegee Fly Shop. Cross Main Street to check out unique vinyl records at In Your Ear Music Emporium or shop for upscale clothing without breaking the bank at Southern & Sunkissed, where all clothing is $50 or less. Head up Spring Street to discover City Lights Book Store, a staple of Sylva where you can ‘read local.’
End of Main – is an antique shop that sells a little bit of everything. Owner John Wermuth specializes in finding primitive–modern furniture, antiques, and more, plus he always decorates for the holidays.
Baxley’s Chocolates – is the place to sweeten things up on your trip to Sylva. The Baxleys have been creating chocolate confections for over 25 years, and their charming storefront on Main Street has become the go-to place for a sweet fix.
Mill Street – or “Back Street,” as locals call it, houses several stores worth exploring for a unique holiday gift. Located near the iconic Sylva Mural, Treasures Unknown is an expansive antique with several thousand square feet of treasures to sort through. For unique handcrafted gifts in town, head to Noon or Snake Song, just a block away.
For Less than $20:
- Jackson County Chamber & Visitor’s Center: Sylva stickers and magnets
- The Farmhouse Mercantile & Coffee Bar: Home decor items, beanies, handmade soaps, and jewelry
- City Lights Bookstore: Many new releases can be found in paperback for less than $20. Stretch your budget even further by checking out the used book selection.
- Baxley’s Chocolates: Signature Assortments & Fudge
Upscale Shopping in Cashiers
The Mountaintop Village of Cashiers – offers a kicked-back upscale vibe with several high-end boutiques, art galleries, home furnishing stores, and much more. Get the gear you need for outdoor adventure at the Highland Hiker, the plateau’s premiere hiking store for over 25 years. With one of the best hiking shoe collections in the Southeast, you’re sure to find the perfect pair before you tackle the trail. Behind the Highland Hiker, anglers will want to check out Brookings Anglers with the latest and greatest rods, reels, waders, and more for sale. Give a ‘reely’ great gift by booking your loved one a trip along the WNC Fly Fishing Trail® at Brookings or any of our Outfitters & Guides.
Village Walk – is located across the street. Here is where you’ll find Josephine’s Emporium, Swangar’s Cellar, Nora & CO, the Corner Toy Store, Graceware Collection Boutique, and The Cashiers Store for the perfect keepsake from your trip. Don’t forget to pick up a gift for your furry friend! The ‘Woof Gang Bakery’ is a must for fido’s stocking stuffers.
Relax and Recharge – with a spa day. Canyon Spa is housed in the charming Caretaker’s Cottage overlooking Lonesome Valley’s iconic landscape. This boutique spa offers a calming environment with treatments such as Swedish, deep tissue, and the ‘Canyon Stone Massage.’ Check out our complete lists of spas here.
Non-Chain Dining – options are plentiful in Jackson County. With many locally sourced and award-winning restaurants to choose from, there’s something to enjoy for every palate and diet type. Reward yourself after a day full of shopping by grabbing a locally crafted beverage along our Ale Trail, made up of seven breweries from across the county, or check out our wine & cocktail lounges.
The Best Gift of All
Sometimes the memories made while shopping for the holidays are just as special as the gift itself. Consider booking Your Mountain Home for the Holidays this year in Jackson County. Our mountain towns have options for your preferences, from luxury resorts to cabins, hotels, inns, and more. Check out our Trip Planner for more inspiration!