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 have plenty to experience right in your backyard? If time and funds are limited, don’t worry about spending the time to travel on a plane; instead plan a staycation and spend a relaxing weekend getaway in your own county. Whether it is a cottage on the lake, or a mountain resort, we have you covered!
Choose the perfect accommodation that will make you feel like you are miles from home, while amidst a new setting. Stop in to one of your local visitor centers either in Sylva or Cashiers and pick up one of the new Jackson County visitor guides, or check out some of the specialized itineraries on the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority website for some inspiration. The county has a vast number of hiking trails, some of the finest in Western North Carolina. Branch out and explore one that you have not had the chance to hike before. It could end up being your new hometown haunt!
Head into downtown Dillsboro and stop in to one of the local crafts and pottery shops to peruse the shelves for new finds. For an opportunity to meet some local, regional and national artists, head to Pots on the Green, which takes place June 30-July 1, 2018 in Cashiers. Tempt your taste buds by enjoying our county’s fantastic craft beer scene. Sometimes it is easier to stick with what you know, but by exploring the dining review sites, you will see what others recommend and may just discover your new go-to spot or new favorite dish.
Invite people to visit you
Reignite your excitement and pride for your hometown. Play tour guide and take visiting friends and family to the spots that make Jackson County such a popular tourist destination. Visitors to the county are often shocked at the immense beauty that our small towns hold. The characteristics that residents to our area may take for granted are new and refreshing to those who are not used to being surrounded by it.
Seeing your hometown through someone else’s eyes might make you see it through a pair of fresh eyes as well. Explore Panthertown Valley (the Yosemite of the East), with 6,295-acres of land – even if you have been there before, you probably haven’t even scratched the surface of all there is to explore. Take them to lounge on Lake Glenville (one of the highest lakes east of the Rockies) and take their breath away with a visit to Whitewater Falls (one of the tallest falls east of the Rocky Mountains at 411’).
Take your visitors to check out 100-year-old artifacts at the Cherokee Indian Reservation. And be sure to bring a camera along and capture shots to remember this time of exploration and rediscovery for years to come.
Create a hometown bucket list
It is human nature to stick to a routine, but so many times that leads to forgetting about some incredible places that are just outside your door! Make a bucket list of places you have never been, or places that you haven’t visited in years. Next time you are deciding on where to eat for dinner, or what to do on the weekend, pull out the list and start marking off those items. Our county hosts a number of events throughout the year. Check out the event listings on the website and mark down some “can’t miss” festivities, like the upcoming Greening Up the Mountains event, to work into your calendar.
Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Whether it is ziplining, skiing, gathering some friends for a round of foot golf at Sapphire Valley, or whitewater rafting with one of our local guide companies, seeking out new adventures will help to create new exciting hometown memories. Did you know that you live in the NC Trout Capital®? If you haven’t been out on the water in a while, grab a pole, or rent one from a local outfitter, and head out to one of the many streams or lakes that are filled with fish ranging from largemouth, smallmouth, brook, brown and rainbow trout among other fish species.
With almost a dozen new restaurants and businesses now opening simultaneously in our county, we are going through a major renaissance giving everyone plenty of new reasons to come back and check us out!
Fall in love with your hometown all over again by seeing Jackson County with a fresh pair of eyes. There is so much natural beauty and plenty of opportunities to make incredible memories in these mountain towns. Get out of your day-to-day rut by changing up your routine and renew your sense of pride in your hometown!