Spring trip planner — where to eat, stay & play

Spring will soon be in full swing! To prepare for this new season ahead, we rounded up our suggestions for where to eat, stay and play in the mountains when the flowers are in bloom and the warm sun is shining.


AM – They say the most important meal of the day is breakfast. Rise with the sun and pair a hearty meal or a fresh-baked pastry with with a delicious coffee from one of our several local cafes such as The Coffee Shop, White Moon, City Lights, The Farmhouse Mercantile & Coffee Bar or Buck’s Coffee Café.


  • Grab something sweet! Discover housemade chocolate of every variety at Baxley’s Chocolates or Dillsboro Chocolate Factory, or if you need an excuse to cool down, order from 24 frozen custard flavors at Crossroads Custard & Coldbrew or treat your tastebuds to a hand-dipped ice cream cone from Jack the Dipper.
  • There’s nothing like a fresh cold beer. Sip on something crafty at one of our seven local breweries throughout Sylva, Dillsboro, Cashiers, Cullowhee and Cherokee. Start with Innovation Station, located in the heart of Dillsboro along the railroad tracks, or Whiteside Brewing, a family-friendly hangout within walking distance of The Wells Cashiers.

PM – For a chef-driven sit-down experience, book a reservation at ILDA, The Library Kitchen & Bar or Canyon Kitchen. If you’re wanting something more casual and affordable, we recommend Meatballs, a new pizza joint from the team behind ILDA, or Haywood Smokehouse, The Ugly Dog Public House or Slab Town Pizza never disappoint either.


  • Book a room at Outland Great Smoky Mountains, the new luxury retreat in Sylva. Not only does it feel private and secluded since it’s tucked along a high mountain ridge, but it’s also just minutes from walkable downtown where there’s tons of restaurants and shops. You can choose from two separate lodging options: The Chalet, a seven bedroom vacation rental ideal for families and groups, or Spa Suites, which are better suited for romantic retreats.
  • If you’re staying in Cashiers, you’ll no doubt have a lovely overnight experience at High Hampton, The Wells Cashiers or Hotel Cashiers, which recently launched a cozy new Wine Bar on property that’s accessible to everyone, not just hotel guests. For more options, check out our lodging directory.


  • Out on the water, explore the ‘Tuck’ river and try your hand at fly fishing or go rafting along our “mom approved” rapids. Lake Glenville is ideal for boating and water skiing, plus it has a great sand beach area for swimming. If you’re wanting to elevate your exprience, schedule a waterfall cruise with Captain Mark’s Scenic Boat Tours!
  • On land, you can choose from several different hikes within our destination. Some like Black Balsam Trail, Pinnacle Park Trail and Yellow Mountain Trail will be treks with worthwhile views, while others like the Tuckasegee River Greenway offer pleasant strolls through nature. To spot all the flowers, pop on over to The Village Green which houses over 13 acres of botanical gardens and walking trails in the heart of the Cashiers Crossroads

Don’t waste another day and start planning your Jackson County springtime getaway! Use our Trip Planner to get started.

Share on Social Media