Summer is here and the days are long providing ample time to make new memories in the North Carolina Mountains. Located about an hour west of Asheville, our mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, and Sylva have welcomed several new experiences, businesses, and lodging options to enjoy on your next visit. From the revival of signature events like Greening Up the Mountains to the addition of a new Beer Treks brewery tour, you’ll have plenty of activities to choose from. Escape the heat and crowds of the city and head to the crisp, clean, and cool mountain air of western North Carolina.
Events are Back
We’re all tired of online concerts and events and are ready to enjoy something real again. Our towns leaders have been working diligently to welcome back safe events for everyone to enjoy.
In Sylva, Concerts on the Creek kicks off July 2nd with a full lineup of bands into the late summer months. Celebrate Independence Day with the town’s annual Fourth-of-July celebration and witness fireworks from the charming downtown streets in Sylva. For those who like tight lines and craft brews, the award-winning Hook Line and Drinker will be returning on August 21, followed by the 23rd annual Greening Up the Mountains Festival on August 28. These events are all dog friendly so make sure to bring your furry friend along to enjoy the festivities!
In Cashiers, the Village Green welcomes a new summer concert series called ‘Concerts on the Commons’ with ticket sales for group pods to allow social distancing measures. Additional events include the Joy Garden Tour from July 16-17, the Village Nature Series from June to September, and Sapphire Valley’s Summer Colors Fine Arts Show from July 24-25.
Beer Treks is a “buzz-worthy” brewery tour that takes your Ale Trail experience to the next level. With 120 brews on tap, you’ll have the opportunity to go behind the scenes of local breweries with a Cicerone Certified Beer expert (a sommelier of beer). Beer Treks takes you for an exclusive tour of three breweries in Downtown Sylva, where you’ll get to sample and learn about the beer, the brewing process, and the stories behind the people that make our Ale Trail great. Cheers to that!
The Jackson Arts Market is a year-round music and arts festival hosted every Saturday in downtown Sylva. With three stages of live music, live artist demonstrations, and the opportunity to connect with local artists, you won’t want to miss this free weekly event. Start your morning in downtown Sylva by enjoying some locally sourced breakfast at one of our downtown restaurants, then head to the weekly Farmers Market at Bridge Park. Afterward, enjoy some boutique shopping downtown, a delicious lunch, and head to the Jackson Arts Market starting at 1. Make sure to take your pup along, as the Jackson Arts Market is pet-friendly.
Carolina Trout Guides will help you reel in the catch of the day and will hook you up with the gear and help you need to navigate the WNC Fly Fishing Trail®. Expert Guide Zach Watson brings years of fishing experience, in addition to knowledge for the western North Carolina region. He loves teaching the joys of flyfishing to people of all ages, so bring the whole family and dad won’t be the only one with a fish tale to tell. Make sure to check out our full list of outfitters & guides here.
New Food and Drinks
Ilda is an authentic Italian restaurant located at the corner of Main and Mill Street in downtown Sylva. This charming restaurant is the vision of husband-and-wife duo Santiago and Crystal Guzzetti; Santiago, a Michelin-trained chef, and Crystal, a certified Sommelier. The restaurant’s name comes from Santiago’s grandmother, Ilda, who taught him the joys of cooking from a young age. Plates combine authentic Sicilian recipes with the freshest locally sourced Appalachian ingredients.
Jame/The Market at Jame (pronounced Jamé) – The owners of Sylva’s White Moon Café and Dark Moon cocktail lounge are onto their next venture. Jame, opening this summer, is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant using exclusively the freshest local ingredients available. The menu inspired by Israeli, Turkish, and Lebanese dishes is sure to be delicious! Jame will also feature a wide variety of vegan fare and an extensive Greek wine list. The Market at Jame will be located next door and sell “a little bit of everything.”
Lucy in the Rye is downtown Sylva’s newest brunch spot. With a wide variety of traditional breakfast plates as well as some new takes on classics, Lucy in the Rye adds some flare to Sylva’s booming brunch scene. Inside is a bakery making fresh bread and goodies daily, and outside is a patio where customers can dine while basking in the sunshine. Favorites include the Bacon Jam Cheeseburger, Florentine Benedict, their homemade buttermilk biscuits, and classic omelets.
SlopeSide Tavern lends its name from being located at the base of the Sapphire Valley Ski Resort. In the winter, SlopeSide is a favorite for skiers looking to relax after a day of shredding the slopes. During the warmer months, guests can enjoy the cool mountain air from their extensive (and pup-friendly) patio while sipping on a crafty cocktail. SlopeSide is also known for its tasty specials and rotation of entertainment.
The Cut Cocktail Lounge has expanded to a new larger space on Sylva’s Main Street due to its popularity. Here, the Cut still serves up its favored New Orleans-style cocktails as well as “fancy late-night bites.” The old location on Mill Street is now home to Snake Song, which sells handmade jewelry, plants, and home decor.
High Hampton is reopened after nearly two years of extensive renovations. This updated world-class property has kept true to its historical roots and now hosts a full array of services, including a spa, redesigned Tom Fazio Golf Course, Golf Pro Shop, new pool, refined restaurants, family-friendly activities, and much more. In addition, the resort will remain open year-round so that guests can enjoy a stay in any season.
Hotel Cashiers is a reimagined and revamped boutique mountain lodging experience on the Cashiers plateau. Formerly known as The Cashiers Village Inn, the new owners redesigned the property from top to bottom, creating a charming and fresh take. On-site, guests can experience a peaceful gazebo and green space, modern touches, and contactless check-in if desired. The most recent addition is the lobby, where complimentary beverages are offered and mingling is encouraged within the elegant seating space.
Clarion Pointe is the new flag flying at the former Quality Inn of Sylva. Known for its ideal proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway and downtown Sylva, the newly updated property will feature updated rooms with modern touches as well as updated meeting space, an updated lobby, and much more. This pet-friendly favorite will remain an ideal space for you and your pup when you travel, and the renovation is due to be complete by the end of the summer.
The Wells Hotel Cashiers offers a boutique hotel experience right in the heart of the Cashiers. Formerly known as the Laurelwood Inn, the Wells Hotel has been redesigned and updated with thoughtful and modern touches. The Wells Hotel is connected to Whiteside Brewing Company and shares a large green 5-acre property and space to get out and enjoy the cool mountain air.
Create New Memories
Summer is here, and we’re so excited to welcome you back to the North Carolina towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, and Sylva. You deserve an escape from the hot and crowded cities to the elevated mountain life. Up here, things are cooler, and time slows down as memories are made. Check out our complete list of signature events here. Find the perfect cabin, Airbnb, boutique inn, or hotel for your next trip here, and check out our Trip Planner here for even more inspiration.
Header Photo Courtesy of Ilda