Now is the time of year when many of us are dreaming of warmer weather and getting outdoors. We’ve been cooped up all winter and are itching to step outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. With Spring Break just around the corner, we invite you to break away from the crowded tourist traps and party towns, and head to the mountains to visit Jackson County, N.C. Our towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva offer affordable adventures that everyone in your party will enjoy. Experience all the relaxation, outdoor adventure, and scenic beauty that our mountain towns have to offer, and wind down your evenings at our local breweries, bars and restaurants. We have all you need to plan the perfect getaway, grown-up style.
Get Back to Nature
The Western North Carolina mountains are home to miles upon miles of hiking trails perfect for any skill level. Whether you’re looking for a trail that weaves through lush forests, passes by scenic overlooks or ends with a stunning waterfall, you’ll find all of that and more on our trails.
To cool off, grab a kayak or raft and hit the rivers traversing the county. Choose something gentle for a relaxing ride or go for a thrilling whitewater adventure.
If fishing is more your style, head out on the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail®, which marks 15 spots for fishing. The local guides located throughout the area have you covered for group or solo fly fishing trips. Or, if you prefer, you can head to one of the area’s lakes, cast your line and reel in a small- or largemouth bass.
Of course, you don’t have to like fishing to enjoy one of the area’s gorgeous lakes. Head out to Lake Glenville, where you can rent a boat and enjoy a day of waterskiing, swimming, tubing, stand up paddle boarding or simply soaking in sunshine and fresh mountain air. The sandy swim beach at Lake Glenville is great to relax on.
Looking to hit the links? Choose from one of Jackson County’s signature courses to work on your swing or perfect your putt. In addition to challenging bunkers and firm greens, these courses are surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the area.
Perhaps you prefer to elevate your outdoor adventure; if so, the Vordach Zip Line at Sapphire Valley Resort offers just what you need. This two-hour excursion features 16 platforms, two bridges and 12 zip lines.
Our mountain towns are known for the locally owned, authentic shopping experience our shops offer. Here you’ll find a wide variety of stores and boutiques stocked with the latest fashions, jewelry, home décor and collectibles.
However, Jackson County contains an edge that many larger cities cannot compete with: it is a prime spot for handmade treasures and artwork created by the residents who call this area home. From crafts passed down in Appalachian culture—wooden bowls, handmade quilts, woodcarvings, hand-woven baskets—to paintings, photography, pottery, sculptures and more, you’ll be amazed and pleased with the beautiful work of these local artisans. Native American crafts are abundant and there’s also a great selection of antique shops where those who love a good treasure hunt are sure to find something to commemorate their visit.
A Healthy Appetite
Throughout Jackson County, visitors can enjoy just about every type of cuisine imaginable, everything from finger-licking good North Carolina barbecue (check out Haywood Smokehouse in Dillsboro) to wood-fired pizzerias in Cashiers and Sylva (that’d be Slab Town and Pie Times).
Of course, every good meal deserves an equally good drink, so be sure and check out the Jackson County Ale Trail. After a day of exploring, drop in for some live music and sample some of the local creations from Innovation Brewing and Balsam Falls Brewing Co. in Sylva, Innovation Station in Dillsboro, and Whiteside Brewing Co. in Cashiers.
Kick Your Feet Up
When you’re ready to rest and recharge, head to one of Jackson County’s many accommodations. With such a varied selection, you’re sure to find some that match your style. We’re one of the most affordable destinations in the mountains with accommodations that range from rustic to luxury. Whether you’re looking for something budget-friendly, a hotel or inn for a smaller group, or a large vacation rental or Airbnb for a larger group, we’ve got it all.
To help you plan your own grown-up getaway for spring, get your free Visitor Guide and create an itinerary for your perfect vacation.
feature photo Courtesy Stacy White