The Beer Lover’s Guide to Craft Breweries in Jackson County

Whiteside Brewing

The Beer Lover’s Guide to Craft Breweries in Jackson County

Flowing in the Western North Carolina mountain towns of Jackson Co., NC are over 120 unique brews from the six breweries located on the popular Ale Trail. Each beer and brewery boast a new and refreshing feel making Jackson Co. the new go-to spot for beer lovers everywhere. Ranging from IPA’s, Sours, Lagers and more, each brewery features a different vibe and atmosphere perfect for every beer enthusiast. There’s even something for non-alcoholic fans, thanks to locally crafted sodas and beverages utilizing locally sourced ingredients. To start your journey, download the Ale Trail map and plan out your visit. New Additions The Jackson County Ale Trail continues to grow and evolve every year thanks to new locations and offerings opening in the area. Now open in Sylva, the Nantahala Brewing Sylva Outpost showcases 40 taps in a family-friendly atmosphere. For those who prefer to try a variety of drinks, you’ll find a full-service bar along with customer favorites including the Dirty Girl Blond, Bryson City Brown Ale and Noon Day IPA. Pair your refreshment with a menu of tasty snacks, southern tacos and hand made burgers. The newest member of the Ale Trail, The Lazy Hiker Taproom in Sylva, features a large selection of brews, including flagship mainstays such as Trail Mate Golden Ale and Slack Pack IPA. This new location shares a home with Mad Batter Food and Film, where visitors will find a collaborative menu full of the popular “Designer Pizzas,” tasty wraps, sandwiches and house specialties. With […]

8 Insider Tips to Autumn in the North Carolina Mountains

Fall Lake Scene

8 Insider Tips to Autumn in the North Carolina Mountains

Listed as one of the “Top 10 Destinations for Fall Foliage,” by USA Today, the Western NC mountain towns of Jackson County are a must-visit for a seasonal getaway. According to WCU Biologist, Beverly Collins, “the mountains of Western North Carolina should produce a typically bright display of fall leaf color this year.” Beginning in early September, vibrant reds, yellows and oranges will start lining the towns surrounding peaks and inviting guests from all over to experience fall in these cozy, quaint mountain towns. Although well-known for our popular hikes, waterfalls and outdoor adventures, the area is also home to incredible sights and hidden experiences that are more under the radar. Some of the best parts of a visit to the area during the fall months involve attractions that may be more off the beaten path. Here are eight insider tips to fully experience fall in Jackson County. 1. Uncover the best spots for viewing fall foliage. Given Jackson County is home to the most named peaks in North Carolina, it’s no wonder also has the best locations for viewing the autumnal hues when fall arrives. Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway in search of overlooks to take in the spectacular sights. A few favorites include Richland Balsam and Waterrock Knob. Another breathtaking view awaits high atop Whiteside Mountain. Set out on the Whiteside Mountain Trail to find yourself surrounded by glorious fall foliage. Another popular spot for leaf-lookers is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you can check […]

Experience the Top Hikes for Sunset Views in Jackson County

Sunset Hike Blog - Courtesy hammeredartworks

Experience the Top Hikes for Sunset Views in Jackson County

Overflowing with stunning views sure to take your breath away, Jackson County spans across 494 beautiful and breathtaking square miles of sweeping, scenic North Carolina Mountains. Dotted throughout the area, travelers will find an abundance of hikes that take you to great heights, allowing you to see above and beyond. Although the views from Jackson County’s 185 named summits are mesmerizing, they become quite spectacular as the sun sets over the peaks and sinks into the valleys. There is no better way to end a day of outdoor adventure than with the beauty of a golden sunset hike. Top hikes for the best sunset views For a less strenuous way to catch the sunset in Jackson County, head to Cowee Mountain Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 430.7. Here, you’ll experience a panoramic view of the gorgeous Smoky Mountains – and you’ll find what most consider to be the best sunset view in Jackson County. Drive to the overlook, park and admire the awe-inspiring view. For a more elevated sunset view, drive to milepost 431 to the Haywood-Jackson Overlook, park the car and set off on the Richland Balsam Trail. At 6,410 feet above sea level, this 1.5-mile trail takes you along the highest points on the Blue Ridge Parkway, where you can watch the sun go down. Although the trail ascends 700 vertical feet along the way, it’s not a difficult hike, and the sunset views are more than worth it. When it comes to beautiful panoramic […]

Splash right in! Visit these top swimming holes in Jackson County

Splash right in! Visit these top swimming holes in Jackson County

As the temperatures continue to rise, people are seeking out getaways to cool down for these remaining summer days. Summer and swimming go hand-in-hand, so escape this intense heat and cool off by taking a dip in one of the many swimming holes, lakes or rivers in the gorgeous Western North Carolina mountains. Whether you prefer to slide, wade or swim, the area is abundant in ways to take a dip that the whole family will enjoy.

Plan Your Last Summer Splash in the Western N.C. Mountains!

Waterrock Knob - Dylan Wells

Plan Your Last Summer Splash in the Western N.C. Mountains!

With summer break coming to an end in just a few short weeks, what better time to book one final vacation to soak up the remaining days of summer rays? The Western North Carolina mountain towns of Jackson County offer a diverse menu of destinations, attractions and activities to craft the perfect itinerary for that last minute fishing, girlfriends, or family getaway. With affordable rates and cooler mountain temps, we offer the perfect end-of-summer escape for every style of traveler. Get in some quality family time Start your adventure by experiencing one of our three whitewater rivers, which offer rapids and rafting runs ranging from Class I to Class IV. With qualified outfitters like Smoky Mountain River Adventures, Tuckaseegee Outfitters and Dillsboro River Company, your family will be out on the water enjoying a safe and fun adventure in no time. Jackson County is also filled with dozens of cascading waterfalls that make for the perfect vacay photos. Visit one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies, Whitewater Falls, the picturesque Bridal Veil Falls or the easily accessible, but stunning, Silver Run Falls, where you can even enjoy a cool dip in the natural swimming pool. Throughout our area of the Western North Carolina mountains, you’ll find miles of hiking trails geared to fit all skill levels. Hit the trails for a scenic outdoor adventure or pack a picnic and make a fun day out of your time in nature. With wildlife, waterfalls, and outstanding views, our trails will […]

Plan a Wellness Retreat to the Mountains of Western N.C.

Plan a Wellness Retreat to the Mountains of Western N.C.

Everyone needs some R&R now and then to get away from the stress of our hectic everyday life. The Western NC towns of Jackson County are the ideal destinations to relax, disconnect and regroup. With countless relaxation options at your fingertips and an endless supply of refreshing mountain air that heals you, Jackson County is the ideal adventure wellness vacation. According to a new study, those who spend two hours in nature are more likely to experience better health and overall well-being. Start your journey to improved wellness and read on for inspiration on what to do during your own wellness retreat to the mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva.

Pack a Picnic and Enjoy the Views in the N.C. Mountains

Pack a Picnic and Enjoy the Views in the N.C. Mountains

From hiking and biking to fishing and camping, there’s so much to do in and around the mountain towns of Jackson County during the summertime, it is hard to beat as the perfect summer getaway. Along with endless adventures, the area is home to an excellent al fresco dining scene with places for picnics, patios and more to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors and take in the area’s beautiful natural surroundings.

Cool Off in the N.C. Mountains

Cool Off in the N.C. Mountains

Visitors have been traveling to the Western North Carolina mountains during the summer months since the 1800s to enjoy the cooler temps and outdoor recreation that the area is known for!  With summer officially here and temperatures beginning to rise, find the perfect spot to cool off in one of Jackson County’s many waterfalls, lakes, rivers and more. A natural swimming choice If you’ve never experienced a dip in a natural swimming hole, head to Jackson County to experience two of nature’s most refreshing adventures. A favorite amongst visitors to the area, Silver Run Falls (pictured above) is known for its easy access, sandy beach and picture-perfect falls. It’s also accompanied by a large swimming hole where you can get right up to the falls. It’s a great place to cool off after a long day of hiking around the area or to spend a sunny day. Pack a picnic and enjoy the perfect summer day. Another popular swimming hole in Jackson County is located at Sliding Rock in Cashiers. Spend time wading and floating in the water or make the short climb up the rock to slide into the pool. While fun for all ages, do take care when visiting with small children. Down on the river Flowing through almost all of Jackson County, the Tuckasegee River remains a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With many access points throughout the county, it’s quite easy to reach the river for several activities. Given Jackson County’s reputation for quality fly fishing […]

Find Your Basecamp for Adventure in Western N.C.

Find Your Basecamp for Adventure in Western N.C.

Covering 494 square miles of the Western N.C. mountains, the towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva are home to some of the best hiking, fishing, backpacking and other nature pursuits. The area is also ideally located to many of the Southeast’s top visitor attractions. Thanks to its central location in the middle of two of the most popular National Park Sites, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Jackson County makes an ideal and affordable home base for all adventures in this beautiful part of the state.

Off the Beaten Path: Insider’s Guide to Jackson County

Off the Beaten Path: Insider’s Guide to Jackson County

Thanks to its location in the Western North Carolina mountains, Jackson County overflows with natural beauty and attractions. While the region is full of popular hikes, waterfalls and breathtaking scenic views, it also is home to some incredible off the beaten path experiences that many visitors are unaware exist.To help you uncover these hidden gems, here’s an insider’s guide to Jackson County, NC.