Perfect Patios for Al-Fresco Dining

On nice summer evenings when temperatures drop down with the sun, and the mountain breeze picks up, there is no better place to dine in Jackson County than in a beautiful outdoor setting. Whether you’re looking for a table for the whole family to try some delicious local fare, a romantic date night under the stars or a cool place to enjoy a flight of craft beer, there are plenty of dining options to set the perfect scene in the mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva.

Footloose and fancy free: An insider’s guide to summer outdoor music in the mountains

The magic of summer nights comes alive with outdoor music in the N.C. mountains of Jackson County. Make memories dancing barefoot on a lawn. Bask in the sweet mountain air of a summer evening. Wish on the first star as strains of music drift into the night. Outdoor concerts are a hallmark of summer here in Jackson County, N.C. Every Friday night, we serve up the double header of Concerts on the Creek in Sylva and Groovin’ on the Green in Cashiers. The two bucolic venues — with timber-framed open-air stages, expansive lawns and a mountain backdrop — bookend Jackson County, so no matter where you land at sundown, you won’t be far from the tunes. The crowd-pleasing line-up crosses many genres: Appalachian bluegrass, folk and roots, Americana, groovin’ jazz, country rock, laid-back funk, and lively pop hits. Bands are hand-curated for their crowd-pleasing sound. The best part? It’s all free. Got kids in tow? Make memories with an impromptu family dance party in the great wide open. Or let them frolic and run free in the cool summer grass — lightning bugs anyone? — while you steal a rare moment of adult convo. Traveling with pets? Four-legged companions are always welcome on leashes. Locals love their summer music here in Jackson County. It’s our chance to unwind from the week, catch up with neighbors and make new friends. There’s plenty of camaraderie to go around, so grab a blanket or lawn chair and nestle in. A picnic supper is […]

Instagram as Inspiration for Your Jackson County Trip

Have you ever found yourself scrolling through photos online and imagining yourself in the place pictured? Rest assured you are not alone! Instagram, for travelers especially, is the perfect resource for gathering inspiration on where to take your next weekend getaway or vacation. One of the top considerations when picking a destination is “going somewhere where I can take memorable pictures,” according to Expedia. In the North Carolina mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva, there is no shortage of Instagram-worthy sunsets, waterfalls, and scenic views. To showcase some of the very best traveler photos in Jackson County, we created a new section on our website that one can use as a visual trip planner. Click here to access our new Visitor Galleries. Some tips for using Instagram to plan your next trip to Jackson County: Follow @DiscoverJacksonNC (that’s our official account!) Find a photo you love in our feed that really makes you want to visit. Trust us – you’ll have a hard time deciding on a favorite! If you see a waterfall you want to check or a place that has delicious looking BBQ, burgers or tapas, use the ‘save’ feature (it looks like a bookmark) located underneath the photo on the right. Name the collection something fun like ‘Weekend Road Trip to NC.’ This saves the image to your collection and you can easily find it later when you get here. Explore by geo-tag! See something you like on our page? Click the location name above […]

Eight idyllic spots for a summer picnic in the mountains of Jackson County, N.C.

You can’t throw a pickle spear without hitting a picnic spot in Jackson County. Scenic beauty runs wild in these hills, setting the stage for the ultimate al fresco dining experience. Want a waterfall? No problem. A shady river bank? Got it. Summit views? Got those, too. From sunny lake shores to cool forests and manicured parks to secluded groves, discover the perfect picnic spot in the N.C. mountains of Jackson County. Once you’ve picked a spot, build the ultimate picnic feast with local flavors grown and made in Jackson County. Go gourmet with wood-oven bread drizzled with mountain honey and slathered in goat cheese. Pick up creative sandwiches, pastas, chicken salad and hearty meals to go. Graze away the afternoon with sampler platters and appetizer spreads. Cap it all off with a giant slice of pie or handmade chocolates. So, grab a blanket, pack a basket and Play On with our curated insider’s guide to mountain picnics. Bon appetite! Pick your spot The Village Green Lay of the land: Feast under the picnic shelter, or claim a patch of lawn in the sunshine or under a shade tree in this expansive park setting. Stroll the meandering paths, explore the gardens, view the outdoor sculpture exhibit, and turn the kids loose on the sprawling wooden playground. How to get there: Located at the crossroads of U.S. 64 and N.C. 107 in Cashiers, N.C. Pines Recreation Area Lay of the land: This sandy beach on scenic Lake Glenville has shady picnic […]

Celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week with Jackson County

The annual U.S. tradition of National Travel and Tourism Week is coming up fast. This year’s celebration, which will take place May 6 – 12, 2018, marks the 35th anniversary of National Travel and Tourism Week, and it’s all about recognizing the contributions and accomplishments of the U.S. travel community over the course of the last several decades. In honor of this, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners has also proclaimed that week “National Travel and Tourism Week” in Jackson County. With tourism being the largest industry in the county, we are inviting our residents, partners and visitors to partake in celebrating the week with us through this year’s theme of “Then and Now.” After all, without each one of you, being able to create such a positive tourist experience, and in turn, such a large economic impact opportunity to our area, would not be possible! Travel to Jackson County results in more than $188 million annually in visitor spending on lodging, food service, transportation, retail, recreation and entertainment. The tourism industry as a whole supports 1,810 jobs locally and the funding from it helps to improve community projects, events and experiences for locals and tourists alike. To tie into this year’s theme of Then and Now, we delved into some past promotional materials to see how our towns were promoted as a tourism destination and how it has evolved since. We were able to track down old Jackson County brochures and additional marketing materials dating as far back as the […]

Rediscover Your Hometown

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 […]

These mountains are made for biking

Tap into the secret inventory of mountain bike sweet spots in the N.C. mountains of Jackson County. Whether it’s thrills or tranquility you crave, our mountain bike trails have you covered. Technical single-track and downhill bombing runs. Casual forest trails with stunning views and waterfalls. Climbs that run the gamut from gnarly to novice. And a meandering riverside greenway that fits the bill for the littlest of pedalers. Jackson County does road biking, too. Test your limits with epic climbs, bestowed with ominous names like “Ring of Hades” or “Spurs of Death” by local riders. Head up to the high-elevation cruising altitude of the Blue Ridge Parkway or ramble along country roads and river valleys. Unwind with an after-ride toast on the Jackson County Ale Trail. Don’t worry, the craft breweries won’t mind that mud on your pant cuffs. As an outdoors town, our motto is “Play On” and we name our beers after trails. With spring leafing up the mountains, it’s the perfect time to strap on the bike rack, pump up your tires and kick off the riding season with getaway to Jackson County, N.C. Here’s a quick guide to the local cycling scene to help you hit the ground pedaling. Gear up for the Great Balsam Bike Relay Adventuresome cyclists can experience the perfect marriage of both in the Great Balsam Bike Relay, a bodacious 12-16 hour journey coming August 11. Teams of four will take on the top trails and road routes of Jackson County and […]

Break Away from the Beach and Head to the Mountains this Spring

Avoid the mass crowds, bumper-to-bumper traffic and high prices that most spring break destinations have and experience Jackson County where wide-open spaces, scenic roadways and affordable accommodations ranging in setting and size await. Jackson County’s towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Sylva and Dillsboro have all the necessities to make spring break 2018 one for the books. Avoid the masses at the beach, explore the outdoors, relax and recharge, and enjoy farm-to-table food, beautiful scenery, and the area’s booming brewery scene, all without breaking the bank. Venture Out Nature is calling! Come check out the many outdoor excursions available to thrill seekers of all ages throughout the county. Plan a group rafting trip down the Tuckasegee River or try your hand at fly fishing in the pristine waters of the state’s Trout Capital. The county is filled with more than two dozen waterfalls, including one of the tallest east of the Rocky Mountains, Whitewater Falls (411’).  You can also take a dip in Lake Glenville, the largest lake in Jackson County. Pack a picnic and set up on the sandy beach where you can enjoy a mountain view, picnic tables and a fishing pier. Visit one of the local marinas to rent a pontoon boat, kayak, or Sea-Doo to add some adventure while exploring the lake’s 26 miles of shoreline. From novice to more adventurous, Jackson County is home to some of Western North Carolina’s finest hiking trails and as winter starts to melt into spring, these trails spring alive with bursts […]

What’s in a name?

Jackson County is defined by its mountains and waterways. A rough count indicates that the area has 400-plus named summits and streams, and it’s fascinating to ponder how a certain peak or creek acquired its name. Some are obvious. For example, many local streams are named after the people who first settled on their banks. Scott Creek, Greens Creek, Blanton Branch, Johns Creek, Wilson Creek and Watson Branch are good examples. Interestingly, all of these are also the names of roads as well. Other creeks are categorized by geography (East Fork and North Fork), size (Peewee Branch) or by the plants that grow there (Caney Fork, Cane Creek and Locust Creek).

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