Just 20 miles from the southern edge of the Smokies, the western North Carolina town of Sylva provides a strategic launch point for exploring one of the country’s most beloved natural wonders—the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The national park, spread between North Carolina and Tennessee, is the most visited in the country, boasting 16 peaks above 6,000-feet and 850 miles of trails. Even better, the park is best accessed from Sylva courtesy of a lofty stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the iconic motorway linking the Smokies with Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park.
Families looking to rekindle an old holiday tradition can visit Jackson County, NC. where the experience of selecting your own real tree from one of several tree farms in the area, replacing the artificial tree from the store.
Filled with sylvan streams winding through vast swathes of contiguous wilderness and crowned by the cloud-swaddled peaks of the southern Appalachians, Jackson County, North Carolina, is awash with natural wonders. Beyond the stunning backdrop, the mountain-nestled county is also peppered with inviting towns loaded with bountiful farmers markets, inventive craft breweries, farm-to-fork eateries, and boutiques showcasing locally produced artisanal crafts. Adventures are abundant in Jackson County, but here’s a shortlist of recommendations for an idyllic weekend escape.
Western North Carolina is a land of waterfalls. Countless cascades punctuate the waterways braiding the vast expanses of forest and lofty Appalachian peaks dominating the western corner of the state, lending the landscape an undeniably enchanting quality. Some of the falls are accessible only after delving into wild pockets of backcountry, while others are just steps from the state’s tree-lined byways. With the abundance of waterfalls, narrowing down a short list is a formidable of challenge, but these are among the most stunning cascades adorning the western part of the state.
From wood-fired to traditional Cherokee pottery, face jugs to raku beads, Jackson County, North Carolina, is saturated with potters that channel the beauty of the Western North Carolina Mountains into their work. The potters that call Jackson County home are masters of their craft. Below, we would like to introduce you to a few of the personalities that can be found throwing the wheel or firing the kiln around the towns of Cashiers, Cherokee and Dillsboro.
With the cooler weather, the new vibrant colors of the leaves and exciting fall festivals, autumn is more than a season- it’s a time for joy and inspiration for artistic minds. So this fall, get outside, celebrate nature and play on in Jackson County, N.C. A haven for natural beauty and the arts, Jackson County is a must-experience fall escape with a lot more than inspiration alone to offer.
The annual Mountain Heritage Day beckons guests to embrace Appalachian tradition and dive into the thriving legacy of North Carolina’s mountain culture on September 24. The festival, held in Cullowhee, N.C. at Western Carolina University, invites you with open arms to this authentic experience, complete with music, entertainment, shopping, activities and history.
For the past 20 years, renowned interior designers from across the nation have lent their extensive talents to a Cinderella-story showhouse renovation in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Sponsored by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle Magazine, the Annual Cashiers Designer Showhouse® is a collective effort to benefit the Cashiers Historical Society’s preservation efforts on a high-elevation Appalachian Mountain plateau.
It is hard to keep your cool as temperatures everywhere suddenly spike into triple digits. The heat in the air is palpable and every outdoor task appears increasingly daunting. Luckily, in the mountain haven of Cashiers, N.C., the crisp mountain breeze makes it easy to remain cool. At an elevation of nearly 3,500 feet, the Cashiers area boasts mild summer temperatures resting between 70 and 80 degrees. Say goodbye to the muggy climate you left behind and say hello to our cool hidden gem of a town.