Satisfy Your Adventurous Appetite with a Taste of Jackson County, N.C.

Satisfy Your Adventurous Appetite with a Taste of Jackson County, N.C.

Nestled within the mountains of Jackson County, N.C. are amazing restaurants ready to please every palette and price. Its small towns offer big flavors from eateries that have earned loyal followings and impressive accolades. From white linen experiences against spectacular granite backdrops to tucked-away taverns steps off the sidewalks, Jackson County offers tastes that are sure to please even the most discriminating foodie and adventurous appetite. The area is home to award-winning chefs and rising culinary stars offering dishes that are eclectic and intriguing, often making creative use of farm-to-table and locally-sourced ingredients. This is where you may find more than one trout dish on the menu, but each will offer its own, imaginative twist. Plan your culinary journey by starting from the southern end of Jackson County, in Sapphire and Cashiers, and work your way up N.C. 107 to Sylva and Dillsboro. And don’t forget to make your lodging reservations so you can rest and relax after your delicious meals. While almost every locally-owned restaurant in Jackson County is worthy of praise, we’ve selected a few that have recently received rave reviews, critical praise or accolades. Canyon Kitchen: Taking Flavor to Great Heights – Sapphire With clear views of thousand-foot granite cliffs, Canyon Kitchen may offer one of the most dramatic and beautiful restaurant settings in the country – a dining experience sure to stir the soul and senses. It’s easy to see why Food & Wine selected it for its “Most Romantic Restaurant in Every State” list in […]

Reel in an Unforgettable Fall Fly Fishing Adventure in The NC Mountains

Reel in an Unforgettable Fall Fly Fishing Adventure in The NC Mountains

Jackson County, NC, is home to the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail®, the first fly-fishing trail in the county. With over 92,000 trout stocked annually, the rivers that flow through the mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, and Sylva, serve as a fly fisherman’s paradise year-round. As the leaves change and the temperatures cool, changes are also taking place along our rivers.  October and November are the optimal time of year to angle the Tuckasegee River, known affectionately by locals as ‘the Tuck’. Cooler waters mean more active fish, longer feeding periods, lengthier fly hatches, and plentiful stocking for your fly-fishing adventure. Longer Nights = More Bites  Summer’s long warm days are pleasant and bright for many, but the warmer water can have an adverse effect on the fish population. Warmer weather can create stress for the fish, making them conserve energy and spend the majority of the day not actively feeding. According to local guide shop Tuckasegee Fly Shop, autumn provides longer, cooler nights making the season a “sweet spot” for anglers. The benefit of long nights in the fall means more consistent water temperatures. The cooler the water, the more oxygenated it is, meaning more active fish and longer feeding periods throughout the day. Longer Hatches = More Snatches The fly hatches that fish feed on reap the benefit of the cool weather as well. Four main fly hatches can be found along the Fly Fishing Trail® in the fall: Midges, Stone Flies, May Flies, and Caddice […]

“Leaf” It All Behind with an Affordable Road Trip to Jackson County, NC

Fall leaf photo

“Leaf” It All Behind with an Affordable Road Trip to Jackson County, NC

The signs of Fall are everywhere: bright yellow school buses, football games, just a hint of coolness in the air, and – best of all – slight color changes in the leaves. The Jackson County, North Carolina area has one of the longest leaf seasons in the U.S., spanning from early October through mid-November. The area gifts almost two months of nature’s spectacular show, so there’s plenty of time to plan your own Great American Road Trip. Whether you’re traveling on two wheels or four (or more!), taking in the sights and deciding where to stop on your road trip is a big bonus. After all, you can’t do that on a plane. The journey becomes the destination, and it’s all part of the adventure! Budget conscious? Looking for insiders’ tips? We’ve got you. The charming towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva and places in between all have hidden gems that don’t cost a fortune. Here’s your checklist with tips for an affordable Fall adventure in Jackson County, N.C.! Travel During the Week Not only is there less traffic on the roads, but most accommodations also offer lower rates for weekday travel. Leaf peeping is incredibly popular on the weekends, so stand apart from the crowd and book a stay Sunday through Thursday. Take the Roads Less Traveled Jackson County is nestled between two amazing destinations managed by the National Park Service: Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Both will take you to some of […]

Made in the Mountains: Appalachian Art Abounds in Jackson County, NC

Made in the Mountains: Appalachian Art Abounds in Jackson County, NC

Jackson County, NC is rich with history and heritage rooted in Cherokee tradition and Appalachian culture. Though replicas may exist, there is no substitute for the handmade craftsmanship that fills our galleries, shops, museums and market stalls.   Plan your trip and follow this Guide to Your Appalachian Art Adventure in Jackson County!   Dogwood Crafters  A cooperative showcasing mountain arts, crafts and gifts, Dogwood Crafters has been a staple in Dillsboro since 1976 when it was founded using leftover bicentennial grant funding. Enter the log cabin-style galleries to find handmade treasures created by regional artisans who keep Appalachian craft traditions alive. Its ever-changing inventory features works from 100 or so artists who create everything from corn shuck dolls to wooden bowls to handmade quilts to stained glass to novelty birdhouses. Its hand-crafted items will surely be treasured and invoke fond memories of your time in the North Carolina Mountains.    Joel Queen Gallery  From traditional Cherokee pieces to North Carolina ceramics, pottery is plenty in Jackson County. Don’t miss Joel Queen Gallery, on U.S. Hwy. 441 in Whittier, where you’ll find imaginative work infused with Cherokee culture. Queen is a ninth-generation potter who traces his lineage through the Bigmeat family in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. His black pottery, the most traditional of styles, is hand built, polished and fired in an open pit using hand-carved tools. You may also discover Queen’s stamped pottery, sculpture and wood carvings in this gallery.   Qualla Arts & Crafts  With more than 3,000 handmade, authentic […]

Stay Cool in a Mountain Lake in Jackson County, NC

Stay Cool in a Mountain Lake in Jackson County, NC

Ah, summertime on a lake! It’s a great way to beat the heat and make memories with family and friends. In Jackson County, NC, the lake life comes with a big bonus: gorgeous mountain vistas that cradle the pristine water.   Whether your favorite activity is boating, paddling, tubing, fishing or swimming, there’s a lake waiting just for you in Jackson County! Need to rent a boat or gear? Local marinas, outfitters and guides can help with that, too. And, before you go, don’t forget to plan for lodging and dining to take full advantage of all the area has to offer.   Here is your list of Jackson County lakes!   Lake Glenville: A Mountain Playground    Perched at 3,494 feet above sea level in southern Jackson County, Lake Glenville is known for being the highest lake east of the Mississippi River. But did you know it also boasts seven islands and four waterfalls?    Nestled among its 26 miles of shoreline (making it the largest in the county), the waterfalls – Hidden, Hurricane Creek, Mill Creek and Norton – gently spill into the glistening lake and are only accessible by boat. Discover them – and the islands – on your own or hop aboard with Lake Glenville Scenic Waterfall Cruises. Catch them at sunset for an extra-relaxing vibe!   Need a vessel? No problem! Signal Ridge Marina has pontoons, tritoons (which offer extra stability), canoes, kayaks and paddleboards for rent. The marina can even set you up with fishing gear, bait and your NC […]

The Best Places to Hear Live Music This Summer in the NC Mountains

The Best Places to Hear Live Music This Summer in the NC Mountains

In the summertime, music fills the mountains of Jackson County, North Carolina. From casual, free outdoor concert series in the cool mountain air to ticketed events featuring tribute bands and exceptional classical music ensembles, you’ll find it here!  Concerts on the Creek – Sylva    Held creekside every Friday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. in downtown Sylva’s Bridge Park, Concerts on the Creek brings a variety of musical styles to its outdoor pavilion stage. Artists range from folk to bluegrass to pop, rock, soul, country, and reggae, from homegrown favorites to regionally known bands.    Upcoming shows include: July 7 – Arnold Hill; July 14 – Bird in Hand; July 21 – Dashboard Blue; July 28 – Lua Flora; August 4 – Tuxedo Junction; August 11 – TLQ+2; August 18 – Get Right Band; August 25 – Maggie Valley Band; and September 1 – PMA.  The shows are free, thanks to the Town of Sylva, Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department, and Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. Just bring a chair or blanket. Food truck vendors will most likely be on site, but picnic baskets and coolers are welcome, too. Dogs are welcome if they are friendly and kept on a leash.   And don’t forget your dancing shoes, as you’re sure to see concertgoers of all ages taking to the front of the stage to move and groove.  For more information about Concerts on the Creek, call 828-586-2719.  Groovin’ on the Green Summer Concert Series – Cashiers    The Village Green is […]

Tie the Knot at One of These Venues in the Majestic Mountains of Jackson County, North Carolina

Tie the Knot at One of These Venues in the Majestic Mountains of Jackson County, North Carolina

When it comes to selecting a place to spend your very first moments as a married couple, it is difficult to top Jackson County, North Carolina. The mountains provide breathtaking scenes and authentic experiences sure to bring joyful memories for years to come.    In addition to the gorgeous vistas, you’ll find small-town charm, sincere hospitality, and plenty of options for delicious food, relaxing accommodations, and unforgettable adventures.   Whether you’re seeking a beautiful backdrop for your destination wedding or wish to honor a connection to the Appalachian Mountains, Jackson County, NC has the perfect venue. Every site is ready to make your planning simple, either by providing turnkey service or connections to everything you’ll need, from florists to caterers to photographers to event planners and more!  With so many ways to answer “I Do” in Jackson County, NC, the real question is: What’s your wedding style?   Mountain Magic   While every Jackson County, NC wedding locale is in the mountains, several take full advantage of the setting, offering outdoor spaces with expansive and majestic views.   Chimney Pond Farm offers rustic elegance and rolling hills with a view of pristine Lake Glenville, the highest lake east of the Mississippi River.  A true farm, its 80 acres of Frasier Fir Christmas trees, blueberry bushes, and several alpacas (the gentle, friendly relative of the llama) add to its charm. Select among two indoor halls and an outdoor space to exchange vows. Onsite accommodations are available in three separate houses. Chimney Pond Farm is conveniently located […]

Take in the Fresh, Mountain Air at the Best Outdoor Dine & Drink Spots in Jackson County

Take in the Fresh, Mountain Air at the Best Outdoor Dine & Drink Spots in Jackson County

As warm weather arrives in Jackson County, NC, it’s time to savor the beauty of nature while indulging in delightful culinary experiences. Patio dining is the perfect way to relish our vibrant scenery and crisp mountain air, so whether you’re dining by the river or while gazing up at the mountains, elevate your experience at these perfect patios in our mountain towns of Cashiers, Dillsboro and Sylva. From fine dining to budget-friendly options and in between, here are some of the best spots to consider (many of which are also dog-friendly!): CASHIERS AREA SlopeSide Tavern – At the base of Ski Sapphire Valley, you’ll find this cozy eatery and porch – the perfect spot to relax and enjoy lovely mountain views. Whether you’re enjoying a delicious cocktail with friends or a family dinner, you’ll find something for everyone. Don’t miss their daily specials or menu favorites, including robust salads, tasty sandwiches or delicious flatbreads! Canyon Kitchen – Nestled in Lonesome Valley, this restaurant’s fabulous patio pairs with fine dining and breathtaking views for a truly dining experience like no other. The menu rotates to highlight seasonal produce from the on-site garden, but no matter what you can always expect sophisticated Appalachian cuisine crafted with the freshest ingredients. After you treat your tastebuds, roam the garden or enjoy a crafted cocktail amid the fireflies. The Orchard – This timeless establishment offers a picturesque outdoor dining experience. Set amidst stunning gardens and majestic mountains, the patio provides a serene atmosphere for enjoying […]

A Guide to Chilling Out in the NC Mountains

A Guide to Chilling Out in the NC Mountains

When the summer heat is in full swing, a visit to Jackson County, NC offers a cool escape. Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains with stunning natural landscapes, our destination provides ample opportunities to stay cool while enjoying the abundance of outdoor activities. Whether you seek solace in tranquil hikes or crave the adrenaline rush, here are 6 ways to beat the heat: Chase Waterfalls Jackson County is home to several breathtaking waterfalls, providing a refreshing retreat from the summer sun. Embark on an adventure to discover these natural wonders, such as Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Rockies, or Silver Run Falls, known for its crystal-clear pool at the base. The misty air and cool waters will rejuvenate your spirit as you bask in the beauty of these cascading treasures. If you’re in search of a swimming hole to splash around in all day, take the family to Cashiers Sliding Rock. A safety note: Remember to abide by posted warning signs indicating danger and stay on established trails. Never climb on or around waterfalls and never play in the water above a waterfall. Rocks can be slippery and it’s easy to lose your balance especially with bare feet. Currents near waterfalls can be extremely swift even in areas further upstream. Never jump off waterfalls or dive into plunge pools at the base of waterfalls.  Explore Hiking Trails Immerse yourself in the shade of our lush forests by exploring our numerous hiking trails. Head to Panthertown Valley, […]

Ultimate Guide to Jackson County, NC: Expert Tips & Insider Insights for an Unforgettable Adventure

Ultimate Guide to Jackson County, NC: Expert Tips & Insider Insights for an Unforgettable Adventure

Craft your perfect summer getaway to our Western North Carolina mountains! Book your stay at a boutique hotel, bed & breakfast, resort, or vacation rental today and get ready to pack in the seasonal fun with these activities below: Outdoor Concerts Free outdoor concerts abound in our towns. Check out this year’s schedules for Concerts on the Creek in Sylva and Groovin’ on the Green in Cashiers, and plan your trip accordingly. Bring along a chair or blanket and sit back, relax and take in the sounds of summer. Ale Trail Refreshing beers and warm weather just make sense. Take a tour of our Brewery Trail by visiting a selection of walkable breweries throughout Sylva and Dillsboro, and then head over to Cashiers to unwind at Whiteside Brewing Co., which also hosts live music on weekends. Waterfall Chasing Cool off at any of our breathtaking waterfalls, including Silver Run Falls and Cashiers Sliding Rock – a favorite attraction for families. Don’t miss the spectacular views of Whitewater Falls, the tallest fall east of the Mississippi River. To see multiple waterfalls in one fell swoop, book a boat ride with Captain Mark’s Scenic Boat Tours and cruise along Lake Glenville on a comfortable pontoon yacht while he guides the boat and points out some spectacular cascades. Al Fresco Dining  Experience fresh flavors while enjoying the cool, mountain air at a variety of outdoor spaces and restaurant patios throughout our county. At some, you can even bring your pooch! Choose from cafes […]