Do you feel the crisp fall air? As the leaves change colors, the best time to hike is upon us. To help you take on the trail this fall, we’ve created a list of the best fall hikes in the Smokies.
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 […]
Join us for an enchanting Farm-to-Table dinner experience amidst the budding beauty of spring in Whittier, NC. Celebrate the beginning of the growing season’s freshest flavors harvested straight from the fields of our local farms, surrounded by the serene countryside. Indulge in a culinary journey that highlights the vibrant bounty of spring in a picturesque setting, where every dish tells a story of our commitment to farm-fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
As summer 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. Ranging 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 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 – offers a picturesque outdoor dining experience. Set amidst stunning gardens and majestic mountains, the patio provides a serene atmosphere for enjoying a meal. Its menu features upscale Southern cuisine prepared with a modern twist, from succulent grilled meats to elegant seafood dishes. Cornucopia – this spot’s cozy patio offers a tranquil setting surrounded by lush greenery. Known for their farm-to-table approach, Cornucopia serves up delectable dishes from hearty sandwiches to flavorful salads featuring locally sourced ingredients. Slab Town Pizza — this hidden gem’s spacious patio is […]