Dillsboro, NC Arts Town

Dillsboro, NC Artsy Village

The charming village of Dillsboro (population 237) is our top small town for local art and craft. Within its few blocks, find works from hundreds of artists. A longtime artisan community, it's located in Jackson County on the banks of the Tuckasegee River. Dillsboro has been a tourist destination since the late 1800s. Then many visitors arrived by train, and they still do today on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad via an excursion from Bryson City. It's just 1.5 miles from downtown Sylva.

Dogwood Crafters Dillsboro

Dogwood Crafters (90 Webster Street) should be your first stop! This craft cooperative features 100+ mountain artists with an amazing array of items packed into their log store. Friendly volunteers will help you navigate the many rooms. They celebrate 42 years in 2018!

Tree House Pottery Dillsboro

Tree House Pottery (148 Front Street) is a working studio with a gorgeous gallery showcasing the work of Travis Berning (pic above) and Joe Frank McKee. Their work is featured in galleries throughout the country.

Riverwood Pottery

Riverwood Pottery (60 Craft Circle) opened in 1973 in Riverwood Shops at the end of Webster Street near the river. Watch potter Karen Barnes create a face jug or daughter Zan at work on a variety of contemporary pieces. Next door is Oaks Gallery (29 Craft Circle) with fine art and craft from 125 regional artists. Rabbit Creek Pottery (27 Church Street) is another great pottery studio and gallery.

Innovation Station (40 Depot St, Dillsboro) opened in 2018 with a wrap-around covered patio and creek-side seating. The brewery has 32 taps that include non-alcoholic Ginger Ale, three local ciders, three wines and 25 hand-crafted beers. Top restaurants include Haywood Smokehouse (403 Haywood Road) voted top BBQ join in NC, Boots Steakhouse (64 Front St) and Foragers Canteen (42 Depot Street). Don't miss the Chocolate Factory (28 Church Street). Jarrett House is a famous staple of southern food since 1884, so come hungry for fried chicken, meat loaf, biscuits, fresh vegetables and all the fixin's.

Dillsboro NC

Just a mile from shops in the village is the fascinating Jackson County Green Energy Park that uses renewable energy resources to create art. The glass studio, kiln and blacksmithing metals shop are one of few in the world utilizing landfill methane gas as a fuel. Watch artists at work or take a class. Read more.

American Museum of the House Cat

The American Museum of the House Cat, about four miles south of Dillsboro, opened in 2017 with 10,000+ cat curiosities, including many rare and fascinating antiques. Check out this quirky roadside gem. Read more.

Dillsboro River Company

Raft, kayak or tube down the scenic Tuckasegee River from town at the Dillsboro River Company. Read about river trips on the Tuck.

Dillsboro Art Festival

Even their street festivals are art focused! See dates below. The highly acclaimed Western NC Pottery Festival is held the first Saturday in November.

Dillsboro Festival of Lights

Dillsboro is one of our Top 12 Christmas Towns in the mountains. With festive decorations, the Festival of Lights during the first two weekends in December and plenty of one-of-a-kind gifts, you'll definitely get in the holiday spirit!

Read more about Jackson County things to do. See more of our Coolest NC Mountain Small Towns. Western Carolina University is seven miles down the road in Cullowhee.

Directions from Asheville: Take I-40 West to exit 27 and follow US Highway 74 towards Waynesville. Go 26 miles to exit 81 (US Highway 23/441) to Dillsboro. 52 miles from Asheville, 1-hour drive.

Lodging & Free Guide

Best Western Hotel Dillsboro
Relax and get away from it all while experiencing breathtaking views on the Tuckasegee River. From your spacious riverside room, watch as rafters make their way down the river. Amenities include a full hot breakfast, high-speed WiFi, heated indoor pool and spa, riverside deck and fitness center. 65 rooms and suites, $120-$300, cable TV with... read more
Jackson County Places to Stay
Jackson County Places to Stay
Choose from historic B&Bs, mountaintop log cabins, lakeside resorts and camping in the great outdoors in the Sylva, Dillsboro and Cashiers areas. Find a mountain getaway for any budget. Pic: High Hampton Inn. 
Jackson County Visitor Guide
Jackson County Mountains Guide 2018
Order a free 73-page visitors guide for the Sylva, Dillsboro, Lake Glenville, Cherokee and Cashiers areas, including info on fly fishing, hikes and waterfalls in Jackson County, NC.

Dillsboro Festivals

Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro
Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro
Saturday, April 20, 2019
Old hat, new hat, yellow hat, blue hat. They're all welcome at Dillsboro's annual Easter Hat Parade at 2 PM, showcasing a variety of interesting hats atop participants of all ages, including pets.
Front Street Arts Festival
Front Street Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Stroll down the main street in artsy Dillsboro and see works 40 of the best regional artisans, along with family entertainment and festival food. Many galleries, too. 10 AM-4 PM. 
Dillsboro Art Festival
Art in Monteith Park
Saturday, August 18, 2018
More than 40 artists display and demo their crafts in artsy Dillsboro at The Monteith Farmstead, home to the Appalachian Women's Museum, 10 AM-4 PM. Plus, live music, food and hands-on activities. Free admission. $3 parking
Dillsboro Colorfest
Saturday, October 6, 2018
The artsy village of Dillsboro welcomes 40 demonstrating artists along Front Street with their colorful creations. Many galleries too. 10 AM-4 PM
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Meet 45 master potters from 17 states as they come together in Dillsboro for this premier art event. Buy amazing creations that you will treasure for a lifetime.
Dillsboro Festival of Lights & Luminaries
Dillsboro Festival of Lights & Luminaries
Friday, December 7, 2018 to Saturday, December 8, 2018
Experience the magic as the entire town is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter and song! Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa.

Dillsboro Map

Dillsboro NC Map

Sylva is a very fun and picturesque small town (population 2,500) in Jackson County at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains. Stroll its "all American" Main Street,... read more
Lake Glenville is pristine reservoir located just 8 miles from Cashiers in Jackson County. Located in a beautiful North Carolina mountain... read more
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers scenic train excursions through the North Carolina mountains along Nantahala and Tuckasegee Rivers, across valleys and through tunnels. All of the train... read more
Just 50 miles from Asheville is Cherokee, located in Jackson County at the main North Carolina entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (via US Highway... read more