Dillsboro, NC Arts Town

Dillsboro, NC

The charming village of Dillsboro 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. Many visitors then arrived by train. And they still do today on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad via an excursion from Bryson City. It's just three 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 40 years in 2016!

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. Buy their popular glazed stoneware, wood fired salt ware and raku beads in their gallery adjacent to the studio.

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. 

Even their street festivals are art focused! The Summer Arts & Crafts Market (third Saturday in August) and ColorFest (first Saturday in October) feature 40 artists demonstrating and selling wares along Front Street, 10 AM-4 PM. The highly acclaimed Western NC Pottery Festival is held the first Saturday in November.

Dillsboro NC

Although it's a tiny village, find an nice mix of specialty shops. Walk a loop around a five block area, stopping at landmarks like Bradley's General Store (since 1888) with an old time soda fountain and Jarrett House, with family style dining since 1884. And don't miss getting a sample at the Chocolate Factory!

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.

Also near downtown is Monteith Farmstead park, soon to be home to the Appalachian Women's Museum in the 1908 farmhouse. The Tuckasegee River is known for its whitewater rafting, tubing and trout fishing.

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. 

Dillsboro Christmas

Dillsboro is one of our Top 10 Christmas Towns in the mountains. With festive decorations, 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!

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.


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 wi-fi, heated indoor pool and spa, riverside deck and fitness center. 65 rooms & 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 Sylva, Dillsboro and Cashiers area. Find a mountain getaway for any budget. Pic: High Hampton Inn

Dillsboro Festivals

Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro
Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro
Saturday, April 15, 2017
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 17, 2017
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. 10-4
Dillsboro Art Festival
Summer Arts and Crafts Market
Saturday, August 19, 2017
More than 40 local artists display and demo their arts and crafts in artsy Dillsboro, 10 AM-4 PM. Plus, live music, food and hands-on activities. 
Colorfest Arts Fest in Dillsboro
Colorfest Arts Fest in Dillsboro
Saturday, October 7, 2017
This colorful festival features more than 40 vendors of fine arts and crafts, food, and entertainment along Front Street in artsy Dillsboro. Many galleries too. Free admission. 10 AM-4 PM
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Saturday, November 4, 2017
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 1, 2017 to Saturday, December 2, 2017
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

The Jackson County Green Energy Park (JCGEP) in Dillsboro is a fascinating arts facility that is powered by methane gas captured from the old town landfill. The fuel... 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 excursion trips 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