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Blue Ridge Parkway Top 50
Drive the Parkway north or south from Asheville and quickly climb the Blue Ridge Mountain ridge to see breathtaking vistas. You can reach elevations of 5,000+ ft. Our mile-by-mile guide of the Parkway covers the 193-mile section near Asheville. Along the way, plan to stop to visit the Folk Art Center or discover one of the other fun things to do along one of the most scenic drives in the United States.
7 Great Lakes Near Asheville
Explore these gorgeous lakes near Asheville with lots to do including beaches, boat rentals, water activities, swimming, camping, trails, and more!
Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Communities
Find the best rehabilitation and skilled communities around Asheville that offer both offer short-term and long-term options including rehabilitation services, care for those recovering from surgery or injury, and ongoing medical care for chronic illnesses and disabilities.
Stand-Up Paddleboard Trips
Find the best places to stand-up paddleboard in and near Asheville on the pristine waters of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rent SUPs, take lessons and even take a guided river trip. Fun way to see fall color, too!
Just 2 miles from downtown Asheville, this restaurant offers a relaxed atmosphere with a nice selection of sushi, sashimi, hibachi, stir-fried dishes and soups. Try the lunch specials including a sushi bar, miso soup, and salad. 640 Merrimon Ave, Ste 205
Bhramari Brewing Company
(101 S Lexington Ave) Presenting a selection of flagship brews, as well as fun and unique small-batch brews, this brewery and restaurant offers a friendly atmosphere and is rumored to have the best burger in Asheville. Don’t miss brunch from 11 AM-3 PM on Sundays. Open daily.
The largest downtown in western North Carolina outside of Asheville is filled with historic buildings and updated streetscapes with flowers and art. Find many spots for outdoor dining and a big variety of quality shops and galleries along a six-block stretch of Main Street. Don't miss two street festivals, the Garden Jubilee and the huge NC Apple Festival.
Be Waterfall Wise Safety Tips
Brevard & NC’s Land of Waterfalls is a popular destination for exploring waterfalls. See their Be Waterfall Wise page for tips including current conditions, waterfall safety cards, and waterfall safety videos.
River Arts District
Some 185 working artists have set up shop in the River Arts District. Drive a little, walk a little to visit studios and galleries. Find an amazing variety of art and see how the artists create it. It's just a few miles from downtown Asheville and Biltmore Estate.
Jump Off Rock, Hendersonville
Within 15 minutes of downtown Hendersonville, Jump Off Rock is one of the most easily accessible overlooks in WNC. On a clear day, peer into four states and watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains.
This free 4-day festival celebrates black business and entrepreneurship in Asheville. Enjoy a weekend of music, live performances, food, local vendors, community, and more in the River Arts District on Depot St.
Apple Quest Scavenger Hunt, Hendersonville
A local Girl Scout troop created the Apple Quest scavenger hunt. A dozen clues lead participants on a search for bronze apples located at downtown landmarks. Free brochures are available at the Visitor Center. (201 S Main St)
The People’s Acupuncture of Asheville
Located close to downtown Asheville, this community supported acupuncture clinic offers a casual and supportive group setting for treatment. They offer acupuncture treatments on a sliding scale making it affordable for those who need it. They also offer a variety of medicinal herbs for purchase!
Hike the Highest Trails in the East
With more than 100 miles of public hiking trails, including the highest trails in the eastern United States, Burnsville has been called the Hiking Capital of Western North Carolina.
Buddah's Best Package, Shoji Spa
Your 3.5-hour escape begins with a one-hour private outdoor salt hydrotherapy tub soak, a 90-minute massage that includes a Thai Foot Massage, and a comforting conclusion in the Savasana Retreat with cushy tatami mats with heated infrared gemstone therapy and negative ions. Cost is $546/couple
Weekend Getaways: Discover Top 40 Coolest Mountain Small Towns Near Asheville
There are lots of options if you want to plan a few fun day trips while you are in Western North Carolina. Explore our favorite cool small towns in the NC mountains near Asheville, each with its own personality, local shops and restaurants, friendly residents, and relaxed atmosphere.
Land of Waterfalls for All
See a list of nine don’t-miss attractions and activities that are easily accessible if you use a wheelchair, a walker, or need other physical assistance.
Find Foodie Favorites
Check out our very diverse and passionate food and drink scene. Be a little adventurous and try something new. Or, enjoy time-honored classics. In downtown, walk to 60+ locally-owned innovative restaurants, many with outdoor dining. From crafted cocktails to local brews, there's plenty to drink. Forage for food, visit a farm or tour a vineyard.
Mountain Heritage Center
Celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of the southern Appalachians through the center’s exhibits, educational programs and special events where guests will learn about deep mountain traditions.
Tuckasegee Fly Shop
Let us help you discover local fly patterns, fly fishing gear, guided trips, and fly fishing advice. We welcome beginners looking to give the sport a try, or challenge those looking to hone specific fly fishing tactics. Come with us, and discover the water that gives life to these cherished mountains!
Located in an old restored 1920s drugstore and soda fountain shop, the creativity at this restaurant does not stop at its eclectic appearance. Rated by Gourmet magazine as one of America's Best Farm to Table Restaurants, Guadalupe is a fusion restaurant that will have diners traveling through a world of flavors with Spanish, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, and even Southern influences. A must-try for foodies visiting NC, this menu is full of flavorful delights and features locally-grown and organic ingredients whenever possible. Mouth-watering menu items are endless and choices include: red curry shrimp, blackened plantains, peanut chicken and mango pork tacos. Guadalupe also serves a diverse selection of wines, from Spain and Latin-America, as well as brews from across the nation to right down the street.
Sequoyah National Golf Club
Measuring 6,600 yards, this Robert Trent Jones II design features immaculately groomed bent grass greens with bluegrass fairways, offering spectacular views of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, while providing unmatched playing conditions year-round.
Lulu's On Main
Lulu's on Main has an edgy, retro atmosphere tied together with paintings from many local artists displayed on the wall. Chef Devin McCardle, who once served as honorary chef for Julia Child's foundation, The American Institute of Wine & Food, takes his expertise and French culinary training to the kitchen to create a menu which features a range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free items to suit special diets. In addition, all menu items are certified hormone-free and humanely-raised, including fresh North Carolina seafood. The salmon, Szechuan salad and peanut butter pie are local favorites. Lulu's menu features a wide variety of choices and the service is said to be unmatched! A martini bar inside the restaurant offers mixed drinks, as well as beer and wine. If you have a chance, say hi to the owner Mick McCradle for some good stories and history on the restaurant.
Blue Chip Fly Fishing
Let me share my love for fly fishing with you. It’s been my passion since I was 10 years old. After buying a cabin in the mountains I decided I’d teach others, make friends, and continue to enjoy what I love the most. Contact us to book your trip today.
Innovation Brewing has added a third location in Jackson County! Located on the campus of Western Carolina University, Innovation Cullowhee brings its laid-back vibes, iconic brews and a thriving nightlife to WCU. Grab an award-winning pint of Innovation's mainstays or try something funky and new!
Panthertown Trail Mountain Biking
Panthertown Valley is often recognized as offering some of the best hiking and camping in the region. However, unknown to many is that these trails also offer over 20 miles of mountain bike trails for riders who enjoy a truly off-the-beaten-path cycling experience. These scenic trials traverse through many of the valley’s most popular destinations such as cliff-top views, along 8 major waterfalls and countless smaller ones, and along the area’s crystal-clear streams. A map is recommended before your visit and can be ordered online or picked up at the Highland Hiker.
Innovation Station is Innovation Brewing's second location, located in the heart of Dillsboro along the railroad tracks. It serves as a beer aging facility, pilot brewhouse and taproom. They have 32 taps that include ginger ale, 3 local ciders, 3 wines, and 25 of their own beers. Covered patio seating as well as outdoor creekside seating. Convenient to many Dillsboro-area restaurants.
Whiteside Brewing Company
Cashiers is home to Whiteside Brewing Co., which offers six main-stay brews year-round with the seventh changing seasonally. The brewery is conveniently located near the Crossroads and has ample indoor and outdoor seating for gatherings.
Zookeeper Bistro offers traditional American cuisine along with a casual dining experience located in the heart of the Cashiers plateau. Menu favorites include the Zookeepers Benedict, Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Salad and the California Burger. Zookeeper Bistro is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 7:30 a.m.-3p.m., and brunch Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-3p.m.; Sunday from 8 a.m.-2p.m.
A towering 200-foot falls running parallel to what the Franklin Press once called likely “the greatest scenic highway in all the state,” the Cullajasa River takes a plunge here, making for gorgeous drive-by scenery. A few caveats, however: The falls are only photo-worthy when there’s a steady source of water, so be sure to avoid drier seasons. And the scenic US 64 may be picturesque, but near Cullajasa Falls, it can be a bit dangerous, with blind curves, narrow roads and steep drop-offs here and there.
Kosta's Express Restaurant
This family favorite has been serving Dillsboro and the surrounding communities high-quality Greek, Italian, Continental cuisine for over a decade. Visitors will enjoy the friendly atmosphere and service with a smile along with a delicious bite to eat.
Considered a local favorite, Cornucopia is consistently named as one of the best porches in Cashiers. A casual spot for lunch, dinner or the popular Sunday brunch, Cornucopia, like the name suggests, features a variety of dishes tempting to any palate. Locals can't get enough of the Arabian club, black bean burger, or their most famous and oldest dish, Wade Hampton's Downfall. At dinner, try an entrée that incorporates local flair, like smoked trout from Sunburst Farms or Southern-Fried Farms chicken.
Dillsboro River Company
Just outside of Dillsboro, Sylva, and Bryson City, North Carolina the Dillsboro River Company takes customers along the ideal relaxing rapids of the Tuckasegee River. The ‘Tuck’ is the ideal river for first-time rafters, families with young children (minimum age limit is 4), and those who want more of a relaxing river trip with warmer water and the milder Class I & II rapids.
Western Carolina University Trail System
The WCU Multi-Use Trail system is 6.8 miles of narrow single-track trail designed for foot traffic and mountain bike use. The trail is intermediate in difficulty with steep mountainside terrain. Riders enjoy a nice flow with multiple jumps, pumps, and berms. Although the elevation change from the trail’s highest to lowest point is just a few hundred feet, there are lots of ups and downs for bikers to enjoy.
Kids Bike Park at Tuck Greenway
The Jackson County Greenway Kids’ Bike Park features a 750-foot bike trail suited for beginner bikers. Located less than half a mile (from the Locust Creek entrance) along the paved and shaded Tuckasegee River Greenway, this trail system features tabletop jumps, pumps, berms, and even an inner gravel track for younger kids.
Nantahala Brewing Company Sylva Outpost
Nantahala Brewing Company is bringing its love of beer to Sylva with the completion of its latest taproom: The Outpost. This taproom brings a family- and pet-friendly, live music setting along with artfully brewed, award-winning craft beers. Nantahala Brewing Company is known for customer favorites such as Dirty Girl Blond, Bryson City Brown Ale, and Noon Day IPA.
Quality and creativity are two things that go hand-in-hand here. The team at Innovation is always working to come up with new and unique recipes and try to incorporate as many local and seasonal ingredients as possible. With almost three dozen brews on tap, there's something you're sure to enjoy. Taste a range of more traditional-style ales such as a blonde, porter, stout, brown, amber, a handful of Belgian beers, IPA’s, sours and some fun seasonal brews, such as the fall favorite Apple Butter Brown and the summer Peach Jalapaneo ale.
Canyon Kitchen is a must-visit as far as fine dining in North Carolina is concerned. True to its history and agrarian roots, Lonesome Valley's Canyon Kitchen offers a humble, yet extraordinary connection to food, where ingredients are sourced from local and regional farms. The new Executive Chef Ed Selle is at the helm of this award-winning restaurant. The diverse prix fixe menu at Canyon Kitchen changes weekly based on seasonal ingredients, but you can always expect a rich combination of garden goodness and innovative nouveau-southern tradition. Snag a reservation here from May through October and admire the incredible views of Cow Rock and Laurel Knob at Lonesome Valley, known as the largest box canyon east of the Rockies.
Paper Mill Lounge
If you're the kind of person who likes the social clubs of New York and New Orleans, The Paper Mill Lounge and Theatre is where you should go. It's located on Main Street, in Sylva NC. Even though the décor is elegant, the vibe here is still relaxed, well, until the midnight hours when things might turn a little clubby. We like The Paper Mill's dimly lit, almost golden aura and some of its sleek design elements!
Rafters, Kayakers and Tubers at the Tuckaseegee Outfitters Center will enjoy between a two and three hours, five-mile whitewater adventure challenge. Tuckaseegee river is suitable for beginners and children of at least 4 years of age and at least 40lbs, unlike our neighboring rafting companies that require a 60lbs minimum. You may also choose a guided trip. Our highly experienced staff will always put safety first. There are also swimming opportunities along the way.
Brookings Anglers provides fly fishing enthusiasts with access to guide trips and all other fishing needs. Wade for trout in the streams and rivers or purchase some of the extensive merchandise from rods, reels and tackles to clothing. Visit our site for details.
Voted #1 BBQ in NC by Yelp and #5 in the USA by Travel+Leisure. Haywood's smoking process is long and tedious, but the time and effort put into their melt-in-your-mouth meats sets them apart from the rest. On Saturdays come for the Baby Back Ribs served with a honey-chipotle sauce, or every other day of the week for the St. Louis-style ribs. Their Southern sides and homemade pies will definitely give you something to write home about. Diners can even take a bottle of one of Haywood's nine uniquely-flavored homemade sauces back with them to savor the flavors of the fall-off-the-bone ribs a little longer. A crowd favorite is the classic sweet ketchup sauce, and for those feeling adventurous, try the strawberry chipotle. Many of Haywood's recipes are greatly influenced by traditional Southern flavors while a few items on the menu allude to Cajun, Tex-Mex and other regional cuisine flavors.
A fusion of world cuisine featuring sustainably-raised, locally sourced, farm-to-table ingredients offered in a fast casual dining experience for lunch and dinner, with craft beers, wine and cocktails.
The Ugly Dog Pub
Featuring craft cocktails, regional brews, and elevated pub food, the Ugly Dog serves delicious food with a classic twist. Favorites include their wide selection of all-beef quarter-pound hotdogs, The Pimento Burger, and the Bourbon BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. The Ugly Dog is known as Cashiers gathering place for friends to catch up and unwind; with a rotating selection of weekly entertainment it’s a Cashiers stop you won’t want to miss.
Bear Lake Reserve Golf Club
The challenging Bear Lake Golf Club by Nicklaus Design Group has some of the best views in the community, offering a par-29, 1,932-yard course at lofty elevations ranging from 3,400 to 3,700 feet. You’re going to have to work hard to concentrate while teeing off on the 7th hole, since you’ll be looking at a breathtaking 80-mile panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and valley below.
Pinnacle Park, home of little-known Gina Falls, is just five minutes from the nearest urban area, making it a perfect destination for those who aren’t inclined to go deep into the wilderness, or who simply want a peaceful lunch break. The park’s eponymous natural feature, about a mile and a quarter up from Gina Falls, is well known among frequent travelers of US 23 and US 74. Fed by West Fork Fisher Creek, it features a 35-foot upper drop with cascades below.
Pie Times Pizza Company
Pie Times Pizza Company is a pizzeria loaded with flavor. Serving traditional Neapolitan style pizza, Pie Times uses an Italian brick oven to cook all of their pizzas. Using only the highest quality ingredients, Pie Times techniques and use of sourdough crust tend to be a more healthy dining option to quench your pizza craving. Pie Times menu has options for both vegan and vegetarian diets as well.
Historic Jackson County Courthouse & Library
Climb 107 stairs to snap a photo overlooking downtown Sylva and the mountain backdrop at the most photographed courthouse in NC. Step inside to learn about the beauty and history behind the building.
Sapphire Valley Resort
Just above 3,400 feet elevation, Sapphire Valley offers a 1,600-foot main run with a vertical drop of 200 feet and a 500-foot snow tubing run. And now, Sapphire Valley Ski Area offers a moving carpet to quickly transport you back to the top of the slopes for multiple runs throughout each 1.75 hour session.
Bridal Veil Falls
While its upper slide and 40-foot free fall may slow to a trickle during the summer, freezing winter temperatures transform it into a curtain of icicles each year, with a mountain of ice forming at the base. This makes for great cold-weather sightseeing, but be sure to proceed with caution along US 64.
Chasteen Creek Falls
The cascade, fed by its namesake creek, has a drop of about 16 feet, and isn’t far from several backcountry campsites and the Cabin Flats Trail spur, for backpacking enthusiasts. If you’re fine with a little soreness the next day, use the falls as a starting point and follow the Falls Side Trail, Chasteen Creek Trail, Hughes Ridge Trail and Bradley Fork Trail, successively, for a 17.2-mile hike.
The Orchard Restaurant
From weddings and receptions, to birthday parties or family reunions, The Orchard Restaurant, events barn and guest cottage offers visitors a chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of their every day and relax while enjoying exceptional dishes prepared with fresh, locally-sourced mountain ingredients. Historical artifacts decorate the walls of the renovated 1900s farmhouse that serves as the main dining hall. In warmer seasons, guests are invited to enjoy The Orchard's famous venison carpaccio, Appalachian trout almondine or the 107 South bacon-wrapped filet outdoors on the patio while overlooking the bountiful apple orchard. Any menu item can be paired with a bottle of wine from the cellar, which features over 60 choices of fine wines with a focus on the New World and California wine regions.
Sapphire National Golf Course
With its scenic mountain views and surrounding lush forests, Sapphire National Golf Course is truly breathtaking. And with available lodging nearby, it serves as an ideal retreat for the avid golfer. The golf professionals provide expert guidance and will have you out on the course in record time.
Dream Catchers Fishing Supply
Learn tips and techniques from professional anglers and guides Austin and Mike Neary while reeling in your DREAM CATCH! Dream Catcher’s Fishing Supply is also a shop for fisherman, by fisherman! A shop created by local Pro’s and guides. Free seminars every Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
While not a scene-stealer on its own, this 15-foot waterfall, a nearly vertical drop from Frolictown Creek, makes for a great stop on the Great Wall Trail, or the path leading to Granny Burrell Falls and Wilderness Falls. It’s just one point in the constellation of spectacular Panthertown Valley sights.
Red Bird Golf Links
Red Bird Golf Links amenities include an executive 9-hole golf course, 15-tee driving range, putting and chipping greens, fully stocked pro shop, and resort facility. Expect great customer service and a great day of golf.
WCU Fine Art Museum
Promoting and facilitating meaningful engagement with contemporary works of art and artists, the WCU Fine Art Museum features four galleries, a growing permanent collection, and rotating exhibitions highlighting regional, national, and international artists.
The Library Kitchen + Bar
Farm-to-table upscale dining and cocktails in an iconic historical setting. Open kitchen chef’s bar plus outdoor service. Small plates/seasonal offerings. Reservations recommended.
Lucy in the Rye
Serving breakfast and lunch daily, with a full scratch-made bakery, Lucy in the Rye is located in the heart of Sylva. The menu features diner classics alongside chef-created original plates that utilize local and organic ingredients.
This skinny, 200-ft. waterfall is located near Cherokee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's a short hike up a long staircase.
Tuckasegee River Greenway Biking
The Tuckasegee River Greenway is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. This one-mile there-and-back trail traverses along the Tuckasegee and is ideal for those who want a more relaxing and scenic biking experience. The paved trail maintains a flat elevation and is shaded along its entire course and offers coinvent amenities such as restrooms, ample parking, picnic benches, and a bike maintenance station.
Granny Burrell Falls
Following a steep, 12-foot slide from Panthertown Creek, the falls flows gently into the massive pool below. If the water’s too high, and you can’t get a good view by wading, head to Macs Gap Trail across the bridge for the perfect photo. If you want to stay the night, Macs Gap is also host to a campsite—but beware of coyotes, as it’s not out of the ordinary to spot one in the area.
Ilda is the artisan passion project of husband & wife team, Michelin-trained Chef Santiago Guzzetti and Sommelier Crystal Pace. Nestled in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, the pair felt called to build a home that is rich in culture, craft and community. Santiago’s heritage in Italian cuisine and Crystal’s ties to her hometown of Appalachia create a cuisine that is unique, but also honors and respects history. This union of Italian and Southern Appalachian cuisine is the foundation where they will recreate the comfort you found at your grandmother’s kitchen table.
Mica's Restaurant & Pub
Pizza, catch of the day, salad bar & more. Inside & covered deck seating
Lazy Hiker Brewing Company Sylva Taproom
The Lazy Hiker Brewing Company is bringing its love of community, the mountains, and beer to Sylva with its latest taproom addition. This taproom offers a wide variety of brews including their flagship mainstays such as Trail Mate Golden Ale and Slack Pack IPA. This new location shares a space with Mad Batter Food and Film where the two businesses collaborate, offering excellent brews and food. Indoor and outdoor patio seating and pet-friendly.
28 Escape Rooms are interactive scenario based games, where small groups of players use puzzles and elements of the room to escape within the 60-minute time limit.
Balsam Falls Brewing Company
Located in downtown Sylva, Balsam Falls Brewing features a rotating selection of IPAs, pale ales and sours, along with six staple beers regularly on tap. Husband and wife partners, Corey and Laurie Bryson, have a goal to have something different on tap every time a visitor comes in. Balsam Falls is the perfect place to stop in, grab a seat in the comfortable environment, pick from one of the many board games available to the public and enjoy a great brew after a long day of hiking, or exploring the area.
The Cut Cocktail Lounge
The Cut Cocktail Lounge is a craft cocktail bar that also offers cheap beer and late night bites. We use fresh and local ingredients in our food and drinks.
South of Philly
Philly cheese steaks, chicken phillies, fries, onion rings, cold cut sandwiches
City Lights Cafe
The café, whose name gives a nod to the adjacent landmark bookstore, has a rich history in town. Grab a book from upstairs and settle in to enjoy this local gem that celebrities like Woody Harrelson, Frances McDormand and Peter Dinklage all discovered while in town. The cafe provides many menu items that are locally sourced and organically produced and has a variety of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. Be sure to try one of their infamous savory or sweet crepes, such as the Chicken Crepedilla, a menu favorite. The restaurant has a 22-seat, dog-friendly outdoor patio, and serves as the place for artists and writers to gather. The Café hosts several rotating events, such as an open mic night, live music, rotating art shows, literary events and even Yappy Hours with pets on the patio.
The Wine Bar and Cellar
Offering the largest selection of top-shelf wine, the Wine Bar and Cellar offers a relaxed vibe true to the heart of downtown Sylva. With rotating events, tapas by ILDA, tastings, and an open-air feel, patrons can also take home wine by the bottle or by the case. Make sure to visit and take some time to wine a little.