Sylva North Carolina Visitor Guide

Sylva, NC

Sylva is a lovely small town in Jackson County (population of 2,500) situated amidst the Great Smoky Mountains. Downtown Sylva has many restaurants and shops along its tree-lined streets. Since the early twentieth-century, Main Street downtown area has been the social center of the county. It's home to the annual Greening Up the Mountain street festival and Concerts on the Creek summer weekly concerts. 

Sylva, North Carolina

The historic Jackson County Courthouse on Main Street was built in 1914. Considered to be the "most photographed courthouse" in North Carolina. the Courthouse can be reached by climbing 107 steps from Main Street - look back for a nice view of downtown and the mountains. To get plenty of ideas of things to do, stop at the Visitor Center (773 West Main St). And don't forget to explore the great local shops.

Sylva, North Carolina

Craft Breweries

  • Innovation Brewing (414 West Main Street): While creating plenty of traditional styles of ale and standbys, they are equally dedicated to evolving and crafting new and unique styles of beer. Stop by to sample an IPA or three. Open every day.
  • Sneak E Squirrel Brewery and Taproom (1315 West Main Street) is open every day with freshly made ales and kitchen menu specializing in game meat.

Three Billboards in Ebbing Sylva

Sylva was the filming location for the 2016 big screen movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing (read more)!

Recreational opportunities are numerous and diverse here. The town owns a pristine tract of land, Pinnacle Park with a 7-mile round-trip trek to a 5,000-ft. peak with great views. Read more about The Pinnacle hike.

The Tuckasegee River is known for its whitewater and trout populations. And the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a 30-minute drive away. There is great hiking on the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, including hikes at Devil's Courthouse, Graveyard Fields, Waterrock Knob and Black Balsam Knob.

Sylva Featured

Holiday Inn Express Sylva
Conveniently located off of Highway 441/74, rediscover the beauty of nature as you relax in the indoor heated pool or spa and gaze out over the majestic Great Smoky Mountains. Minutes from Western Carolina University, Harrah's Cherokee Casino and the Blue Ridge Parkway. 67 rooms, $100-$280, king or queen beds, WiFi, free parking.... read more
Jackson County Ale Trail
Jackson County Ale Trail
For a more laid back, small town beer adventure, head to Sylva’s Main Street. Visit three breweries along a scenic one-mile walk, with plenty of places to shop and eat along the way. Sample brews at Sneak E Squirrel, Balsam Falls and Innovation Brewing.
Sylva July 4th
Sylva July 4th Concert & Fireworks
Enjoy concerts and fireworks in a picturesque all-American small town! Live music begins at 4 PM with dancing until 9:30 PM at the Bridge Park Pavilion. Stroll Main Street's shops, restaurants and breweries. Fireworks begin at dark. Free. 
Sylva NC Concerts
Concerts on the Creek
Unwind on Fridays Memorial Day through Labor Day with live music outdoors in downtown Sylva. Shows are 7-9 PM at the Bridge Park. It's just two blocks from Main Street with shops, restaurants and breweries (come early!). Family friendly with a big variety of music. Bring a chair or blanket. Free. 
Greening Up the Mountains Festival
Greening Up the Mountains Festival
April 22, 2017
Celebrate the arrival of spring with this downtown Sylva street festival, about an hour's drive west of Asheville.
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 Guide
Jackson County Mountains Guide
Order a free visitors guide for the Sylva, Dillsboro, Lake Glenville, Cherokee and Cashiers areas, including info on fly-fishing, hikes and waterfalls in Jackson County, NC.

Western Carolina University is seven miles down the road in Cullowhee. Nearby, see the petroglyphs at Judaculla RockDillsboro is just a few miles west with a charming, small downtown area of shops and galleries, along with some great festivals.

Other nearby small towns include FranklinCashiersHighlandsCherokee and Waynesville

Read more about Jackson County things to do. See more of our Coolest NC Mountain Small Towns.

Sylva Directions from Asheville: Take I-40 West to Exit 27 and follow US Highway 74 West past Waynesville to exit 83 for downtown Sylva. 50 miles, 1 hour drive.

Sylva NC Christmas

Sylva is one of our top Christmas Towns in western NC!

Lake Glenville is pristine reservoir located just 8 miles from Cashiers in Jackson County. Located in a beautiful North Carolina mountain... read more
The feature movie "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" is being filmed in several locations near Asheville, including downtown Sylva (mostly May 2-20, 2016). The very... read more
This is the tale of two waterfalls. High Falls (or Cullowhee Falls) is located just below the dam for Lake Glenville on the West Fork Tuckasegee River near... read more
Hike to the top of The Pinnacle (elevation 5,008 feet) near Sylva for panoramic views of the valley in Jackson County. The steady uphill... read more
There are many waterfalls near Highlands and Cashiers, North Carolina, that are easily seen and enjoyed. Many of these are located along... read more