Downtown Waynesville, North Carolina Vacation Guide

Waynesville, NC

About 25 miles from Asheville is the hopping small town of Waynesville. Its busy downtown has a surprising number of fine galleries and specialty shops. There are many things to do and special events to enjoy. Along with the popular Mast General Store, there are about a dozen galleries and a variety of antique shops, home furnishing centers and gift shops. And don't forget the many restaurants and a couple of breweries.

Waynesville is Haywood County's biggest town with about 10,000 residents (and it's the largest NC town west of Asheville). It's been a favorite mountain retreat since the early 1800s. Even before the railroad made it easy to get here, visitors flocked to Waynesville for the cool, clean air, clean water, outstanding scenery and an opportunity to escape sweltering cities. Nearby outdoor adventures are limitless since it's located at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains and near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Waynesville Downtown Shopping

Downtown Waynesville's restored historic buildings and brick sidewalks create a brower's paradise. Find plenty of free parking, including along Wall Street that runs parallel to Main Street, city lots and a parking deck at 143 Branner Avenue.

Downtown Waynesville NC

From bakery goods for dogs and their owners to innovative cuisine, find plenty of local food and fun places to eat.

Nestled between Main Street and the Richardson River in Waynesville is the Historic Frog Level neighborhood. Find a variety of shops and the Frog Level Brewing Company (56 Commerce Street).

Waynesville Shelton House

The Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts is housed in the historic Shelton House (49 Shelton Street). Take a fascinating one-hour tour of the distinctive art, handicrafts and furniture created by North Carolina artists. Read more.

Adjacent to the Shelton House is the acclaimed HART Theatre, a semi-professional community theatre with a great line-up of Broadway shows, concerts and more year-round.

Waynesville, NC

Folkmoot U.S.A. is a 10-day celebration of world dance and music with visiting international groups performing at many events in July (see our Folkmoot Guide).

On four Friday nights in the summer, come down for the Mountain Street Dances. Put on your cloggin’ & square dancin’ shoes and enjoy an old-fashioned mountain hoe down in front of the Historic Courthouse.

Waynesville NC Downtown Christmas

To celebrate the Christmas season, Holly Days is the first weekend of December, starting with the Art After Dark on Friday evening and ending with the parade on Monday night. The second Saturday night of December is A Night Before Christmas, an old-fashioned celebration with caroling, wagon rides, Bethlehem market place and luminaries.

Waynesville B&Bs, Cabins & Hotels

Windover Inn
This romantic 1910 Colonial Revival Inn with wrap around porch veranda is nestled between the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smoky Mountains. Walk to downtown Waynesville. 8 rooms, $125-$195, 2-person whirlpool tubs, pillowtop mattresses, in-suite breakfast, candlelit fireplaces, beautiful outdoor spaces, walk to Downtown Waynesville, and 30... read more
Brookside B&B
This one-story, ranch-style Inn offers luxury and elegance with just a touch of rustic charm. The oversized guest rooms all have newly renovated bathrooms, sitting areas and fireplaces. Relax on back patio with mountain views. 5 rooms, $139-$189, Wi-Fi, beverages and afternoon snacks, flat screen TVs with cable and DVD player &... read more
Andon Reid B&B
Voted one of the top 25 B&Bs in the USA and ideally located to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains, Biltmore and Asheville, this historic B&B provides casual comfort and friendly hospitality. 7 rooms & suites, $155-$219, complimentary breakfast and afternoon baked treats, Jacuzzis, fireplaces, wrap around port,... read more
Lake Junaluska NC
Lake Junaluska
This beautiful lake town near the Great Smoky Mountains is home to trails, boat tours, golf, gardens, and a big variety of lodging options including lakefront hotels and cabin rentals for a Methodist church retreat.
Boyd Mountain Cabins
Historic hand hewn log cabins are carefully restored and tastefully furnished with antiques and modern conveniences. Nestled in a 130-acre cove overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains, stocked fishing ponds and a fraser fir tree farm! 7 cabins (1-4 bedrooms), from $180, wood-burning fireplaces, kitchens, washer & dryer, wifi, fire... read more

Waynesville Top Events

Appalachian Festival Waynesville
Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration
Saturday, June 10, 2017
A full day celebration of traditional mountain craft, food, and entertainment in downtown Waynesville. Demonstrations of Appalachian life skills & crafts, storytelling, mountain music & clogging, home-style food vendors. 10 AM –5 PM, Free.
Folkmoot USA
Folkmoot USA
Thursday, July 20, 2017 to Sunday, July 30, 2017
North Carolina's Official International Festival is a two-week celebration of the world's cultural heritage through folk music and dance with performances, parade and more.
ArtFest & Folkmoot International Day
International Day
Saturday, July 29, 2017
This street festival in downtown Waynesville is the ultimate cultural exchange with international and regional artwork, international cuisine, international dance and music from Folkmoot USA, and regional music and dance. 10-5. Free
Apple Festival
Apple Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 21, 2017
This festival in downtown Waynesville features live mountain music, dance, craft and demonstration booths, apples, cider, fresh fried pies, and other apple delicacies. 10AM-5 PM. Free
Waynesville NC
Church Street Waynesville Art & Craft Show
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Main Street is transformed into an art & craft marketplace for this one-day event; widely known as one of the finest juried art shows in the region. Also enjoy live mountain music, clogging, entertainment, and food.
 A Night Before Christmas
A Night Before Christmas
Saturday, December 9, 2017
Downtown Waynesville's Main Street area is filled with bright lights, friendly folks, the wonderful sounds of the Christmas season, special gallery openings, delicious food and drink. 6-9 PM

Waynesville, NC

First Fridays May-December: "ART after DARK" with galleries & studios open until 9 PM with special artists showings, displays, and refreshments. Look for the WGA group flag representing the Waynesville Gallery Association.

Directions to Waynesville from Asheville: Take I-40 West to exit 27 onto Hwy 74. It's an easy 30-minute drive.

Nearby: Explore towns of Maggie Valley (8 miles) and Lake Junaluska (3 miles). 

This picturesque valley in the Great Smoky Mountains is home to many historic buildings and the majestic elk. Hike, camp, picnic and explore the history of the valley. The best time to watch elk is... read more
The Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for its streams and hiking trails to waterfalls. In addition, you can mountain bike,... read more
Cold Mountain, North Carolina, located 35 miles from Asheville, has received notoriety from the best-selling Charles Frazier novel Cold Mountain and the acclaimed 2003 motion picture. The movie was... read more
Many of us have wonderful childhood memories of visiting Ghost Town in the Sky in Maggie Valley. This mountaintop amusement park was wildly popular in in the 70s and 80s. It... read more