About the Area

Top Attractions in Western North Carolina

The Western North Carolina lifestyle is centered around the scenic beauty and rocky terrain of the mountains. If you live for outdoor adventures and local fun, here are the attractions you cannot miss.

Do You Love the Outdoors?

Appalachian Trail

a hiking trail through pine trees

The Appalachian Trail spans over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine. If you love hiking, you can find access points in North Carolina in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Grandfather Mountain

mile high swinging bridge at grandfather mountain

Trek across the mile-high swinging bridge and bask in the beautiful views. You can choose your own path on 11 mountain trails that vary in difficulty from easy to challenging.

Sliding Rock

a rocky shore just beyond a waterfall

Beat the heat the way Western North Carolina residents know best: by sliding down a gently sloping yet fast-moving waterfall in Pisgah National Forest. It's the best kind of thrill.

Ski Resorts

trees and powder on a ski slope

North Carolina's mountain ski resorts are popular winter destinations for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. You can learn more about the resorts on our winter activities page.

Do You Love Arts & Culture?

WNC Pottery Festival

a potter working on a potter's wheel

Local arts are just as important to the Western North Carolina lifestyle as the outdoors, and the WNC Pottery Festival is a popular event that draws thousands of visitors annually.

Folkmoot USA

a guitar player

Folkmoot USA is an international celebration of folk music, held every year since 1984 in Waynesville. It lasts for two weeks and features groups from over 100 countries.

Mountain Heritage Day

fresh blue berries at a festival

Held at Western Carolina University, Mountain Heritage Day is an exciting celebration of the local arts, music, food, and mountain lifestyle, with activities for visitors of all ages.

Cherokee Reservation

nature reserve in cherokee

The community of Cherokee is centered around the rich history and traditions of the Cherokee tribe. Learn more about this community on our Cherokee attractions page.

Do You Love to Take Photos?

Biltmore Estate

the biltmore house

Biltmore Estate in Asheville was the home of the Vanderbilt family in the early 20th century. Today it is a popular attraction with an inn, winery, equestrian center, and tours.

Blue Ridge Parkway

blue ridge parkway

In the fall, you can see the leaves on the trees in all of their color and brilliance, and the meandering drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains makes for beautiful pictures.

Clingman's Dome

the view from clingman's dome

Clingman's Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains at an elevation of 6,643 feet. You can see for miles in all directions from the 54-foot observation tower.

Whitewater Falls

whitewater falls

The Western North Carolina mountains has beautiful postcard-worthy scenery, and Whitewater Falls is a gem. The waterfall cascades 411 feet and is framed by towering trees.

Do You Love to Shop & Dine Local?

Dogwood Crafters

paints that a local artist uses

Located in Dillsboro, Dogwood Crafters is a collective of local artists who sell mountain gifts, including corn shuck dolls. It has been a local favorite since it formed in 1976.

Jackson's General Store

mason jars with grains

Selling everything from Yeti ramblers to Pandora jewelry, Jackson's General Store in Sylva has everything you need. This local business has been in operation since 1999.

Choo Choo Coffee Company

local honey

Choo Choo Coffee Company doesn't just sell in-house roasted coffee. It also specializes in gourmet foods, pure local honey, fresh canned foods, and an old-fashioned atmosphere.

Double Decker Coffee Bus

coffee in a coffee cup

A bright red double decker bus-turned-coffee-shop is one of the highlights of Downtown Asheville. The Double Decker Coffee Bus's history is just as intriguing as its transformation.

Want to Learn More? Discover the Western North Carolina Area

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