Are you looking for a toe-tappin’ vacation set to the tune of homegrown music? Well you have found a mecca of traditional mountain music right here in Haywood County, NC!
The North Carolina Smoky Mountains offer a little something for every mountain music lover, whether you prefer the smooth pickin’ of the banjo or the stomps and turns of traditional folk dances. No matter the season, there are numerous ways to explore the musical heritage of Haywood County among the picturesque background of the North Carolina Smokies.
Haywood County is one of the many stops on the Blue Ridge Music Trail which highlights the traditional music of the Appalachian Mountains. This provides a unique firsthand experience of the sound and culture of the region. And when your day has come to end, there are over 800 accommodations to rest and recharge before your next adventure.
Tour the Blue Ridge Parkway
The 46 miles of twisting mountain roads that run through Haywood County are one of the most popular attractions in the area. Hop on the parkway outside of Maggie Valley just off Hwy. 19 and head North towards Canton. This will take you on an exquisite drive through the Balsam Mountain Range, which is where Haywood County’s native bluegrass band, Balsam Range, got the inspiration for their name. Stop and stretch your legs at two of the most popular hiking areas, Graveyard Fields or Devils Courthouse, which are sure to inspire you as well!
The Shelton House
49 Shelton St, Waynesville 28786
A visit to the Shelton House is a must for anyone intrigue by the musical heritage of Haywood County. The Shelton House was built in 1875 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Housed in and around the Shelton House, the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts features comprehensive exhibits of 19th century crafts including handcrafted dulcimers, which are key instruments in traditional mountain music.
Maggie Valley Opry House
3605 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley 28751
From May – October, the Maggie Valley Opry House features lives traditional bluegrass and mountain music that is most often accompanied by legendary bluegrass artist, Raymond Fairchild. For line-ups and other information, call the Opry House: 828-926-9336
After a breakfast, travel back in time to one of the most beautiful and remote parts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cataloochee Valley is rich in mountain history, laced with abundant wildflowers and rich with wildlife including elk, white-tailed deer, black bears, butterflies and many species of birds. With several hiking trails, streams for fishing, and preserved buildings from the early 1900’s, there is plenty to explore in the valley.
Check out our Craft Breweries!
You’ve surely worked up thirst by now. Haywood County is the proud home of four microbreweries: BearWaters Brewing, Boojum Brewing, Frog Level Brewing and Tipping Point Tavern. Each has their own distinct taste so spend the afternoon at one (or more) trying their various taps. Order up a frosty flight and don’t forget to grab a growler of your favorite to take home.
An Evening of Music and Dance
We hope you packed your dancing shoes because you’re going to need them! Depending on the night of the week, there are several options to choose from.
• Pickin’ in the Park and Pickin’ in the Armory take place in Canton each Friday. One bluegrass band and one clogging team will be featured each week. Many local musicians also join to create group jams throughout the event.
• The Old Fines Creek Dance located at the Fines Creek Community Center is alive with traditional mountain music and dance every Saturday night year-round. Each week, different old country, early rock-n-roll and mountain music groups grace the stage and are eager to share their technique with newcomers.
• Come see a variety of Appalachian and other American country dance styles performed in one place during the weekends at the Maggie Valley Stompin’ Ground. The Ivy Hill Band plays a variety of mountain and popular music‚ from old-time fiddle tunes to contemporary country hits. Dancers hit the floor dressed in fanciful outfits and perform line dancing‚ square dancing‚ clogging‚ and the two-step.
The above itinerary is a SAMPLE itinerary. Other attractions and activities can be substituted based on your preferences and the current seasonality to create a unique itinerary for your next visit.
Restaurant Suggestions – Haywood County is home to such a wide range of locally owned and operated restaurants that we couldn’t just pick a few! From casual, down-home eateries to gourmet, fine-dining and everything in between, we have it all here Haywood. For a full listing and more information, visit the Dining Page.