Can you smell the Fraser firs? The freshly baked cookies? The open fires? That trifecta of yuletide aroma can only mean one thing: the holidays are fast approaching. For many, the season’s festivities bring much excitement. But, planning to keep so many happy under one roof brings its challenges—especially this year. Here are six reasons why you should pack it up and head to the North Carolina Smoky Mountains for a truly memorable holiday season in Haywood County.
We’re full of winter adventures
Snow-dusted mountaintops don’t slow down our sense of adventure! We might even argue that there’s more to explore during our winter months. A winter hike provides a fresh glimpse at the Smoky Mountain wilderness, with even more beautiful views from popular vantage points. Skiing and snowboarding at Cataloochee Ski Area is a blast for everyone—their slopes range from perfect-for-beginners to challenging-for-experts, so they’ve got something for everyone in your group. If you can’t find your groove on these slopes, just take a short drive over to Tube World for an entire day of racing down their hill.
We’ve got holiday events
- Art After Dark
- Final Christmas Worship in a Stable
- Appalachian Christmas @ Shelton House
- Winter Arts Smokies Style
- Winterfest Season of Lights
- Jingle Bell Market
- Waynesville’s “All Through the Town”
- A Night Before Christmas
- Waynesville’s Twelve Days of Christmas
We’ve got plenty of places to warm up
To counter the cooler temperatures in our mountains, you could always add some extra layers or snuggle up next to the fireplace. Or, you can go on a different kind of adventure—one that’s easy on your tastebuds and your base layers. Our locally owned craft breweries and distillery are creating something that’s sure to put some fire in your belly. Elevated Mountain Distilling Co. in Maggie Valley produces some provisions with a little extra kick. BearWaters Brewing Company has two scenic brewery locations in Canton and Maggie Valley. Boojum Brewing Co. is nestled on Main Street in Waynesville and makes a perfect start (or end) to a downtown shopping spree.
We’ve got plenty of places to warm up—for everyone.
Okay, maybe we should’ve started with something more age inclusive. One thing you’ll find out quickly about our mountain towns: they LOVE their coffee. And they have high standards, so you can trust that our coffee shops are the real deal. Stop by Orchard Coffee in Waynesville to sample the work of award-winning latte artist Cabell Tice. Organic Beans Coffee Company in Maggie Valley is locally owned, located right in the heart of the action along Soco Road. Papertown Coffee sits on Canton’s historic Main Street and serves nothing but locally sourced, delicious coffee and tea. Enjoy an especially interesting cup of joe with the bison at Buffalo Creek. Or take it to-go while strolling around Lake Junaluska’s Rose Walk.
We’ve got the perfect place to lay your head
With so much to see and do here, you’re going to need a place to stay. The great thing about visiting us? It doesn’t matter how big or small your caravan is—we’ve got places to fit your needs. Cabins and cottages are cozy enough for a single-family trip. Vacation homes have enough room for the in-laws and bonus families. Bed & breakfasts are perfect for a romantic getaway. Country clubs offer an upscale stay for golf-lovers (yep, you can find winter tee times too). Hotels and motels are budget-friendly and provide convenient access to all the adventure. And our campgrounds are perfect for those looking for a convenient and friendly camping spot.
We’re far from normal
Things are far from normal right now. You can try to fight it, or you can make the most of it. No place handles the unusual quite like us, so come Embrace Unusual with us this winter in our cozy mountain towns!