Find a Cure for Cabin Fever in the North Carolina Smokies

The final stretch of winter can seem endless. The novelty of our new Christmas gadgets has worn off and the daylight hours are still stubbornly short. So what now?

You need a winter pick-me-up, and we’ve got the solution here in the North Carolina Smokies of Haywood County.

Go antiquing and hit an auction, explore back roads on a quest for quilt block sightings on the Haywood County Quilt Trail or recharge your whole family with action geared for kids.

If you’re up for outdoor adventure, peruse our Seven Wonders of Winter Hiking for trail suggestions, or browse our sample itineraries. Cap it off with the star-studded restaurants and vibrant night life scene that the NC Smokies are famous for.

Let’s go antiquing

Antiquing is the ultimate shopping treasure hunt for creative spirits and nostalgic souls. Haywood County in the NC Smokies is an antiquer’s paradise, packed with hidden heirlooms and just-right gems waiting to be discovered.

From 19th century fineries to vintage 1950s kitsch, the vast network of antique shops in Haywood County have it all. Whether you’re on the prowl for Appalachian farm relics, eclectic place settings, an antique night table or ornate mantel clock, chances are you’ll find it tucked away in the shops and stalls of our renown antique dealers.

Antiquing is a true adventure: you never know what you’ll find. The only limit is your own imagination.

That old farm basket? A perfect mail holder. The apple crate? A mudroom shelf for yard shoes. And the shabby-chic window sashes? Repurpose them as picture frames for the beautiful scenic shots you captured during your winter getaway to the mountains!

A dozen antique stores are scattered across Waynesville and Maggie Valley, which has two of the top-rated antique destinations in the mountains.

For a true antiquing experience, don’t miss the Saturday night auction at Thad Woods Auction in Waynesville. The father-and-son team Thad and Stacy Woods, who’s been featured on History Channel’s Picked Off, are experts in Appalachian antiques. The auctions are great fun to watch with a jovial, family-friendly atmosphere. Thad Woods holds auctions every Friday night as well, featuring new merchandise, from power tools to furniture, at deeply discounted overstock prices.

We’ve rounded up some of the top antique hot spots for your next antiquing getaway to the NC Smokies of Haywood County:

  • Chris and Friends Antiques and Uniques in Maggie Valley has a little bit of everything from old pipes to crockery, including an impressive selection of vintage and antique signage.
  • Sutton and Sons in Maggie Valley boasts primitive and eclectic antique furniture, toys, memorabilia and random surprises from every era.
  • Country Store Antiques in Maggie Valley.
  • Attic Treasures in Maggie Valley features a mall set-up with everything from furniture to knick-knacks and decor.Balsam Antique Mall in Waynesville houses dozens of booths and stalls from a wide-variety of vendors, from antique books and postcards to old tools.
  • Antique Antics in Waynesville has everything from antique tools and gas station memorabilia to vintage quilts and jewelry.
  • A Cat In The Attic Treasures & Treats Antiques Towne Square in Waynesville has a large selection of collectibles, including glass and silver, tea sets and cookware.
  • Frogpond Estate Sales in Waynesville has an assortment of furniture and housewares.
  • Depot Village in Waynesville is an antique mall set-up with booths for vendors, from furniture and lamps to old paintings and vases.
  • Dovetail Antique Services in Waynesville handles antique restoration and repairs, with limited inventory for sale.

Road trippin’ with a mission

Culture, art, heritage, scenery, adventure, discovery, photography — the Haywood County Quilt Block Trail is the perfect mountain experience that appeals to everyone. Even better, it can be enjoyed any time of year.

With four dozen quilt blocks scattered across Haywood County, the quilt trail is the perfect excuse to explore our small towns and backroads — whether you’re exploring on foot in downtown Waynesville or road trippin’ through the rural countryside.

The artistic quilt blocks are professionally designed, each with a custom theme that reflects our cultural heritage and sense of place here in the NC Smokies.

The “Moon over Cold Mountain” in Cruso pays homage to the mountain’s natural beauty and the four seasons, while the Boone Orchard Apple House quilt block is reminiscent of a 1920s apple orchard storehouse.

Some quilt blocks recount local legends, like the “Dead Man in the Creek” quilt block that tells the story of how Fines Creek got its name following a skirmish with Cherokee in 1783. Others capture the region’s heritage like the “Conversations” quilt block in Clyde that depicts a perking pot of coffee, symbolic of the men who gathered around the pot-belly stove at Finchers general store in 1926 and decided to start a savings and loan company to help lift their mountain neighbors out of poverty.

Turn your quilt trail adventure into a photo safari by collecting a photo of each one you find.

Stop into the North Carolina Smokies visitor center in Maggie Valley to pick up a brochure of the quilt trail and your own souvenir quilt block magnet.

Families that play together, stay together

We’re not the only ones who get weary of winter. The long, endless slog of school weeks between Christmas to Easter can take its toll on kids, too.

Lift their spirits and yours with a mid-winter break in the mountains. They’ll experience the ultimate rush — and you’ll capture the photos to prove it — with a snow tubing session at Tube World in Maggie Valley.

Keep the action rolling with skating and indoor games at Smoky Mountain Sk8 Way, or bounce away the winter blues on the giant inflatables at Smoky Mountain Jump House. Make sure to pack bathing suits for a dip in Waynesville Recreation Park’s  state-of-the-art indoor pool — complete with a two-story water slide, interactive splash zone and graduated entry for little ones.

The award-winning Haywood Arts Regional Theater has a packed line-up of shows geared just for kids between now and April 1, including Schoolhouse Rock, Charlotte’s Web, the Ugly Duckling and Great Expectations.

So pack your kids’ favorite board games, leave the electronics behind and hit the NC Smokies for a fun and easy family getaway.

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