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With all this talk of “Christmas in July”, I thought it might be time to jump on the bandwagon as well.  And since the majority of the country is currently experiencing a heat wave, I thought some cooling words encouragement about winter may help. We may be in the heat of summer right now, but it is never too early to start thinking winter and needless to say, Haywood County is a perfect winter getaway.

For starters, Maggie Valley is home to one of the longest running ski areas in the Southeast, Cataloochee Ski Area.  Cataloochee is located at an elevation of over 4,000 feet high on Fie Top Mountain in Maggie Valley. Cataloochee boasts 18 total slopes ready to take you on and you know the Upper Omigosh at 5,400 feet is calling your name.  Snowboarders and skiers alike can get their kicks at the Cat Cage Terrain Park, offering 10 total features to flip tricks on. You will also be happy to know that Cataloochee Ski Area reigns king for offering one of the longest running ski seasons in the region, typically opening by November 1st and running through March (weather permitting).  If you’ve got fellow winter enthusiasts in your party who aren’t quite ready to take the leap into skiing and snowboarding, Cataloochee Ski Area also offers snow tubing.  Located just down the mountain from the main ski area, Tube World offers multiple snow tubing runs that are perfect for the whole family, from the youngest snow bunny to oldest “big kid”.

If you plan your trip around the Christmas, boy are you in for some seasonal treats! There is no better family tradition than choosing and cutting your very own Christmas tree.  Sure, you could go pick one up at a lot somewhere or pull out that fake tree.  But the joy of treating your family to the timeless tradition of cutting down your Christmas tree is one to be treasured.  Haywood County is home to five “Choose n’ Cut” Christmas tree farms specializing in North Carolina Fraser Firs. Each farm has it’s own unique experience and will help you find the perfect tree to bring home for the holidays. Speaking of the holidays, make sure you also check back to our Event Calendar for upcoming holiday events, like the Waynesville’s Night Before Christmas and the Canton Christmas Parade.  Also, don’t forget WinterFest Smoky Style which takes place in February and is the perfect excuse to plan another winter getaway to the NC Smokies.

There are also a number of other awesome activities to cap off your winter getaway. Winter hiking is great this time of year as the trails are less crowded and the unobstructed views are beyond compare.  If you’re feeling thirsty, Haywood County is the proud home of four craft microbreweries, Bearwaters Brewing, Boojum Brewing, Frog Level Brewing, and Tipping Point Brewing, each with their own unique line up of local brews. You can even find live entertainment at several them on the weekends. W also boast a long list of locally owned and operated restaurants ranging from down home cookin’ to upscale farm-to-table and beyond.  Now all you need is the perfect basecamp to launch your adventure from.  Haywood County offers a variety of accommodations from hotels and motels in the heart of the action to cozy cabins with sweeping views of the Great Smokies.  To learn more about all that Haywood County has to offer during all seasons, we invite you to explore more of our experiences and invite you to come see us soon!

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