The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for our area starting January 2 at 10:00pm through January 3 mid-day. Conditions could be hazardous so plan ahead and stay safe. Learn more here.

Learn From Home in Haywood County


Virtual learning has thrown many of us for a loop. For your kids, it’s a challenge just to sit still sometimes. So, what if you headed off to a place where exploring is encouraged—where coloring outside the lines is a good thing? There’s no better place to e-learn than right here in our mountain towns of Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Canton, Clyde, and Lake Junaluska.

There are several other families like yours who’ve decided to pack up, find affordable accommodations here in Haywood County, and change where they call “home,” even if just for a few days. Here’s how you can stay committed to your new role of a part-time teacher in the NC Smokies with us.

New-and-improved P.E.

Dodgeball is so last year’s gym class. Take P.E. outdoors and experience the natural beauty and wide-open spaces of the North Carolina Smoky Mountains. Go for a hike along an easy trail. Kayak or paddleboard on Lake Junaluska. Go for a refreshing swim at Sunburst Swimming Hole. If you’re heading our way for the cool temperatures this winter, hit the slopes at Cataloochee Ski Area or Tube World. No matter what you choose, you’ll welcome the opportunity to get active and away from computers.

Hikes near Asheville

This science class rocks

Western North Carolina is full of science lessons just waiting to be uncovered. Heck, even the mountains themselves can fill an entire textbook. To absorb this wealth of natural knowledge, head out to our favorite science labs located all throughout the county. Our Mountain Heritage Trout Waters are a great place to go fishing and learn about lotic ecosystems and a fish’s lifecycle. In the fall, you can head to these spots to witness the amazing monarch migration that occurs in the Smokies every year. Our U-Pick farms and gardens are an excellent place to taste the final stage of a plant’s life cycle.

Make this trip count

When it comes to high-level algebra and advanced calculus, maybe we won’t be the most help. But, hey, there are still plenty of ways to sharpen those math skills up while you’re here! You can crank the competition up a notch while maintaining simple addition when you head to Fantasy Golf & Game Room for a round of mini-golf. If you’d rather spend your time chasing waterfalls, you can make your way around the Smokies and keep track of how many you find. Then, head into Cataloochee Valley and see how many elk you can count.

Fantasy Golf and Game Room in Maggie Valley, NC

Your old social studies classes are history

We’re proud of our history and love to pay tribute any way we can. When festivals get the green light again, you can experience our traditions brought to life. Until then, take your history lesson inside one of our museums and learn more about our past. Stand in the exact spot where the Civil War’s last shot was fired or brush up on the amazing true story that inspired Maggie Valley’s naming origins. You’ll probably notice how many motorcyclists love to ride through our towns—learn all about the history of their bikes at Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum.

Wheels Through Time Museum


It goes without saying that everything is unusual right now. Work is home. Your living room is a classroom. It’s either September or April or maybe somewhere in between. It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity to seize this moment and make the most out of it. We’re definitely the best spot to do that! Load the kids, pack the computers, and head over to Haywood County, or give our Visitor Center a call for more information, if you’re more of the planning type—either way, we’re happy to help.

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