Visit NC Smokies recently had the pleasure of hosting a group of incredibly talented and fun travel writers for a winter press trip. The group spent several days exploring Haywood County and experiencing the many reasons why the NC Smokies offer the perfect year-round mountain getaway. They enjoyed skiing at Cataloochee Ski Area, hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, sampled local craft beers, dined at incredible restaurants, and even got a chance to catch Haywood County’s own award-winning bluegrass band Balsam Range live at the Colonial Theater in Canton.
Following the trip came some pretty awesome blog postings from one of the attendees, Heather Rader of Ohio Girl Travels, which we just had to share with all our followers as well! Heather is the blogger and traveler behind Ohio Girl Travels. Growing up in rural Ohio, she never dreamed she would travel the world. At the age of eighteen, she was bitten by the travel bug, and more than ten years later, she has visited three continents, over twenty countries (many of those multiple times), thirty-six states, and over hundred cities! Heather loves exploring other cultures, religions, and foods, and is always up for a new adventure! Whether she is riding elephants in Thailand, climbing the Great Wall of China, exploring Hindu temples in India, enjoying the view from the top of the highest building in the world in Dubai, cruising the Seine River in Paris, tasting port in Portugal, or eating tapas in Barcelona, nothing satisfies her more than being a citizen of the world!
We hope you enjoy reading about Heather’s experiences here in Haywood County as much I did. She captures so many of the incredible reasons why the NC Smokies is one of the best areas to visit, live, and play in all of North Carolina.
You can access all her blogs on North Carolina here. Or check them out individually:
12 Reasons to Visit Haywood County – Located in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, the charming Haywood County often is over-shadowed by the eclectic city of Asheville (approximately 25 miles east of Haywood County). With five unique towns (Canton, Clyde, Lake Junaluska, Maggie Valley and Waynesville) Haywood County welcomes visitors to stroll their charming downtowns, shop at locally owned small businesses, sample craft beers from four breweries, indulge in farm to table meals, and be inspired by the breathtaking natural scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Pisgah National Forest.
Skiing in Western North Carolina – Looking for awesome skiing and snowboarding in the eastern United States? Then look no further than North Carolina! To be honest, I never thought of North Carolina as a ski destination, but after visiting two of the six (Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain Resort, Cataloochee Ski Area, Sapphire Valley, Sugar Mountain Resort and Wolf Ridge Ski Resort) ski resorts in the state, I’m a believer! With beautiful mountain views the slopes of North Carolina are a winter sports enthusiast’s dream!
Hiking Purchase Knob in the Smoky Mountains – There is just something about taking a hike that makes me find inner peace. Especially with the surrounding beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Haywood County boasts hundreds of miles of hiking trails within the thousands of acres of the Smoky Mountains, making for an outdoor and nature enthusiast’s dream!
If you don’t already follow Heather and her amazing adventures, we hope you will!
Photos courtesy of Heather Rader