Spring Break Smokies Style

Family Friendly Spring Break

You’ve probably got a lot on your mind when thinking about Spring Break: where are you going? Who’s coming with? How are you going to pack the car?

We’re here to take one less thing off your plate: what are we going to do when we get there? If you’re coming to the NC Smokies, you can let the stresses of planning a Spring Break trip melt away. We prepared a family-friendly guide to help you make the most of your time during Spring break in the North Carolina mountains.

Take a Hike

There’s no better way to soak in the outdoors than taking a scenic hike in the Smokies! Surrounded by America’s favorite hiking trails, you’re sure to find something for you. We recommend these trails:

Black Balsam Knob

It’s short, it’s easy, but it’s not lacking scenery or adventure. A treeless bald awaits you 6,000+ feet up, where you’ll be greeted with spectacular panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains. For an extended hike, try the 5-mile loop that connects to the Art Loeb Trail.

Max Patch

Another short hike that’s worth every step, Max Patch is famous for its unobstructed, 360-degree view of the Smokies. This is a great spot for a picnic!

Soco Falls

Single waterfalls? Pretty cool. Double waterfalls? Really cool. Soco Falls is located just a short walk from the road and is a great place to start your outdoor adventure.


Spend Time with Our Local Schools

Don’t worry, there are no teachers here—just some of our finest freshwater trout. Grab a three-day, $8 fishing license (Inland, Short Term) from ncwildlife.org and make sure to pick up a free tackle box and borrow a spinner rod while you’re there. Whether you’re an experienced fisherman or just getting your feet wet, you’ll enjoy the relaxing atmosphere at both of these spots:

Ferguson’s Trout Pond

Stocked with rainbow trout, this pond is a great spot for camping, too.

Mountain Heritage Trout Waters

Thanks to the NC Wildlife Resource Commission’s heritage program, fishing spots can be found scattered throughout the county. Find them all in Waynesville and Maggie Valley!


Explore Mother Nature

The wilderness comes to life again in the Springtime, and you can get a front seat to it all here in the NC Smokies! Enjoy Mother Nature’s exhibits while you’re here:

Elk Calving

Photo by Chris Stinson 📍 Cataloochee Valley

In late Spring, elk cows hide their calves in the high grass that’s commonly found in the valleys around these parts. Make sure to keep your distance—cows can be aggressive in protecting their young. Get a full guide on elk watching safety here.

Bird Watching

Bird in tree.

Another reward for your hiking efforts, high-elevation birding provides opportunities to see some of the rarest species in North Carolina, including Peregrine Falcons, Alder Flycatchers, and Northern Saw-Whet Owls.

Wild Flowers

You don’t have to wait for April showers—the following flowers are in bloom here during the Springtime: Daffodil, Dogwood, Painted Trillium, Phacelia, Pink Lady Slipper, Yellow Lady Slipper, Pinkshell Azalea, Redbud, and Tulip.


Take Your Pick

The fertile soil in Haywood County has helped position us as a local leader in growing fresh, delicious produce. You can even pick your own at the following gardens:

Ten Acre Garden

Pick your own fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and much more. Come mid-April, you can try your hand at the Sunflower Maze here, too!

Genesis Garden

This commercial flower farm is home to over 45 different varieties of flowers. Chances are, they’ve got your favorite!

Love Lane Flower Farm

Take advantage of this self-service-style flower farm in Waynesville’s Historic Frog Level district.


Enjoy Smoky Mountain Entertainment

Don’t worry about keeping yourself entertained. Our local businesses always have something going on.

Bearwaters Brewery

Located right on the Pigeon River, there aren’t many better places than Bearwaters to soak up the sunshine. They’ve got plenty of craft beers, fresh food, and live music—something for everyone!

Wheels Through Time

A high-octane blast from the past, Wheels Through Time exhibits America’s most beloved classic motorcycles in their Maggie Valley-based museum. They open April 4 with a huge celebration and are open most days throughout the week until October.

The Strand

Need an escape? The Strand is a new-age spin on a classic movie theater, playing blockbuster films while serving up locally-made ice cream and craft beers.


📍 The Swag

Stay with Us

Usually, this can be the most frustrating part of planning your Spring Break trip. But finding the perfect place in Haywood County is an easy feat! We have so many hotels, cabins, and other surprising places to stay. Here are some of our recommendations:

Vacation House Rentals

Bringing the whole family along? You’re going to need plenty of room. There are dozens of Vacation Homes scattered throughout these hills, and it’s going to be hard to escape the mountain views—but why would you want to?!

Maggie Valley Hotels

Don’t spend your trip cooking or cleaning up—let us do the work! Check out why you should stay in a Maggie Valley hotel for your trip to the Smokies.


Our local Bed and Breakfasts are well-known for their cleanliness, convenient locations, and top-notch customer care. If you’re in search of a relaxing getaway, check here.

A Spring trip to Haywood County is easy to plan, full of fun, and affordable for every budget. You can always call or swing by our Visitor’s Center for sample itineraries and recommended things to do in the Smokies!

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