Are you looking for a fresh vacation with a bit of artistic flair? Well, you have found the perfect spot to map out your next creative adventure right here in Haywood County! The down-home mountain heritage is unlike anywhere else. No matter the time of year, the North Carolina Smokies provide a unique and imaginative style, and there is always a way to explore the area’s artistic roots right here in Haywood County.
Haywood County has become a favorite destination for art enthusiasts because of the unique blend of talents and cultural heritage set among the picturesque backdrop of the North Carolina Smokies. You can find everything from local handmade crafts to galleries filled with one-of-a-kind pieces and theatrical productions by regional performers.
Haywood County also offers a wide range of activities throughout the year including hiking, skiing, fishing, kayaking, farm-fresh food, elk watching, mountain music and historical hot spots. The area is also known for its many unique and exciting events throughout the year, so no matter when you visit, there are sure to be some homegrown happenings taking place. And when your day has come to end, there are over 800 accommodations to rest and recharge before your next adventure.
Below, you will find a two-day sample itinerary to use on your visit. Or download the Appalachian Artisan Itinerary here:
Start your day bright and early with a visit to see the reintroduced elk of Cataloochee Valley, most visible during dawn and dusk. The valley is one of the most remote parts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is rich in mountain history and beauty. With several hiking trails, streams for fishing, and preserved buildings from the early 1900s, there is plenty to explore in the valley.
Shopping and Gallery Hopping in Downtown Waynesville & the Frog Level District
If you are looking for new art to add to your personal collection or a unique piece of custom-designed jewelry, downtown Waynesville and the Frog Level District have it. Spend the afternoon visiting the many specialty stores and galleries and get to know our talented local artists.
Check Out Our Craft Breweries!
Haywood County is the proud home of four microbreweries: Boojum Brewing, BearWaters Brewing, Frog Level Brewing, and Tipping Point Brewery and Tavern. Spend the afternoon at one (or more) trying their various taps. Order up a frosty flight and don’t forget to grab a growler of your favorite to take home.
The Haywood Arts Regional Theater
250 Pigeon St., Waynesville 28786
If you have a passion for the theatrical, Haywood County has you covered. One of the area’s cultural gems, the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre, better known by the locals as the HART, is not to be missed. This year-round theatre features productions from classics like Macbeth to Broadway musicals like Hello Dolly. The company is proud of its regional and local performers and their wide range of singing and acting abilities. A performance at The HART is a must while you’re in town!
Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market
250 Pigeon St, Waynesville 28786
Mid-Apr–Mid-Oct: Wed & Sat – 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Experience the premier producer-only farmer’s market in the Waynesville area. Take your pick of a variety of fresh produce, heritage crafts, and unique local products. While you stroll among the many homegrown offerings, stop by the Waynesville Soda Jerks booth to enjoy a handcrafted artisan soda in one of their many creative flavors.
The Shelton House
49 Shelton St., Waynesville 28786
A visit to the Shelton House is a must for anyone intrigued by the artistic roots of Haywood County. The Shelton House was built in 1875 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Housed in and around the Shelton House, the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts features comprehensive exhibits of 19th-century crafts. This is also the perfect starting point for the Quilt Trail, as the Shelton House Quilt Block is featured here.
Haywood County Quilt Trails
Pick up a Haywood County Quilt Trails Guide to begin your next adventure. The Quilt Trail helps Haywood County tell its history by featuring colorful and meaningful quilt squares installed on barns, public buildings, shops, and other buildings around the community. Quilts represent a much-loved symbol of comfort, family, heritage, and community, and the blocks on the trail provide splashes of color along major roads and in the rural countryside. With 54 of these blocks located in Clyde, we recommend starting there! Guides are available at participating locations and the Haywood County Visitor Center – 1110 Soco Rd., Maggie Valley.
Wine and Music at The Classic Wineseller
20 Church St., Waynesville 28786
The perfect after-dinner treat! Stroll next door to The Classic Wineseller to enjoy an extensive list of fine wines, craft beers, and local cheeses in this unique underground cellar venue. Grab a glass of your favorite along with a table, settle in and enjoy one of the many accomplished musicians who are featured each weekend.
The above itinerary is a SAMPLE itinerary. Other attractions and activities can be substituted based on your preferences and the current seasonality to create a unique itinerary for your next visit.
Restaurant Suggestions – Haywood County is home to such a wide range of locally owned and operated restaurants that we couldn’t just pick a few! From casual, down-home eateries to gourmet, fine dining, and everything in between, we have it all here in Haywood. For a full listing, check out our Dining Page.