Did you know that Waynesville is one of the best places to experience the holiday season in the Smoky Mountains? Our town goes all out to celebrate. From floor-to-ceiling festive décor inside every home and business to downtown’s full-blown winter makeover, Waynesville sets the scene as an amazing place to spend the most wonderful time of the year. The season will be here before you know it—so come prepared with holiday plans! Read on for help filling your Waynesville itinerary.
Create a Thanksgiving Tradition
There’s a lot to be thankful for in Waynesville! So, why not spend the long weekend with us? Find a place big enough for the whole family, head downtown for some sightseeing, then enjoy a full Thanksgiving buffet at Laurel Ridge Country Club.
Pick your own Christmas Tree
When you’re done with the dishes from your Thanksgiving turkey, head out to find the most important part of your Christmas décor. The growth of agritourism in Haywood County has brought with it many places to pick your own fresh, locally-grown produce. But it’s not limited to just food—you can take home a Haywood-sourced Christmas tree from the following tree farms in Waynesville:
Trees sold out quickly last year, so plan early!
Get Something for Everyone on Your List
The unique boutiques and shops in Waynesville sell things you can’t get anywhere else. From handmade jewelry and paintings by local artists to precious antiques, you can spend an entire day shopping for everybody on your list—or just for yourself (we won’t judge).
For the wine lovers in your life, stop by Bosu’s Wine Shop and ask the expert staff to help you pick out the perfect bottle. Or, for the foodies, visit Copper Pot and Wooden Spoon for local jams, pickles, and artisan foods. At Mountain Favors, you can put together a custom gift basket for that special someone.
Really, this is just the tip of the boutique iceberg here in Waynesville. Explore our list of shops to find the best of the best for the people on your list.
Take it to the Slopes
Opening in mid-November, Cataloochee Ski Area is the region’s go-to spot for fun in the snow. With slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, this is a perfect place to start learning—though more experienced skiers will still love adding this mountain to their collection.
If you’re bringing the family, don’t forget to take advantage of Cataloochee’s excellent Kids Ski Free/Stay Free Program. When you stay in select accommodations, for every paying adult, a child 17 and under gets a voucher for a free lift ticket. While you can find a full list of participating accommodations on their site, we’ve listed out a few Waynesville favorites here:
- The Gardener’s House at Frog Holler – enjoy the beauty of the mountains at this breathtaking farm.
- Boyd Mountain Log Cabins – get cozy in a picture-perfect log cabin set among rows of growing Fraser firs trees.
- Red Leaf River Inn – wake up to a three-course breakfast at this newly-renovated bed-and-breakfast.
Discover Holiday Arts
Known for having one of the best art scenes in Western North Carolina, Waynesville’s celebration of the arts ramps up around Christmastime. Head to HART Theatre for Elf, the Musical Jr, opening on November 10, and A Christmas Carol, opening on December 8. Then experience Waynesville’s shops, galleries, and eateries during Winter Arts Smokies Style on December 15.
Celebrate with Us
We’re really serious about our holiday events around here! There’s a celebration nearly every week in December, all starting with the Waynesville Christmas Tree Lighting. Check out all our other events:
- Waynesville Christmas Tree Lighting: November 30 – Kick off the holiday season with us as we light the town Christmas tree!
- Holly Days: November 30 – December 3 – Starting with the tree lighting, this four-day event includes special tastings, treats, and a raffle on Saturday. Stroll through town and see what you discover!
- All Through the Town: December 1 – 31 – All month, our businesses are hosting holiday happenings. and follow them on social media to learn more!
- Waynesville Christmas Parade: December 3 – You won’t want to miss this spectacular event! Don’t believe us? Check out last year’s Christmas parade!
- A Night Before Christmas: December 8 – A holiday tradition that features caroling, live music, wagon rides, and more.
- Waynesville Jingle Mingle: December 15 – This all-day holiday celebration begins at 9am with a pancake breakfast at Firefly and ends with a gallery crawl through Main Street. Other events throughout the day include ornament making, storytelling at Wall Street Books, an elf parade, and an appearance from Santa! This event is so much fun, people may start dancing in the streets…
- Twelve Days of Christmas: December 13 – 24 – Enjoy magical moments at our shops and business every day leading up toward Santa’s visit.