What is Winter NC Smokies Style?

Sunrise over Cataloochee Ski Area

Winter in the NC Smokies offers a little something for everyone. In the mood to warm up with craft beer? Our local breweries have plenty of seasonal selections to sip through. Up for high-speed adventure? We know a ski area in Maggie Valley where you can scratch your adrenaline itch. Or maybe you just want to study Smoky Mountain views from a hot tub at one of our cabins or rentals? Sounds like a great way to spend a day if you ask us.

Winter in the NC Smokies is what you make of it. This is Winter NC Smokies Style:

It’s outdoor exploration

When the leaves fall and a snow dusting covers our mountains, there are even more Smoky Mountain sights and sounds to take in. Panoramic, hundred-mile views that are hidden in our greener months slowly emerge. To see what we mean, hike the easy-to-moderate Max Patch trail in Clyde. Or try Purchase Knob, which offers a more challenging hiking excursion with views of Cold Mountain, Mt. Pisgah, and other peaks. For something slow and relaxing, the Lake Junaluska Walking Trail is easy, flat and a peaceful way to reflect while taking in surrounding mountain views. 

It’s a full slate of winter events

One thing about us: we love to celebrate. And when you’re in the Smokies, what’s not to love? In the winter, we love to celebrate the joy of the season, the arrival of a much-anticipated new year, and our culture that’s rooted in outdoor and creative exploration. While events may look a bit different this year, there’s still lots to enjoy. From taking on Cataloochee Appreciation Days to snuggling up fireside to catch a virtual production from HART Theatre, we’ve got something for everyone.

It’s 18 slopes at Cataloochee

You don’t need to be an expert skier to enjoy winter sports in Haywood County. If “pizza slice” and “French fry” sounds more like a perfect lunch combo than skiing rules of thumb, Cataloochee Ski Area is the perfect place for you to get your bearings. Take a beginner’s lesson with their instructors and work your way up the mountain. More seasoned skiers can go right on to more difficult runs, like Upper Omigosh and Alley Cat. Don’t worry—if skiing and snowboarding isn’t your thing, anyone can fulfill the need for speed at Tube World in Maggie Valley. But the best part about a ski trip here, hands down, is that kids stay free at many of our local accommodations!

It’s a romantic getaway

Stay snug inside a homey B&B, complete with a cozy couples package for the cherry on top. Have a romantic dinner for two at a one-of-a-kind restaurant like Chef’s Table or Southern Porch, which offers farm-to-table freshness and incredible flavor you’ll want to write a five-star review about. Warm up in the mornings with a hot cup of joe at one of our many coffee shops and bakeries. At night, take a moment to discover our local speakeasy, The Classic Wineseller and share a bottle of wine in a quiet corner while live music plays in the background.

It’s a toast to the good life

If you’re going to toast the good life, there’s no better place to do it. Western North Carolina is the intersection of an amazing craft beer scene and a history of moonshine-making. Take to the scenic back patio at Frog Level Brewing Company and enjoy a tasty craft brew along with a complimentary creek view. Tour the facilities at Maggie Valley’s Elevated Mountain Distilling Company and stay awhile, enjoying their new full bar and listening to local distiller Dave Angel recount the moonshine-running days of old. Cap off a shopping spree in Downtown Waynesville with a craft beer and Whistle Pigs at Boojum Brewing on Main Street.

A winter trip to the NC Smokies can be whatever you want it to be. Your cabin can be your new home classroom; the kitchen counter can be your new home office. We’re the best place to embrace this unusual situation we’ve found ourselves in. One thing is certain: Winter NC Smokies Style would be a whole lot cooler if you were here.

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