One of the best things about the NC Smokies is that we are open for fun and adventure all year round. So, grab your skis, your winter jackets and get ready to experience some wintery wonders in the NC Smokies. Use our guide below to plan your weekend of fun!
A breath of fresh (crispy) air
Cataloochee Ski Area
If you want to experience some spectacular slopes, then look no further than Cataloochee Ski Area nestled in Maggie Valley. Beginners and experts alike will delight in the 18 different slopes and trails, and thrill in the 5,400 ft elevations. New to shredding? Don’t worry! Cataloochee offers group and private lessons that will have you hitting the powder in no time. Visit www.cataloochee.com for more info and current conditions.
Skiing not your thing but still longing for a little winter adventure? Then try Tube World, located just before you head up the mountain to Cataloochee Ski Area. This snow-tubing slope offers loads of sledding fun and races for kids of all ages. Remember trucking up the hill with your sled? You don’t have to worry about that here. Just take a ride on the carpet lift and you’ll be back up to the top in no time.
Sam’s Summits Loop Trail
Looking for a gorgeous winter hike? They’re in no short supply on this side of the Smokies. Head over to Sam’s Summits Loop Trail, located in the Shining Rock Wilderness area of the Pisgah National Forest. The trailhead for Sam’s Summits is accessible year-round, even if the parkway is experiencing a winter-related closure. Pick up an illustrated guide at our Visitor Center that provides directions, an overview of the area, multiple trail paths, and other tips for hiking the area. With six different trails, there are difficulty levels for a variety of hikers and experiences.
Get your shop on
Shopping in Downtown Waynesville
Now that you’ve skied, hiked, and tubed to your heart’s content, treat yourself to a little shopping. Head to Downtown Waynesville to explore the many unique shops and boutiques that line Main St. Or, venture over to one of the town’s other nearby districts—Frog Level, Hazelwood, Laurel Ridge, Russ Avenue and West Waynesville—for even more one-of-a-kind buys. You’ll find everything from fine art and hand-made jewelry, to outdoor gifts and souvenirs.
Eat, drink and be merry
Maggie Valley Restaurant
Catch a great night’s sleep at one of our many cozy accommodations and then start your day at Maggie Valley Restaurant for a hearty breakfast. This spot has been a favorite breakfast stop for visitors and locals alike since 1952. Try their famous Red-Eye gravy atop grits or biscuits for a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast that will fuel your adventures for the rest of the morning.
Butter up your tastebuds at this locally owned restaurant that specializes in large homemade biscuits freshly made every morning. Bonus: they serve breakfast all day.
Over in Canton, get ready to experience one of the best restaurants in town. Southern Porch is located in the historic Imperial Hotel, constructed in 1876. You’ll find a wide variety of options at this casual family spot, from pints of bacon (yes, pints!) to juicy burgers to succulent ribeye. With so many menu choices, this is the perfect place to bookmark for lunch plans even if you’re traveling with a picky eater.
The Sweet Onion
Dinner plans in a cinch? If you love farm to table fare, then don’t miss The Sweet Onion. They specialize in contemporary regional cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. From traditional favorites like fresh mountain trout to out of the box options like Thai Lemongrass Salad, you won’t run out of delicious dishes to try.
This guide is full of awesome adventures, but there are even more ways to enjoy the North Carolina Smokies this winter. Check them out here!