Drone Shot of Downtown Waynesville NC

40+ Great Things to Do in Waynesville NC & Nearby in 2024

Looking for Things to do in Waynesville NC?

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If you have frequented Western North Carolina, you may have heard that Waynesville is the place to be for fun things to do. Located just 30 minutes from Asheville, Waynesville is next in line when it comes to hip restaurants, breweries, and fascinating shops, along with a great selection of art and museums.

Seeping with a history that goes back to the early 1800s, Waynesville is not only a fun place to check out but interesting, too, as much of this history can be seen throughout the downtown district and beyond.

Waynesville is a large town with a small-town atmosphere that is perfect for the simplest day trips or weekend trips to week-long adventures in the North Carolina mountains. 

Things to do in Waynesville NC

There is so much to explore in and around Waynesville, NC, so we made this complete list of everything you don’t want to miss. Included in this article are restaurants, places to stay, some annual events, and more.

1. Explore Downtown 

Downtown Waynesville has a small-town, urban vibe that has recently been renovated to be a very friendly, exciting area. There are plenty of fun shops, historical areas, museums, and more to explore and enjoy. 

These are a few places to check out while you are walking around downtown Waynesville. 

✅ Public Art Trail, Old Time Music Metal Art (The Music Men), Gateway to the Smokies Arch, Wildflowers of the Smokies, 1776 Militia Rifleman  

The Music Men Art in Downtown Waynesville NC
The Music Men

✅ Local Shops 

✅ Twigs & Leaves – A nature-related fine art gallery featuring over 120 artists from all around Southern Appalachia. 

Twigs & Leaves Gallery in Downtown Waynesville NC

✅ Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery – A bake shop that bakes all kinds of delicious treats for your dogs and cats. 

Dog Bakery in Downtown Waynesville NC

2. Discover the Historic Frog Level District

The Frog Level District is a historic neighborhood with buildings that date back to the early 1800s. There are over 15 buildings, a number of breweries, restaurants, and shops. Visiting the Frog Level District is a must while you are in Waynesville. 

Address: Commerce St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Frog Level Brewing – Waynesville’s first craft brewery with 21 beers available on tap. They serve excellent food, host live music, and have an inviting brewery that is dog and kid-friendly. 

Frog Level Brewing Company

✅ Panacea CoffeeHouse – A local brick-wall coffee house that has been serving the community since 2002. They serve all your favorite caffeinated beverages, breakfast foods, and sandwiches.

✅ The Funky Fern Emporium – A unique gift shop with home goods, handmade items, vintage goods, and local crafts.

Funky Fern Emporium

✅ Boojum Brewery – A hip brewery with a large craft beer tap list and great Southern classic meals. 

3. Visit Art Galleries

There is something about the fresh mountain air that inspires the community to become beautiful, artistic people. Dozens of art galleries in and around Waynesville help showcase everyone’s talent and natural ability to express themselves and the nature around them. Here are a few of our favorites.

🖼️ Twigs & Leaves
🖼️ T-Pennington Art Gallery
🖼️ Green Hill Gallery
🖼️ Carolina Photo Art Gallery
🖼️ Sun Sohovich Art Gallery & Studio

Art Studio Gallery

4. Explore Cataloochee Valley 

Address: Cove Creek Rd, Waynesville, NC 28785

Cataloochee Valley is a historical valley surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. The isolated valley was once a very popular hunting and trading area for the old Appalachian communities and is now a beautiful area to explore. 

These are some of our favorite attractions in the valley that you should stop to see.

✅ Steve Woody House – Built in 1880, this home is an example of the historical buildings that were found in this area prior to the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The residents of the area were relocated, but some buildings remained as relics of the era.

✅ Elk Watching – Elk watching is a popular activity in the valley as the large elk herds gather. They can be seen year-round from the road. The best time to see them is sunrise and sunset. Please be respectful and do not approach or startle the elk. 

Elk in Cataloochee Valley

✅ Bigfoot Statue | Address: 4286-4500 Cove Creek Rd, Waynesville, NC 28785
A ten-foot roadside attraction in the woods on your way to the Cataloochee Valley. 

Big Foot Statue

✅ Cataloochee Valley Overlook | Address: 274-304 Cataloochee Entrance Rd, Waynesville, NC 28785 – The best view of the valley and a great place to see the elk. 

Here, you will also find access to the parking tags; if you are visiting The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you must have either a daily parking pass or an annual pass that you purchase ahead of time.

Parking Tag Machine in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

They have convenient kiosks set up in various locations for you to purchase as you enter the park. You will find one here at the Cataloochee Valley Overlook.

Parking Tag Machine Locations in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

✅ Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center | Address: 107 Purchase Rd, Waynesville, NC 28785 – An educational center located on 535 acres.

✅ Rough Fork Trailhead – The start of a 12-mile hike through the Maggie Valley wilderness. Though the hike is long, it is generally flat and considered moderately challenging.

✅ Caldwell Fork Trailhead – A 16.4-mile loop pedestrian and horse trail. 

Caldwell Fork Trail in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park

✅ Historic Caldwell House & Barn – Situated just off Cataloochee Entrance Road. To find it, drive approximately 1/2 mile beyond the point where the road transitions from paved to unpaved. As you approach, you’ll easily spot a barn on your right, adjacent to the road.

The Caldwell House, marked with a sign, can be found about 100 feet to the left, set back from the road. Constructed in 1903 by Hiram Caldwell, this charming residence boasts a picturesque view overlooking Rough Fork Creek.

Caldwell Place in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park

✅ Big Fork Ridge Trailhead – A 9-mile loop trail great for a quiet, peaceful hike. Dogs are not allowed on this trail. 

✅ Palmer Creek Trailhead – A 9.2-mile hike that takes hikers to see one of the original Lost Cabins. 

✅ Cataloochee Ski Area – A famous ski area in Maggie Valley

✅ Cataloochee Valley Tours – A great way to see all the attractions in the Cataloochee Valley through a guided trip.

5. Scenic Drive on The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a famous 469-mile drive that starts in Virginia and ends in Western North Carolina. The beautiful drive has sights unlike any other and lots of stunning historical sights. 

Here are some of our favorite stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway that are near Waynesville. 

  • Licklog Ridge Overlook | Milepost 349.2 | Elevation 4602 ft
  • View Doubletop Mountain Overlook | Milepost 376.7 | Elevation 5365 ft
  • Caney Fork Overlook | Milepost 428 | Elevation 5650 ft
  • Cowee Mountain Overlook | Milepost 430 | Elevation 5950 ft
  • Richland Balsam Overlook | Milepost 431 | Elevation 6053 ft
  • Lone Bald Overlook | Milepost 432.7 | Elevation 5635 ft
  • Roy Taylor Forest Overlook | Milepost 433.3 | Elevation 5580 ft
  • Grassy Ridge Mine Overlook | Milepost 436.8 | Elevation 5250 ft
  • Cove Field Ridge Overlook | Milepost 439.4 | Elevation 4620 ft
  • Village of Saunook Overlook | Milepost 440 | Elevation 4375 ft
  • Waynesville Overlook | Milepost 440.9 | Elevation 4110 ft
  • Standing Rock Overlook | Milepost 441.4 | Elevation 3915 ft
  • The Orchards Overlook | Milepost 444.6 | Elevation 3810 ft
  • Woodfin Cascades Falls | Milepost 446 | Elevation 4345 ft
  • The Orchards Overlook | Milepost 444.6 | Elevation 3810 ft
  • Wesner Bald Overlook | Milepost 448.1 | Elevation 4914 ft
  • Waterrock Knob | Milepost 451.2 | Elevation 5820 ft
Roy Taylor Forest Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, elevation is 5580 ft

6. Explore Pisgah National Forest

The Pisgah National Forest is a very beautiful and very famous national forest, portions of which can be found north and south of Waynesville and extending to the east. This 500,000+ acre forest is home to high mountain peaks, waterfalls, spectacular hiking, rivers, and so much more. It is the ideal place for nature lovers and those alike. 

The following are some of our favorite attractions and things inside the Pisgah National Forest. We highly recommend checking them out while you are in the area! 

✅ Looking Glass Waterfall – A 60-foot natural waterfall with a great swimming hole and photo opportunities. 

✅ Moore Cove Falls – A 50-foot waterfall that cascades in front of a large cave

✅ Shining Rock Wilderness – A large protected wilderness area with great mountain views, hikes, and more.

✅ Art Loeb Cold Mountain Trailhead – The trailhead to reach the peak of Cold Mountain, a beautiful 6,300-foot mountain.

✅ Sliding Rock – One of the most famous waterfalls in North Carolina, Sliding Rock is a 60-foot natural water slide that falls into an approximate 6-8 foot deep pool of water below. 

Waterfalls near Brevard NC Sliding Rock
Sliding Rock

7. Visit the Mast General Store 

Address: 63 N Main St, Waynesville, NC

The Mast General Store is a famous chain store based in North Carolina that has been serving the community since 1883. The Waynesville location has been open since 1991 and is found in the old Toggery Clothier building constructed in the 1930s. 

The store layout you see today is almost unchanged from the original. Mast General Store has a collection of outdoor gear, clothing, shoes, name brands, accessories, candy, home decor, and more.

8. Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market 

Address: 250 Pigeon Street, Waynesville, NC 28786

The Haywood Farmers Market is a produce-only farmers market that has been operational since 2008. It is a great place to go for all farm fresh, organic produce, fresh meats, cheeses, handmade treats, and more.

9. Cataloochee UTV Adventure Rentals 

Address: 160 N Main St, Waynesville, NC 28786

The area around Waynesville is popular for UTVs and ATVs. There is nothing like exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains on an ATV. Cataloochee UTV Adventure Rentals is located right off Main St, has a great selection of rental vehicles, and is a helpful source for information about the area.

10. Richland Balsam Nature Loop Trail

Address: Blue Rdg Pkwy, Waynesville, NC 28786

Richland Balsam Mountain is the highest peak on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The nature trail loop is a nice 1.5-mile trail that starts at an elevation of 6,020 feet. 

The trail is considered moderate for elevation gain, but it is otherwise a well-kept and beautiful trail. Being a very dog-friendly area, this is the perfect trail to bring your pets for a jog. 

The Blue Ridge Parkway Highest Elevation at 6053 ft.

11. Smoky Mountain Sk8way & Fun Zone

Address: 19025 Great Smoky Mountains Expressway, Waynesville, NC 28786

The Smoky Mountain Sk8way & Fun Zone is the ultimate indoor adventure park. The Sk8way features a 20,000-square-foot roller skating rink.

It also has an arcade, pool tables, corn hole, a full bar, a snack bar, and more. They also offer skate lessons for people of all ages. 

Smoky Mountain Sk8way Roller Skating Rink

12. Little Cataloochee Hike

Address: Pretty Hollow Gap Trail Road, Waynesville, NC 28785

If you are looking for a hike that is a bit more challenging, Little Cataloochee Trail is just the one for you. This is considered a strenuous trail that goes just over 6 miles and takes about five and a half hours to complete, making it the perfect day hike. 

There are many attractions hikers will come across on this trail, including the Little Cataloochee Church Chapel (at around mile 4). The church was built in 1889 and is open to the public.

13. Shelton House – Home of The Museum of NC Handicrafts

Address: 49 Shelton St, Waynesville, NC

The Shelton House was constructed in 1875 for the Shelton family. Today, the house acts as a heritage museum and history learning center. Guests can explore the museum, the original milking barn, and the four acres of the property with lush gardens and walking paths. 

The Shelton House

14. Haywood Arts Regional Theater (HART) 

Address: 250 Pigeon St, Waynesville, NC 28786

The HART theater is a performing arts theater that was founded in the late 1980s so that anyone could showcase their talents and provide unique entertainment for the community. The theater is located on the grounds of the Shelton House, a National Historic Site. 

All kinds of plays and performances are held here at the theater. They have a full schedule up on their website of shows that happen all year long. Guests can see things like dances, ballets, plays, live music, kids’ performances, and holiday shows. 

15. Smoky Mountain Cinema 

Address: 235 Waynesville Plaza, Waynesville, NC 28786

There is nothing like a good small-town movie theater to enjoy on a cold or rainy day. Smoky Mountain Cinema has a nostalgic movie theater vibe, with luxury seats, a stocked concession stand, and all the newest movies. 

16. Winchester Creek Farm 

Address: 386 Walker Rd, Waynesville, NC

Winchester Creek Farm is a 20-acre working family farm that has a plethora of animals to visit and farm activities to check out. Farm tours are 45 minutes long and include the chance to meet the farm animals up close. They have alpacas, pigs, goats, horses, sheep, donkeys, and cows! 

Winchester Creek Farm has great rental lodging options if you are looking for someplace beautiful and unique to spend your vacation or weekend trip.

17. Vance Street Park 

Address: 430 Vance St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Vance Street Park is a popular town park that is not only peaceful and beautiful but also has tons of great outdoor activities and a rec center. Guests can enjoy the soccer fields, softball fields, playgrounds, volleyball courts, picnic shelters, lawn areas, and the walking trail that runs along Richland Creek.

18. Barber Orchard Fruitstands

Address: 2855 Old Balsam Rd, Waynesville, NC 28786

Barber Orchards is a seasonal fruit stand open from August 1st through the end of December. They have a nice selection of farm fresh produce, apples, and delicious baked goods like apple pies, apple fritters, donuts, jam, and more.

19. Waynesville Rec Center | Playground

Address: 550 Vance St, Waynesville, NC 28786

The Waynesville Rec Center has a great indoor swimming pool and mini water park that is great for younger kids and families. The center also has a fitness room, a sizeable playground, walking trails, and sports fields.

Waynesville Recreation Center Sign NC

Drinks and Restaurants in Waynesville NC

✅ Haywood Smokehouse
Address: 79 Elysinia Ave, Waynesville, NC 28786

We take barbecue seriously in North Carolina, and Haywood Smokehouse is just about as classic of a barbecue house as you can get. The food is spot on, the atmosphere is homey, and the service is friendly. 

Brisket with Collard Greens, Sweet Potatoes at Haywood Smokehouse in Waynesville NC

✅ Bosu’s Wine Shop
Address: 138 Miller St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Bosu’s Wine Shop is a retail wine shop that offers wine tastings with small bites on Thursdays and Fridays. 

✅ Mad Anthony’s Taproom & Restaurant
Address: 180 Legion Dr, Waynesville, NC 28786

Mad Anthony’s Taproom is a premium taphouse with 50 craft beers and ciders on tap at all times. They also have a delicious menu with seasonally fresh foods.

✅ The Chef’s Table
Address: 30 Church St, Waynesville, NC 28786

The Chef’s Table is a gourmet dining experience with an open kitchen and the perfect wine pairings. The Chef’s Table is often considered a hidden gem and is a local favorite for good wine and great fresh meals. 

Chef's Table

✅ The Sweet Onion
Address: 39 Miller St, Waynesville, NC 28786

The Sweet Onion can be found right in downtown Waynesville and serves upscale, classic Southern comfort lunch, dinner, and desserts. 

✅ The Classic Wineseller
Address: 20 Church St, Waynesville, NC 28786

The Classic Wineseller is a retail wine and cigar shop with over 1,200 selections of wine. They also hold live music, educational classes, and wine-paired dinners. 

The Classic Wineseller in Downtown Waynesville NC

✅ Blue Ridge Beer Hub
Address: 21 East St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Blue Ridge Beer Hub is a brewery, taproom, and retail store with homebrew supplies, merch, and more.

✅ Church Street Depot
Address: 34 Church St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Upscale burger restaurant? It might sound funny, but that’s exactly what Church Street Depot is all about. This charming restaurant is a culinary delight with a large variety of hearty burgers, hot dogs, hand-dipped milkshakes, and more.

Church Street Depot Burgers

✅ The Scotsman Public House
Address: 37 Church St, 1st Floor, Waynesville, NC 28786

The Scotsman Public House is a classic Celtic pub with craft beers, handcrafted cocktails, pool, shuffleboard, darts, and live entertainment.

✅ Furman’s Burger Bar
Address: 1605 S Main St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Furman’s Burger Bar is a family-friendly burger restaurant with a warm, inviting setting. They also have tons of outdoor seating and a small selection of beers. 

Furman's Burger Bar

✅ Boojum Brewery
Address: 50 N Main St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Boojum offers seasonal pub offerings, which include a mouthwatering selection of burgers, sandwiches, seafood, and tender steaks. The taproom offers an ever-changing lineup of 16 beer options, plus an assortment of wines and craft cocktails.

Guests have the choice to either cozy up indoors or relish the mountain breeze on the back deck. As evening falls, there’s the opportunity to explore the 21+ Gem Bar, a hidden speakeasy-style spot discreetly located just below the restaurant.

Boojum Brewing Co sign for The Gem

✅ Orchard Coffee
Address: 39 Depot St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Orchard Coffee is a modern specialty coffee bar with all your favorite espresso drinks and fresh baked goods. 

✅ Waynesville Soda Jerks
Address: 35 Bridges St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Waynesville Soda Jerks is a retail store that sells the best freshly made sodas around. Waynesville Soda Jerks brews sodas from the finest, freshest produce and ingredients from farms right in the Appalachian Mountains. They have unique flavors and a quality you won’t find anywhere else.

✅ Bogart’s Restaurant and Tavern
Address: 303 S Main St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Bogart’s is an old-time local favorite that serves classic American foods in a rustic, barn-like setting. 

✅ Clyde’s Restaurant
Address: 2107 S Main St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Clyde’s Restaurant is an old-timey 50s diner-style restaurant that has been a local favorite for years. Clyde’s serves old-fashioned Southern-style comfort foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Clyde's Restaurant

✅ Watami Sushi & Noodles
Address: 33 S Main St #101, Waynesville, NC 28786

Watami is the premier sushi spot in Waynesville. There is no better place to get fresh sushi and other seafood dishes in the area. 

✅ The Cuban Guy
Address: 42 Montgomery St, Waynesville, NC 28786

The Cuban Guy is a proudly owned Latino restaurant that sells amazing authentic Cuban and Puerto Rican sandwiches and other dishes. 

✅ Dough Boys Pizza & Wings
Address: 180 Legion Dr, Waynesville, NC 28786

A top-notch pizza shop that uses local, fresh ingredients.

✅ The Buttered Biscuit 
Address: 1226 Dellwood City Rd, Waynesville 28786

The Buttered Biscuit is a local favorite breakfast and lunch stop that focuses on classic Southern-style dishes. 

✅ BearWaters Brewing Co. | The Warehouse
Address: 1940 S Main St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Enjoy a great selection of beers and exceptional food, along with axe throwing, video games, pools, skee ball, indoor cornhole, indoor soccer, and more!

Bearwaters Brewing

Seasonal Things to Do in Waynesville NC 

Waynesville is a great place to visit year-round, but also has some fantastic winter activities

✅ Cataloochee Ski Area
1080 Ski Lodge Road, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

The Cataloochee Ski Area was the first established ski resort in North Carolina and is still one of the most popular ski areas in the state today. It is an excellent place for families, and people love it for its ski schools and beginner-friendly ski routes. With a peak elevation of 5,400 feet, it’s a great place to enjoy the winter views as well.

✅ Christmas Tree Farms

North Carolina is one of the top Christmas tree producers in the United States, and there are tons of farms right near Waynesville. If you are visiting during the holiday season, these are great farms to check out,

🎄 Boyd Mountain Christmas Tree Farm 
🎄 Mehaffey Tree Farm
🎄 Smoky Mountain Christmas Tree Farm 
🎄 WNC Christmas Trees

Christmas Tree Farm

Read More: Christmas Tree Farms near Boone NC

✅ Frozen Waterfalls 

One of the best winter activities you can do is to visit the waterfalls that completely freeze over in the cold. You’ll never see anything like it; it will be a lasting memory and a great chance to get outdoors in the wintertime. Make sure to bundle up and wear proper footwear when hiking in the snow.

Here are two frozen waterfall options that are 30 miles and less from Waynesville. 

🧊 Soco Falls 
🧊 Bridal Veil Falls

Image of Soco Falls add to your list of things to do in Maggie Valley NC
Soco Falls

Things to Do near Waynesville NC

Waynesville is not only amazing because there are so many activities right in town, but it has such a great location that there are plenty of other activities, all within 30 miles. Here are some things that are a must-do day trip while you are in the area. 

✅ Lake Junaluska

Lake Junaluska is a gorgeous lake retreat center located just 4 miles away from Waynesville. The center includes over 1,200 acres of land and a 200-acre lake. Guests can enjoy activities like boating, fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, lake cruises, garden walks, hiking, mini golf, tennis, the lakeside pool, playground, fire pit, birding, and more. 

During your stay at Lake Junaluska, you should also stop by Waynesville Greenway Park, which has a lovely 4.8-mile path that follows Richland Creek. It is a great paved pathway, perfect for jogging, strollers, and bikes. 

✅ Maggie Valley

Maggie Valley is a small neighboring town less than 20 minutes from Waynesville. Maggie Valley is another beautiful mountain town that is most known for the Cataloochee Ski Area, Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum, and Tube World (a great pop-up snow tubing center during the winter.) 

Maggie Valley NC Snow Skiing

✅ Sylva and Dillsboro

Just under 30 minutes from Waynesville are a couple of other great small towns, Sylva and Dillsboro. Though these towns are smaller than Waynesville, they are full of even more outdoor activities, Appalachian mountain charm, great shops, and restaurants

Jackson County Courthouse

✅ Cherokee

Cherokee, NC, is a little bit larger of a town that is 30 minutes from Waynesville and is the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This great town has tons of museums, characters, restaurants, breweries, and more. Visiting the Museum of the Cherokee People, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Mingo Falls is a must. 

✅ Bryson City

Bryson City is a small rustic mountain town that is most known for being the home to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. It is a great river town with lots of fishing, kayaking, and scenic railroad trips. 

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

✅ Sunburst Falls
Canton, NC 28716

Sunburst Falls is a beautiful, unique waterfall located just a 30-minute drive from Waynesville. The falls can be found tucked under a stone bridge off of Hwy 215. A roadside falls, meaning there is no hike necessary to see the falls, though you can climb down to swim and get a better view. 

This is one of the best swimming holes in the area, so please be respectful and keep the area clean. There is very limited parking available.

Sunburst Falls

✅ Bridal Veil Falls
DuPont State Forest

Bridal Veil Falls is a beloved 120-foot waterfall found in Dupont State Forest. These falls have been famous as the only falls that you could drive behind, though the road has been closed to cars for visitors’ safety. 

This means that you can now safely walk behind the falls for great pictures and views. Visit during the winter to see the stunning falls completely frozen over, creating a magnificent ice veil. 

Waterfalls near Brevard NC Bridal Veil Falls NC

✅ Christopher Farms 
2266 Crymes Cove Rd, Waynesville, NC 28786 

Christopher Farms is located right outside of downtown Waynesville. This is a wonderful family-owned farm stand that is open year-round, selling seasonally fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods.

Annual Events in Waynesville NC 

Some of the most famous and wonderful annual events take place right near Waynesville; here are some you don’t want to miss! 

✅ Folkmoot Festival (July) 

The Folkmoot Festival is famous for being one of the longest and largest-running dance festivals in the world. Currently a 1-day event, this vibrant festival shares and celebrates all kinds of different cultures through food, music, dance, and art to bring everyone together.

✅ Apple Harvest Festival (October 19, 2024)

The famous Apple Harvest Festival has been named one of the top ten harvest festivals in the nation and is always looked forward to by locals and visitors. The festival takes place each year in October in the downtown streets of Waynesville to celebrate the apple farms in the area. There are tons of apples, local vendors, food trucks, live music, crafts, and so much more.

✅ Church Street Art and Craft Show (October)

The Church Street Art and Craft Show is a long-running art show that draws in thousands of visitors each year. Many know this show as the finest one-day art show in the region and has thousands of pieces of art from all different artists. 

✅ Friday Night Summer Street Dances

Friday Night Summer Street Dances is a fun live music street dance that takes place in downtown Waynesville. For four Fridays (starting at the end of June), local musicians get together to share their fun music with the community. Anyone can come and is recommended to bring blankets and refreshments. 

✅ Smoky Mountain Bluegrass Festival (October 28, 2023)

The Smoky Mountain Bluegrass Festival is a beloved music festival that celebrates Bluegrass and old Appalachian music. The festival hosts award-winning Bluegrass musicians, music-themed vendors, artists, workshops, food trucks, crafts, games, kids activities, and more.

✅ Balsam Range “Art of Music Festival”

The Balsam Range “Art of Music Festival” takes place at the Stuart Auditorium in Lake Junaluska. It is a two-day event that features lots of live music, music workshops, jamming opportunities, food trucks, games, and events the whole family will enjoy. 

✅ Waynesville Christmas Parade (December 4, 2023)

The Waynesville Christmas Parade is a long-running town tradition that takes place at the beginning of December to kick-start the Christmas season. The parade takes off in downtown Waynesville as people parade through Main Street. There are floats, bands, holiday decorations, costumed characters, and a guest appearance from Santa himself. 

✅ Maggie Valley Ice Festival (Jan 27, 2024)

At the Maggie Valley Fair Grounds, every year for four days, there is a spectacular ice festival for the whole family to enjoy. This free event will have ice sculptures, ice slides, smores, a fire pit, crafts, food trucks, games, and more! 

​​Where To Stay in Waynesville NC

📍Best Western Smoky Mountain Inn – The Best Western can be found on the outskirts of town, with restaurants and nice town parks and walks right nearby. The rooms are clean and comfortable, and guests have access to things like the heated pool and continental breakfast. If you are looking for a nice, simple stay, head over to the Best Western.

📍Love Lane Bed & Breakfast – Located in a beautiful historic home with New Orleans-style decor, the Love Lane Bed & Breakfast is the perfect stay for you and your romantic partner or friends. The bed and breakfast has wonderful hosts that provide games, a continental breakfast with gluten-free options, and access to the home and the property. Guests can explore the grounds, walk through the garden, and enjoy the outdoor terrace. 

📍Modern Main St Apt in Downtown Waynesville! – This Modern Main Street apartment is a great, inexpensive way to enjoy a spacious, private home in a prime location. The apartment has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with a great outdoor patio, and is within walking distance of many Waynesville shops, restaurants, and outdoor adventures.

📍Spellbound Cottage just off of Main Street Waynesville – This adorable cottage home is the perfect place to spend a family vacation in the Appalachian mountains. The brick-style home sleeps up to four guests, one bathroom, and a lovely outdoor terrace, patio, backyard, and greenhouse. This is the perfect option for guests with pets and younger kids. 

📍Mountain View is close to Main St. – If you’re looking to splurge a little on your vacation, this is such a fantastic option. This spectacular mountain home gives you the feeling of being tucked away in the hills but is less than one mile from downtown, giving it a prime location. You’ll have beautiful mountain views, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, tons of space, outdoor gardens, an outdoor patio, a fireplace, and more. 

Waynesville NC: FAQs

📌 What is Waynesville, NC, famous for?
Waynesville is known for being the largest town in North Carolina, west of Asheville. It is also known for being a true outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. 

📌 Why is Waynesville, NC, historic?
Waynesville has a long history that dates back to the early 1800s. The town was originally founded by a Revolutionary War soldier and has retained much of its historic architecture and charm. 

📌 Why is it called frog level?
The Frog Level District is where the original train depot was located and was given the nickname because of its low-lying location along Richland Creek. The name “frog level” stuck after the area was flooded. 

📌 Why do people go to Maggie Valley?
Maggie Valley flourishes with year-round outdoor activities that bring in visitors from all over the world. The Valley also has a rich history, great shopping, amazing restaurants, and lots of cool places to stay and explore.

📌 Does Waynesville, NC, have a downtown?
Waynesville has a lovely downtown that has been recently revitalized to make it more walkable and thoroughly enjoyable. There are over 50 shops, including breweries, restaurants, galleries, and museums, all located in downtown Waynesville. 

📌 Is Waynesville, NC, worth visiting?
Since Waynesville is considered to be one of the most fun Western mountain towns in North Carolina, it must be worth visiting! 

Haywood County Court House in Downtown Waynesville NC

Distance to Waynesville NC

Asheville NC | 31 miles | 40 mins
Murphy NC | 82 miles | 1 hr 35 mins
Knoxville TN | 97 miles | 1 hr 35 mins
Charlotte NC | 145 miles | 2 hr 30 mins
Chattanooga TN | 210 miles | 3 hr 20 mins
Raleigh NC | 275 miles | 4 hr 10 mins
Atlanta GA | 200 miles | 3 hr 40 mins

Final Thoughts

What sets Waynesville apart is its unique ability to provide both a small-town atmosphere and big-town amenities, making it perfect for day trips, weekend getaways, or extended mountain adventures. 

Next time you plan a trip to Western North Carolina, be sure to include Waynesville on your list. Its rich history and diverse offerings will make your visit unforgettable, leaving you eager for your next journey to this remarkable town.

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