Western North Carolina Summer Travel Guide

Western North Carolina is an ideal location to enjoy a summer getaway! The area is full of hiking trails and waterfalls. quaint mountain towns, and spectacular views. There are loads of great things to do here. Here is our Western North Carolina Summer Travel Guide!

Parkway Overlook in Western North Carolina

Meander the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is an amazing must-see destination any time of year. Our section of this national parkway features breathtaking mountaintop views, hiking, waterfalls, and lots of wildlife viewing. With overlooks almost every mile of the 469 mile route, visitors can meander along the parkway at their own pace. Pack a picnic and go enjoy this amazing national treasure! INSIDER TIP: Check out our Blue Ridge Parkway Day Trip Itinerary for our top recommendations of Parkway Highlights! 

Great Smoky Mountains Park in Western North Carolina

Journey into Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Just a short drive from Waynesville, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited national park. The park is world-renowned for its diverse plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture. Full of hiking trails and waterfalls, the park even allows you to hike a portion of the famed Appalachian Trail! Within the park (and easily accessible from Waynesville during the warmer months) is Cataloochee Valley, once home to a sizable Appalachian community. Cataloochee hosts a collection of well-preserved historic buildings from the turn of the last century as well as a large herd of elk. INSIDER TIP: If you have not yet visited this section of GSMNP, take a look at our First Timers Guide to Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Looking Glass Falls in Western North Carolina

Tour Magnificent Waterfalls

Western North Carolina is home to hundreds of waterfalls. Some local favorites are Looking Glass Falls (near Brevard), Mingo Falls (near Cherokee) and Dry Falls (near Highlands). All three falls have dedicated parking areas and will not disappoint. INSIDER TIP: Be sure to keep your eyes open for the many smaller waterfalls all across the region – and check out some local waterfalls not to miss!!

Downtown Waynesville sculptures in Western North Carolina

Explore Downtown Waynesville

Nestled between Asheville and Cherokee is Waynesville, the most quintessential of mountain towns. In addition to the massive sculptures pictured above, Waynesville features shopping, boutiques, and wonderful artisan galleries. A vibrant farm-to-table restaurant scene thrives alongside excellent craft breweries and coffee shops. Plan to spend 2-4 hours exploring this wonderful downtown area. INSIDER TIP: Check out some of our favorite stores in Waynesville.

There’s nothing better than starting your day with a gourmet breakfast made from fresh, local ingredients at The Yellow House, our romantic Waynesville bed and breakfast before heading out to enjoy the region. In the afternoon, head back to the inn to enjoy a glass of wine in one of the rocking chairs on our veranda. Treat yourself to a fantastic Western North Carolina getaway!