Whether you’re interested in the local history and culture or outdoor activities and adventures, or if you just want to experience our local shopping, dining and festivals, there are so many things to do in Waynesville, NC.


Biltmore Estate
Just thirty minutes from The Yellow House, the Biltmore Estate boasts America’s largest home. Located in neighboring Asheville, this magnificent 250-room château is filled with priceless art and antiques and is open for daily tours. Guests can stroll through the century-old gardens and grounds, savor award-winning wines from the Biltmore Winery, and taste the chefs’ creations at one of their seven restaurants and cafes. Enjoy the 8,000 acres of forests, farmlands, and rivers by foot, bike, or horseback. Be sure to check out our first-timer’s guide to the Biltmore to learn more!

Blue Ridge Parkway
Drive just a few miles from The Yellow House and you will find yourself on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. As you drive along the Parkway, once referred to as having been “painted with a comet’s tail”, you are embraced by colonial trees and exquisite landscape. The southernmost stretch of the Parkway, located close to Waynesville, boasts the highest peaks – Waterrock Knob and Richland Balsam, climbing to more than 6,000 feet in elevation – and offers many breathtaking overlooks and trails, including Devil’s Courthouse and Graveyard Fields. Review our first-timer’s guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway for some great travel ideas.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Encompassing over one-half million acres, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to a wealth of trails, waterfalls, cultural treasures, and dramatic vistas. Elk, reintroduced to the Park in 2001, can be regularly found in the fields near Oconoluftee Visitor Center. For those seeking a glimpse of turn-of-the-last-century Appalachia, visitors can drive the sometimes-harrowing gravel road to the historic Cataloochee Valley. See our first-timer’s guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for our favorite travel tips.

Pisgah National Forest
Nearby Pisgah National Forest offers outdoor adventures and scenic vistas to suit every taste. Filled with peaks, waterfalls, and heavily forested slopes, Pisgah has hundreds of miles of picturesque trails to discover and offers visitors a wide variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Check out our First Timers Guide to Pisgah for an overview of the area.

Cherokee Indian Reservation
Learn about Cherokee history at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, outdoor theatre, and Oconaluftee Indian Village – a 1750s Cherokee village reservation. Shop at the Qualla Arts & Crafts Store where every piece is handmade and authenticated by local artists. You can also take lessons in traditional Cherokee craft methods at Qualla. If you want to spend a day outdoors, you will find opportunities for hiking, biking, tubing, and fishing at the reservation as well, or just relax at the Islands Park.

Mountains-to-Sea Trail
Visit the mountain portion of this historic North Carolina trailway, accessible by the Blue Ridge Parkway and just a few miles from Downtown Waynesville.

Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the mountains during a leisurely hike in the parks and forest that surround The Yellow House. Whether going on a long backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a hike in the Pisgah National Forest, or a short stroll on one of the trails just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a hike is a great way to spend the day and our Waynesville hiking guide has everything you need. You might even attempt to conquer a section of the infamous Appalachian Trail! If you are planning on being out the whole day, ask us about our picnic package. We’ll send you off with a picnic basket full of goodies for you to enjoy while sitting by a roaring waterfall or taking in the perfect sunset.

A round or two of golf has always been one of our area’s most popular attractions, as well it should. There is excellent golf to be found within a fifteen-minute drive, featuring courses designed by Robert Cupp (Jack Nicklaus’ chief designer for many years), Donald Ross, and Horris Smith. With a great variety of terrain as well as level of difficulty in course layout, golfers of any skill level should find the challenge they seek.

A three-minute drive from The Yellow House is Laurel Ridge Country Club, a Robert Cupp designed course is 6900 yards of beauty. A challenge which Golf Week magazine described as “the course by which all other mountain courses will be judged”. With 5 sets of tees, 25,000 flowers, and bent grass from tee to green, the course is a thing of beauty and a joy to both golfer and non-golfer alike.

To learn more about golf in and around Waynesville, check out our local golfing guide.

Mountain Biking & Road Biking
Whether you enjoy a vigorous climb on a winding road, some down and dirty singletrack, or a little something mellow for those of you just getting started, there is something for everyone here. The rolling, winding Blue Ridge Parkway is the perfect place to take your road bike for a spin. Test out that new full suspension mountain bike on the Tsali Trail, ranked one of “America’s 10 Best Trails” by Bike Magazine. No matter what you like to ride, you’ll be sure to find it here so get ready to pedal!

Rock Climbing & Ice Climbing
North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest has an abundance of amazing rock climbing areas and draws climbers from beginners to experts to its rock faces year round. Within an hour drive of Waynesville, you will find routes for all levels at the Looking Glass, Cedar Rock, and Whitesides. There is also beginner-level ice climbing to try out!

Fly Fishing
Here in the Smoky Mountains, year-round fishing is available on some of the most picturesque and abundant rivers and streams. The Tuckaseegee River, located just a few miles from The Yellow House, is known to be the most trout-populated river in the state. Roger, from Lowe Fly Shop, developed his own technique for tying effective imitator patterns and became a master at catching the wild and wary mountain Rainbow, Brown, and Brook trout. Today, as a professional guide, his fly patterns are used extensively by local fishermen. Check out our Gone Fishing Package for guided fly fishing specials during your stay.

Horseback Riding
Another way to see the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina is by horseback. There are several riding stables that offer guided rides through lush forests and mile-high vistas while crossing streams along your way. Check out Sandy Bottom Trail Rides and the Cataloochee Guest Ranch.

Skiing at Cataloochee Ski Area
Skiing & Snowboarding in the Great Smoky Mountains! Cataloochee Ski Area is located in Maggie Valley, less than thirty minutes from Waynesville. For over 40 years, Cataloochee skiers have enjoyed the best of North Carolina skiing with exciting slopes, winding trails, and a friendly, helpful atmosphere that makes the Cataloochee Ski Area a unique experience.

Whitewater Rafting on the Nantahala
The Nantahala River is one of America’s favorite whitewater playgrounds, offering class I, II, & III whitewater rafting. Skirting the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains, rafting the Nanatahala is fun for both young and old alike. Spending a day on the water and having a boat full of family and friends with smiles on their faces is pretty hard to beat. walking away with a smile on your face is pretty hard to beat.


  • Asheville’s Biltmore Blooms at Biltmore Estate is a celebration that highlights the spring blooming of flowers at Biltmore Estate. Explore the gardens alive with more than 50,000 tulips, azaleas, flowering shrubs and much more. Ongoing April through May.
  • Early May: Annual Ramp Festival, Downtown Waynesville. An afternoon celebration featuring live music, clogging, the festival highlights ramps, a native wild onion that is harvested in the spring from the mountainsides.


  • Early June: Jeep Fest. Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. Event will feature both automotive and food vendors, along with other enticing attractions.
  • July 2-5, 2025: Lake Junaluska’s Independence Day Celebration Weekend will be full of family-friendly fun with fireworks, floating wish lanterns, a parade, family square dance and concerts including a performance by internationally acclaimed bluegrass group Balsam Range.
  • Late July: Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands: Asheville comes alive with fine traditional and contemporary crafts. Over 200 craftspeople fill the two levels of the center selling their works of clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, mixed media, natural materials, paper, wood and jewelry.
  • Late July: Hillbilly Jam, Maggie Valley. 2-day celebration of music, moonshine and mountain living! Food, crafts, hillbillies & veteran bikers. Moonshiners of the Discovery Channel, Car, Bike Show and more.


  • Mid-August: Cold Mountain Music Festival, Canton. Cold Mountain Music Festival features top-notch musical talent, amazing local food & drink vendors, family-friendly activities, and more all in one of the most pristine settings imaginable.
  • Labor Day Weekend: Canton Labor Day Festival, Canton. Canton’s Labor Day festival began in 1906 as a celebration of the Western North Carolina worker, and is now a two-day outdoor music festival.


  • Mid-October: Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands in Asheville, NC comes alive with fine traditional and contemporary crafts. Over 200 craftspeople fill the two levels of the center selling their works of clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, mixed media, natural materials, paper, wood and jewelry.
  • Second Weekend in October: The Church Street Art Fair is one of the finest juried art shows in the region.
  • Third weekend in October: Hailed as one of the “10 Best Fall Harvest Festivals in the Nation”, the annual Apple Festival is a celebration of the autumn harvest and Haywood County’s agricultural heritage.


  • Late November: Maggie Gets Lit: a day-long and early evening festival event the Saturday after Thanksgiving to celebrate the official beginning of the Winter Season.
  • Early November – Early January: Christmas at the Biltmore House’s doors open to a world of crackling fires, festive music performances, glittering trees and the warm glow of hundreds of candles illuminating the richly decorated rooms. (Asheville)

*Note: All dates, times and events are subject to change. Please check before traveling.

Amici’s Italian Restaurant

454 Hazelwood Avenue, 828-246-6475
A cozy Italian eatery with the charm of old-world cuisine. Cozy wood tables and full bar. Dinner only.

Birchwood Hall Southern Kitchen

111 N. Main St., 828-246-6111
Regionally-inspired, innovative southern cuisine. Lunch & dinner.

Bocelli’s Italian Eatery

319 N Haywood St, 828-456-4900
Italian food including pizza, calzone, and other traditional fare. Lunch & dinner.


303 S. Main St., 828-452-1313
A favorite of the locals. Great steaks & burgers. Lunch & dinner.

Boojum Brewing Company

50 N Main St., 828-246-0350
Great burgers, appetizers and small plates to complement their unique mountain brews. Lunch & dinner.

Chef’s Table Restaurant

30 Church St., 828-452-6210
Upscale American Dining. Reservations highly recommended. Dinner only.

Church Street Depot

34 Church St., 828-246-6505
Excellent burgers, shakes, and fries. Lunch & dinner.

Frog Level Brewing

56 Commerce St., 828-454-5664
Working micro-brewery offering 21 taps, indoor areas and a pet-friendly creekside patio. Features pub food. Lunch & dinner.

Haywood Smokehouse

79 Elysinia, 828-456-7275
Specializing in Texas-style smoked brisket. Lunch & dinner.

Mad Anthony’s / Dough Boys Pizza

180 Legion Drive, 828-246-9249
Excellent selection of beers on tap, wings, and artisan pizza. Lunch & dinner.

Maggie’s Galley Seafood & Oyster Bar

1374 Sulphur Springs Rd., 828-456-8945
Great seafood at a great price. A local favorite. Lunch & dinner.

Papas and Beer

1863 S Main St., 828-571-0635
Excellent Mexican food at a great value. Lunch & dinner.

Patio Bistro

26 Church St., 828-454-0070
Mediterranean, Vegetarian, American cuisine. Lunch only.

Singletree Heritage Kitchen

136 Depot St Suite 101., 828-246-9760
Fine farm-to-table cuisine, excellent cocktails and wine list. Lunch & dinner.

Suwana Asian Cuisine

128 N Main St., 828-246-0155
Sushi and Japanese food, as well as Thai food. Lunch & dinner.

The Scotsman Public House

37 Church St, 828-246-6292
Casual dining, pub fare, live music schedule. Lunch & dinner.

The Sweet Onion Restaurant

39 Miller St., 828-456-5559
Casual dining, regional fare, mountain views. Reservations recommended. Lunch & dinner.

Watami Sushi & Noodles

33 S. Main St., 828-246-6888
Large selection of rolls, sushi, sashimi, and other dishes, including Pad Thai, Lo Mein, Teriyaki Dishes, and more. Lunch & dinner.