4 Solid Reasons You Must Experience Waynesville, North Carolina on Your Next Vacation

Waynesville is a scenic mountain town nestled in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. People vacation here for various fun reasons, and we are delighted to host them. Four of the best reasons to come are for our hiking trails, our dining experiences, our specialty shops, and our greater area guided tours.

3 Recommended Hiking Trails (please see More Recommended Waynesville, NC Trails on AllTrails.com)

When you visit Waynesville, North Carolina, the awe-inspiring mountain beauty surrounds you. Many guests love to explore trails during their visits.

The AllTrails.com website allows you to filter your results by:
• Activity: biking, bird watching, fishing, hiking, running, skiing, etc.
• Difficulty level: easy, moderate, and hard–determined by distance, elevation gain, and terrain
• Length: you can indicate the range of miles you are looking for
• Suitability: dog-friendly, kid-friendly, partially paved, paved, stroller friendly, wheelchair friendly
• Attractions: forest, hot springs, lake, river, views, waterfall, wildlife, etc.
• & More: elevation, rating, trail traffic, etc.

Big Fork Ridge Loop Trail

“Try this 9-mile, loop trail near Waynesville, North Carolina. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 4 h 53 min to complete. This is a popular trail for backpacking, camping, and fishing, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime.”

Hemphill Bald via Cataloochee Divide Trail

“Get to know this 8.50 mile, out and back trail near Waynesville, North Carolina. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 4 h 43 min to complete. This is a popular trail for hiking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day.”

Waterrock Knob Trail

“Explore this 0.90 mile, out and back trail near Waynesville, North Carolina. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 40 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking and other nature trips, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. The best times to visit this trail are April through October.”

3 Recommended Waynesville Restaurants (please see TripAdvisor to find even more local area restaurants)

After your hiking adventures, you deserve an enjoyable dining to more “fully” experience Waynesville, North Carolina. Be sure to visit the restaurant’s website for the latest information, including their specials.

Haywood Smokehouse at 79 Elysinia Ave, Waynesville NC 28786 | 828.456.7275 | Dine in or take out

  • Hours – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – Closed
  • Wednesday & Thursday – 11am – 8pm
  • Friday & Saturday – 11am – 9pm

“Haywood Smokehouse knows barbecue! We are proud to serve the best Texas-style barbecue outside of Texas. Not a boast, just the truth! Our premium specialty meats; fresh, house-made sausages, house-made sauces and fall-off-the-bone ribs and smoked brisket will have you coming back again and again.  Or enjoy our melt-in-your-mouth smoked pork or turkey breast.”  | Their lunch and dinner menu includes sandwiches, smokehouse platters, ribs, sides, stew, and homemade desserts.

Maggie’s Galley at 1374 Sulphur Springs Road Waynesville, NC 28786| 828-456-8945

  • Hours: Monday 11:00am – 9:00pm
  • Tues. & Wed: Closed
  • Thurs., Fri., Sat.: 11:00am – 9:00pm
  • Sunday 11:00am – 3:00pm

“Since opening in 1989, we have been frequented by locals and visitors alike. We’re known for our fresh, cooked-to-order seafood, hand-shucked Gulf and Blue Point oysters, poultry, pasta, and hand-cut steaks. Our house-made seafood chowder is the all-time customer favorite. If there’s any room left over, try one of our homemade desserts. Our bar offers a variety of cocktails, an extensive wine list, and a selection of draft, craft and microbrew beers.”

The Sweet Onion at 39 Miller Street, Waynesville NC 28786 | 828-456-5559 |Dine in or carry out

  • Hours: Tue. – Thurs.: 11:30am -8:00pm
  • Fri. & Sat.: 11:30am -9:00pm

“Nestled in the heart of beautiful Downtown Waynesville, The Sweet Onion Restaurant offers regional cuisine with contemporary flair. From our traditional favorites like southern fried chicken to our signature pastas, fresh mountain trout and scrumptious house-made desserts, we offer something for everyone in the family.”

3 Recommended Specialty Shops (please see TripAdvisor for more local Waynesville Specialty Shops)

Those who love to visit specialty shops will be pleased with the many unique shops here in our Western North Carolina town. There are so many to choose from. We plan to feature other local shops in future blog posts.

Mast General Store at 63 North Main Street Waynesville, NC 28786 |828-452-2101

  • Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 am to 6 pm
  • Sun. 11 am to 6 pm

“Since the middle 1880s, travelers have made their way to this broad valley surrounded on all sides by mountains approaching 6,000 feet. As the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was dedicated in 1940, Waynesville touted itself as the Gateway to the Smokies. By then, the building that is now the Mast Store, then known as The Toggery, was serving residents and visitors to town with quality clothing at reasonable prices.  We hope you’ll find the same service and an even wider selection of goods today.”

The Kitchen Shop at 5 North Main Street Waynesville, NC 28786 | (828) 452-7672

  • Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 am to 5 pm
  • Sun. 11 am to 4 pm

“The Kitchen Shop carries items including kitchen gadgets, necessities, small appliances, cookware, baking needs, table linens, and grilling utensils. They offer specialty and novelty items often not found in the big box alternative. Customers also love locally-made products such as hand towels and small batch food items. | We have everything you didn’t know you needed!”

Twigs and Leaves at 98 North Main Street Waynesville, NC 28786 | (828) 456-1940

  • Hours: Mon. – Sat. 10 am to 5:30 pm
  • Sun. 1 pm to 4 pm (seasonal)

“Twigs and Leaves Gallery, “Where Art Dances with Nature”, located downtown Waynesville, North Carolina, features nature-related art and fine crafts of over 120 artists primarily, but not exclusively, from Southern Appalachia. Each item in the gallery is handcrafted, one of a kind, by the artists.”

2 Recommended Greater Western North Carolina Area Guided Tours

Did you know that we are located near the largest private residence in all of America? The luxurious mansion of George and Edith Vanderbilt is as magnificent today as it was more than one-hundred years ago.

Biltmore Estate at One Lodge Street Asheville, NC 28803 (around a 35-min. drive) | (800) 411-3812

“Relax, reflect, and restore tucked amid 8,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountain beauty. Explore our great indoors: from the house, soaring glass Conservatory, and spectacular art exhibition to our award-winning winery, nature trails… Biltmore is your safe haven from the cares of the everyday.”

Animal and nature lovers appreciate watching elk. Reservations may be booked well in advance of the tour!

Cataloochee Valley Tours Elk Watching (Pick up locations are determined upon tour reservation.)

“REOPENS APRIL 15, 2022, to October 30, 2022 | Join Cataloochee Valley Tours on a guided Eco-tour to one of the best kept secrets in the Great Smoky Mountains — Cataloochee Valley! See the elk on our guided ​Evening Elk Eco-Tour or a Sunrise Elk Eco-Tour, offered year-round weather permitting. Join us in June as we journey to our “secret” location to witness the magic of the Synchronous & Blue Ghost Fireflies on a Firefly Night Walk. | Reservations Required and Reservations may be booked 4 months in advance of requested tour date.”

Brookside Mountain Mist Inn Bed and Breakfast

Whether this is your first visit or your 100th visit to the area, friendly innkeepers, Bill and Mary, welcome you to experience Waynesville, North Carolina. Make your experience even more wonderful by staying at Brookside Mountain Mist Inn Bed and Breakfast. We offer five elegant guest rooms, scenic outdoor views, and delicious gourmet breakfasts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top