Lake Junaluska in Waynesville NC.

Waynesville, NC

Nestled 30 minutes outside of Asheville between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Waynesville has established itself as an epicenter of historical mountain charm. The town’s unique location has contributed to a rich geographical history that embodies the culture and heritage of Western North Carolina.

At 2,792 feet in elevation, Waynesville is surrounded by over a dozen mountain peaks that reach 6,000 feet or higher. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park on one side and Nantahala National Forest on the other provide access to some of the most scenic outdoor experiences east of the Rocky Mountains. Popular family-friendly hikes such as Graveyard Fields, Black Balsam Knob, and Max Patch provide unparalleled mountain views.

Located just outside of Waynesville, near the entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cataloochee Ski Area is one of most popular ski locations in the area. In the summer, the nearby Pigeon River is a popular spot for tubing, rafting, and canoeing/kayaking. Just 3 miles from downtown, the beautiful Lake Junaluska offers kayak and paddleboard rentals, boat tours, and lakeside lodging for out-of-town guests.

Waynesville’s tree-lined downtown area is home to dozens of art galleries, specialty shops, and restaurants. The craft beer scene has grown exponentially in the past few years, and local breweries such as Frog Level Brewing and Boojum Brewing have gained national recognition for their brews. The town is also host to a variety of cultural events including the Folkmoot USA. Festival, a 10-day celebration of international song and dance that occurs each July.

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