North Carolina

About North Carolina

Murphy, Andrews, Brasstown

Andrews is a beautiful, peaceful small town located within the heart of North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains. Nature lovers can enjoy many outdoor activities in the area's unspoiled streams, rivers, mountains, and ridges. There are also many thriving small businesses in town, including restaurants, retail shops, bed and breakfast inns, and artists' galleries and gift shops.

Harshaw Chapel and Cemetery is a historic 1869 Methodist chapel and cemetery. The chapel was built by Joshua Harshaw, who was a prominent slaveholder. Rumor has it that Abraham Lincoln’s mother is buried here. Calaboose Cellers is located in an old stone building with bars that was used by local lawman to lock up the hooligans until they went before the magistrate, but now the jailhouse incarcerates wines.

Go llama trekking into Nantahala National Forest with Hawkesdene Llama Treks.

Wander through the country side on horseback or zip through the trees with RidgeRunner Ziplines. WagonMaster Adventure Ranch is a unique and affordable fun park and gem mine perfect for families and groups. It has activities for kids and adults including mini golf, gem mining, wagon rides, and target galleries for paintball and air-soft BBs.

Lake Hiwassee is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest, and offers spectacular scenery and is primarily fed by the Hiwassee, Nottely, and Valley Rivers. Boater, canoer, and kayakers will find easy access to the water at the Hanging Dog Recreation Area on Lake Hiwassee with a campground, picnic area, hiking trails, and a boat launching ramp. In Murphy access is available to the Hiwassee River. This Class I and II whitewater river is 18.3 miles long with a 3-mile stretch designated as a Trophy Trout Stream. Family rafting and tubing trips can be arranged by outfitters in the area. Because Appalachia Lake has no developed recreation areas, it is an excellent option for those seeking solitude during the busy summer season.


The John C. Campbell Folk School is well-known and a very special place in the mountains for North Carolina. It provides experiences in non-competitive learning and community life that are joyful and enlivening and offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.


Murphy is the county seat of Cherokee County located in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. The town dates back to 1839. Downtown has beautiful tree lined streets and many historic buildings restored to their original state with restaurants, many unique shops, and other interesting establishments all within walking distance in the heart of town. Recreational activities are unlimited from local trout streams to mountain biking. Hiwassee Lake is considered one of the most beautiful in the state. Murphy offers something for every sports enthusiast.

A must see when traveling through town is the Fields of the Woods Biblical Theme Park which is a Christian theme park which has to be seen to be believed. It features a Prayer Mountain, a gigantic replica of the 10 Commandments (with letters 5 feet high and 4 feet wide), a 150-foot "All Nations Cross," baptismal pool, Gospel Theatre, gift shop, bookstore, snack bar, picnic areas and nature trail.

Cherokee County Historical Museum tells the historical story of Cherokee County. The Museum has more than 2000 authentic artifacts of the Cherokee Indians and a mineral collection. The museum reflects the life of the Cherokee Indian during the time of the Cherokee Nation before their removal along the "Trail of Tears" to Oklahoma and features a collection of more than 800 dolls, the oldest doll dating back around 1865.

Hayesville, Brasstown

As the county seat of Clay County, Hayesville combines small-town charm with the beauty of mountains, lakes, rivers and streams. Opportunities for camping, golf, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and water sports are plentiful. Lake Chatuge has over 130 miles of shoreline, much of which can never be developed. The artists' community is diverse and growing. Whether you come for a day, a week or a lifetime, you will always find new activities and new places to explore.

The Clay County Historical and Arts Museum is housed in the Old County Jail Museum which was constructed in 1912 and used as a jail until 1972. The Museum displays items pertinent to the history of the area through changing exhibits. Visitors will enjoy the many pictures of life as it was in the old days, school house artifacts, a collection of farm equipment and Indian artifacts from a local excavation.

Nearby there is horseback riding at Chucky Gal Stables and close up petting opportunities at Jenny's Farm, a working Alpaca Farm.

Scenic beauty abounds with views of Tusquittee Mountain and Fires Creek Recreation Area, a picturesque recreation area in the Nantahala National Forest at the base of Leatherwood Falls. This area offers hiking and horseback riding trails and a camping area where horses are acceptable.

Jack Rabbit Mountain Recreation Area and Campground is on a wooded peninsula of Lake Chatuge. Operated seasonally and offers campsites, a lovely beach area, picnicking, boating access, modern sanitary facilities, drinking water, playground, barbecue pits, horseshoes, pavilions and a hiking trail.

Goldhagen Glass Art Studio highlights the unique works of David Goldhagen, internationally known artist.

Cashiers, Sylva, Dillsboro, Cherokee, Cullowee

Cashiers, a beautiful village in western North Carolina known as "The Heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains", has moderate climate and gorgeous scenery that is unique within the United States, with cool summers and fabulous seasons.

Outdoor recreation abounds with any number of hiking trails including Whiteside Mountain, Yellow Mountain Trail, and Chattooga River Trails. Mountain bikers and hikers will love the Panthertown Valley Wilderness Area. Cashiers Sliding Rock is nature’s waterslide on the Chattooga River!

Waterfalls include Silver Run, Turtleback, Rainbow, Toxaway and Hurricane Falls, just to name a few. Fish, swim, boat, canoe or kayak on Thorpe Lake. Whitewater raft on the Chattooga River.

High Hampton Inn and Country Club offers golfers a relaxing getaway. Choose from a wide variety of hotels, bed and breakfast inns, resorts, cabins and campgrounds for your overnight stay.


Dillsboro has been a tourist town since the late 19th century when the railroad first brought visitors to the “land of the sky” to escape the summer heat. More than a century later, Dillsboro has changed very little — a small country village with pristine white houses, rustic old shops, galleries, restaurants and quaint country inns. As you stroll from shop to shop, you may wander into an artisan’s studio to watch the creation of one-of-a-kind, hand-made works of fibers, clay, glass, metal or precious gems.

A visit to Dillsboro is like stepping back in time. Its five square blocks of century-old stores, restaurants, galleries and inns are a nostalgic reminder of small town America, the way our grandparents knew it. Dillsboro has an interesting array of mom-and-pop businesses specializing in delightful merchandise. And the Tuckaseigee River flows right through town.

Dillsboro’s central location is just minutes away from Western North Carolina’s premier attractions and activities — the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cherokee Indian Reservation, the Nantahala River and the South’s most scenic mountains, rivers and waterfalls. In fact, just below Dillsboro’s scenic landmark dam you can fish, kayak, walk the greenway, or just sit in the park watching the water go by.


Sylva’s Historic Main Street is a classic, turn-of-the-century main street. Downtown has shops, dining and quaint ambiance.

Dillsboro River Company and Tuskeegee Outfitters offer canoeing and funyak trips on gentle Class II white water as well as rentals and guided trips on the Tuckaseegee River. Visit and tour a working brewery, Heinzelmannchen Brewery that produces fine ales and sodas in the German tradition.

Fly fish on your own or with Smoky Mountains on the Fly, a licensed guide service and instruction for trout and smallmouth bass fly fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Forest.

Franklin, Highlands

North Carolina

Gem mining has been a favorite activity for visitors to the Franklin area for years and is called the "Gem Capital of the World” . Cherokee Ruby and Sapphire Mine, Cowee Mountain Ruby Mine, Gold City Gem Mine, and Jackson Hole Gem Mine are just a few of the mines in Franklin.

The Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum has thousands of specimens on display including a local ruby weighing 2 ¼ pounds! The Macon County Historical Museum on Main is housed in the J.R. Pendergrass building which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The centerpiece of the Society’s collection is the building itself, complemented by original fixtures from the old store and a fascinating variety of artifacts and photographs illustrating Macon County’s past. Scottish Tartans Museum is the only one of its kind in the United States. A direct extension of the Scottish Tartans Society in Scotland, the museum not only displays Scottish Tartans, but covers various aspects of the Scottish experience—culture, history, dress, migration and military.

The Bartram Trail also passes through Franklin, going East-West, and offers many highlights. There is a wide variety of trails offering hikes of different lengths in the Cowee, Fishhawk, and Nantahala Mountains. And whether on your motorcycle or bicycle the Franklin area is a true cycling paradise.

The Nantahala National Forest has over 152,000 acres which lie within Macon County and offers a wide variety of recreation activities from mountain climbing and hiking to white water rafting. There is abundant wildlife, unique plant communities and wildflowers including endangered species of plants, waterfalls and breathtaking mountain vistas. There are sixteen waterfalls in the Franklin area including Juneywhank Falls and Looking Glass Falls.

The performing arts are alive at the 1,500 seat state-of-the-art Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts which presents the finest in performing arts to the surrounding towns.

Choose from a variety of wonderful accommodations, including bed and breakfast inns, cabins and cottages, inns, resort, retreat center and campgrounds.

Highlands, North Carolina, named by Southern Living Magazine as one of the top 5 “Best Small Town Getaways”, and recipient of a “highest recommendation” designation by is often called “the Crown Jewel of the Blue Ridge” sits atop a plateau at an altitude of 4118 feet in the beautiful far Western North Carolina Mountains. Highlands, although in some ways remote, is centrally situated within an easy drive of major nearby cities including Atlanta, Georgia, Greenville and Charleston, SC, Knoxville and Chattanooga, TN and Charlotte, NC. Located within the Nantahala National Forest with its many waterfalls and hiking trails, Highlands offers cool relief from the sweltering heat of the lowland summers in addition to some of the best dining anywhere, an active arts community, boutique shopping in a compact pedestrian friendly downtown and several cultural attractions combined with a laid back presentation. Spring and Summer burst forth with a seemingly endless rainbow of colors as flame azalea, rhododendron, and mountain laurel dominate the landscape and provide nesting sites for the 160 species of birds that breed and migrate through this unique ecosystem now designated a Birding Sanctuary by the Audubon Society. We invite you to “Come for a visit and stay for a lifetime”.

For a complete list of activities contact the Highlands Visitor Center at (866) 914-8399 or visit online at


Cullasaja Falls Little Tennessee River Greenway Macon County Historical Museum - Downtown Franklin
Cherokee Homestead Exhibit - Hayesville NC Dry Falls - Highlands NC Cashier’s Sliding Rock

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Browse by Location

  • Cashiers

    The Cashiers area includes Sylva, Dillsboro, Cherokee, and Cullowhee. Cashiers is located in Jackson County, North Carolina.
  • Franklin

    The Franklin area is located in Macon County, North Carolina.
  • Hayesville

    Hayesville is located in Clay County, North Carolina.
  • Highlands

    The Highlands area is located in Macon County, North Carolina.
  • Murphy

    The Murphy area includes Andrews and Brasstown, Murphy is located in Cherokee County, North Carolina.