photograph by Steve Yocom, courtesy of Haywood County Tourism

Feature image: On a warm spring day at Frog Level Brewing, forgo the taproom in the former warehouse for a seat next to Richland Creek.

No matter which direction you walk down the red-brick sidewalks on Main Street, mountains rise up ahead of you. It’s a reminder that in Waynesville, an adventure is never too far away. For more than 200 years, this town has been a gateway to the beauty that surrounds it.

In the 1800s, tourists came for the purported health benefits of the clean mountain air. Today, they also come for the town’s vibrant personality: Around every corner, you’ll find art galleries and studios. Cozy wine bars and craft breweries. A gourmet grocery and a colorful kitchen shop. Ask a local where to eat, and be ready to take notes on the farm-to-table restaurants.

You could ready your hiking boots — head into Great Smoky Mountains National Park or hop onto the Blue Ridge Parkway — but you could also just stay put. Settle in. Because there’s plenty to admire and explore right in front of you.


This story was published on

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.