A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Asheville - Black Dome Mountain Sports This local outfitter has been gearing up hikers since 1984, and the addition of a bar, Conspiracy, has made it a popular hangout, too.

Madison County Championship Rodeo

Asheville - Black Dome Mountain Sports This local outfitter has been gearing up hikers since 1984, and the addition of a bar, Conspiracy, has made it a popular hangout, too.

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Asheville - Black Dome Mountain Sports This local outfitter has been gearing up hikers since 1984, and the addition of a bar, Conspiracy, has made it a popular hangout, too.

8 Great Places to Unwind After a Hike

Asheville – Black Dome Mountain Sports

This local outfitter has been gearing up hikers since 1984, and the addition of a bar, Conspiracy, has made it a popular hangout, too. Order a pint and enjoy free popcorn while watching outdoor-themed action movies, and don’t miss the Southern Appalachian Paddlesports Museum and Carolina Climbing Museum inside the store.

140 Tunnel Road
(828) 251-2001
blackdome.com


Bessemer City – Central Drug

After the short but strenuous hike to the top of Crowders Mountain, treat yourself to a chocolate milkshake or a cherry-lemon Sun Drop at this nearby pharmacy, soda fountain, and ice cream shop — a staple in downtown Bessemer City since 1927.

112 West Virginia Avenue
(704) 629-2163
centraldrugbessemer.com


Boone – Coyote Kitchen

This restaurant is located at the end of the Boone Greenway. Try the “Southwest-Caribbean soul food” before or after exploring almost four miles of trails, or walk to and from the restaurant starting at the Casey Lane or Watauga High School trailheads for a mid-hike pit stop.

200 Southgate Drive
(828) 265-4041
coyotekitchen.com


Bryson City – River’s End Restaurant

This restaurant at the Nantahala Outdoor Center started in 1972 as a simple outpost for hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Today, kayakers, whitewater rafters, anglers, and day hikers enjoy River’s End’s waterfront views, too, as they fill up on “Sherpa rice” or attempt to finish the one-pound Hungry Hiker burger.

13077 U.S. Highway 19
(828) 488-7172
noc.com/places/ restaurants/rivers-end-restaurant


Cashiers – Whiteside Brewing Co.

The namesake mountain in Whiteside Brewing Co.’s logo rises just beyond the brewpub’s doors. Enjoy an IPA or amber ale on the lawn, or order takeout from a menu of paninis, burgers, wings, nachos, and salads for a picnic on top of Whiteside Mountain’s 750-foot cliffs.

128 NC Highway 107
(828) 743-6000
whitesidebrewing.com


Kill Devil Hills – Food Dudes Kitchen

With Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head Woods Preserve, Run Hill State Natural Area, and the Wright Brothers National Memorial all within a four-mile radius, adventure is never far from this Caribbean- and Mexican-inspired restaurant. The laid-back atmosphere draws hikers, surfers, and beachgoers for fish tacos, jerk chicken wraps, and homemade desserts.

1216 South Virginia Dare Trail
(252) 441-7994
fooddudeskitchen.com


Raleigh – Sunny’s Diner

Before venturing out to the 5,600- acre William B. Umstead State Park’s lakes and trails just half a mile away, fill up on eggs, country ham, bacon, and pancakes at this traditional diner. Prefer to work up an appetite first? Sunny’s serves breakfast all day long.

8710 Glenwood Avenue, No. 104
(919) 787-7715


Troy – Uwharrie Mercantile

In downtown Troy in Uwharrie National Forest, a former 1909 hotel and drugstore now serves coffee, sandwiches, and baked goods to help fuel a day on the trails. Plus, peruse the pages of a book filled with handwritten memories of locals who recall the shop’s past lives.

401 North Main Street
(910) 572-1555
uwharriemercantile.com

This story was published on Apr 27, 2020

Katie King

Katie King

Katie King is the assistant editor at Our State.