Asheville is North Carolina’s answer to Tennessee’s Knoxville as the anchor town of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s also the largest city on the Carolina side, yet it still embraces a small-town feel.
Cherokee is so much more than the “North Carolina Entrance” to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This town will touch your soul, intrigue your imagination, and help you re-learn some important American history lessons.
Fontana Dam is both a literal dam and a village, centered around a concrete colossus, rising 480 feet above the Little Tennessee River. Completed in 1944, it was a crucial wartime effort, powering aluminum production for aircraft during World War II. Fontana Dam is the tallest concrete dam east of the Rocky Mountains.
Lake Junaluska shimmers like a sapphire set in emerald with one of the most relaxing experiences in Appalachia. Founded in 1910 as a Methodist assembly ground, it still exudes “Christian hospitality” to anyone who wants to immerse in the serene setting.
In between Asheville and Maggie Valley, the town of Waynesville offers a great compromise. You get lively downtown activities with breweries and more modern restaurants while still being close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Pisgah National Forest.