Blake Walsh

21 Best Things to Do in Waynesville, NC

  • Published 2022/12/14

Waynesville is the largest town in western North Carolina and the largest in Haywood County.

It is located between the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Waynesville, North Carolina, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

From fishing to cycling and water hiking, the place holds many fantastic tourist attractions.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the best things to do in Waynesville, North Carolina:

Explore the Wildlife with Cataloochee Valley Tours

An animal at Cataloochee Valley

Johnnie Laws /

Cataloochee Valley is a secret tourist spot in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The place is not easy to visit, but it provides an unforgettable experience.

If you want your eco-tour to be fun and hassle-free, you can book a trip with Cataloochee Valley Tours.

You will be amazed by the magnificent view of the fireflies and different species, such as elk rut.

The place is less than a fairyland, with critters flickering around you!

You also get milk and cookies at the end of the trip, which makes your trip worthwhile.

Catch Stage Performances at Haywood Arts Regional Theater

Haywood Arts Regional Theater is a prestigious community theater that presents spectacular musicals and plays all year round.

Each December, you can enjoy the Christmas show with your family here.

From classics to the latest dramas, you can find multiple kinds of entertainment here.

The theatre is merely two blocks away from Historic Waynesville’s Main St.

Take a Scenic Hike at Purchase Knob

Hiking trail at Purchase Knob

Alexis Pearson /

Plan a hike with your friends and family at Purchase Knob in Waynesville for an adventurous experience.

Make sure to hike to the top so as not to miss any attractions on the way.

A beautiful canopy of trees covers the wide gravel road.

Halfway you can see apple trees.

When you reach the top, enjoy the breathtaking view and a picnic.

If you are enthusiastic about more adventure, then you can add other trails to your trip.

Get Fresh Produce at Barber Orchard Fruitstand

Barber Orchard Fruitstand is a wonderful place in Waynesville with friendly people.

You can find delicious apple pies here with aromatic cakes and muffins for your taste buds.

The fruit stand has been in service for decades, serving locally-grown farm products such as fresh apple juice, black walnut, and sweet potatoes.

Shop for a variety of pickles here to get that traditional South flavor.

Enjoy Golfing at Lake Junaluska Golf Course

Lake Junaluska Golf Course is a green golf course in Waynesville, NC.

It will be advantageous if you visit this place in the fall when the foliage changes color.

In the fall season, you can get magnificent shots of the surroundings.

Go up and down the hill while playing, or have fun walking on the green grounds.

The holes are not too long, and you can play strategically and have a great time.

The place is pretty safe, as no outsiders are allowed.

Get Active at Waynesville Recreation Center

Waynesville Recreation Center is a wonderful facility for the town community.

The place is also open to Summer guests but with limited membership.

The main building of the place holds a giant swimming pool.

There are weights, classes, and indoor tracks.

If you want to be all by yourself, you can spend peaceful moments near the outside trails close to the stream.

The place is serene and shaded.

Here, you can find tennis courts, children’s playgrounds, a dog park, a skateboard facility, a soccer field, and tracks for walking or running.

Buy Farm-Fresh Products at Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market

Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market is an outdoor farmers market that sells seasonal items depending on the Winter and Summer Market hours.

Summer Market runs from April through November.

Local products have a fresh taste of their own, and the items bought at a food warehouse are nothing in comparison.

The farmers directly sell the products they grow on their farms.

You can get all the seasonal stuff here.

Along with fruits and veggies, you can also get honey, eggs, meat, fish, and mushrooms.

Plus, you can find homemade jams and pickles, pieces of bread, soaps, sodas, etc.

On Saturdays, you can enjoy live music!

Find Vintage Items at Sutton and Son’s Antiques

Sutton and Son’s Antiques is the place to be if you want to shop some authentic art pieces in Waynesville.

It is more like a mini-mall, holding a large variety of classic items.

All artifacts are genuine, and there are no reproductions.

You can also shop for clothes, tools, and advertisements as per your liking.

There are separate booths to shop as per the item category.

The items are available at affordable prices, and it is also a great place to spend quality time.

You can purchase wooden boxes, fans, books, apple crates, and numerous other items.

Have a Unique Experience at Winchester Creek Farm

Winchester Creek Farm is an astonishing 20-acre farm located in the mountain town of scenic Waynesville.

They offer a 45-minute tour of the farm to give the guest a learning experience about animals.

They also have an online and an on-site gift shop to buy memorabilia.

You can also rent this place for any vacation or event.

You can opt to feed the animals.

The wildflowers planted on the farm give a unique rustic touch to the place.

This spot has many mini animals, so the kids will surely love being here!

Check Out Various Items at Mast General Store

Mast General Store is an astounding destination in downtown Waynesville to browse some of the most incredible stuff in town.

The inventory holds various products, and you will surely find the item you are looking for.

Clothes, baby items, candies, jewelry, garden decor, hiking and camping gear, and other necessary items are reasonably priced.

There are multiple floors in the store holding an extensive collection of items.

You can also buy food and drinks here, which are available on the lower level.

Appreciate Fine Arts at Cedar Hill Studio & Gallery

Cedar Hill Studio & Gallery is Waynesville’s most extensive fine arts gallery.

The place holds a great collection of art in multiple mediums.

Here, you can find unique art pieces.

The staffs of the place are amiable and supportive.

Visit this place in Waynesville to appreciate the talent of the local artists.

You will be surprised to discover the unmatched talent some local places hold.

Every single work of art is captivating in itself.

Here you can relax and take your time while exploring art.

See the First United Methodist Church

Exterior of the First United Methodist Church

Warren LeMay from Cincinnati, OH, United States, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

First United Methodist Church of Waynesville affirms its mission to be the Living Body of Christ.

This place welcomes all who want to take a step towards spirituality and is also a suitable place to visit if you want to relax in the calm aura of faith.

It is a friendly place that welcomes people from all age groups.

There is a wonderful preschool and a youth group, and classes are organized for multiple age groups.

All three services offer a soothing musical experience.

Both traditional and contemporary services are available here.

Taste Craft Beers at Blue Ridge Beer Hub

If you are interested in tasting craft beer, then Blue Ridge Beer hub is the place for you.

It is a lovely spot to be with the community and with your friends.

The place’s atmosphere is charming, and there is a vast collection of craft beers and wines.

You can also taste the samples before buying.

You must visit this place to mingle with local people while sipping your favorite drink.

Drop by the LoneBackpacker Gallery of World Photography

If you want to see the Smoky Mountains, you can add a bit to your experience by visiting the LoneBackpacker Gallery of World Photography downtown.

This place provides a spectacular view of vibrant photos of the seven continents.

You can meet the traveler who crossed a hundred countries to click these fantastic photographs in the gallery itself.

Each photo consists of the place’s description the photographer has gone to.

You can scan the QR code of the photos to look at the videos related to the images!

Relax Your Mind and Body at Waynesville Yoga Center

Waynesville Yoga Center provides a whole range of classes for yoga enthusiasts.

You can even opt for rejuvenating massages and get wellness lessons in the studio.

Be at your best by learning yoga’s power and its effect on your mind, body, and soul.

The yoga center offers trained teachers and the best classes to visitors.

You can even have an outdoor practice session.

The classes offered include Yoga, Tai Chi, Restorative Yoga, Buti, Qi Gong, Barre, and more.

Visit Waynesville Yoga Center for a refreshing experience for sure.

Get Pampered at Balsam Spa

Balsam Spa is an unexplored leisure place in Waynesville, NC.

It is located behind the Country Club golf course of Waynesville.

The atmosphere of the place is very serene and relaxing, and the staff is very professional and patient.

Get yourself a facial, head massage, or pedicure at this place after a tiring day.

They offer drinks and a cozy warm neck wrap to make the experience more enjoyable.

You can have massages as a couple or book a private session to treat yourself.

Purchase Handcrafted Jewelry at Jeweler’s Workbench

For fine handcrafted jewelry pieces, drop by Jeweler’s Workbench on North Main Street.

They also specialize in kinetic art, artistic gifts, and ornaments and sell limited edition watches.

You’ll find unique accessories made by over 50 local artisans from the Great Smoky Mountain region and across the country.

Pat Bauman, a distinguished member of The Southern Highlands Craft Guild with more than 30 years of experience in jewelry design and repair, will help you with what you need.

You can bring in your heirloom pieces and have them repurposed or made into something new.

Visit Jeweler’s Workbench and find assorted charming pieces of jewelry.

Have Fun Family Time at Smoky Mountain SK8Way & Fun Zone

Bring your family for a fun day at Smoky Mountain SK8Way & Fun Zone, hailed as Western North Carolina’s biggest roller skating rink and an amusement center.

Located on Great Smoky Mountains Expressway, your kids will have plenty of activities to enjoy here.

Skate your way on the 20,000-square feet skating rink, play some fun and crazy 18-hole mini golf, or get your arcade game mode on at the Game & Activities area.

Likewise, enjoy games at Pool Table and Corn Hole.

Little ones will enjoy jumping, climbing, and running about at the Bounce Houses, Obstacle Course, and Slides.

Grab some hot pizza slices or hot pretzels and cold drinks at the Smoky Mountain SK8Way & Fun Zone cafe and snack bar to recharge after all the hours of fun.

Enjoy Tasty Texas Barbecue at Haywood SmokeHouse

If you’re hungry and looking for some Texas-style barbecue in the Waynesville area, check out Haywood SmokeHouse.

This family-friendly restaurant on Elysinia Avenue serves lunch and dinner specials daily; they also have locations in Dillsboro and Franklin.

Enjoy mouthwatering specialty meats, homemade sausages, and sauces; likewise, enjoy portions of smoked pork briskets, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and turkey slices.

Try their Naked, Dressed, or Fine Swine sandwiches, or order the Smokehouse Platters with your choice of Chopped Pork, Sliced Brisket, or Half Chicken.

Take a bite at saucy ribs in three-bone, half-slab, and full-slab servings, or order their full Smokehouse Combo Platters and other takes on the menu, like sides and desserts.

Enjoy authentic Texan barbecue at Haywood SmokeHouse.

Go for a Day Hike at Waynesville Greenway

Head off for a hiking trip at Waynesville Greenway, with a loop between Waynesville Recreation Park and Lake Junaluska.

The area is maintained through the partnership of the town of Waynesville, Haywood County, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

This 4.8-mile trail also runs along Richland Creek and is a great area to bike or hike.

It’s an easy trail so that you can take your kids and your four-legged family member on a leash.

You can also enjoy other activities along Waynesville Greenway, like fishing, spotting wildlife, and dropping by the recreation areas.

Grab Good Coffee and Food at Panacea Coffee House and Cafe

Get a good cup of coffee plus delicious food on the menu at Panacea Coffee House and Cafe.

The coffee shop is housed on the town’s Historic Frog Level in Warehouse 66 and officially opened in 2001.

You’ll be welcomed by the cafe’s rustic, cozy ambiance and smell of fresh coffee.

Otherwise, enjoy your cup at the back deck with a view of Richland Creek.

Sip a warm latte with a hearty breakfast like Banana Nana, Local Lox, or Sam Hammich; you can also choose light but filling salads like Garden of Eden, Southern Sushi, or Mount Olympus.

Try their one-of-a-kind sandwich specials like Ain’t Life Grand, BLTNT, and Zeus Caboose.

Panacea Coffee House and Cafe also offer assorted whole coffee beans like Brazil Oberon, Columbia Supremo Huila, Costa Rica Tres Nubes, and others. 23

Final Thought

The town of Waynesville offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

There are lots of attractions you can enjoy the wonders of nature and explore wildlife.

But the town also has lots of local shops, leisure centers and relaxation spots you can enjoy with the family.

Want to discover more about this town? Pack your bags and enjoy the best things to do in Waynesville, North Carolina.’

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