Visiting Maggie Valley and Waynesvill
Nestled in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina are two quaint mountain villages: Maggie Valley and Waynesville, offering fun attractions for tourists. Known for its majestic smoky mountains and friendly people, western North Carolina is a popular vacation area that draws people from not only the southeast, but from every region of the United States. Two of the most widely visited small towns nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina are Maggie Valley and Waynesville, which are less than an hour’s drive west of Asheville.
Maggie Valley Attractions
Ghost Town in the Sky is a family-fun theme park in Maggie Valley. Visitors to can ride up to the top of Buck Mountain to the amusement park in either an incline railway or chairlift to enjoy the breathtaking mountain views. Once there visitors step back in time to the days of the Old West as they enjoy country music at the Silver Dollar Saloon, while watching a show of dancing Can Can Girls. There are rides for all ages and restaurants, along with regular performing bands and artists.
The Carolina Lights Dinner Theater is another popular Smoky Mountains attraction. Also located in Maggie Valley, The Carolina Lights Dinner Theater offers top rated music, including dancing and comedy acts. Tourists who enjoy square dancing and clogging can join the Smoky Mountain Cloggers at Stompin’ Grounds, a mountain dance club, located on Socco Road (Highway 19/23).
A quaint mountain retreat, Waynesville is the largest town in the Smoky Mountains, west of Asheville. Downtown Waynesville’s Main Street is lined with specialty shops and art galleries. One of the most popular art galleries is the T. Pennington Art Gallery where self-taught North Carolina colored pencil artist Teresa Pennington features her beautiful colored pencil drawings of Western North Carolina scenery. Other art studios include Cedar Hill, Burr Studio and Blue Owl.
Besides the fine art studios, downtown Waynesville offers studios in pottery, jewelry, glassware and other crafts. The Christmas Everyday Shop sells not only Christmas items, year-round, but also has a wide selection of candles and other gifts. Sidewalk cafes and fine restaurants, bakeries, wine and coffee shops are some of the culinary treats of downtown Waynesville. The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre (HART), a community theater featuring local talent, has grown into one of leading active theaters in the Southeast. The theater seats 255 people and is open April through November.
The Shelton House Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts
The Sheldon House Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, located at 49 Shelton Street in Waynesville, features exhibits of 19th century furniture and crafts such as quilts, coverlets, pottery and sculptured porcelain. Also included are fine collections from southwestern and southeastern North American artifacts. Built in 1875, the Shelton House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Folksmoot USA, North Carolina’s international dance and music festival, is an annual summer event. Held along the streets of downtown Waynesville, the festival features a parade, with performances represented by more than 200 different folk groups from around 100 countries who share their culture and heritage. Some of the countries participating include Serbia, Scotland, Netherlands, Greece, Mexico, Romania, Israel and Spain.
Finally, one of the highlights of a visit to Western North Carolina is the road trip just getting here. Some of America’s most spectacular scenery is found along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Besides the stunning mountain views, Haywood County is home to white-tailed deer, black bears, wild turkeys and elk which sometimes meander into the mountain villages of Maggie Valley and Waynesville.