After the holidays, we recommend a getaway that’s the perfect mix of outdoor adventure and opportunities to unwind. Find all this and more — but without all the crowds — in Jackson County, NC. Secret Season is the perfect time to visit the beautiful and quaint mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, and Sylva, just three hours from Atlanta.
Secret Season in Jackson County is when the crowds thin out and it feels like you have the mountains all to yourselves. Being just a tank of gas away, it’s easy to pack up the car and make Jackson County home for a long weekend. And with exclusive Secret Season deals, finding affordable and comfortable accommodations close to all the fun takes no time. Here’s how we spent our 3-day Secret Season getaway.
Day 1 – Hitting the Slopes
Getting some ski time in on the first day is a must for us. Just a few minutes from Cashiers, sits Sapphire Valley ski resort which offers ski lessons for beginners and snow tubing. After lessons and nailing a few runs without falling, we had really worked up an appetite. It was time to refuel and warm up with a delicious meal at the nearby Library Kitchen + Bar where Michelin star-trained Chef Johannes Klapdohr shows off his culinary artistry. With less crowds, we got the best seats in the house, at the bar with a view of the kitchen so we could see all the delicious action up close.
Day 2 – Exploring The Smoky Mountains National Park
Less than an hour away from Cashiers in the Smoky Mountains is the town of Cherokee and The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Nearly 850 miles of trails help make this park a great choice for hiking, waterfall viewing, and camping. At the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, we learned about the history of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. While hiking some trails in the Park, we got to see a ton of wildlife! The Park boasts over 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians. This includes an estimated 1,500 black bears and a small herd of elk! If you’re looking for some easy hikes, we recommend The Oconaluftee River Trail which traverses the crystal-clear waters. Keep your eyes peeled for elk along this path, too!
Day 3 – Discovering Unique Boutiques, Brews, and Bites
On the last day, we checked out the charming towns of Sylva and Dillsboro. We grabbed coffees and pastries on Sylva’s Main Street and popped into unique boutiques for Appalachian art and gifts for friends back home. For dinner, we had options, including award-winning restaurants like upscale Ilda and casual Haywood Smokehouse. And talk about the craft beer! Jackson County is home to numerous breweries offering local craft beers throughout the county.
3 Days Well Spent
From skiing to hiking in the great outdoors to exploring the small local towns, Secret Season is all about experiencing the most for the least. No matter what you choose to do, Jackson County’s Secret Season offers all you need for an unforgettable mountain getaway. You’ll love your trip so much, it might just become your new secret tradition.
The post Jackson County, NC: Adventure Less than 3 Hours Away appeared first on Atlanta Magazine.
After the holidays, we recommend a getaway that’s the perfect mix of outdoor adventure and opportunities to unwind. Find all this and more — but without all the crowds — in Jackson County, NC.
The post Jackson County, NC: Adventure Less than 3 Hours Away appeared first on Atlanta Magazine. Atlanta Magazine