Dillsboro, North Carolina and the adjoining village of Sylva NC sit in a deep mountain valley, and serve as a major entryway to the western North Carolina mountains. Both small towns are the old-fashioned red brick and white clapboard Victorian villages that are common to this area. Both towns are quaint and unspoiled and consist of just a few city blocks of authentic old brick buildings, with architecture from the 40s. You won’t find the franchise restaurants here-just good old-fashioned independently-owned eateries.
The small western North Carolina towns have put considerable thought and energy into some upscale shops for North Carolina mountain visitors, and for those travelers whose mountain getaway is not complete without a shopping spree–well, they won’t be disappointed here. Sylva’s Jackson’s General Store and Dillsboro’s Riverwood Crafters shouldn’t be missed. For those who appreciate art, visit L. Kotila Watercolors. If you are lucky, you might even catch Linda working on a new watercolor.
There are some interesting things to do and see in and around the towns of Sylva NC and Dillsboro, North Carolina. Some entrepreneurial investors bought an abandoned freight railroad in Dillsboro NC and created the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad (more on GSMR), which offers several excursion rides throughout the surrounding mountains. The Mountain Heritage Center at WCU houses a museum that re-tells the story of early settlers in the coves and valleys in this area.
Lodging choices run the gamut. Mountain cabin rentals and luxurious bed and breakfast inns are the best choices. As an example, Dillsboro’s Jarrett House combines a fine bed and breakfast and dining experience. Jarrett House is a three-story wood hotel in operation since 1884. In addition, the Balsam Mountain Inn nearby in Balsam NC is a beautifully restored Victorian railroad hotel less only a mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Innkeepers George and Hanneke Ware have re-created an Alpine gasthaus at The Chalet Inn, a bed and breakfast on 22 acres in the Smoky Mountains.
There are several things to do for the more active outdoor enthusiast, such as walking the wild forests in the surrounding mountains, trout fishing (outfitters in town), and whitewater rafting. Slickrock Expeditions is an outfitter for more ideas and guide assistance.
Getting to Sylva and Dillsboro is easy. Take Interstate 40 to the east side of the Great Smoky Mountains, and locate US 23/74 at Canton NC, which is only 30 miles east of Sylva NC.