Top 15 Things To Do In Waynesville, North Carolina - Updated 2021

things to do in waynesville north carolina

Located less than an hour’s drive away from Asheville, and nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Waynesville is the largest town in Haywood County, North Carolina. One of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum, with its over 300 rare vintage motorcycles on display. Other must-see attractions include Main Street in Downtown Waynesville and Shelton House Museum of NC Handicrafts, while some of the best activities to try here include hiking, biking, trout fishing, craft beer tasting, and digging for antiques. Make yourself comfortable at the best vacation rentals and pet-friendly cabins in the city, and read on as we explore and describe some of the best things to do in Waynesville, North Carolina.

1. Enjoy the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains while driving along Blue Ridge Parkway Loop

things to do in waynesville north carolina | enjoy the views of the blue ridge mountains while driving along blue ridge parkway loop

Without a doubt one of the most scenic drives in North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway Loop is a 60-mile (96 kilometers) drive sprinkled with spectacular natural wonders, including a waterfall, gardens, a lot of tunnels, and best of all, panoramic mountain views. Travelers can stop along the way and enjoy a shopping session, tour the Sierra Nevada Brewery, or get even closer to nature on a hiking trail. Some of the highlights along the way include the Moore Cove Falls hike, Looking Glass Falls, and Sliding Rock.

2. Hike to the summit of Black Balsam Knob

Black Balsam Knob
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tsimmons used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Whether you’re looking for a hiking adventure or are just in for the sweeping views, visiting Black Balsam Knob is one of the best things to do near Waynesville. Along with Sam Knob and Tennent Mountain, the Black Balsam Knob is known for its treeless mountaintop that allows for unrestricted views and an alpine feel like no other. It is a unique place in this part of North Carolina, and it is usually only accessible in snow-free months. Since most hiking trails in the area are not protected by trees, make sure you bring lots of sunscreen.

Black Balsam Knob

Address: Haywood County, North Carolina, U.S.

3. Let your kids try pottery making at Our Summerhouse Pottery

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The spectacular outdoors North Carolina hosts are not only sports enthusiasts’ paradise but also an endless source of inspiration for local artists. If you want to see some of their masterpieces, check out Our Summerhouse Pottery in Waynesville. Locally sourced clay is molded and shaped into beautiful pottery here. It is not just a place for adults as kids will love it, too. They can learn the ins and outs of pottery making and even try it themselves.

Our Summerhouse Pottery

Address: 225 Wall St., Waynesville, NC

Website: Our Summerhouse Pottery

4. Catch a play at Haywood Arts Regional Theatre

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Reserve an evening for some local entertainment at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre (HART) which is one of the best things to do around Waynesville. The list of plays that were a success at HART at some point in time includes famous titles like Sense and Sensibility, A Christmas Carol, and Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Jr. This season, guests can see plays like Mamma Mia, Oliver!, A Facility For Living, and Imagine Celebration. They can also attend a dinner buffet before the show, or they can come for Sunday brunch, and feast on goodies from the omelet station and other treats available. HART also has a Youth Drama Program where kids can attend acting classes, and also hosts a variety of events every year.

Haywood Arts Regional Theatre

Address: 250 Pigeon St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Website: Haywood Arts Regional Theatre

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

Price: From 56 USD

5. Go trout fishing in Richland Creek

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

One of the most popular activities in Waynesville is fishing. Anglers of all skill levels come to this part of North Carolina to find the best fishing spots around Waynesville, and there are plenty. One of the best waters for fishing is the West Fork Pigeon River, just off Blue Ridge Parkway. Other streams that both locals and travelers like to explore include Richland Creek, Jonathan Creek, Pigeon River, and Cold Springs Creek. After a morning of fly fishing on these waters, you will be going home with lots of trout.

Richland Creek

Address: Wake Forest, NC 27587, USA

6. Spend an eventful day at Smoky Mountain Sk8way with your children

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Don’t know what to do in Waynesville with your loved ones? Smoky Mountain Sk8way is a beloved family fun center in Waynesville and one of the top places to check out if you’re traveling with kids. They are best known for their roller skating rink but they’re also home to an obstacle course, slides, bounce houses, arcade games, and all kind of fun activities. Smoky Mountain Sk8way also hosts private events and parties, including birthday parties, company events, fundraising events, or holiday parties. Whether you want to take skating lessons, or you’re interested in team-building games and activities, arts and crafts, or some culinary fun, make sure you check this place out.

Smoky Mountain Sk8way

Address: 19025 Great Smoky Mountains Expy, Waynesville, NC 28786

Website: Smoky Mountain Sk8way

Opening hours: Fri: 6pm - 10pm; Sat: 1pm - 10pm; Sun: 1pm - 6pm (closed from Mon - Thu)

7. Stroll along bustling Main Street

Historic Main Street Waynesville
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lawrenceoftyrone used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Whether you’re looking to capture Waynesville’s authentic vibe or you’re interested in one of the best shopping areas in town, Main Street in Downtown Waynesville is the place to be. The bustling street has a lively atmosphere no matter the hour in the day. Some of the places to check out include Affairs Of The Heart, a quaint little shop that sells anything from puzzles and musical clocks to jewelry and candy, Balsam Ridge Gallery, or Blue Ridge Books. Bosu’s Wine Shop and Classic Wineseller are two great spots for wine and craft beer connoisseurs, and they’re in the downtown area, too.

Waynesville Main Street

Website: Waynesville Main Street

8. Tour Shelton House Museum of NC Handicrafts

Shelton House
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user AbeEzekowitz used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Shelton House Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts is currently a heritage museum, located in a house dating back to 1875. Here, visitors will find North Carolina crafts and fascinating agricultural displays. This Waynesville attraction recreates the looks and feel of the town’s rural origins, and is a compelling representation of Haywood County in the late 19th century. The house, barn, and grounds are sometimes booked for small, intimate weddings or receptions. Touring the museum offers a unique experience and gives visitors a sneak peek into the region’s history, heritage, and handicrafts.

Shelton House Museum

Address: 49 Shelton St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Website: Shelton House Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 11am - 4pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

Price: 6 USD

9. Try some of the smoothest craft beer at Frog Level Brewing

Frog Level, Waynesville, NC
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Warren LeMay used under CC0

What started as a couple’s great passion for beer and their search for a better product is today known as Frog Level Brewing Company. Here, the beer is always cold and the outdoor patio is awesome. Frog Level Brewing now produces a wide variety of seasonal, specialty, and flagship beers. Some of the most distinguished flavors visitors can taste are the Nutty Brunette, a brown ale with toffee, toasted biscuit, and caramel notes, and the Bug-Eyed Stout, an espresso stout with vanilla, bitter coffee, and bittersweet chocolate flavors. Their specialties include Croak-A-Nut Porter, Southern Sally Gose, Ultra Violet Blueberry Sour Ale, and Salamander Slam IPA.

Frog Level Brewing

Address: 56 Commerce St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Website: Frog Level Brewing

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 12pm - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 10pm; Sun: 2pm - 7pm

10. Marvel at contemporary artworks at HCAC Gallery & Gifts

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Art aficionados should include a stop at the HCAC Gallery & Gifts. The gallery is open year-round and is home to an impressive display of contemporary works of art. They have 10 rotating gallery shows every year which are chosen by a jury the previous fall. Some of the collections that have been displayed or are coming soon to the gallery include Solitude and Mystery, In The Company Of Animals, Haywood County Studio Tour Reunion, and It’s a Small, Small Work. Guests should check out the schedule in advance to get a glimpse of what to expect and know when to visit as they have different open hours for winter.

HCAC Gallery & Gifts

Address: 86 N Main St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Website: HCAC Gallery & Gifts

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

Price: Free admission

11. Bike around Waynesville Greenway

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The central attraction in Waynesville remains its spectacular outdoors and the plethora of sports travelers can try while there. One of the most popular outdoor activities is biking in the Waynesville Greenway, a beautiful park along Richland Creek, and near Lake Junaluska. The green space is a fantastic destination for bikers and hikers, as it is sprinkled with trails, but it is also a great recreation area and an outdoor classroom for local schools and their different educational programs.

12. Get some fresh produce at Haywood's Historic Farmers Market

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

One of the best things about small towns like Waynesville is that they’re home to a lot of local businesses, and people truly value the importance and health benefits of growing all kinds of produce locally. One of the best places to go for fresh fruit, vegetables, and other foods is Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market. The market was first established in 2008 and is a producer-only market. The vendors that are present at the farmer’s market sell anything from meats, dairy, and seafood to flowers, crafts, and local honey.

Haywood's Historic Farmers Market

Address: 250 Pigeon St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Website: Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market

Opening hours: Sat: 8am - 12pm (closed from Sun - Fri)

13. Treat your taste buds to a meal at The Chef's Table

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Sooner or later, after all this time spent outdoors or admiring local art, you’re bound to get hungry. When you do, one of the best places in Waynesville is The Chef’s Table. Although it has a rather small dining room, it offers a unique experience, as guests get to see the open kitchen where the chef cooks their meal, from their table. Its location is convenient, as it is nestled on a side street in Downtown Waynesville. The menu revolves around the philosophy of gourmet dining, with each dish meeting the high standards this place got its customers used to. The food list, although it changes seasonally, includes appetizers, salads, beef, lamb, or poultry main dishes, seafood, and pasta.

The Chef's Table

Address: 30 Church St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Website: The Chef’s Table

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 5pm - 9pm (closed on Sun)

14. Go pumpkin picking at the First United Methodist Church

First United Methodist Church, Waynesville, NC (46715937671)
Source: Photo by user Warren LeMay used under CC0

It might be strange seeing a Methodist church on the list of the top things to do in Waynesville. The United Methodist Church dates back to 1968 and is the first of its kind here. They are a family-friendly, community-oriented church that focuses on helping people grow and share their faith. What they also do is organize all kind of fun events, and pumpkin picking is one of their best and most awaited. If you’re visiting in the fall, don’t miss this fun, family-friendly event!

First United Methodist Church

Address: 566 S Haywood St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Website: First United Methodist Church

15. Dig for antiques at Southern Charm Vintage Market

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

In a town with so much history and heritage, you might be surprised at what you could find if looking for antiques. Located right on Waynesville’s Main Street, near a lot of other interesting shops and galleries, Southern Charm Vintage Market is undoubtedly worth a peek. Their staff is very attentive and eager to help, and their products are of the highest quality as they value their customers’ satisfaction the most.

Southern Charm Vintage Market

Address: 145 S Main St, Waynesville, NC 28786

Website: Southern Charm Vintage Market

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Waynesville, a town where art and history meet the great outdoors

Downtown Waynesville NC
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Daniel Hass used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If there’s one word that best describes Waynesville, North Carolina, it would probably be diversity. Travelers come here for the outdoor sports and the plethora of biking and hiking trails, but they also come here for the art, for the craft beer, and some even for fishing. There’s something to do at any age and no matter your hobbies or interests. So make sure you plan a trip here, and book any of the Airbnb rentals or Vrbo accommodations in the area. But before you do, check out our list of the best things to do in Waynesville, North Carolina.

Frequently asked questions about things to do in Waynesville, North Carolina

1. Which are the best tourist attractions in Waynesville?

Now that you’ve decided to visit Waynesville, some of its best attractions that you should see are Blue Ridge Parkway Loop, Black Balsam Knob, Main Street, and Shelton House Museum of NC Handicrafts.

2. Which are the best attractions to enjoy with kids & family in Waynesville?

Waynesville is home to a number of family-friendly things to do and places to visit. Take your loved ones to Waynesville Greenway, Smoky Mountain Sk8way, Haywood Arts Regional Theatre, and Our Summerhouse Pottery.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Karina is a content creator based in Bucharest, Romania. A world traveler, obsessed over F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and a coffee addict, she dreams of one day calling Colorado home. Some of her favorite...Read more

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