Interesting towns can be found around the curves of winding roads through the mountains of Western North Carolina. Many are worth a stop, some are worthy of a night's stay.
The tiny town of Brevard is home to the Brevard Music Festival held each summer and offering more than 50 concerts over seven weeks. Brevard Music Center offers musical training in many music genres during the same period. Drive or hike around the Brevard area to see dozens of waterfalls including Whitewater Falls, highest in the eastern U.S. with a 441 foot drop. Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education here introduces the state's wildlife to visitors.
Head north to visit Waynesville, home to the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts. Crafts are important in the state's tradition and in the economic life of remote areas. The museum displays Civil War and Native American artifacts in addition to quilts, pottery and weavings. The Haywood Arts Repertory Theatre offers musicals and plays every season. Shopping in Waynesville centers on Mast General Store for old-fashioned items such as lye soap and penny candy as well as modern outdoor clothing.
North of Asheville lies Hot Springs, once the site of many resort hotels. The French Broad River and the Appalachian Trail attract visitors to the area now. Hot Springs Spa & Resort still offers soaks in the mineral waters. Cabins and camping are available.
Bryson City has been called the "Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Smokies". This tiny town is close to the Nantahala River Gorge where whitewater is king. The gorge walls range in height from 500 to 1,500 feet. Guided trips are available through Nantahala Outdoor Center. Resorts here include Falling Waters Adventure Resort and Nantahala Village Mountain Resort. Other accommodations include camping, country inns, chain motels and B & Bs.
Brevard is located south of Asheville on I-64. Waynesville is west of Asheville, off I-40 on Rt. 23/74. Hot Springs is northwest of Asheville, off I-40 near Rt. 213 and 25/70. Bryson City is west of Asheville off routes. 19/74.