Year Established: 1809

  • At A Glance
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  • Lifestyle
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High peaks surround the town of Waynesville, once billed as the Gateway to the Smokies and now the seat of Haywood County. Where to Retire magazine named Waynesville one of its “100 Best Places to Retire,” calling it the best mountain town with also the best main street. The recently restored train district in Frog Level has gained recognition as a National Historic District and is now home to a collection of small galleries, a coffee roastery, and a microbrewery.

Properties in the area

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Live the life you choose

Waynesville Offers the Best of Town and Mountain Living!

Historic buildings, relaxing benches, public art, and welcoming folks make Waynesville a thoroughly enjoyable place to live and visit. Fine shops, galleries, cafés, and restaurants are all within walking distance of Main Street's tree-lined brick sidewalks.


Downtown Waynesville is a pedestrian's dream with much to choose from, including working art studios, fine restaurants, breweries, a local bookstore, coffee roastery, gift shops, a bakery, and more. Held on the first Friday of each month is Art After Dark, a gallery stroll with meet-the-artist events. With as many attendees as it attracts, it's almost like a street party!

The popular Mountain Street Dances are also held on several Friday nights during the summer beginning at 6:30 pm in front of the Haywood County Historic Courthouse. The dances are fun, free events where you can listen to live music and take part in traditional mountain dancing. Don't worry if you're new to the art form, as the caller takes his time and walks everyone through the steps.


On the west side of Waynesville is Hazelwood Village, which has merged with the town but has maintained its own identity and evolved into a revitalized retail district, including pottery studios, a coffee roastery, gourmet restaurants, and even a business that makes homemade soaps and lotions (which make great gifts). Hazelwood is home to the Folkmoot Friendship Center, which serves as the headquarters for the two-week international dance and music festival that is held every July.

Waynesville is also home to the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, which is located in the historic Shelton House and features 19th century crafts, including pottery, quilts, baskets, and woodworking.


Waynesville is also one of those mountain towns that provides a great jumping off point for a mountain vacation. It's close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Pisgah National Forest, mountain biking trails, and whitewater rafting rivers.

Just outside of Waynesville is Cold Mountain, the peak that Charles Frazier used to name his acclaimed novel, and which also became the title of the subsequent movie. Hiking the mountain requires a map and an entire day, but you can view it by following U.S. 276 out of Waynesville until you hit the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Cold Mountain overlook is right at the U.S. 276/Blue Ridge Parkway intersection.



Community Amenities

  • Children's Programs
  • Planned Activities
  • Walking/Hiking Trails
  • Long Distance Views

Nearby Activities

  • Lake Fishing
  • Fly Fishing
  • Running
  • Walking/Hiking
  • Kayaking/Canoeing
  • Boating
  • Mountain Biking/Cycling
  • Shopping
  • Dining
  • Entertainment
  • Art/Culture