SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO!
Check out the AllTrails App for local hikes and degree of difficulty
A great starting point: Outdoor 76 in Franklin - maps, gear, bicycle rentals - even a tap room! If you're not quite ready for steep mountain biking, you can rent a bike and ride the almost flat Franklin greenway, along the Little Tennessee River - then stop at the Currahee Brewing Company, right on the river, for a local tall cool one!
Outdoor adventures can be planned all around us - check out the Nantehala Oudoor Center in nearby Bryson City and the Dillsboro River Company in nearby Dillsboro. When you're trip is finished, all of our delightful historic towns have shops, craft breweries, and restaurants to enjoy!
Speaking of craft breweries - we are surrounded by spectacular craft breweries with food trucks (and live music on weekends), all of them Fido friendly! It's the spectacular mountain spring water...check them out! Here are some of the innkeeper's favorites: The Lazy Hiker Brewing Company & food truck (downtown Franklin), Currahee Brewing Company and food truck on the Little Tennessee River (downtown Franklin), and Innovation Brewing and food truck on the creek in downtown Sylva.
Spectacular local restaurants abound all around us - there's something for everyone! Local mountain trout, southern barbecue, french with a southern flair, Caribbian fusion, farm to table, smoked steak and fishes, Thai, Japanese, and Mexican, and good old southern home cooking, complete with homemade pie. The choices are endless, but here's what you can count on eveywhere you go - the service will be friendly, the dress and decor will be casual, and the food will be ample and delicious - with small town prices! Here are some of the innkeeper's favorites (an asterick * denotes a pet friendly patio): Cafe Rel in downtown Franklin (french with a southern flair - cash only, no reservations, spectacular food), The Root and Barrel Kitchen in downtown Franklin - spectacular design with patio, local craft beers on tap, great chef, Motor Company Grill * in downtown Franklin - an old time diner with a page of burgers, the best greek salad in town, grilled fish, and old fashioned ice cream specialties and milkshakes - so dog friendly there's even a Fido menu!, Fat Buddies Barbecue at Westgate plaza, Rizzo's Bakery and Bistro near downtown Franklin - spectacular baked goods, breads, sandwiches, salads, and desserts, and Gazebo Creekside Cafe * near downtown Franklin - creekside dining with great sandwiches and salads. Then there's Sylva - two favorite spots side by side in the historic downtown are Lulu's * - spectacular and varied farm to table menu with patio dining, and Guadalupe Cafe * - farm to table tropical fusion with a southern flair and patio. And you don't want to miss a visit to the delightful downtown City Lights Cafe and Bookstore * - a premier independent bookstore, and a spectacular cafe with breakfast, sandwiches, salads, great coffee, and local craft beer. Our steak loving guests swear by Bogarts near downtown Sylva, and the new Boots Steakhouse in Dillsboro. One of the innkeeper's all time favorites, for both eat in and carry out, is the fabulous Greek/Italian/American Kosta's Family Restaurant in downtown Dillsboro - fantastic handmade sauce, wonderful Greek specialties, grilled fish, and the best eggplant parmesan around. And who would think to come to the Smoky Mountains for great seafood? But here it is, along with local fresh mountain trout, at the quirky and wonderful Creekside Oyster House * - yes, the dog friendly patio looks out over Scott's Creek...and, along with the Guadalupe Cafe, one of the two wonderful places open Sunday evening! Then there's breakfast...you have a continental breakfast basket in your cottage, but for that big southern breakfast or lunch out (or some of the best homemade pie anywhere), a great place to go is Ms. Lois's in downtown Franklin - fantastic omelettes, sticky southern grits and gravies, fluffy pancakes, home fries (get them extra crispy!) , great coffee - they've got it all in a down home and friendly atmosphere. For a spectacular coffe shop/cafe experience, City Lights Cafe * (above), or head over to nearby Waynesville and enjoy the spectacular coffee we serve in our cottages, at the Panacea Cafe and Roastery * in the Frog Level historic district. Spectacular coffee, great breakfasts and lunches, even local craft beer on tap, in a delightful coffee house atmosphere right on the creek - and enjoy (and smell!) the beans being roasted. We serve their incredibly smooth and mellow organic Brazil Dark Roast (did you know that the darker the roast, the less caffeine?...if a dark roast coffee gives you a buzz, caffeine was probably added - not here!). You will love historic, dog friendly, and delightful downtown Waynseville - fantastic restaurants and taproom/restaurants (The Tipping Point, Boojums Taproom, The Sweet Onion, Frogs Leap Public House (and their Manhattan Street Market), Blossom on Main (Thai), and Bocelli's Italian Eatery for starters...), the extraordinary Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery, with everything from sugarless homemade dog treats to t shirts, mugs, and coasters, and the incredible Sunburst Market, distributor for locally sourced foods, produce, drinks, and their own farmed and smoked trout - the best I've ever tasted!
Then there's rockhounding - did you know that Franklin is one of the semi-precious gem capital's of the world? (just ask anyone in Franklin!) Guests are welcome to hunt and pan in our two creeks - find it it's yours! Then head to downtown Franklin to the Gem and Mineral Museum, your first stop to learn about all things gemstone. The Franklin Chamber of Commerce also offers information about our rich gem mining heritage here, and we'll have a copy of the Rockhounder's Guide to the gem mines in the area here for you in your notebook of attractions.
Our corner of the Smoky Mountains is also known as one of the mountain trout/fly fishing capitals of the world; we are surrounded by tumbling rivers, deep enough for rafting, kayaking, and lots of fish, but shallow enough for fly fishing. Bring your own gear and license, or get a three day license for only $5 locally and rent gear - head out yourself, or go with one of the many capable guides. Start planning your adventure with one of our many local outfitters, like Blackrock Outdoor Center in downtown Sylva - they can take care of your license, your gear (buy or rent), and tell you where you can fish at different times of the year. Or give Alex Bell a call at AB Flyfishing - Alex will guide you to the best fly fishing experience in the Smokies. If just fishing to eat is your thing, head over to Cooper Creek Trout Farm in Bryson City - no license is required, you pay by the fish, and they are happy to clean and fillet your catch. Bring em on back to your Cottage - we'll have a grill loaded up with charcoal ready for you!
A very special local attraction is the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Bryson City - be sure to reserve your tickets ahead! There are a variety of train tours and holiday events, for all ages. With great restaurants, the huge Nantahala Brewing Company and Taproom, shops, an Appalachian trail head and the Nantahala Outdoor Center, our guests book their train ride and make a day of it in Bryson City!
You just don't want to miss our great Smoky Mountains in the autumn...yes, there's the most spectacular foliage you have ever seen, but there's also apples and more apples - the amazing Barber Orchard and Bakery is right down the road, with bags of apples, and the best fresh pressed cider and amazing baked goods you have ever tasted. One of the last apples out, the Arkansas Black, is the innkeeper's favorite - very firm and sweet yet tart, it is an apple that tastes like us old timers remember apples used to taste...
Believe it or not, there's so much more - antiquing and consignment shops abound, quilting and knit shops, local pottery, woodworking and other crafts, horseback riding and golf, motorcycle trails and the famous Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley...there's something for everyone here, rain or shine. Let us know ahead of your visit what you're interested in - we'll add specialized information to your notebook of attractions!