SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO!
Check out the AllTrails App for local hikes, Fido friendliness, and degree of difficulty
There is spectacular fly fishing in the nearby Tuckaseegee River year round! Bring your gear and head to the river, or book a trip with one of our knowledgeable outfitters - you can't go wrong, the fishing is terrific, and the scenery all around you is as good as it gets...
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. If you haven't been to this area in awhile, you won't recognize downtown Franklin! A delightful Appalachian Trail community, Franklin now boasts a spectacular independent bookstore, Books Unlimited, my favorite yarn and fiber arts store, Silver Threads and Golden Needles (hand dyed yarns, knit nights, and classes), your gateway to learning about our gem mining heritage, the Gem and Mineral Museum, the Scottish Heritage museum, my favorite consignment emporium, Nestfeathers, boutique shops, two craft breweries, and delightful restaurants. Fido friendly, easy free parking, and lot's of friendly faces...you won't want to miss it.
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 on the creek in downtown Sylva, and now with a new location on the other end of the creek on Depot street in Dillsboro! The Sylva location has a spectacular food truck and wood fired pizza restaurant; the Dillsboro location has a great new farm to table eatery, The Forager's Canteen - try them both!
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): you just don't want to miss Franklin's first and spectacular farm to table breakfast and lunch cafe, Yonder Cafe* , open Thur- Sun, 7 - 2...the best locally sourced food and coffee around. 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 in the historic downtown are Lulu's * - spectacular and varied farm to table menu with patio dining (now in their new location), 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 Boots Steakhouse* in Dillsboro. Right across from Boot's Steakhouse, on Depot Street, right on the lovely Scott's Creek, is the second location of the fabubulous Innovation Brewing*, with a great new farm to table restaurant that delivers to your patio table at the brewery, Forager's Canteen*. Then there's a Dillsboro icon - still family owned and run, 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 and Forager's Canteen, one of the three 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, Yonder Cafe*, City Lights Cafe *, 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 (Birchwood Hall, Boojums Taproom, The Sweet Onion, Frogs Leap Public House (and their Manhattan Street Market), 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.
More on fly fishing - 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 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. The first and the last apples out, the McIntosh and the Arkansas Black, are 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!