A friendly town of less than 10,000, Waynesville is Haywood County’s oldest town and for more than a century has been welcoming visitors seeking its cool, clean air and dramatic scenery, who want to experience a quaint mountain retreat. Located on the eastern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Waynesville has a charming main street dotted with an eclectic mix of small businesses, bakeries and coffee shops, and restaurant choices ranging from simple country to high-end gourmet. Waynesville is known for its thriving art community which showcases spectacular galleries filled with paintings, sculptures, and jewelry.
For outdoor enthusiasts Waynesville is a virtual playground. Its gorgeous mountain peaks and lush rolling hills offer an amazing backdrop and level of challenge for golfers to take advantage of several local courses. For those who like to bike, hike or bird watch, the Pisgah National Forest and GSM National Park have extensive trail systems to take advantage of. Rafting, kayaking and trout fishing also are popular choices for many.
As cultural events go, Waynesville rivals many larger cities. Its very active arts council ensures that there is always something going on, with award winning Haywood Arts Regional Theatre at the top of the list. Twice a week during the warmer months, visitors and residents can take advantage of the tailgate farmers’ market. Festivals are plentiful throughout the year.
The friendliness and great quality of life have led Waynesville to be named the “Best Main Street Town,” the “Best Mountain Town” and “Best Small Town” by Where To Retire magazine’s 100 best places to retire.
CANTON, MAGGIE VALLEY AND CLYDE
Just outside Waynesville’s town limits, but still in Haywood County, are the towns of Canton, Maggie Valley and Clyde. This area is appealing for a variety of reasons. In addition to culture and arts, this area has a lot of forests and greenery with spectacular views. Quaint stores and less traffic and, being outside the City of Asheville, taxes are considerably lower. The area has a small town appeal which is attractive for many people who are raising families. There are many recreational activities to choose from as well, from skiing in the winter to the summer festivals featuring local storytellers, musicians, arts and crafts, and plenty of delicious food.