Cool off at Sliding Rock.

Summer Staycations

Cool off at Sliding Rock.
By Johnnie Grant –

Things to do in western North Carolina that won’t break the bank!

Yes, it’s that time of year when we think of relaxing and fun places to go. You know, adventurous and creative things to do. So, pack the car, grab the kids, and head for the mountains! If you love the outdoors try a “Staycation.” From our national forests to hiking trails, western North Carolina offers some amazing hidden treasures!

Start making your “Staycation” list for some summer fun!

Sliding Rock

For locals, Sliding Rock has in some ways been a summer “right of passage.” This writer remembers wearing out a pair of jeans having hours of endless fun on this natural waterslide located in the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, North Carolina.

Lifeguards are on duty every day until Memorial Day weekend from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. After Labor Day, lifeguards work on weekends through October. Cost is $3 per person (cash or credit card). Children 6 and under are free. Remember: It’s safest not to slide during high water or thunderstorms. Overnight camping and hotel accommodations are available in this area.

The Great Smokies National Park offers
excellent horseback riding trails.

Bryson City

This is a unique small town with great road-side shops and family entertainment. You’ll find a wide variety of hotel lodging, inns, mountain cabins, and campgrounds for your getaway.

If you like horseback riding, the Great Smokies National Park offers excellent horseback riding trails. Several stables offer guided rides and treks which generally last from one to four hours. There are also overnight camping trips. Some guided trips include the Nantahala National Forest overlooking Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Reservations are preferred.

Bryson City is centrally located in the middle of western North Carolina.


7:18am7:27pm EDT
Feels like: 63°F
Wind: 8mph SSE
Humidity: 43%
Pressure: 30.29"Hg
UV index: 1
min 41°F