Waynesville, NC: Elevated Living in a Vibrant Downtown

Just 30 minutes west of Asheville in Haywood County, high mountain peaks surround the vibrant and friendly town of Waynesville, NC and its tree-lined Main Street. 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 offer countless ways to Live the Life You Choose.



“I think of Waynesville as my town because I’ve lived here all of my life. So, it’s really my hometown that I enjoy talking about,” says Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown.

Waynesville’s proximity to Asheville offers residents the best amenities of a larger city while still holding on to its small-town atmosphere, qualities that have garnered some national attention. Waynesville was voted “Best Mountain Town,” “Best Main Street Town,” “Best Small Town,” “Best Undiscovered Town,” and a “Low-Cost Eden,” in the third edition of America’s 100 Best Places to Retire, published by Where to Retire magazine.

“Our town itself is now a vibrant place where you see the arts alive, where you see restaurants alive, where you see shops alive, and people actually enjoying their stay in the town of Waynesville,” says Mayor Brown. “Everybody buys into the fact that Waynesville and Main Street is gonna be a place where people walk, where people talk, where people share events.”

Numerous popular events, parades, and festivals occur in downtown Waynesville throughout the year. Held on the first Friday of each month, Art After Dark is a gallery stroll with meet-the-artist events. With as many attendees as it attracts, it’s almost like a street party! Popular Mountain Street Dances are held on several Friday nights during the summer in front of the Haywood County Historic Courthouse. The dances are fun, free events where locals and visitors can listen to live music and take part in traditional mountain dancing.

Waynesville is also home to the Folkmoot Friendship Center. The center serves as the headquarters for the two-week Folkmoot USA international dance and music festival. Folkmoot is North Carolina’s official music and dance festival, welcoming more than 100,000 people to performances from 8–10 international dance groups each July.

“The property owners in the Town of Waynesville realized that a vibrant, alive downtown was necessary to keep the community itself alive and vibrant,” says Mayor Brown. “And I’m very proud of the fact that our storefronts are inviting to people. When tourists come here, they view Waynesville as the truly Norman Rockwell setting that they envisioned when they grew up.”

Once billed as the Gateway to the Smokies, Waynesville 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. Haywood County boasts the highest average elevation of any county east of the Rockies, with 18 mountains topping 6,000 feet or higher. These ridges bring snow in the winter and cooler temperatures in the summer, qualities that have attracted tourists and residents for generations.

“One of the great things about Western North Carolina is all the varied activities you can do,” says Chris Bates, general manager of the Cataloochee Ski Area. “We usually ski, at Cataloochee, from the beginning of November until the end of March. I try to get out there at least a couple times a week and ski, myself. And just enjoy the product we put out and have a good time sliding down the mountain, because that’s what it’s all about.”

From outdoors adventures to cozy spots downtown, Waynesville welcomes people from many different backgrounds to visit and stay for life.

“The hallmark of Waynesville probably is that we’ve accepted so many different people from so many different places, and the second home industry became an important part of Waynesville,” says Mayor Brown. “I think that’s what’s great about Western North Carolina, in its entirety, is that it allows for that. It’s not a threatening place, at all. It’s a place that welcomes people and we hope to maintain that so years from now somebody can say what I said a minute ago, ‘I really do like Waynesville.’

“When you come to Waynesville, you realize that you really are at home.”

48 Hours in Waynesville: And into the Forest I Go...

Learn More about Living in Waynesville, NC

Beverly-Hanks has an office conveniently nestled on Main Street in Waynesville, and our agents love being part of this this community. Our inviting office environment welcomes you in to speak directly with any of our agents. They’d be happy to tell you how Waynesville allows you to Live the Life You Choose.

See the beauty of Waynesville for yourself! Read more about Waynesville, see more photos, or search for homes in the area, from our Beverly-Hanks Waynesville community page.



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