2 Best Sights in Waynesville, The North Carolina Mountains

Cold Mountain

About 15 miles from Waynesville in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area of the Pisgah National Forest, this 6,030-foot rise had long stood in relative anonymity. But with the success of Charles Frazier's bestselling novel Cold Mountain, people want to see the region that Inman and Ada, the book's Civil War–era protagonists, called home. For a view of the splendid mass, stop at any of a number of overlooks off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Try the Cold Mountain Overlook, just past mile marker 411.9, or the Wagon Road Gap parking area, at mile marker 412.2. You can climb the mountain, but be prepared—the 10-mile hike to the summit is strenuous as you ascend nearly 3,000 feet in elevation.

Shelton House and the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts

The 1875 Shelton House is home to the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, featuring pottery, carvings, textiles and tinwork from 19th-century settlers and modern artisans. Exhibits include Cherokee items and a medical display from the post–Civil War era. The grounds include a barn used for events, an impressive community theater, and a two-bedroom rental apartment. Each June, the museum hosts the Blue Ridge Heritage Weekend Arts & Crafts Fair, drawing 80+ artists to Waynesville.