While in Western North Carolina…

During your stay at Hawkesdene there is no shortage of things to do. Horseback riding, hiking, white water rafting, fishing, golf, zip-lining and scenic drives are among many of the activities that await you here in Western North Carolina. Below are some of our suggestions…



Blue Ridge Scenic Railway The 4-hour round-trip excursions leave from Blue Ridge, Georgia, wind along the Toccoa River and continue to Copperhill, Tennessee.

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad Scenic excursions leave from Bryson City, cross Fontana Lake and travel through the Nantahala River Gorge.

Cherokee Indian Reservation Summer Outdoor Drama, Indian Village, Cherokee Indian Museum, Mountain Farm Museum and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.

Junaluska Memorial The gravesite and story of the great Cherokee leader Junaluska in Robbinsville.

Biltmore House Tour the country’s largest home. The Vanderbilt Mansion is 1.5 hours from the Inn – a great day trip

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino State-of-the-art gaming with over 1,000 of the most popular slot products and traditional table game favorites.


There are a variety of restaurants for just about any taste just a short drive away from Hawkesdene. We particularly recommend Rib Country BBQ, Murphy’s Chop House and ShoeBooties in Murphy; Burger Basket (Great Burgers!), Maria’s Diner (Great Breakfast!), Hoppy Trout (Brick Oven Pizza & Locally-Brewed Craft Beer), Kobe Grill (Japanese), Mariolino’s (Italian), Monte Alban (Mexican), and Sage (Fine Dining) in Andrews; and River’s End and Kallisto Restaurant and Lounge in the Nantahala Gorge.

The Great Outdoors

Hiking & Walking Wildflower and photo walks for all ages. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has 800 miles of trails – from easy walks to strenuous hikes. Two of the most popular areas are the Joyce Kilmer National Forest and the Deep Creek waterfall area near Bryson City.

ZipLine canopy tours Take a tour through the forests with Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours, and NOC Adventure Park. All offer instruction and have professional guides to help you along the way.

Horseback Riding Several stables are nearby for trail riding or lessons with rides into the Smoky Mountains, including Horseshoe Creek, Nantahala Village, Chunky Gal Stables, and Appalachian Trail Rides.

Gem Mining at Nantahala River Gem Mine. 12121 W. Hwy 19, Bryson City, NC 28713. 828-488-1800.

Golf There are beautiful mountain courses in nearby Murphy, Bryson City and Hiawassee, Ga.

Bicycling Beautiful back road byways for road bikes and the nationally known Tsali mountain bike area is nearby.

Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking The Nantahala is considered ideal for both the first-timer and experienced paddler. With a wealth of rapids running the length of the river, there’s plenty of fun for all.

Fishing The Hawkesdene House lies close to some of the best trout streams known. And for lake fishing – boat rentals are available on Fontana Lake, Lake Santeetlah, Nantahala Lake and Hiawassee Lake. You can read NC Fishing regulations and even get your license online before you come to visit.

Scenic Drives

Cherohala Skyway One of America’s most beautiful byways, a 40+ mile excursion that rivals the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Sportscar & Motorcycles One of the country’s top rides – The Tail of the Dragon, 318 curves in 11 miles – is nearby.

Arts, Crafts and Music

There are many local crafts people and galleries. Pottery, woodworking, dulcimers, painting, and hand blown glass — everything from traditional to contemporary. Numerous antiques dealers offer folk art to classic collectibles.

John C. Campbell Folk School This renowned folk school is just minutes away, and there’s always something going on from dances to craft shows.

Stecoah Valley Center has a great summer concert series, and festivals as well as a local artisans’ art gallery and textile studio.

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