Fallin’ for Ya

In Do, October 2022 by Anna Beth AdcockLeave a Comment

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Take the plunge and check out these four epic North Carolina waterfalls for a splashing day (or weekend!) excursion. 

TLC famously told us not to go chasing waterfalls… but we rec the opposite. And fall is prime time to explore NC’s many beautiful cascades (hey, fall foliage!). 

Here, we round up four awe-inspiring Western NC waterfalls to visit this season, plus pit stops for snacks, sips and sleep along the way. Amid your waterfall wanderings, plan to check out gift shops with products from local vendors, bite into BBQ sandwiches and baked goods from small shops, and end a day of adventuring with a good night’s sleep under the stars (or stay somewhere luxurious—dealer’s choice!). 

Essentially, just go with the flow (!). Whether you’re into splashing, strolling or simply stopping to see the views, there’s a NC waterfall that you’re sure to fall head over heels for. Water you waiting for?!


Looking Glass Falls
One of the most accessible in North Carolina, these picturesque 60-foot waterfalls—named for their glistening, glassy appearance during those frosty winter months—are located just off U.S. 276 along the Forest Heritage Scenic Byway. You can see the waterfall from the road, but you’re gonna wanna get out of your car to take in its full beauty—or dip your toes in! 

Moore Cove Falls
Just a hop, skip and jump away from Looking Glass Falls is this hidden gem, one of the rare NC waterfalls visitors can venture behind by path. A fam-friendly 1.5-mile hike, the unmarked journey to Moore Cove Falls features a walk through a lush forest of ferns and rosebay rhododendron (translation: plenty of ’Gram-worthy ops!). Trust us, Moore Cove is no mainstream stop.

Sliding Rock
Oh, chute! If slipping down a 60-foot boulder into chilly water is your thing, then this natural waterfall is right up your alley. A staple stop for light thrill-seekers, this mountain waterfall tempts patrons to skid into an 8-foot pool of water, swim to shore and repeat. After all, they say happiness comes in rushes. But if you don’t want to get wet, post up at the observation area to relish the views—and splashes. You don’t wanna mist this one. 

Whitewater Falls
Falling at 811 feet, these jaw-dropping waterfalls along the border of North and South Carolina are the tallest east of the Rocky Mountains. The short 1/4-mile trail leading the way lends its own gushworthy views (think a wildflower forest and Lake Jocassee)—and the paved overlook offers plenty of spectacular photo ops. Things are really looking up…


Historic Toxaway Market and Mountain Cafe
There’s no need to wine, as this friendly market and cafe has everything you need for a perfect picnic, from ~500 wines to cheeses to breads and pastries from local bakeries and more—plus coffee and Hershey’s Ice Cream to refuel after a day spent adventuring. How sweet! Lake Toxaway, historictoxawaymarket.com

Bracken Mountain Bakery
You’re bound to fall in loaf with this neighborhood bakery, featured as one of Southern Living’s 2022 Best Bakeries in the South. Located in historic downtown Brevard, it’s best known for scratchmade European-style breads and pastries, making it the perf stop for breakfast, lunch or a snack pre- or post-waterfall viewing. Seriously dough. Brevard, brackenmountainbakery.com

Smoke on BBQ
Get ready to go hog wild at this drive-thru BBQ resto that smokes its meats daily and makes all its own barbecue sauces, marinades and seasonings in house (!). Despite its small size, this smokin’ joint packs a serious punch with generous portions, killer collards and cooked-to-perfection ’cue. Pig out! Brevard, eatsmokeonbbq.com


Cup & Saucer (photo by Chris Wilson)

Cup & Saucer 
Started as a mobile coffee cart, this cute coffee shop now serves up specialty coffee and fresh housemade baked goods to satiate sweet or savory cravings within its quaint digs (the flaky, buttery biscuits are a must-order!). Post-nosh, wander down to the Mercantile to grab some gifts for the foodies in your life. Brevard, cupandsaucernc.com

Noblebräu Brewing 
The brainchild of Cody Noble, this bangin’ brewery began in Noble’s basement before he moved up to the big leagues and opened up his brewery + tasting room at hoppin’ live music venue 185 King Street. So, come for the brews and stay for the tunes. Ale, yeah! Brevard, noblebrau.com

Oskar Blues Brewery
There’s no feeling blue at this “adventure-crushing” craft brewery. With 32 beers on tap year-round and a rotating selection of specialty brews to boot, it’s the perfect spot to chill with a cold one on the spacious covered patio and relish the cool fall air—or within its cool industrial interior. Tap in! Brevard,


Deerwoode Reserve
Oh, deer! With 175 acres of wildlife along the banks of the French Broad River, this serene reserve is a true Carolina paradise. In addition to the cozy cabins (studio; one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom ops are available), the property serves up trails, water activities, yard games and more. Goodbye, boredom! Brevard, deerwoode.com

Cherryfield Luxury Group Camping
This luxury camping venue puts the glam in glamping—we’re talking luxury indoor steam showers, signature swings, fire pits and plenty of places to relax under the stars. With four spacious side-by-side tent pavilions, the glamping destination is ideal for gathering with friends or fam for a neat nature retreat. Pitch, please! Brevard, glampingwnc.com 

High Hampton
If you’re a fan of the high life, book a room at this charming inn that touts a balance between “removed, but not remote” and “social, but not stuffy” (um, the perfect balance!). When you’re not resting your head in one of the historical-yet-upgraded abodes, treat yourself to a spa day, tee up at the golf course or enjoy a fine dinner at one of the on-site restaurants… if you feel so inclined. Cashiers, highhampton.com

High Hampton (photo contributed)

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