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Enjoy a Mountain Vacation in Franklin, NC

Updated on July 10, 2010

Are you looking for a way to escape from the heat of the summer while having an opportunity to enjoy beautiful mountain scenery? Consider a trip to Franklin, North Carolina. This small Appalachian mountain community is one of the most scenic, peaceful spots you'll find in the southeastern region of the United States.

Franklin Accommodations

While you won't find luxury resorts in this community, there are plenty of quaint lodging accommodations of the exact type you'd expect to find in a mountain community. Options include a number of motels, cabins, and campgrounds that can accommodate tents and recreational vehicles. You can find details about places to stay on the Franklin Chamber of Commerce's website.

Attractions In and Around Franklin


A little of the beaten path, Franklin is a great spot to make your home base while you enjoy day trips to the various attractions in the mountainous regions in North Carolina. In Franklin, you can enjoy panning for gems at several local mines.

Enjoy terrific antique shopping at the Whistle Stop antique mall. If you want to enjoy fine dining during your stay, travel to downtown Franklin and visit Rels restaurant. You'll feel like you stepped into a New Orleans or Paris bistro when you enter this restaurant, and the selection and quality of food won't leave you disappointed!


About 30 minutes to the east of Franklin, you'll find Highlands, North Carolina, a beautiful high elevation community where the air is almost always several degrees cooler than the surrounding communities. Here, you'll find amazing scenery, including the spectacular Dry Falls.

There is plenty of great shopping and delicious food in Highlands. If you drive a little further to the east to the community of Cashiers, stop in at the Carolina Smokehouse for some of the best barbecue that you'll find anywhere in the world.

Bryson City

When you're ready to venture north of Franklin, drive up 441, and then go west to Bryson City if you'd like to have an opportunity to tour the area via train. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers daily excursions that allow you to enjoy a unique perspective on the region. There are two routes, one that includes a stop at the Nantahala Outdoor Center and another that has a layover in the quant community of Dillsboro. Once you've enjoyed a train ride, travel a few miles further to the west and enjoy a first-hand view of the Fontana Dam.


The Cherokee Indian reservation is located up 441 and to the east of Franklin. There are many wonderful attractions in Cherokee, including the Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Museum of the Cherokee Indians, and the Unto these Hills outdoor drama. If you have little ones with you, a visit to Santa's Land is a must! There are also plenty of places to shop and eat.

Many Other Options

These are just a few of the many activities you can enjoy when you make Franklin, NC your home base for your next vacation. Throughout this part of western North Carolina, you can enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, hiking, and much more. There are also a number of other communities that you may want to visit, including Clayton and Dillard in North Georgia and Dillsboro and Maggie Valley in North Carolina.


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  • mgwhite profile image

    Mary White 7 years ago from Mobile, AL

    I was there a few weeks ago. I wanted to ride on the jet boats but wasn't able to fit it in. I'll definitely do that next time!

  • tomparker profile image

    tomparker 7 years ago

    This hub makes me homesick! I have a home between Franklin and Bryson City in the Tellico area. My family has lived there in that area for generations. I'm temporarily in Rock Hill, SC where I was born and raised, but Franklin is "home" to me. While you are there, take a ride on the jet boats on Lake Fontana - I used to be the boat electrician there. Tell them "Sparky" sent you...ha