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Waynesville is in Haywood county. The region is served by local airports and a major central region facility in Asheville. Great interstates and modern four-lane highways are located in the most rural areas, and nationally recognized medical centers in Greenville and Ashville are winning high praise from the Medical community in North Carolina.

Whether you love ocean breezes, golf course vistas, pick a view. Snow skiing, white water rafting, hundreds of trails to hike, spectacular preserves, just being here relaxes and renews the spirit. Not a bad way to live.

Trout fishing Extraordinaire!
Many trout-fishing enthusiasts experience as much excitement as the Lewis & Clark expedition did when they reached the Pacific Ocean. Merewether Lewis wrote, "Oh, the joy!"
Cherokee, North Carolina, has over 30 miles of clear trout streams and three easily accessed ponds. The waters are stocked twice a week with rainbow, brook and brown trout. A quarter of a million trout are stocked annually, including thousands of trophy size trout. The trout are grown in the Cherokee Tribal Hatchery located on Straight Fork in the Big Cove Community and the Hatchery is open daily Monday through Friday.

Trout fishing goes way back to Cherokee time. It is on of the most popular activities in the Smokies. Serious trout fishermen come to the Smokes from across the continent, seeking the ultimate fishing experience in the beautiful pristine Smokies. To the real fisherman, trout fishing is an art. To professional, the right flick of the wrist and the right tension on the line requires intrinsic talent.

For kids and us non-professionals who just drop a baited line into a stocked trout pond and the campground, pulling out a trout just minutes later, is an equally joyous experience, particularly for the kids. The annual Cherokee Talking Trees Children's Trout Derby brings out about 1,700 kids to enjoy a full day of fishing that brings together the whole family and for parents to share this wonderful experience with their kids.

Just about all outdoor activities here in North Carolina are family oriented. There is something about just being in the Carolinas that brings out inter-generational events that people can enjoy together, wherter it is trout fishing, skiing, hiking, going to art festivals. There is where they coined the phrase, "Family Values." It's all here at your fingertips!

Ultimate Skiing: Chattahoochee Means Serious Family Fun
As your winter playground brings together snow-loving families, Chattahoochee Ski area shares its southern hospitality on the slopes. This family winter destination is nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains with breathtaking views of surrounding peaks. At Chattahoochee, everyone in the family, skiers and snowboarders, from novice to veteran, can carve a place of their own.
Did you ever hear of snowmaking? At the Chattahoochee Ski area, they are committed to making your skiing or snowboarding experience the best it can be by using the most advanced snowmaking system in the Southeast. And as a member of the National Ski Areas Association's Sustainable Slopes program, they are dedicated to lightening their footprint on the earth by protecting and conserving natural resources.

When the temperatures drop below freezing, their snowmaking team goes to work creating a blizzard that rivals Mother Nature's best efforts. With the automated snowmaking system, sensors placed on the mountain provide temperature and humidity level readings every few minutes so snow machines can be calibrated to maximize capacity. For the visitor, this means consistent, dependable conditions from the first day of the season to the last.

Riding the chairlift has never been better. Gentle slops like Easy Way and Rabbit Hill, gives novices the elbowroom they need to learn the basics and practice their skills. Intermediate skiers find Rock Island Run and Lower Omigosh full of challenges and seasoned veterans can face the steepness found on Upper Omigosh. For ultimate skiers and snowboarders looking for a thrill, Cat Cage Terrain Park delivers with ramps, rails and boxes.

Guaranteed when your kids and grandchildren come up to your vacation home in the winter, you will never be more popular. My kids love it, and when the grandchildren are old enough to stand on skis or snowboard, you'll be hard pressed to get them off the slopes.

Vegas Thrills in North Carolina - Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Hotel
You won't ever get tired of looking at the most beautiful scenery in the country when you come up to the Maggie Valley, Waynesville area of North Carolina. But, if it's a rainy day, and you can't go hiking, rafting, skiing, you may want to go to Harrah's Casino in Cherokee. You'll feel like you are in Vegas!

You are invited to see western North Carolina's biggest attraction, within 80,000 square feet of 24-hour casino action. Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Hotel features over 3,500 video gaming machines, five great restaurants, live entertainment, two gift shops, an arcade and friendly first class service. Love Native American jewelry? Check out Kanati's and the Jackpot Gift Shop where you can buy locally made Native American crafts, Designer hand bags, Black Hills Gold and Turquoise jewelry.

Imagine seeing Willie Nelson or Big & Rich in an intimate 1,500 seat pavilion with a state-of-the-art sound system. Comedy, music, performances - Harah's has it all, from Martina McBride to Bill Cosby and Kenny Rogers.

With 3,300 of your favorite games including Lock n'Roll, games like Double Diamond 2,000, Five Times Pay and Wild Cherry all featuring a second spin to win!

There is also Live Digital Blackjack, Video Poker, Baccarito and the World Series of Poker video poker games. Play our Raffle Reel games like "Wheel of Fortune TM", Spellmaster TM, and you will automatically receive entries into the bi-monthly raffle with winnings totaling $100,000.

Besides the two beautiful 15-story towers you have, there are:576 premium rooms including 21 luxurious suites
Four great restaurants
A convenient retail shop
A state of the art fitness center with enclosed pool and jacuzzi
A 650 space parking garage
Choose from a 10,000 sq.ft. casino meeting/banquet area
Plus, the largest collection of contemporary Easter Cherokee art on display throughout the hotel.

More appropriate for the grandkids is the $3.5 million dollar project, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, which tells the story of the Cherokee and their ancestors from twelve thousand years ago to the present. Exhibits and Collections include:
Trails of Tears
Paleo Period
Archaic Period
Mississippian Period

If you are afraid they'll be bored, let me share a quote from Van Romans, head of Walt Disney Imagineering in California. He said: "The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is revolutionary in its ability to tell stories and should be a model to other museums that are struggling to engage their audience in their message."

If you don't think the youngsters won't love the tour, wait until you see their faces afterward. More to come on these "must visit" attractions.

White Water Rafting In North Carolina
Forty five minutes from Waynesville and Maggie Valley, lies and experience so thrilling, that it's been rated "Number 1 Vacation with a Splash", by National Geographic Adventures and Good Morning America. With 35 years of rafting leadership, the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) is staple of the culture of white water rafting. From the beginning NOC has set the industry standard for river safety and personal service.

Who knew there were five classes of rivers? Class I is gentaly flowing water; Class II is playful waves; Class III is moderate whitewaters; Class IV is intense whitewater; Class V is thrill-seekers only! Besides NOC, there are some other excellent rafting sites like Smoky Mountain Outdoors' rafting trips www.smokymountainrafting.com, Blue Ridge Outing www.raftwithkids.com www.rapiddescentcom closer to Ashville, and whitewater rafting in Cherokee (located in the Saunooke Village) floating down the Oconaluftee River to Cherokee Island Park with a gift shop, supplies, and a shuttle back to your vehicle.

The majority of whitewater rafting venues have a very good track record, and the sport itself makes for a great family outing for people of all ages. Most offer varying raft sizes and inflatable kayaks, and most trips are guide assisted. The kids, this is the ultimate adventure rafting through a scenic mountain gorge, splashing, playing having age-appropriate fun.

When was the last time you were able to give your kids the confidence to take on a new adventure that you could share with them and not sacrifice safety goals? Whitewater rafting has gained a groundswell of fans around the country. Why? Because it teaches kids and young teens teamwork, self-reliance, coolness under pressure, and really great life skills they can apply to daily living. I dare you to look at any photos of people riding the rapids that are not smiling!

And for you veterans, the Upper Pigeon features Class II-IV whitewater mixed with calm stretches making it the perfect introduction to bigger rapids for families with kids as young as 8. The Upper Pigeon is close to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The calm stretches offer the opportunity to take in the breathtaking scenery of the Smokies. It's been said that the Upper Pigeon (and the Lower section just downstream) are "Mom-approved and Kid-tested!"

The world-renowned Ocoee River is pure, classic whitewater action. Go for the gold by taking the Upper Ocoee Olympic course as made famous in the 1996 Olympic whitewater slalom races. A whole, new world awaits you. Enjoy!