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Experience the Magic of Secret Season in Jackson County, North Carolina

by Aoife O'Riordan

Dec 27, 2023

© Jackson County Tourism Development Authority

Destinations / North America

When can you explore the beauties of Jackson County, North Carolina, without the crowds and sweltering heat? Family travelers should make way for this region between January and March to explore popular attractions without the usual crowds and enjoy natural sites in a winter wonderland setting. From frozen waterfalls and scenic drives of frost-covered peaks to charming downtown areas, Jackson County in winter is the place to be.



© Jackson County Tourism Development Authority

Scenic Spots without the Crowds

There’s no shortage of sights to see in Jackson County in winter. Take in views at Whiteside Mountain, one of the world’s oldest mountains, offering unparalleled panoramas of Nantahala National Forest. Secret season means no leaves, allowing travelers to catch hidden overlooks. Visit in mid-February and witness Shadow of the Bear, a naturally occurring phenomenon lasting just 30 minutes, in which the sun casts a bear-like shadow at the bottom of the valley.


Affordable Accommodations and Deals

With an array of packages and promotions from hotels in the area, families can enjoy a trip without breaking the bank. Great hotel deals include Hotel Cashiers’ Winter Getaway package for 20 percent off a three-night stay, and High Hampton’s seasonal savings for rates starting at $395, about $600 less than normal prices during peak season.


Hotel Cashiers

Hotel Cashiers © Jackson County Tourism Development Authority

Little to No Wait Times at Top Restaurants

In other seasons, nabbing a reservation at top restaurants in the county can prove tricky, and with kids in tow, forget about long wait times. Between January and March, however, at restaurants like ILDA and The Cut, perfect for adult children and parents, there’s practically no wait times. The county is also home to some great family-friend eats, including The Coffee Shop, a diner-style spot, and Haywood Smokehouse.


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