North Carolina has no shortage of apple festivals, but when you venture to the celebration in Waynesville—hugged by the picturesque ranges of the Smokies—you can also shop for art and handmade furniture, dine in some exceptional venues, and take in a first-rate theater performance. The Haywood Apple Festival, held October 20, is in its 23rd year, and transforms Main Street into a parade of more than 130 vendors, including arts and crafts booths, stages for cloggers, bluegrass, and other musical performances, and of course everything apples—fresh, fried, baked, and pressed. While you’re in town, here’s a list of things to see and do.
Tucked into a side street off Main, Chefs Table hosts diners in its open-air courtyard or the dining room filled with modern art. A litany of garden-fresh salads and signature dishes, such as coffee-rubbed pork osso bucco and butternut ravioli, compose a masterful menu. 30 Church St.; (828) 452-6210; www.thechefstableofwaynesville.com
Stick around after hours to take in a show at Haywood Arts Regional Theatre. In October, the playhouse presents the Broadway hit The Light in Piazza, a tale of love and family set in 1950s Florence, Italy, to the tune of an old-fashioned romantic score. 250 Pigeon St.; (828) 456-6322; www.harttheater.com
For a luxurious turn, rest at the Inn at Iris Meadows, which pampers guests with berry pancakes and stuffed French toast for breakfast, elegant guest rooms with four-poster beds and fireplaces, and perennial gardens overlooking downtown and distant ridges. 304 Love Lane; (828) 456-3877; www.irismeadows.com