Waynesville is where the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky National Park meet.
Downtown Waynesville is a lively and friendly locale. Unique shops, art galleries, and cafés and restaurants are all within walking distance on Main Street's brick sidewalks. Its historic buildings and quaint charm makes Waynesville a thoroughly enjoyable place to live and visit. The heart of Appalachian culture and heritage, each year Waynesville is infused with a decidedly international flavor when it hosts Folkmoot USA, North Carolina's official international festival. The two-week festival is a "celebration of the world's cultural heritage through folk music and dance." Held every July, Folkmoot features performances, parades and workshops by more than 350 performers from a dozen or so countries. During its 25-year history, more than 200 folk groups from more than 100 countries. Other popular events and festivals include the Church Street Arts and Crafts Show, the Apple Harvest Festival, Mountain Street Dances, and A Night Before Christmas. Waynesville is also home to the Haywood Arts Regional Theater, where local actors stage productions of classic and lesser-known works. The Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts is housed in Waynesville at the historic Shelton House.
Historic Frog Level is a revitalized railroad district, named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Frog Level has its own growing collection of galleries, shops, local brewery and cafes. The Whole Bloomin’ Thing Festival showcases the produce of local growers, giving people a chance to meet farmers and purchase the first fruits of the spring season. This year will also include local musicians and artists, as well as tae kwon do and belly dancing demonstrations from local people.
Waynesville, the county seat and the oldest town in Haywood County, was founded in 1809 by Colonel Robert Love, a revolutionary war soldier who named the town after his commander, General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. The town was officially incorporated in 1871. With a population nearing 10,000, Waynesville is the largest town in Western North Carolina west of Asheville.