43 Phillips Street
Family owned and operated bagel shop specializing in authentic NY bagels. Bringing that delicious NY flava to the Great Smoky Mountains.
Of course, it’s exciting to think of all the things to do once you arrive in Franklin, North Carolina – the mountains rise on every side of the valley, calling you to hiking, fishing, kayaking, and other adventures, while the small town coziness rounds out a feeling of relaxation and rest – but have you ever realized that the journey in could be one of the best parts?
Let’s talk about going the long way round from Highlands, Cherokee, and Atlanta.
Highlands is a beautiful mountaintop town frequented by celebrities and locals alike, so if it’s your last stop on the way to Franklin, there are several ways to head down into the valley.
The most frequented route is US 64, which takes about 40 minutes. The views are beautiful, and several waterfalls dot the landscape as you wind up the tight curves and watch the world fall away. It’ll feel like an adventure without ever leaving your car, but if you choose to make a stop, be sure to walk the short trail behind Dry Falls to see a rare angle of the roaring water.
You could also drive down to Georgia and up through Sky Valley, which is only 50 minutes. While it adds around 10 minutes to your trip, drivers who would like a bit of cushion on the mountain roads can enjoy two lanes as they navigate the route’s sharper curves.
Travelling from Cherokee
Is culturally-rich Cherokee your last stop on the way to Franklin? We’ve got routes for you, too.
There are two main ways to travel: you could swing to the east on US 441 and pass through the quaint and lovely town of Dillsboro (about 40 minutes), or you could take US 28 to wind up through the mountains on an exciting stretch of road (55 minutes).
The choice comes down to how adventurous you are. The route through Dillsboro has some construction on US 23, but it doesn’t slow traffic much, and the highway has two lanes each way while traversing the mountains. US 28, on the other hand, takes a bit longer but treats avid drivers to the thrill of hugging each tight curve.
Travelling from Atlanta
Finally, if you’re heading up from the big city, we have routes for you, too!
Most will come up I-985 until it turns into US 23 – it’s an easy way to travel, since it’s a straight shot once you leave I-85 in Atlanta, and takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes. You’ll also be treated to a faraway view of the mountains breaking through the trees, and the North Georgia mountains are a great taste of what’s to come.
If the truly scenic route is what you’re after, stay on I-85 and take the exit for US 76 to ride through national forest land and arrive in Clayton, Georgia. The roads are two-way traffic but not too curvy – just enough to get you ready for Franklin. It adds more travel time than the traditional route, taking about 3 hours, but if you’re willing to spend an extra 40 minutes driving through beautiful forests, US 76 is the way to go.
Wherever you’re from, welcome!
Franklin is delighted to host your next mountain adventure! While you’re here, why not explore some of our housing, dining, and outdoor adventures? Getting here is just half the fun!
Planning a vacation in the mountains for an outdoor excursion? Getting away from the bustle of life is a prized part of a Blue Ridge adventure, but you don’t want to be so away from it all that you can’t easily get from one place to the next!
Here are some transportation options in Franklin, North Carolina, so you can see what sort of services are available to visitors.
Public Transportation – The Macon County Transit
If getting around the valley without hopping in your own car is the goal, the Macon County Transit is the way to go. The shuttle has stops everywhere from Main Street to the grocery store – perfect for any of your transportation needs. General public rates are $3 to ride per day.
Keep in mind that some services are limited, however – for instance, transportation from airports to Franklin have been put on hold during the Coronavirus pandemic.
You can either jump on the transit along the route or make a specific location request. Requests must be received by 11:00 AM the day prior to the date of the trip that is within Macon County. Appointments are taken on a first call first served basis.
Non-emergency Medical Transportation – Mountain Area Transport
If your needs are a bit more specific, the Mountain Area Transport has just what you need. Servicing different medical sensibilities is their specialty, from handicap persons to the elderly. Their services are also available for long distance travel, and you can quickly and easily book their services online. Rates and schedules are available when you request service.
Rental Car Services – Enterprise Car Rentals
If you simply prefer to save mileage on your own car and nab another ride while you’re in the mountains, head over to our local Enterprise Rental center. Pick from a convenient lineup of vehicles and rent based on your needs for the vacation duration. Rates and services depend on availability when the request is made, of course, so be sure to check the dates of your trip.
Private Flights – Macon County Airport
Finally, you might like to take to the skies and see the dazzling views from thousands of feet up—if flying is more your style, consider the airstrip at the Macon County Airport your welcome mat. You’ll descend into the stunning Iotla valley in an unforgettable sweep and watch the mountains rise up around you. Just arrange your arrival by filling out the contact form on the airport’s website, and you’ll be on your way.
Ride, Explore, and Enjoy!
Whatever you choose for your ideal mode of transportation, we’re excited to host you for your mountain getaway vacation! Stay tuned on the blog for more tips, ideas, and the inside scoop on Franklin, North Carolina – we can’t wait to see you here!
473 E. Palmer Street
Here at Bent Willow we specialize in offering handcrafted batches of slow fermented, wild yeast cultured breads. Loaves are made with organic flours, water, sea salt, and a bit of magic. We believe in honoring each ingredient and the processes we use. We feel that food is at the heart of a community, so come as you are, have a seat at our table.