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Western Carolina University

Cullowhee is an unincorporated town where you will find winding local roads meandering through the mountain terrain, and walls of forest greens brushing against cerulean skies on clear days. It’s a dazzling mountain paradise nestled amid the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.  It is also home to over twelve thousand Western Carolina University students during the year.  The name Cullowhee translates to the Cherokee meaning “Valley of the Lilies”. The town can trace its roots back to the 19th century.  Across from campus and within the township of Cullowhee, is The Village of Forest Hills, which has a population of about 300 residents. 

Arts & Entertainment

Western Carolina University is a public UNC system school which provides a mecca of arts and entertainment!
Residents and visitors can enjoy countless programs and displays at the Bardo Arts Center and Fine Art Museum. Live performances are available throughout the school year with highly acclaimed student and community theater productions. Faculty musical concerts are also provided free to the public.

In addition, Cullowhee’s arts and crafts calendar is packed year-round. The Summertime Arts & Crafts Show features heritage crafts and handmade arts available for sale. Known as one of the top events in North Carolina, the Mountain Heritage Day in September is filled with Southern Appalachian music, dance, art and crafts. During November’s Hard Candy Christmas Arts and Crafts Show, guests can purchase unique southern gifts, including quilts, pine needle baskets, handmade dolls, and folk art.

Sports enthusiasts can enjoy sporting events from Catamount Athletic programs including Basketball, Football, and Baseball.

Outdoor Adventure

There is so much to explore in the mountain valley of Cullowhee!  You can enjoy waterfalls, hiking trails for all fitness levels, the Jackson County Greenway – perfect for dog walking or child strolling, Innertubing on the Tuckaseigee River, and other natural attractions surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to the outdoor offerings, Cullowhee residents can enjoy the nearby Jackson County Recreation Complex and its full-size gymnasium, fitness room, aerobics room, and programs. 

Dining & Shopping

Although shopping opportunities are limited in this small college town, there are some unique boutiques and shops in neighboring towns like Sylva, Dillsboro, and Cashiers, NC.
Most residents drive to Sylva for dining and essentials.