Like many other mountain towns, downtown Sylva is revitalized, reenergized and refocused, even though it has done much to preserve the way things used to look and feel.
The old Jackson County Courthouse building sits regally atop a hill at the beginning of Main Street. You can climb 107 steps to the top. It was built in 1913, is a neoclassical piece of architecture and just calls to be photographed. It still looks majestic, although the building now houses the Jackson County Public Library. But it will forever be known as the courthouse. The Jackson County Museum is right across the street on Main Street in the old Hooper House Building, which also houses the local Chamber of Commerce and was the home of the town’s first doctor.
Sylva is home to Western Carolina University, so for ten months of the year, it is invigorated with the presence of thousands of university students.
It is also home to City Lights Bookstore and a cafe and wine bar by the same name. Definitely think about brunch here or a late afternoon or early evening glass of wine.
One of the town’s more interesting restaurants is Lulu’s On Main which, besides its eclectic selection of good food, also almost passes as an art gallery because of the number of paintings on the walls.
Sylva is literally right down the street from Dillsboro, another taste of small-town America, so think about combining your visit to these two towns in one outing.