Staying for the Summer?

Staying in Cullowhee for the summer? Don’t know what to do? Many students are under the impression that summer is a time for fun, first time experiences and new opportunities-and they’re right. The area surrounding Western Carolina University is overflowing with diverse and entertaining activities to take part in during the summer months. From camping to concerts, there is something that appeals to everyone. Jonathan Deleon, a former Western Carolina student who still lives in the area, goes out every weekend to explore Western North Carolina’s many options. “There’s a really cool campsite called Standing Indian Campground towards Franklin. It has some of the most diverse plant life you’ve ever seen,” says Deleon. If visitors are looking for rougher terrain to camp on, there is also a primitive camping site located around the campground that only has a fire pit and a table. Standing Indian Campground is just one of the many campsites and backpacking opportunities along the Appalachian Trail, which spawns approximately 88 miles in North Carolina alone. If camping and hiking lacks appeal to students, then fishing is one of many other activities that are popular and enjoyable. “Kaney Fork is phenomenal,” assures Deleon, but if students are looking for something closer, the Tuckaseegee River is always a fishing hot spot. “The Tuckaseegee is filled with trout,” Deleon says, “Rainbow, Brown, Brook (Speckled trout), a rare hybrid trout, White horse and even Small-Mouth bass.” These “outdoorsy” experiences do not solely revolve around camping and fishing, but also include activities such as mountain climbing, tubing, whitewater rafting, biking, rock hounding and many other physical activities which are popular and affordable in nearly every town surrounding Cullowhee. Cherokee is an additional destination that is popular among students. Native American Pow-Wows and festivities are usually held every summer. The outdoor drama Unto These Hills is a favorite summer event among visitors and students as it relays knowledge of the Trail of Tears and the events that led up to the Indian Relocation Act. The Ocanaluftee Village is a living replica of a Cherokee village and is open during the summer months. The Cherokee Heritage Museum is also open during the summer for those who want to brush up on their history. Cashiers is home to many beautiful waterfalls and trails such as Silver Run Falls, located just off of 107 South on the left. Perhaps a more impressive display is Whitewater Falls in Sapphire, the tallest waterfall in the East reaching a height of 420 feet. These falls, as well as the numerous other waterfalls, are scattered across the area and offer beautiful, scenic displays. If the scenery isn’t enough, there are numerous swimming holes located at the bottom of most falls for those hot summer days. Nature is obviously the star attraction around WCU, but not the only attraction. The Fine and Performing Arts center sponsors several performances during the summer. Through June and July, FPAC hosts performers such as: Johnny Counterfit, AvnerEisenberg, or “Avner the Eccentric,” along with the 24th Annual Folkmoot USA Performance. The Fine Art Museum takes part in many different exhibitions and has paintings, sculptures and other art work on display for the viewing public. For further information on these performances, future performances and the museum, visit the Fine and Performing Arts website at: The Guadalupe Café is a popular restaurant and bar that offers live music on the weekends. It is the perfect spot to go to on an evening, whether students are on a search for a place where their band can play or if they just want to listen to good music while eating dinner. A list of performances along with more information is available at the Guadalupe Café’s MySpace page: Despite the many activities that take place during the summer, WCU’s campus is much quieter during the morning and afternoon hours than during the semester, which offers an opportune time for prospective students who wish to get accustomed to the area and easily learn their way around. Returning students have many different job opportunities in University offices that typically require summer help. The Career Services website keeps an updated list of jobs on and off-campus that are available to students. Jobs offered in the area range from paid to volunteer work. Most students use the summer as an opportunity to take part in a co-op or internship in order to broaden their horizons in their respective major as well as gain useful experience in the working world. Further information is located at the Career Services website: In addition to job opportunities that are available, WCU also offers a wide arrangement of summer classes that are available to students from May to August. The Registrar website is updated to keep students informed of class offerings and schedules over the summer. More information on summer classes are available at the Registrar website: If all else fails and students are still left in search of more appealing options, Cullowhee Online offers information as well as numerous links for additional activities and interesting locations on its website: