North Carolina Reopening: Phase Two


North Carolina Reopening: Phase Two

The road to Clingman’s Dome on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina in the Great Smoky National Park is one of many roads and attractions that have recently reopened. Please use common sense and park etiquette when visiting – if a parking lot is full, find another spot, be respectful of social distancing, and pack out everything you bring in as most trash cans are not being serviced due to lack of staff.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 Update: All businesses are open for business including indoor dining, bars, and music venues. Due to increased vaccination and revised recommendations by the CDC, North Carolina has lifted the mask mandate except while traveling and in certain special cases such as hospitals, schools, and crowded indoor venues. This applies to all vaccinated individuals. Private businesses may still enforce mask wearing regardless of vaccination status, so please be respectful to our small, local businesses. Both innkeepers are now fully vaccinated and invite our vaccinated guests to mask or not as they are comfortable. While we do not verify vaccination status, we do ask guests to be respectful that this is our home as well as our business and wear a mask if needed.

Friday, June 26, 2020 Update: Due to an uptick in numbers from around the state, North Carolina is continuing Phase Two – Safer at Home for at least another three weeks. During this time, masks have also been mandated for use in all public spaces. Exceptions are made for children under 11 years old, those with health conditions that would be worsened by mask usage, and those exercising outdoors at least 6 feet away from other people.

Friday, May 22, 2020 sees the beginning of “Safer at Home,” phase two of North Carolina’s reopening. Starting at 5pm, more businesses can reopen utilizing new safety protocol but what does that mean for you and your Smoky Mountain getaway?

What’s Currently Open
What’s Opening In Phase Two:
  • Restaurant Dining Rooms – at no more than 50% capacity with additional safety protocol in place
  • Hair Salons/Personal Care – at no more than 50% capacity with additional safety protocol in place
  • Swimming Pools – at no more than 50% capacity with additional safety protocol in place
  • Breweries – a late clarification includes breweries that produce product on premises for sale off premises with restaurant openings. Bars remain closed until Phase Three.
What’s Still Closed
  • Entertainment – such as move theaters, indoor play areas, and indoor concert venues
  • Museums
  • Outdoor Playgrounds, Gyms, and Fitness Studios
  • Bars and Clubs

Indoor gatherings will now be limited to 10 and outdoor gatherings to 25. Phase two of reopening is expected to last up to 5 weeks. While “Safer at Home” still recommends people stay home when possible, it no longer restricts movement the way previous stay at home orders did.

While most of our outdoor attractions are currently open, keep in mind that some parking areas and most concession and restrooms are still closed. Mask are recommended in public and although Haywood County, where we are located, does not have any additional recommendations, our neighboring county, Buncombe, has started mandating masks for employees and customers in most businesses. So if you plan to visit Asheville while in town, make sure you bring a mask with you.

Safer Travel at the Red Leaf River Inn

Here at the Red Leaf River Inn, we are still offering contactless check in (just check the box when making your reservation online), and complimentary room service for breakfast. Guests may also choose to dine in our dining room for breakfast or dinner. We have a spacious 1000sq ft common room and three separate dining tables for social distancing.

P.S. If you have cancelled or postponed your wedding due to Covid-19, take a look at our wedding and elopement packages. Wedding packages include two nights of accommodations for up to ten guests, reception dinner, a custom wedding cake, and post wedding brunch, and start at under $1,000! Single night elopements include one night of accommodations for two, mini wedding cake, wedding dinner, and a bridal bouquet for under $300.


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Chef Victor Johnston, Owner of Red Leaf River Inn in Waynesville North Carolina

Thanks for visiting! I’d love to host you during your stay in North Carolina!

– Victor

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