Tapoco Lodge


Along the banks of the Cheoah River near the Nantahala National Forest, you’ll find the historic Tapoco Lodge. It’s been a staple of North Carolinian luxury since 1930 with its rustic charm and spectacular location. 

Whether you want to savor a fine wine seated around one of their riverbank fire pits, hike the groomed trails, or drive the Tail of the Dragon, Tapoco Lodge has something for everyone.

A sign welcoming guests to the historic Tapoco Lodge, the building visible further beyond it.
A view of the firepit beside the iconic Cheoah River.

Accommodations Include Suites, Lodge, and Cabin Rooms

Tapoco Lodge offers lodge suites, lodge rooms, and cabin rooms, each a blend of modern comforts and rustic charm, featuring locally-sourced wood walls, floors, and furniture. Every option, be it suite, room, or cabin, is unique, and that sense of authenticity goes hand in hand with the refined yet homey aesthetic.

All options provide luxury linens, complimentary toiletries, Keurig coffee makers, and covered parking for motorcycles and sports cars. The nightly rate provides access to 24-hour guest services, nightly bonfires, tennis courts, a hammock cove, and miles of private hiking trails.

Lodge Suites

There are three suites — Evergreen, Laurel, and Rhododendron.

The Evergreen is the largest, with two bedrooms and a view of the rapids and property gardens. Suites are spacious yet private, pairing the hominess of an apartment with the lavishness of a hotel.

Lodge Rooms

The lodge rooms each feature a plush king bed and a distinct yet cohesive aesthetic, with a view of either the Cheoah River or the Smoky Mountains. These rooms are cozy getaways into relaxation, with nature just a step away.

A view of Tapoco Lodge’s Santeetlah cabin, unit 4, featuring a king bed with a natural wood frame.

Cabin Rooms

The cabins offer multiple units, and each offers a stunning view of the surrounding landscape. You’ll have views of the Cheoah River, Cheoah Bluffs, Meadow Branch, Yellowhammer Creek, or the Yellowhammer Mountains.

Tapoco Lodge dining, dining at Tapoco Lodge

Dining With a View

You’ve got a few options at the historic Tapoco Lodge:

  • Cheoah Dining Room
  • Tapoco Tavern

The Cheoah Dining Room offers a range of breakfast options. You’ll find some sweet, some savory, but all quintessentially Southern.

Locally-Inspired Cuisine

On the other hand, The Tapoco Tavern features locally-inspired cuisine with both lunch and dinner service. Some of the specialties include the Carolina Mountain trout or the Carolina Reaper, as well as customizable wood stone oven-made pizzas. A variety of wines, cocktails, and craft beers is the icing on the cake.

Sitting on the banks of the world-famous Cheoah River, you can listen to the running water and see the local wildlife while you dine.

Outdoor Activities

Beyond the Tapoco Lodge and its miles of trail, North Carolina offers many nearby experiences. Further along the Cheoah River, just west of Santeetlah Lake, you can go rafting or kayaking through world-class whitewater rapids. Santeetlah Lake itself is also a highlight, boasting peaceful private shorelines framed by lush national forest.

Joyce Kilmer Forest

Joyce Kilmer Forest is named after the poet who once wrote “I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree.” It’s another hidden gem, an old-growth forest that contains many trees that are over four hundred years old.

For two weeks of every year, the Smoky Mountains welcomes an abundance of fireflies that have a fondness for the Joyce Kilmer forest, making it a prime location to catch this phenomena.

Tail of the Dragon

Conversely, the Tail of the Dragon, officially known as US Route 129, has 318 curves in just 11 miles, winding through the Great Smoky Mountains on one side and the Cherokee National Forest on the other.

Cherohala Skyway, a nearby National Scenic Byway, has been named by the Discovery Channel as one of North America’s top 10 most gorgeous motorcycle rides — and you can stop by the Smoky Mountain Harley Davison to meet other enthusiasts and join group rides.

Whether just relaxing or hiking, canoeing, rafting, kayaking, fishing, or mountain biking, Tapoco Lodge and the beautiful region it highlights has something for everyone.

Welcome Home

The Tapoco Lodge itself notes that they don’t just say “welcome” but rather “Welcome Home” — this region, so rich in history, nature, and charm, is not meant to be a one-time destination, but rather a comforting return.

For an unforgettable experience…

Journey Beyond Aspen to the historic Tapoco Lodge in Robbinsville, NC

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tapoco Lodge family-friendly?

Yes. However due to the historic nature of the property, children under the age of 12 are not permitted in lodge rooms. The cabins are better suited to families with young children.

What’s the closest airport to Tapoco Lodge?

The Western Carolina Regional Airport is closest to Tapoco Lodge. It’s 47 miles away.

Is Tapoco Lodge dog-friendly?

Yes — the Mountain View and Overlook cabins are pet-friendly.

About the Author

Alexis Barrett

Alexis Barrett was born and raised in Coral Springs, Florida. Her mother traveled for work, and Alexis was fortunate enough to go along for the ride. She’s traveled nationally and internationally extensively, and hopes to continue to spend her life in and out of airports. Alexis is inspired to be a novelist, and believes that traveling to any and every location is a must.

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