Most people just think of Bryson City as simply the place where you catch the Great Smoky Mountain Railway from. But you should take the time to stop by, relax, enjoy, and maybe even stay a day or two in this charming city.
This is small town southern living at its finest. The city covers only a few miles and less than 2000 people call this home. Many people here, as one might guess, making a living from the hospitality industry as a result of the Great Smoky Mountain Railway and NC Mounting travel in general. The Tuckasegee River runs through the middle of town, making it a gorgeous place to just walk and explore.
In addition to the railway, guests to this city can enjoy plenty of outdoor adventures. You can go horseback riding, whitewater rafting, tubing, golfing, zip line tours, kayaking, fishing, gem mining, and hit the back roads by ATV. In fact the book 101 Best Outdoor Towns named Bryson City as the 3rd best town for paddling. For waterfalls fans (like me) there are 6 falls in the area and 2 more than can be found by the serious backpackers.
All that seem to much for you and looking for something more low key? Well you’re in the mountains, that part is easy. You are near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just hop in the car and go. You want to talk about beauty? Millions come here every year to search out the beauty of this scenic parkway, which turns 75 this year. You can also get out and enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains Park, which is the most visited park in our US park system. In the fall, come and enjoy the brilliant red, gold, and oranges colors that wash across the trees as the mountains celebrate their last hurrah before winter time sets in. You can also enjoy the numerous festivals held here and in the surrounding towns.
You can also enjoy the neighbors. Fontana Dam, Cherokee, Dillsboro, and Ashville are close by giving you many more options. There are also some beautiful roads to get out and enjoy including the Road to Nowhere and Deal’s Gap (The Dragon). In fact this past November, Good Morning America featured Deal’s Gap (which is a popular ride with bikers) on the "Weekend Adventure" segment.
Once you’re here, there are a number of options when bed time comes a calling. There are several hotels, cabins rentals, campgrounds, renal homes and 9 quaint and lovely B&B’s. And when hunger pains come calling, there are plenty of options as well. You can chose from local fare, BBQ, Mexican, Chinese, fast food stand bys, a drive in, or try The Station Restaurant which is located in a 1932 building. After we got back into town, we grabbed come ice cream at The Soda Shop. There are also plenty of places to spend your vacation funds. Stock up on sports gear, antiques, one of a kind boutique, or some amazing local crafts. There are also 2 breweries and a winery nearby.
But one of the best things to do here? Just walk around this delightful city. There are a number of beautiful old buildings, a lovely bridge over the river, and charming local crafts and statues all over the place. We spent about 45 minutes just wondering and falling in love with this city. So I hope to soon come back and just stay a few days. And I hope you will too!