Bryson City is located in the middle of the vast Smoky Mountains playground. On the local front, Bryson City serves as headquarters for the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, a restored passenger train providing scenic excursions into the surrounding areas. Plays and performances at the Swain County Center for the Arts and the Smoky Mountain Community Theatre run throughout the year. During the summer, various musicians give free performances at Riverfront Park. The town also features shopping for books, gifts and antiques, a model train museum and a historical museum.
Nearby golfing is attracting golfers who enjoy the unique challenges that a true mountain golf course can deliver through the Smoky Mountain Country Club and Sequoyah National Golf Club. There are also courses in nearby Franklin and Waynesville.
Cherokee is just 10 miles away with exciting gaming at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort which also host Los Vegas style events. Cherokee also offers events full of culture, dance, crafts and rides, or from the outdoor drama “Unto These Hills” to a quiet reverie with the native elk herd.
If you love the outdoors, whitewater enthusiasts enjoy the variety of rivers, including the famed Nantahala River— from Class I to Class V, which offer great options for kayak instruction for all skill levels. Thousands enjoy whitewater rafting the Nantahala. Here you will find individual adventure seekers and families learning to kayak together and Olympic-bound athletes all training and enjoying the rivers of our area.
Paddle boarding is becoming quite popular here in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina were we paddleboard theTuckasegee River downtown Bryson City and the placid water of Fontana Lake.
Tsali Biking Trail, just a few miles away, has 42 miles of mountain biking trails, consistently rated one of the top ten riding destinations in the U S. The Appalachian Trail also traverses the area from south of the Nantahala Gorge; across Fontana Dam and then follows the highest ridges of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park past Clingmans Dome and Newfound Gap on its way to Maine .
The Bryson City entrance to the Great Smoky Mountain Park at Deep Creek, provides easy access to waterfalls and 900 miles of hiking trails, over 500 miles of horse trails. Other trails follow the shores of Fontana Lake with its 236 miles of shoreline. Fontana provides exceptional boating for recreation and fishing.
Both Deep Creek and the Oconaluftee River in Cherokee have crystal clear water that originates in springs bubbling up and filtering through the ferns and moss in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where tubing is enjoyed,
Whether you are fly fishing for native brook trout in a cold mountain stream, or rainbow or brown trout in one of the many stocked streams or rivers, lake fishing for smallmouth or largemouth bass, walleye or pike in beautiful Fontana Lake, Swain County hosts one of the most diverse fishing habitats in the world. Fishing is so big in Swain County that it now has its own website, Greatsmokiesfishing.com
Another way to enjoy the beauty of Western NC is from above on a zip line. Part eco-tourism, part adventure tour, zip lines offer an opportunity to soar through – and above – a forest with a unique perspective of the land below you.
If you prefer to sightsee by car, a Blue Ridge Parkway entrance is available in nearby Cherokee. The Cherohala Skyway and Joyce Kilmer National Forest near Robbinsville also provide magnificent, unsurpassed natural beauty and breathtaking views.
Good day trips include visits to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee – about 90 minutes away. Gatlinburg also hosts a new aquarium. Asheville, only 60 minutes away, is home to the Biltmore House which attracts visitors from around the world. Nearby Western Carolina University offers NCAA sports and hosts various cultural exhibits. Families and outdoor adventurers will find lots to do in the surrounding Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains. Families and outdoor adventurers will find lots to do in the surrounding Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains.
For additional information, go to www.greatsmokies.com.