In January, 2017, Travelers Magazine rated Bryson City as one of the five most amazing mountain towns in America grouping it with Aspen, Colorado, Taos, New Mexico, Lake Placid, New York and Berkeley Springs, W Virginia. And, according to the Men’s Journal article on “The 10 Best Mountain Towns in America”, Bryson City (the ONLY town listed in the Southeast), “is indeed the mountain town for hikes, climbing and watersports”.
The Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina offer a rich variety of enjoyable activities year-round. Outdoor activities include hiking, rafting, canoeing, river and lake kayaking and paddling, golfing, tubing, scenic rail excursions, horseback riding, zip-lining, mountain and road biking, boating, lake fishing and fly fishing. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park with it’s Bryson City entrance at Deep Creek, Fontana Lake, Nantahala River, Cherokee Indian Reservation and Harrah’s Casino and Nantahala National Forest are all in Swain County, providing a rich historical backdrop for beautiful drives and hikes. There are plenty of shops, artist studios and museums; as well as casual and fine dining restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and wineries, spa’s, entertainment venues, and multiple fun festivals including 4th of July fireworks and a big, small-town Christmas parade.
Residents of the Smokies are fortunate to experience all of the four seasons. While you might expect extreme temperatures in the mountains, Bryson City actually boasts rather comfortable temperatures year round. In January the average high is 48 degrees and the average low is 26 degrees. In July, the average high is 84 and the average low is 62. The average relative humidity is about 70% in summer and 66% in winter. weather-guide
Medical centers include Bryson City’s 48 bed Swain Community Hospital and Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva (20 miles away) both in the Duke LifePoint System, also Smoky Mountain Urgent Care. Most medical specialties are represented within the Sylva community. Larger medical complexes are available in Asheville (1 hour away).
Swain County is proud of its educational system. While rural in nature, the schools boast high scores academically and excel in sports. Western Carolina University in Cullowhee is the largest university in the region 30 minutes away. The area is also served by Southwestern Community College in Sylva with a satellite campus in Bryson City.
There are many churches in the area including Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Church of God, Latter Day Saints, Methodist, Presbyterian and Seventh Day Adventist.
Bryson City is located one hour west of Asheville, NC and within 3 hours of Atlanta, Knoxville, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Greenville-Spartanburg and Winston-Salem. The area is served by Highway 74, a divided four-lane that connects with I-40 just 30 minutes East of Bryson City.
Jet service is available through airports in Knoxville, TN and Greenville-Spartanburg, SC; and the regional airport in Asheville, NC. Smaller public-use airports are located in Andrews-Murphy and Franklin. The Andrews-Murphy airport has a lighted 5,000′ runway and can accommodate small corporate jets as well as other small planes.
For more information about the North Carolina Smokies, Fontana Lake and the Bryson City area, including a wide variety of press mentions, visit the Swain County Chamber of Commerce’s informative web site —GreatSmokies.com