When it comes to mountain lake living, our area offers the best of two worlds — secluded North Carolina private gated communities and the refreshing escape to a rural lifestyle. Bryson City is located on the banks of the Tuckasegee River in the heart of the vast Smoky Mountains playground.

For generations, Bryson City has been the favored destination for people who enjoy the quieter, more natural side of the Smokies. At the edge of town, the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park has long attracted hikers, campers, fly fishermen and kids of all ages who enjoy the whitewater tubing on Deep Creek. There’s also a short walk to three sparkling waterfalls.

For outdoor lovers, the Nantahala River supports thousands of whitewater rafters and kayakers each summer. It’s an area that National Geographic Adventure and ABC’s Good Morning America named the number one place to spend a wet and wild vacation in the US.

Fontana Lake is a 10,600 wilderness lake with boat rentals including jet boat rides and some of the best bass and walleye fishing in the area.

The Tsali Biking Trail, a 2000 acre lake recreation area just a few miles away, is one of the top mountain biking venues in the US. And the Appalachian Trail is almost in your backyard, as it crosses through the Nantahala Outdoor Center.

For great day-trips, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherohala Skyway and Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest provide magnificent, unsurpassed natural beauty and breathtaking views; Asheville — and the famed Biltmore Estate — is just an hour away; and 1.5 hour drive to the Gatlinburg-Dollywood-Pigeon Forge area takes you through the heart of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Bryson City has a nice mixture of small town charms — more than thirty restaurants, a variety of Shopping and galleries, a community theatre, a fine arts center; and throughout the summer, local musicians entertain the public with free performances at the Bryson City depot pavilion.

As headquarters for the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad — a restored passenger train providing scenic excursions into the surrounding areas — Bryson City offers many rail-themed activities: a model train museum, a summer “Railfest” festival, and construction is underway for a new turntable, museum and restoration on a steam engine.

Golfing is available at the Smoky Mountain Country Club, and the Sequoyah National championship course at Cherokee, just 12 miles from Bryson City. Cherokee also offers a variety of Native American cultural attractions and shops; a cinema complex; and Harrah’s Casino showcases Las Vegas-style entertainment throughout the year.

Adding to the area’s cultural scene, Western Carolina University (30 minutes from Bryson City) offers events throughout the year. The nearby Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center hosts a great summer music series, as well as festivals; and has an artisans gallery that showcases the talents of local craftspeople. And the John C. Cambell Folk School, a short trip away, offers courses in a variety of craft pursuits.

With Bryson City’s close proximity to many large cities, part time residents can easily come and get away for the weekend. And if you’re planning on a permanent move, the moderate climate enables residents to enjoy mountain living year round.

Asheville — 1 hour
Atlanta — 2.5 hours
Charlotte — 3 hours
Greenville — 2.5 hours
Chattanooga — 2.5 hours
Knoxville — 2 hours