Bryson City, North Carolina

Bryson City, NC sits snug to the southern border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Like it’s sister city, Cherokee, it offers a starting point for outfitters, lodging and food plus easy access to the National Park and its wealth of recreational opportunities. Bryson City is a small, old-fashioned red-brick southern city with an interesting casual downtown that offers the traveler a full range of services. It’s a lively town and offers lodging accommodations and restaurants sufficient to host the tens of thousands of visitors yearly.

For example, the old railroad now houses the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, which offers excursions for visitors. Also, 13 miles southwest of Bryson City you’ll find the Nantahala Gorge and Nantahala River, home to numerous rafting and kayaking outfitters. The eight-mile Gorge has even developed its own community of tourist-oriented businesses. In Bryson itself, you can explore the little town, beginning with the Old Swain County Courthouse, which sits next to a statue of a World War I doughboy. Nearby Lake Fontana isolates much of the remote western Smokies from most visitors. To explore this area by car, you need to travel nine miles west of Bryson City and pick up NC 28. It’s worth the effort because this route will introduce you to Stecoa NC, a small village that offers a glimpse of the past, and Fontana Dam, where you will want to drive across the dam to enjoy the great views. (Bryson City attractions)

Nearby Fontana NC (now Fontana Village) was founded in 1942 as the construction camp for Fontana Dam. Upon completion of the dam, the camp became a resort. The main administration building became the main lodge, and the worker’s quarters became log cabins for today’s resort visitors. Fontana Village is 31 miles west of Bryson City, North Carolina.

Bryson NC Cabins There are several motels, B&B inns and cabin rentals to accommodate you while visiting the area. In addition, there are lodgings available in nearby towns such as Cherokee, Waynesville and Fontana.

Starting in Bryson City, you can also drive down Deep Creek Road to access Deep Creek Trail, an easy walking path best known for its three peaceful and beautiful waterfalls. Tom Branch Falls, Junywank Falls, and Indian Creek Falls are only short walks into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Portions of this trail (gravel road) are accessible to bicycles (but not pathways). The streamside scenery is soothing to the soul.

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