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Discover what’s great about Bryson City, a peaceful mountain town bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with unique shops, galleries, lodging and restaurants.

Surrounding our small town, there’s a rich vacation paradise — rafting and kayaking on the Nantahala River, boating and fishing on Fontana Lake, scenic railroad excursions, world class trout streams and mountain biking on the famous Tsali trails. We have creeks for tubing, trails for hiking and horseback riding, and beautiful waterfalls. We’re home to the Cherokee Indian Reservation and the North Carolina half of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

And we’re close by — just an hour west of Asheville and three hours north of Atlanta.

Upcoming Events in the North Carolina Smokies

Holiday Season Events

This Weekend - Come for an old-fashioned Christmas: Breakfast with Santa, Christmas Crafts Show, Cookie Walk, Old-Time Music Jam, and "The Biggest Little Christmas Parade in the Smokies!" Learn more

Polar Express - November 13 - January 3. The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad comes to life as the train departs Bryson City for a special visit at the "North Pole." Guests on boardenjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. The train arrives to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa boards the train greeting each child and presenting them with their own silver sleigh bell. It's magical!

Entertainment: Old Time Music Jam, Dec. 5, 1-3 pm, National Park Visitor Center, Cherokee. The Raleigh Ringers at SMCPA in Franklin, Dec. 6, 4 pm. It's A Wonderful Life Radio Play, at SMCPA in Franklin, Dec. 11, 7:30 pm. More events

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A Small Town With Big Holiday Spirit!

Tis the season to visit the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. We're small towns, big smiles, friendly people and plenty of crisp, clean air. We've got great hiking trails, sparkling waterfalls and fishing streams ... and cozy B&Bs, cabins, motels and resorts for relaxing at the end of the day.

Bryson City may be a small town, but we celebrate holidays in a big way! The streets are decorated with holiday lights and garlands; and our shops offer plenty of gifts and one-of-a-kind arts and crafts, as well as tasty foods and wines. There are concerts, a Christmas play, a parade, visits with Santa, caroling and much more. Take a magical trip to the North Pole on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad's Polar Express Train Ride.

Learn more about our Holiday Season which begins Thanksgiving Weekend on our Holiday Traditions page.

Have a big vacation in a small town!