Bryson City in 30 Seconds

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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

Printable Event Schedule (pdf)

Bluegrass Festival - May 16, 11 am - 5 pm at Stecoah Valley Center. Arts & craft vendors and bluegrass music on the grounds. More info

Heritage Festival - May 22-23 at Riverfront Park in Bryson City. Friday night gospel acts (6-9 pm). Saturday (10 am - 6 pm) country, bluegrass, clogging, local arts & crafts, log-sawing contest, sack races, and food.

BBQ & Brews Dinner Train - May 23, 7-9 pm. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad featuring Nantahala Brewing Company beers and great BBQ. More info

Entertainment – Nantahala Brewing Co. PMA, May 9. 5th Anniversary Party, May 15. The Paper Crowns, May 16. Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee. Backporch Music Jam, May 16, 1-3 pm. Harrah's. Boston, May 22.

Swain County Farmer's Market - Every Friday, May-Oct, 9 am - 1 pm. Island Street, Bryson City.

The Swain County Heritage Museum is open every day in the Visitor Center in Bryson City.

It's Wildflower Season in the Smokies

The highly varied vegetation of the Smoky Mountains includes approximately 1,500 species of native flowering herbs, shrubs and trees. And the spring ephemerals are poking their heads up looking for sun before the trees completely leaf out.

The Smokies' wildflower season begins in late March with the arrival of columbine, hepatica, jack-in-the-pulpit , bloodroot, violets, spring beauty and trout lily. Followed by dutchman's breeches, crested dwarf iris, trillium (seen above, top), phacelia, silverbell and mayapple in April. In May we see bleeding heart, flame azalea, indian paintbrush and wild orchids.

From March thru September, each month presents new opportunities to view wildflowers in the Smokies. Looking for a particular variety? Our Smoky Mountain Wildflowers Blooming Calendar (pdf) can help you plan your hike.