Select Page

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…

Bryson City’s attractions, activities and businesses are frequently featured in the media. Here are a few examples of what journalists are saying.

If you see something in the news that we don’t have noted here, we’d love to hear from you at

Here’s What Media Writes About Bryson City

SouthPark LogoSouthPark Magazine – “Off The Beaten Path – Bryson City.” (April, 2021) Read the article

Yahoo & AOL.Com – “10 Affordable and Remote Locations in the US That Could Be Worth a Visit This Summer – Bryson City Ranked #1.” (May, 2021) Read the article – “15 Things to do in Bryson City, NC” (May, 2021) Read the article

NC Tripping – “Things to do in Bryson City NC.” (October, 2020) Read the article – “Unforgettable Places to Visit in North Carolina” (October, 2020) Read the article

Mens Journal – “5 American Road Trips That Will Restore Your Sense of Wonder.” (August, 2020)

Road Trippers – “An Insider’s Guide to Hidden Gems in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” (June, 2020) Read the article

iExplore – “The Smoky Mountains Best-Kept Secret is Bryson City…If you’re looking for more of a quiet mountain town with a big personality, chances are Bryson City, NC needs to be on your radar.” (July, 2020) Read the article

Far And Wide – “America’s 35 Best Small Towns in the Mountains.” (July, 2020) Read the article

Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide – Top 20 Blue Ridge Mountain Towns.” (June, 2020)
Trips With Pets logoTrips With Pets – “Top 5 Dog Friendly Mountain Getaways in North Carolina” (January, 2020. “For those looking for a truly dog friendly vacation, Bryson City welcomes pet parents and their pups.” Read the article

Parents magazine logoParents Magazine & – “Spooktacular Places to Visit for Halloween.” Highlights the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad’s Pumpkin Patch, Cherokee storytelling the train museum, and hiking in Deep Creek as well as a stay at Watershed Resort. (September, 2019) Read the article – To truly appreciate the beauty of North Carolina, lace up your hiking boots and hit one of the state’s many trails. The Deep Creek Loop Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains is one of our favorites. (September, 2019) Read the article

Travel Channel – “10 Great Places to Go Leaf Peeping Down South”, includes Bryson City and great fall activities on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and hiking in the National Park. (September, 2019) Read the article

AAA logoAAA Go Magazine (print and online) – Carolina Road Trip Planner 2 items: Freedom Fest listing and Freedom Train listing with photo. NC & SC members, (June, 2019)

Real Trends – “The 10 Best Small Town 4th of July Celebrations Across the U.S.” (June, 2019) Read the article

Reader's Digest – “The 15 Best Small-Town July Fourth Fireworks” in the USA features Bryson City’s FreedomFest day. (June, 2019) Also picked up by MSN. Read the article

New York Times logoThe New York Times featured the Nantahala Outdoor Center  in an article in both online and print. NOC was one of only four locations chosen for an article entitled “Camp Getaways for the Whole Family.” (June, 2019) Read the article

WFMY News logoWFMY News / CBS Greensboro  feature: “Yes, There Is A Real ‘Road To Nowhere’ In North Carolina And Its History Is A Real Saga.” (May, 2019) Read the article

Atlanta Magazine logoAtlanta Magazine & Southbound magazine. A great article about a road trip through Western North Carolina featuring Bryson City, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, and the Everett Hotel. (April, 2019) Read the article

Charlotte Five featured a lengthy article on a trip to Bryson City: “Your Bryson City Bucket List.” Charlotte Five is an online lifestyle publication for the Charlotte area. (April 2019) Read the article

Oprah Magazine logoOprah Magazine – “12 Most Scenic Train Rides in the US.” That’s well-deserved high praise. featured Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. (April, 2019) Read the article

Reader's Digest logoReaders Digest – “The Most Magical Christmas Train Rides In America”! The travels through the Smoky Mountains to the North Pole and back to the Bryson City, NC depot.(December, 2018) Read the article

Narcity (Canadian media) – “Fifteen North Carolina Towns That Become Magical in Winter” includes Bryson City. (December 2018) Read the article

Travel Channel logoTravel Channel online — “How to Celebrate a Merry Smoky Mountain Christmas.” “The Smoky Mountains are a traveler favorite in the warmer months, but countless Christmas festivities also make the region a must-visit winter destination… Asheville and Bryson City are big draws on the North Carolina side. Here are 12 ways you can experience an idyllic mountain Christmas in the Smokies.” (December 2018) Read the article

The Blue Ridge Digest featured an article entitled “Fun Things to do Surrounded by Fall Color” in their Fall 2018 issue.

Travel & Leisure logoTravel and Leisure named GSMR one of ten top fall foliage train trips. Board the train in Bryson, North Carolina, which is not too far from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Read the article

Leisure Group Travel included Bryson City’s own Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Nantahala Outdoor Center and Lakeview Drive in an August article entitled “North Carolina’s Mountain Playground.” The article appeared in print and online.(  August, 2018) Read the article

Charlotte Parent magazine logoCarolina Parent and Charlotte Parent magazines. “Three Must-Visit North Carolina Mountain Towns” includes Bryson City. (July 2018) Read the article

Fodor's Travel chose Bryson City as one of “America’s 15 Best Small Town Fourth of July Celebrations” (July, 2018). Read the article

Only In Your State –  13 of the very best places to go in North Carolina this spring (3/29/18) “This small town in the Smoky Mountains is the perfect place to call home during a family excursion in the mountains. Check out some of the fun attractions located in, and near, Bryson City.” Read the article

USA Today logoUSA Today – Feature story of 10 surprising, spooky and inspiring American road trips (taken from The Road Trip Book: 1001 Drives of a Lifetime.) In this collection of 10, USA Today names The Dragon as ‘the best ride in North America.’ (March 2018) Read the article – “Americans pick their favorite destinations.” Bryson City lands a spot in Expedia’s top 20 vacation spots as a result of a recent travel survey of 1,000 Americans to determine their favorite medium and small towns to visit in the US.(March, 2018) Read the article

USA Today – “20 best places to buy a vacation rental.” Report of information from, which ranked markets using criteria such as housing prices, popularity of the rental market, cost of insurance and real estate taxes and more. Read the article

Blue Ridge Outdoors March 2018 issue features 8 favorite trout towns. Of Bryson City, the writer says, “In all of my wanderings throughout Western North Carolina, I’ve yet to find a community that more genuinely deserves the moniker of ‘Trout Town’ than Bryson City.” Read the article – The Tiny Town In North Carolina That’s In The Middle Of Everything. “If you’re seeking to have a big vacation in a small town, then North Carolina’s Bryson City is a superb location to make it happen. This small town of approximately 1,500 people is full of irresistible charm and gracious hospitality.” (Feb 2018) Read the article

Blue Ridge Outdoors has chosen Bryson City as one of 3 “Multi-Sport Adventure ‘Capital Cities’: The Top Adventure Hubs in Appalachia” (Nov. 2017) Read the article (an Expedia Company) has named Bryson City on of 21 “Magical Mountain Towns in America.” (Nov. 2017) Read the article

Our State magazine feature “When The Water Comes” tells the story of Decoration Days at cemeteries on the North Shore of Fontana in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (November 2017) Read the article

Our State magazine named Bryson City one of 10 Great Mountain Towns in its “Ultimate Guide to Mountain Travel” (October, 2017).

Trip Advisor named Bryson City one of “8 Top Honeymoon Spots in America You Never Knew Were So Romantic (Nov. 2017). Based on TripAdviser reviews. Read the article

Three AAA magazines featured “Fall in the Smokies” and our area including the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad — Midwest Traveler, Southern Traveler & Go Carolinas.

Southern Living recommends Bryson City as one of “10 Budget-Friendly Girlfriend Getaways for Fall.” (2017) Read

Fly Fish America magazine article by Beau Beasley featured brown and rainbow trout fishing on the Nantahala River – “Noonday Every Day.” ( 2017, Vol 3). Read the article

Blue Ridge Digest features Deep Creek tubing in its Summer 2017 issue. “Mountain Tubing Can Be an Easy Float or a Wild, Whitewater Ride.” Read the article

CBS Sunday Morning presented a beautiful segment on Decoration Day in Swain County. Filmed last year, journalist Conor Knighton attended one celebration across Fontana Lake and visited Bryson City. (May 28, 2017) Watch the segment

Men’s Journal has named Bryson City one of The 20 Best Mountain Towns in America. (May 2017) Read the article

US News & World Report’s named us one of “8 Affordable Family-Friendly Memorial Day Weekend Getaways.” (May 2017) Read the article

Bryson City named one of “12 Small Towns Rich in Americana” by Where Magazine. Author Jennifer McKee writes: “An easygoing town oozing with charm, plentiful recreation opportunities and special events that bring the community together, Bryson City sits on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” (Spring 2017) Read the article

Trip Advisor named Bryson City to its list of 15 Affordable Summer Cabin Getaways Across America. TA says, “There’s no denying the allure of Bryson City when it comes to great outdoorsy destinations. There’s rafting and kayaking on the Nantahala River, boating and fishing on Fontana Lake, and mountain biking on the popular Tsali trails. All of this and more just steps from your Bryson City summer cabin home.” (May 2017) Read full article

OnlyInYourState.comThere’s Nothing Better Than North Carolina’s Natural Lazy River On A Summer’s Day. “One particular tubing spot not only offers fresh, cool mountain water but also stunning mountain views and even a few waterfalls. Deep Creek near Bryson City winds you through gorgeous Smoky Mountain scenery while also allowing you to kick back and relax while floating down the river.” (writer, Emory Rakestraw – May, 2017) Read the article

Piedmont Parent Magazine has named Bryson City one of 15 Must-Visit Small Towns in North Carolina. Myra Wright says “Surrounded by mountains, historic Bryson City serves as a depot for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad that delights families with its scenic rail excursions, such as the Polar Express.” (Spring 2017) just featured Bryson City as The Ideal Mountain Town Getaway. Contributor Laura McNiff writes, “The quaint downtown feel of Bryson City, North Carolina makes the city a family favorite. There are so many attractions in and near Bryson City, this article cannot do them all justice.” (Spring 2017) Read the article “In honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the Smithsonian has named Bryson City as one of the “20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2016.” The top picks this year are all towns under 20,000 population that are close to National Parks. Highlights of the Bryson City feature include the “Road to Nowhere,” the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours, the Nantahala National Forest, whitewater rafting, tubing, hiking, horseback riding, beautiful waterfalls, the Fryemont Inn, and the Heritage Museum (May 2016). Read the article

OnlyInYourState picked Bryson City as one of ” The 10 Towns You Absolutely Need To Visit In North Carolina In 2017″. Read the article  One of “12 Main Streets in North Carolina That Are Pure Magic at Christmastime.” Read the article  The site editors also picked Bryson City as one of “10 Places in North Carolina That Are Off The Beaten Path But Worth The Trip.” Read the article (Author, Emory Rakestraw)

Southern Living has chosen Bryson City to represent North Carolina as one of The South’s Best Budget-Friendly Getaways in its October, 2016 issue. Of the fifteen state choices, we are one of six with a photo. We are featured as “Carolina with No Crowds.”

Trip Advisor readers have named Bryson City #1 on TA’s list of “24 Beautiful Little Mountain Towns Across America.” When it comes to trendy trip ideas and buzz-worthy vacation spots, America’s cities get a lot of love…That’s why we’re featuring 24 scenic communities — each home to less than 10,000 residents — with serious four-season appeal and tons of small-town charm.” (September 2016) Read the article

Our State Magazine featured Bryson City in an 8-page human interest article in the November 2016 issue. The issue’s theme is Celebrating North Carolina Rivers, so the article focused on the Tuckasegee River that flows through downtown and its role bringing in vibrant new businesses to the community. Read the article

Southern Living featured Bryson City as “One Of 10 Must Take Fall Trips.” They write, “The Great Smoky Mountains turn vibrant colors as autumn falls across them, and there’s no better place to enjoy them than Bryson City, North Carolina. From there, you can hop on the Appalachian Trail, one of the country’s longest hiking trails, to take in the dusky mountains. Bring a tent, and enjoy the cool weather.” (September 2016) Read the article

Backpacker Magazine – The September 2016 issue features a dozen “trail towns” in the country, including two from the Southeast – Bryson City and Davis & Thomas WV. When an article starts off “Call it the anti-Gatlinburg,” you know the writer gets what we’re about. Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan calls Bryson City a “sneak route entrance” to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with great spots for breakfast, brews, treats, gear and miles of trails.

Southern Trout Magazine – The June/July 2016 issue names Bryson City “North Carolina’s Top Trout Town.” Editor Don Kirk says, “Long a sleepy mountain hamlet, today Bryson City is ground zero of the fly fishing for trout earthquake today that is ripping through the western region of the Tar Heel State.” Read the article

Orbitz Travel Blog featured Bryson City as one of eight US small towns near stunning nature. Michele Herrmann writes, “Five minutes from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bryson City provides many waterside activities, thanks to being linked to lakes, rivers, and trout streams.” The article mentions The Filling Station Deli, Mountain Perks and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Read the article

USA Today: USA Today’s article on 10 spots to explore in Great Smoky Mountains National Park mentions several spots on the NC side including “Go off the beaten path at Deep Creek.” Writer Arthur Levine hiked to Indian Creek Falls, and calls it “a peaceful and pleasant place to visit.” (August 2016) Read the article

USA Today: “Fourth of July: Small town celebrations that bring the bang.” Writer Carri Wilbanks reports, “For a small town (pop. 1500), Bryson City (located just one-hour drive west of Asheville) likes to do things in a big way, and Independence Day is no exception.” Read the article

OnlyInYourState named Bryson City one of “17 Perfectly Picturesque Small Towns in North Carolina.” Writer Emory Rakestraw says, “Located right on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Bryson City is one of those towns you stumble upon and never want to leave.” (2016) Read the article

HGTV’s Log Cabin Living show episodes follow families as they look for the escape of log cabin living. In the 2015 & 2016 seasons. Bryson City was featured as the getaway chosen by families to purchase their vacation dream home.

The book “101 Best Outdoor Towns” named Bryson City the nation’s third best whitewater paddling town. “If you can’t find something exciting to do in Bryson City, you’re not breathing,” it says.


Bryson City - Swain County
Chamber of Commerce

210 Main Street
P.O. Box 509
Bryson City, NC 28713

Karen Proctor
Executive Director


Order a free Visitor Guide featuring Bryson City and the North Carolina Smokies




Sign up for our monthly travel news