Bring The Whole Family to the Mountains for Plenty of Wholesome Fun

Pack the car, grab the kids and head for the mountains! Not only do we have lots of great outdoor activities, but we have several fun parks, the Indian Village, the Outdoor Drama "Unto These Hills," the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and train excursions on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Wholesome fun for all ages.

Rainy day? There's still plenty to do in the Smokies. Click here for suggestions (pdf).

The Great Smoky Mountains have been named by Yahoo Travel as one of the Ten Best Spots for Fall Leaf Color in the USA. And how better to see the leaves than on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, chosen by CNN as a great fall foliage train ride.

Other media mentions about Bryson City and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

There's Plenty of Fun for the Whole Family
In the Mountains of Western North Carolina

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Nantahala Outdoor Center

13077 Hwy 19 W
Bryson City, NC 28713
Local 828-488-6900
TF 800-232-7238
Fax 828-488-0301
Nantahala Outdoor Center Rated "One of the Best Outfitter's on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure, NOC has been the leader in the rafting industry since 1972. NOC offers family friendly adventures rafting and paddling the Nantahala River, as well as riverside dining, lodging, shopping, mountain bike rentals, lake kayaking, wilderness medicine training and our world famous Paddling School. There's something for everyone so come see for yourself why NOC is a legend in the outdoors!

Swain County Heritage Museum

2 Everett Street
Bryson City, NC 28713
Phone 828-488-3681
Swain County Heritage Museum Located in the 1908 historic courthouse in downtown Bryson City, the museum tells the story of Swain County and its people. Through photos, exhibits and video you will learn about the life of early settlers; and how the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Fontana Dam rewrote the landscape and changed lives. You will enjoy seeing the restored log cabin porch, the 1887 church organ and one-room schoolhouse desks, and children's activity area among other items. The museum is open daily, 10 am - 5 pm, Free admission. Parking lot behind the courthouse.

Cherokee Historical Association

564 Tsali Blvd (HWY 441)
Cherokee, NC 28719
Phone 828-497-2111
Phone 866-554-4557
CHA presents the Oconaluftee Indian Village & the outdoor drama Unto These Hills. Visit the recreated 1750s-era Cherokee Village. Regular tours by Cherokee guides present history, crafts, early homes and demonstrations of beadwork, pottery, blowguns, and much more in a beautiful forest setting. Mid-May through October. Unto These Hills tells the history of the Cherokee people from about 1540 through their forced removal from this area in the late 1830s. June-August; check the website for exact dates. General admission seating.

Cherokee Fun Park

Contact: Laura Jones, GM
1897 Tsali Boulevard
Cherokee, NC 28719
Local 828-497-5877
Indoor arcade with 75+ games in a fun neon atmosphere, GO KARTS - exciting, high speed racing with under and over passes, mini golf 18 hole beautifully landscaped course, 100s of Prizes & Specialty Rides. Fun for everyone...all set in beautiful Cherokee, NC. Birthday & corporate parties available.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

226 Everett Street
Bryson City, NC 28713
View Additional Addresses
TF 800-872-4681
Phone 828-488-7000
Scenic rail excursions through a remote corner of North Carolina into river gorges, across valleys and through tunnels carved out of mountains. Excursions include Nantahala Gorge, Dinosaur Train, Polar Express, Mystery Theatre Dinner Train and other themed events. Your excursion includes admission to Smoky Mountains Museum, with its collection of 7,000 Lionel engines, cars and accessories, impressive operating layout and children's activity center.

Santa's Land Fun Park and Zoo

Contact: Linda Torres
571 Wolftown Rd
Cherokee, NC 28719
Phone 828-497-9191
Located 3 miles east of Cherokee on US 19. See Santa and his elves, browse through gift shops and exhibits, and visit the domestic and exotic animals in the zoo. Santa's Land also features rides, picnic facilities, and eating establishments. Open daily 9 am to 5 pm from March 31st through October 31st. $19.99, children under 2 free.

Storytelling Center of the Southern Appalachians

Contact: Tim Hall
22 Frye Street
Bryson City, NC 28713
Phone 828-488-5705
Phone 828-788-0164
Storytelling Center of the Southern Appalachians An organization that is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the Southern Appalachians through the art of storytelling and the making of crafts. We bring the history of the Southern Appalachians to life.

Nantahala River Gem Mine

Contact: Brenda Dills
12121 Hwy 19 W
Bryson City, NC 28713
TF 800-468-7238
Fax 828-488-4739
Local 828-488-6345
Gemstone material comes from both the local area, and from mines all over the world. Some gems you may find include rubies, emeralds, sapphires, garnets, topaz, amethyst, rose quartz and many more!

Smoky Mountain Jet Boats

Contact: Nick Williams
22 Needmore Rd
Bryson City, NC 28713
Phone 828-488-0522
TF 888-900-9091
Fax 828-488-0522
Smoky Mountain Jet Boats Enjoy a thrilling, scenic ride on Fontana Lake in our 11-passenger jetboat! On the water 40 minutes; allow 1 hour total. Our combination hike and jetboat ride trips include guided hike, picnic lunch, time for swimming and jetboat ride. Allow 4 hours. A 6-8 hour Adventure in the Park includes a swim and snacks, an extreme hike and jetboat ride. Reservations recommended; walk-ins welcome; group discounts; custom rides available.

Stuff and Such

25-29 Main St
Whittier, NC 28789
Phone 828-497-2393
Area artists and crafters, heritage and holiday exhibits, flea market.

Tail of the Dragon

17555 Tapoco Road
Robbinsville, NC 28771
Local 828-498-2888
TF 800-768-7129
Fax 828-479-8400
Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap with 318 curves in 11 miles, is America’s number one motorcycle and sports car road. Also known as “US 129,” the road is bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest, with no intersecting roads or driveways to hamper your travel. It is considered “the destination” for thousands of motorcycle and sports car fans throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine

Hwy 441
Cherokee, NC 28719
Phone 828-497-6574
Pan for Gold and Precious Gems!

Pan in our water flumes in a covered area, all equipment is furnished, free gemstone identification! Jewelry shop on site.


Contact: Darryl Cannon
17555 Tapoco Road
Robbinsville, NC 28771
TF 800-768-7129
Started in 2001 and featured in dozens of magazines, books, and even on The Discovery Channel, History Channel, and Travel Channel, is your source for motorsports photography and area scenery around the world-famous Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap TN/NC.

Fun Factory in the Smokies

1024 Georgia Rd
Franklin, NC 28734
Phone 828-349-8888
Fax 828-524-8826
A 56,000-square-foot family entertainment center with 100+ arcade games, mini golf, the area’s largest go cart track, bowling, laser tag, pizza buffet, fine dining and more!

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Contact: Ken Blankenship
Hwy 441 & Drama Rd
Cherokee, NC 28719
Phone 828-497-3481
By combining high-tech wizardry and an extensive artifact collection, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian is fun for the entire family and an exciting, educational event. Open daily at 9 am except closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children, and free for children under age 6.

Bryson City - Swain County
Chamber of Commerce

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


Karen Proctor Wilmot
Executive Director

800-867-9246 toll-free
828-488-3681 local
828-488-6858 fax