TRAVEL GUIDE TO BRYSON CITY AND THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS
VACATION IN THE SMOKIES
Swain County – a Great Place To Visit, And You Would Want To Live Here
Swain County, North Carolina has an agreeable climate, excellent schools, close-knit communities that emphasize family life, abundant recreational opportunities and beautiful surroundings.
The location is unique because it allows residents quick access to some of the largest expanses of wilderness in the eastern United States, with urban areas such as Asheville, Knoxville, and Atlanta within easy driving distance.
For More Information
Would you like to learn more about Bryson City, Swain County and North Carolina? The following web sites may be of interest to you.
If you have a question that isn't answered below, please give us a call.
Swain County, North Carolina has an agreeable climate, excellent schools, close-knit communities that emphasize family life, abundant recreational opportunities and beautiful surroundings. The location is unique because it allows residents quick access to some of the largest expanses of wilderness in the eastern United States, with urban areas such as Asheville, Knoxville, and Atlanta within easy driving distance.
If you're considering a move to Swain County, the following information may be helpful:
Within 30 days of establishing North Carolina residency, you must obtain a NC automobile tag. The tag office is in the Swain County Administration Building, 101 Mitchell Street, Bryson City. 828-488-9273.
In Bryson City, liquors are sold at the ABC Store on Veterans Boulevard (9am to 9pm, Monday through Saturday). Beer and wine is sold only at grocery stores, convenience stores and package stores within the city limits. Hours vary from store to store, but may be from 6 am to midnight, except on Sunday, when sales are only permitted from Noon to 6pm. Some Bryson City and Swain County restaurants offer alcoholic beverage.
Inside the town limits, permits to burn yard waste are issued at Town of Bryson City office, 45 Everett Street. Outside the town limits, permits are issued at “Old” Clampitt Hardware, 129 Main Street, and Kings Grocery in Lauada on Highway 74 West.
A Privilege License to do business in the Town of Bryson City can be obtained at the Town Hall, 45 Everett Street, 828-488-3335. No license is required if your business is outside town boundaries.
Commercial bus service is available in Maggie Valley, 40 miles from Bryson City. The Cherokee Boys Club offers a charter bus service for the area. Residents can use transportation services from Swain Transit by calling 828-488-3213.
Denominations represented in Swain County include Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Church of the Nazarene, Episcopal, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Seventh Day Adventist and United Methodist. Two Jewish Synagogues are located in Asheville and Jewish services are held regularly in Franklin, 40 minutes south of Bryson City.
Swain County has four distinct seasons. January has an average high of 51 and low of 28. July’s average high is 84 and the low is 61. Winter usually brings some snow to the mountains with an average of 11.9 inches yearly. Annual precipitation averages approximately 47 inches. The average relative humidity is around 70 percent in the summer and 66 percent during winter. More about Swain County's climate.
Local civic groups take an active and critical role in a variety of public service activities. Here's a complete list of Bryson City civic organizations.
The closest airport is in Asheville, NC. Other options are Knoxville, TN, Greenville, SC and Atlanta, GA.
A detailed map of Swain County and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is available. Mail your check for $6 to Swain County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 509, Bryson City, NC 28713.
The county takes great pride in the academic and athletic achievements of its students. Swain County Schools are administered by a five-member board of education elected by county voters. It employs a superintendent who carries out policies adopted by the board.
The system consists of a Head Start program, Bright Adventures Pre-K, two K-5 elementary schools, a 6-8 grade middle school and a 9-12 high school.
Mountain Discovery Charter School is a public, tuition-free school for K-8. Admission is on a space-available basis. It uses a teaching approach that addresses individual learning styles while adhering to the NC standard course of study.
Grace Christian Academy offers a Pre-K program and K-8 instruction. The school uses the A Beka Curriculum which provides a Christ-centered education. It also has a before and after school program.
Southwestern Community College is located in nearby Sylva and offers specialized learning at its Almond Center in Swain County. Western Carolina University in nearby Cullowhee, is part of the University of North Carolina system.
Duke Energy provides electric service, 1-800-777-9898.
Fire, Law Enforcement and Emergency Services
The Swain Emergency Medical Service (EMS), Bryson City Police, Swain County Sheriff, Swain County Rescue Squad and four volunteer fire departments are reached for emergencies by calling 911. The Swain EMS provides ambulance services. The Swain County Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization that provides wilderness search and rescue operations, river rescue and traffic control for special events.
Additional medical facilities includehealth department, eye care, dentists, rest home, skilled nursing facility, public health provider and mental health center.
The Town of Bryson City (828-488-3335) provides garbage pickup. County residents can take garbage and recycled items to the main recycling center on Old US 19 that accepts paper, colored and clear glass, plastic, tin and cardboard.
Swain County has a Board of Commissioners and County Manager. The board meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 pm in the County Administration Building. 828-488-9273. website
Bryson City has a Mayor, Board of Aldermen and Town Manager. The board meets in the Town Office at 6 p.m. on the first Monday every month, unless it falls on a holiday.. 828-488-3335.
The Marianna Black Library is located at the intersection of Rector and Academy Streets, just up the hill from the Police Station. You may access the card catalogue at www.fontanalib.org. 828-488-3030.
Marriage License & Wedding Information
Marriage licenses are issued by the Register of Deeds at the Swain County Administration Building, 101 Mitchell Street, Bryson City. 828-488-9273. Monday - Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. For more information on requirements as well as ministers and florists, click here for a downloadable pdf Weddings - Bryson City.
Newspapers serving Swain County include the daily Asheville Citizen-Times and weeklies The Smoky Mountain Times, Cherokee One Feather and Smoky Mountain News. The local radio station is WBHN (1590 am).
The main post office is located on Slope Street in Bryson City. 828-488-3481. Almond, Cherokee and Whittier also have post offices.
The 2008 census estimates a population of 13,512 in Swain County. Approximately 86 percent of its 528 square miles is owned by the National Park Service, the National Forest Service and Tennessee Valley Authority.
Please check with the County and Town governments for the latest information.
Verizon provides telephone service. The number for new residents is 800-837-4966 and new businesses — 800-483-5000.
In be eligible to vote in Swain County, you must be a citizen of the US, at least 18 years of age and a legal resident of Swain County. You must be registered at least 21 working days prior to any election to be able to vote in that election. Registered voters always vote in the precinct where they live. Board of Elections 828-488-6177.
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Bryson City - Swain County
Chamber of Commerce
& Visitor Center
210 Main Street
P.O. Box 509
Bryson City, NC 28713
Karen Proctor Wilmot