Smithsonian Names Bryson City One of 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2016

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." Read more

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

Swain County Farmers Market - Opening Day Friday, May 6, 9 am - 1 pm. Island Street. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Wine & Dine Evening Dinner Train - May 7. Bass Tournament - Fontana Lake, May 7. Mothers Day Benefit 5K Run/Walk - Saturday, May 7, 7:30 am registration, Kituwah Mound, Hwy 19N.

Nantahala Brewing Company music, 8 pm - Circus Mutt, May 6; Franklin's Kite, May 7. SMCPA, (Franklin) music, 7:30 pm - Nelson Illusions, May 7. Harrah's Cherokee 7:30 pm - Chris Young, May 7. Back Porch Old Time Music Jam, 1-3 pm. GSMNP Visitor Center, Cherokee, May 7.

Learn more about coming events. Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Spring Brings a Colorful Procession of Wildflowers to 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), phacelia, silverbell and mayapple in April. In May we see bleeding heart, flame azalea, indian paintbrush and wild orchids.

Take a look at our Wildflower Blooming Calendar and plan a trip to see the Smokies in spring!

Download a printable PDF map of the Deep Creek trails and waterfalls.