Bryson City – A Real, Small Town
Bordering the southern side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bryson City is a laid-back, non-touristy town of 1,300 with more stop signs than stoplights. It’s an easily stroll-able town with local bookstores, arts and crafts galleries with working artisans, a bike shop, two fly fishing shops, a historical museum, a fly fishing museum, an aquarium, an excursion train, two breweries, and a surprising variety of restaurants. Map of downtown shops, eateries, attractions. Enjoy having your pet with you on vacation? You and your pet will love Island Park. Bryson City is dog friendly.
Take a virtual tour of Bryson City with interior 360 visits to a number of our small businesses.
Tour Bryson City’s murals & street art
Sit a spell on a bench and look up at a clear blue sky and green mountains. People watch, enjoy a sweet treat, visit some shops, enjoy some music, drop a fishing line in the Tuckasegee River as it flows through town or explore it by kayak or paddle board. Stop by the Visitor Center, where you’ll find plenty of information on places to go and things to do. Pick up a map for a historical tour of downtown and Bryson City Cemetery where Smokies legends Horace Kephart and Mark Cathey reside, along with the statue that might be Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward Angel. Are you a fan of Dr. Walt Larimore’s Bryson City Tales? – there’s a location map for that, too.
Venture just a few minutes from this quiet downtown and you’ll find a vast outdoor playground for water sports, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, zip lines, scenic drives, waterfalls and more.
You will love Bryson City, where you can have a big vacation in a small town!
Here’s What Writers Say About Bryson City
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, and the article focused on the Tuckasegee River that flows through downtown and its role bringing in vibrant new businesses to the community. Read
“Check out vibrant, little downtown Bryson City for dining spots and shops busy with small town commerce.”
— The Charlotte Observer
“Vacationers seeking small-town atmosphere blended with the beauty of the wilderness will find refuge in Bryson City, NC, a gorgeous mountain town tucked away in the Smoky Mountains. The town features plenty of dining and shopping opportunities, lovely inns, and outdoor activities to choose from.“
“Explore Bryson City’s fun mix of old and new. Without question, the natural playground of forests, rivers, and trails surrounding Bryson City, and even the Tuckasegee River that cuts through the center of town, maintain a strong pull, but the town holds its own charm — all two square miles of it.”
— WNC magazine
‘For kids, the small mountain town is a picturesque playground with plenty of places to have fun and burn off some energy.“
“Here’s the thing about Bryson City. It’s a true getaway. You don’t have to worry about what to wear, how to fix your hair, putting on makeup, checking boxes on your touristy list or having concrete plans. You just go and do whatever and stare at the mountains and breathe easier.“
— Dana Miller, Housetweaking
“But, most of all, skip the nearby over-developed region that is Gatlinburg and visit Bryson City on the North Carolina side of the park. It is a beautiful small American town with great road-side inns, shops and family entertainment that takes you back to the America of the past, something you can not get much of these days.“