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

20 Memory-making Ways to Enjoy the Holidays in the Smokies

Ride on the Polar Express, meet Santa on the old cabin porch, the "Biggest Little Christmas Parade in the Smokies," talk to the Appalachian Toymaker, enjoy holiday lights, go caroling, find one-of-a kind gifts. Learn 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.

logo of Fly Fishing Capital of the South

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

Holiday EventsDecember Weekend Availability

Wildfire Travel Update. There are no fires near Bryson City. View Bryson City webcam. Polar Express rides remain unaffected. Deep Creek trails near Bryson City, and the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Mountain Farm Museum in Cherokee remain open.

US 441 is closed at I-40 Exit 407 (Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge) due to fires (no travel through the National Park). Travelers should use I-40 from Tennessee to NC Exit 27 (US 19/74 W) and then continue west to Bryson City at exit 67.

Saturday, December 3 events in Bryson City - Breakfast with Santa, 8-10 am. 12th Annual Cookie Walk & Christmas Bazaar, beginning at 9 am. 'Biggest Little Christmas Parade in the Smokies' 2 pm in downtown Bryson City. Christmas Past / Mountain Traditions, 5-7 pm at the museum. Hear stories of old-time holidays and make crafts.

Button to click for deals and discounts Polar Express train rides daily - 1-1/4 hour visit to the North Pole and Santa visits with each child. Write and mail letters to Santa every day at the Visitors Center; cookies and cocoa on Saturdays. Christmas Arts & Crafts Show December 3, 10 am - 5 pm at Stecoah Valley Arts Center.

Smoky Mtn. Center in Franklin 7:30 pm, December 2, Michael O'Brien; December 3, Christmas with the Celts,

View the total solar eclipse in Bryson City, Monday, August 21, 2017. Partial eclipse begins at 2:06 pm; total eclipse is from 2:35 to 2:37 pm; and it's all over by 3:00 pm. Come early for weekend activities on Saturday and Sunday.


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


Whitewater rafting group paddling in raft

Bryson City — A Small Town With Big Holiday Spirit!

Tis the season to visit the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. We're small towns, big smiles, friendly people and plenty of crisp, clean air. We've got great hiking trails, sparkling waterfalls and fishing streams ... and cozy B&Bs, cabins, motels and resorts for relaxing at the end of the day.

Bryson City may be a small town, but we celebrate holidays in a big way! The streets are decorated with holiday lights and garlands; and our shops offer plenty of gifts and one-of-a-kind arts and crafts, as well as tasty foods and wines. There are concerts, a Christmas play, a parade and much more.

Learn more about our Holiday Season on our Holiday Traditions page.

Have a big vacation in a small town!