Stories from the Smokies

In pioneer times, mountain families often subsisted by carrying their garden vegetables and hand-crafted items to town to sell. Today, those traditional cottage industries are very much alive, at the Smoky Mountain Farmers & Artisans Market in downtown Bryson City.

Each Friday and Saturday, from 9 am to 2 pm, May thru October, you can meet Swain County’s backyard growers and talented artisans, and probably leave with something incredibly fresh or delightfully unique for your home.

The riverside market is located at 117 Island Street on the grounds of the Appalachian Rivers Aquarium, which is open Wednesday–Saturday with no admission fee. The area is dog-friendly for leashed pets and features a fishing pier and access to the Tuckasegee River.

Since the markets run through the lunch hour, there’s always a food truck next to the covered pavilion with picnic tables. And local favorites Frank and Allie Lee provide the live music.

The Farmer’s and Artisans Market is a project of Swain County Cooperative Extension and Swain County Tourism Development Authority (TDA).

Joan's flowers
handmade toys and furniture
The market is pet friendly

Pets – Your dog is welcome at the Farmers & Artisans Market. And if you’d like to take Fido for a longer walk, the entrance to Bryson City’s Island Park is right around the corner.

Local musicians

Music – Frank and Allie Lee are a vocal-driven old time duo. With nylon string fretless banjo, guitar, slide guitar, and steel string banjo, fiddle, harmonica, and harmony vocals, they give a wide variety of heirloom songs and tunes new life.

Food – Lunch is available from a rotating group of food trucks, such as Big Laurel Foods, shown here.