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.

All About Living in Swain County, NC

If you're considering a move to Swain County, the following information may be helpful. If you have a questions that isn't answered below, please give us a call.

Automobile Tags — 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. 828-488-8247.

Civic Organizations — Local civic groups play active and critical role in a variety of public service activities. Here's a complete list of Bryson City civic organizations.

Climate — Swain County has four distinct seasons. January has an average high temperature of 51° and a low of 28°. July’s average high is 84° and the low is 61°. Snowfall can be seen as early as October and as late as April with an annual accumulation of 11 inches. Annual precipitation averages approximately 57 inches. The average relative humidity is around 70% in the summer and 66% during winter. More about Swain County's climate.

Commercial Airports — The closest airport is in Asheville, NC, which is approximately one hour away. Other options are Knoxville, TN, Greenville/Spartanburg, SC and Atlanta, GA.

Driving Distances
Atlanta, GA - 165
Asheville, NC - 70
Charlotte, NC - 185
Greenville, SC - 113
Knoxville, TN - 80
Raleigh, NC - 309

Education — 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 and employ a superintendent who carries out policies adopted by the board. Swain County Board of Education: 828-488-3129.

The public school 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 grades K-8. Admission is based on space availability. It employs a teaching approach that addresses individual learning styles while adhering to the North Carolina 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. Before and after-school programs are also offered..

Southwestern Community College is based on neighboring Jackson County and operates a learning center in the Almond area of Swain County.

Western Carolina University, part of the University of North Carolina system, is located in the Cullowhee area of Jackson County, approximately 45 minutes from Bryson City.

Government, County — Swain County has a Board of Commissioners and a County Manager. The board meets on the second Thursday of each month at 6 pm in the County Administration Building. 828-488-9273. website

Government, Town — Bryson City has a Mayor, Board of Aldermen and Town Manager. The board meets on the first Monday of each month at 6 pm in the Town Office. 828-488-3335.

Health CareSwain Community Hospital, a Duke LifePoint hospital,  is a 48-bed, fully-accredited critical access hospital, which has been serving the residents of Swain and Graham counties since 1948. 828-488-2155.

There is also an urgent care facility, Smoky Mountain Urgent Care and Family Medicine Center, which offers on-site x-rays labs, and wellness coaching. The urgent care center is open seven days a week and the family care practice is open Monday through Thursday. 828-538-4546.

Additional medical facilities include eye care, dentists, an assisted living community, skilled nursing facilities, public health provider, home care providers, and mental health center. .

Housing – The most current information on rentals, homes for sale and land for sale can be found in The Smoky Mountain Times. Click here for a list of Swain County Real Estate companies.

Industrial Park — Swain County offers an industrial park just west of Bryson City on Old US 19. Utilities include city water and sewer, electric, natural gas, and fiber optics for broadband needs. For more information call 828-488-9273.

Labor Force Training — Southwestern Community College assists companies in training the local workforce for special applications.

Swain County Technology and Training Center: The technology center is designed as a regional facility capable of on-site or remote classroom or conference center for up to 25 people. The center also features large format digital touch screens as well as full robotic training. 828-488-9273.

Western Carolina University: The Center for Integrated Technologies offers precision metrology, rapid prototyping systems, a telecommunication laboratory, and an OptoElectronics laboratory. The school also offers the WNC Technical Assistance Program to provide WCU expertise to the business community. 828-227-7368.

LibraryThe Marianna Black Library is a member of the Fontana Regional Library System. Corner of Rector and Academy Streets, just up the hill from the Police Station. In addition to library services and programs for adults and children, among the services offered are the use of computers and the Internet. 828-488-3030.

Media — 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)

Post Office — The main post office is located on Slope Street in Bryson City. 828-488-3481. Almond, Cherokee and Whittier also have post offices.

Recreation – In addition to the many outdoor opportunities offered in Swain County, there is also an organized Recreation Department which offers a variety of classes and events. It also offers a public swimming pool, tennis courts, several public ball-fields, and playgrounds. You may reach the Swain County Recreation Department at 828-488-6159.

Taxes – North Carolina has an income tax on both personal and business income. It does not levy a property tax. Sales tax is collected on all goods with some exceptions. Swain County levies an ad-valorem tax. The Town of Bryson City has an ad-valorem tax within its corporate limits, using the county

Voter Registration — To 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. The Board of Elections is located on Old US 19. 828-488-6177. 


Would you like to learn more about Bryson City, Swain County and North Carolina? The following web sites and guides may be of interest to you.

Swain County Government

Swain County History / Genealogy

North Carolina Department of Tourism