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19 Best & Fun Things To Do in Bryson City (NC)

That dream vacation is within reach in the small but beautiful Bryson City.

This city opens tourists to gorgeous mountains, wildflowers, lakes, streams, and Appalachian trails.

However, this beautiful region once housed the Cherokee tribe and is currently the county seat of Swain county.

Widely known as a popular tourist site with tons of outdoor and indoor activities that pull in visitors yearly, this attraction is home to 1424 citizens.

Venture into this charming and quaint city and explore exciting attractions.

For outdoor activities, head to the Nantahala River, Fontana Lake, smoking Mountain Railroad, and many more.

Indoor lovers can also have fun at the Appalachian river aquarium and Fly-fishing Museum of the Southern, to mention a few.

Have a personal feel of the indigenous culture of the native Americans who live and hunt along the Tuckasegee river in the vicinity.

Wine and dine in the best wineries, restaurants, and bars in the area and rest in the city’s best hotels.

This destination holds many adventurous promises just waiting to be explored by you.

So hang on and stay glued to your screen as this list takes you through the fun and exciting places to visit in Bryson City, North Carolina.

Best things to do in Bryson City

1. Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

 Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Inside the train

The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad is presently managed by the American Heritage Railways.

With an average number of about 20,0000 passengers each year, the railroad is renowned for being the most outstanding of its kind in the United States.

This railroad offers excursions to and fro the former southern railway between Dillsboro and Nantahala, North Carolina.

The trip lasts for approximately 4-5 hours, with the gorgeous view of scenic forests and lakes to soothe your eyes.

Along with the fantastic train ride comes the host and caretaker, who are in charge of each cabin and are loaded with great stories to share.

There is also a singer to entertain you with melodious country songs that you can sing along to while on the ride.

The train also makes an hour’s stop for outdoor activities in the small town.

Once you get off the train to explore the town, you can grab a beer, go for a kayak tour or dine at the moonshine care before heading back.

With great stories, drinks, and a delicious lunch to go, this attraction is just what you need to unwind in Bryson City.

Address: 45 Mitchell St, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

2. West Deep Creek Road

 West Deep Creek Road

Falls in deep creek

Applauded for its scenic view, West Deep Creek Road is a roadway that provides access to trails and campgrounds within the Great Smoky national park.

This roadway allows hikers to choose from several interwoven hikes leading to the waterfall.

Trails to the waterfall begin in the spacious parking area at the end of the creek road.

Journey through the Juney whack falls three waterfalls loop and deep creek- Indian creek loop.

This attraction doesn’t only offer the thrill of hiking.

It has incredible campgrounds open from early April until late October.

Not to mention a sizeable picnic area equipped with restrooms and changing rooms.

Lastly, this attraction offers excellent spots for fishing, but you also have to note that a Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license is required to access it.

There is no need to worry because you can purchase it in Bryson City.

So let nothing stop as you indulge in any sport thrown at you by this splendid attraction.

Address: Bryson City, NC 28713, 

3. Fly Fishing Museum Of Southern Appalachian

 Fly Fishing Museum Of Southern Appalachian

Fly Fishing Museum Of Southern Appalachian

Avid lovers of fly-fishing are always welcome to experience the history of the art.

Fly fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachian houses excellent collections of flies and quality equipment.

The non-profit museum aims to give visitors a glimpse of Southern fishing history.

This is done through exhibits, equipment, and gear.

Displays of old reels, rods, papers, jigs, and flies are among the many exhibits that fuel tourists’ interests.

Even those not interested in fishing will have a great time at this attraction.

Moreover, your kids can also tag along, as this attraction has a kids’ area with crayons to keep them busy.

Best of all, this attraction is free to visit and open to all.

So while you are searching for a place to learn about fishes in Bryson City, you know where to go.

Address: 210 Main St, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

4. Appalachian River Aquarium

 Appalachian River Aquarium

Appalachian River Aquarium

Spend one of your best days in Bryson City at the Appalachian River Aquarium.

Its quaint and beautiful attraction features freshwater fish and amphibians in an aquatic setting.

This remarkable attraction exposes you to all the species you wished you had caught.

It’s only time before you make this small attraction your little aquatic abyss.

Moreover, its hidden treasure is open to kids of all ages.

Children will have fun as well as get acquainted with sea creatures.

Creatures like the famous Hellbender Salamander of the Smoky Mountains are on display, as well as intelligent volunteers, to give you information about the local species.

This attraction also comes with a gift shop with great handmade items and is free for all.

Make a stop at this incredible attraction when you are in Bryson City.

Address: 117 Island St, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

5. Mountain Farm Museum

Mountain Farm Museum

Mountain Farm Museum

The majestic view of historic buildings, animals, logs, and rustic feel sounds like an excellent vacation site.

Well, not to worry, because the gorgeous Mountain Farm Museum is right here in Bryson City.

Beautifully positioned close to the river, this area is full of history.

In simple terms, this attraction is an open museum that showcases interesting farm methods of the past.

It also houses animals like pigs, chickens, horses, bulls, and wild roosters.

A wide-open historic village to explore with a blacksmith, open orchard, pig pen, corncribs, and other buildings.

Do well to read the strategically placed plaques if you are bent on knowing more about the farm.

While at it, you can take a quiet stroll along the trails that lead to the river.

Other farm areas are open for exploration so you can wander into the apple orchards, pig pens, or various buildings.

And if you want to scream out your lungs in excitement, you can opt to watch the exciting bullfight.

Interesting as it sounds, this event will highlight your visit to the farm.

Address: Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

6. Bryson City Island Park

Bryson City Island Park

Bryson City Island Park

Situated at the entrance of a deep creek beside the Tuckasegee river in Bryson City, the Bryson City Island Park ranks at the top as the best attraction in the city.

Also prided to be a virgin piece of nature, this park has unique features.

This park offers features like trails, a walk-through, lovely views of the river, picnic tables, and a bridge.

Run through the fantastic trails, share a nice meal with your loved ones, and take poses for breathtaking pictures on the bridge.

Dogs can also hop in and make this their play area, as many doggie stations are just for them.

The trails are also dog-friendly and wheelchair accessible.

This is all the more reason to make this park a must-see when you are in the area.

Address: 213 Bryson St, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

7. Smoky Mountain Train Museum

Smoky Mountain Train Museum

The Smoky Mountain Train Museum

If engines and cars excite you, you have hit the jackpot at Smoky Mountain Train Museum.

Home to 7000 Lionel engines, cars, accessories, and an impressive layout, this attraction will leave you in awe.

Troop into this unique historical attraction and meet your fellow car enthusiasts who have a keen interest in vintage cars.

Learn about the history and features of each vehicle with beautiful pictures to go.

Likewise, you can take a nostalgic walk through the train display and check out every train imaginable.

Bring your children along because there are so many fun things to do at the children’s activity center.

At the center, your little ones will be exposed to a lot of educational insight about vehicles.

To put the icing on the cake, you can visit the gift shop, where lots of fun toys are sold are a fair price.

Be rest assured that fun awaits you and your kids in this museum.

Address: 100 Greenlee St, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

8. Swain County Recreation Park

 Swain County Recreation Park

Swain County Recreation Park

Just by the sound of the name, you can tell that a visit to this attraction will be worth it.

An excellent place to get away, this hidden gem offers three pool areas for all ages, tennis courts, pickleball lines, walking trails, and an indoor gym.

Dive into the mega pool segmented into a pool, a baby pool, and a play area for splash time.

Don’t limit yourself to the pool; there are other activities to indulge in this fantastic center.

You can have a picnic in the covered picnic arena.

Have fun, hike the trails, play games or flex your muscles in the indoor gym.

Enjoy a game of tennis on the court, play pickleball, or just watch your kids play.

Already eager to come to Swaim County Recreation Park?

Then don’t waste any more time and head on right away.

Address: 30 Recreation Park Dr, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States
North Carolina also has amazing cities to visit, like Corolla, Cherokee, Beaufort, and Hickory!

9. Nantahala Outdoor Center

Nantahala Outdoor Center

Nantahala Outdoor Center

For anything outdoor, come over to Nantahala Outdoor Center.

This center runs white water rafting trips through Chattooga, Cheoah, French, Broad, Nantahala, Nolichucky, Ocoee, and Pigeon.

Not only that, they host kayak classes to teach learners how to paddle.

Not to mention various services such as bike rentals, outdoor retail, fly-fishing, and hiking.

Climb the challenging but fun rope courses, ride bikes or attend group programs hosted in the center.

And, of course, if you just want a quiet place to relax, this center has covered you.

Address: 13077 U.S. 19 West, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

10. Road To Nowhere, Bryson City

things to do in Bryson City

Road To Nowhere

Although the background history of this attraction is sad, it is still one of the fantastic wonders of Bryson City.

True to its name, this road goes nowhere.

The Road To Nowhere visibly starts on an open road, passes through a tunnel, and ends.

Presently a modern-day trail accessible to handicaps, it sits on the Great Smoky mountains.

These beautiful trails take you through historic homesites, creeks, and views from fountain lake.

It’s a great way to bond with nature and learn about the deep history of Bryson City.

Address: Lakeview Dr, Bryson City, NC 28713, USA

11. Deep Creek Winery

Deep Creek Winery

Deep Creek Winery

It’s right to say that if you are anywhere in Bryson City, you should try out the Deep Creek Winery.

To begin with, this gem is an excellent place for couples to spend time alone away from the kids in the embrace of a gorgeous view of the environs.

Likewise, it offers a great wine tasting that features white and red wine.

That’s not all, they offer free gluten options too.

You can also drink that wine with a plate of cheese to go.

Ultimately, it is beyond doubt that this unique winery is highly recommended as one of the top places to visit in Bryson City.

Address: 405 Johnathan Walk, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

12. Storytelling Center Of The Southern Appalachians At Bryson City

Storytelling Center Of The Southern Appalachians

The Storytelling Center Of The Southern Appalachians At Bryson City

The tales and history of Bryson City are best told in the Storytelling Center Of The Southern Appalachians At Bryson City.

This center is on a sole mission to preserve, exhibit, interpret and promote the musical and oral heritage of the region.

Opened throughout the year, this center safeguards the people’s history and tells tales of the mountains.

It also houses beautiful flora and fauna, so florists can also come here to explore.

So if your love for history pulls you to Bryson, this attraction is a must-see.

13. Treetop Adventure Nets

things to do in Bryson City

Treetop Adventure Nets


Bryson City has a place just for kids to unwind and have fun.

Treetop Adventure Nets boast of being the first fully netted aerial playground in the United States.

An avenue for children to unleash their imagination and tap into their creative power.

At the same time, explore the skies.

The architectural design is built to replicate a ship with underlying tunnels for children to run through.

Your kids can also play on the ship and swing and make new friends while at it.

For your kids to get the most from this attraction, purchase a two-hour pass right from the friendly staff.

And remember to bring along closed-toe shoes for this adventure.

Address: 13077 U.S. 19 West, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

Do well to check out other exciting places in North Carolina like Blowing Rock, Waynesville, Bryson City, Fayetteville, and Little Switzerland!

14. Cooper Creek Trout Farm

 Cooper Creek Trout Farm

Cooper Creek Trout Farm

While in Bryson City, let all roads lead to the incredible Cooper Creek Trout Farm.

This serene attraction is a haven for anglers from far and wide.

Of course, who wouldn’t want to spend quality time in the view of gorgeous scenery and a well-stocked lake?

No need to break a sweat here because fishes are easy to catch and feast from.

And at a merger price, you can opt for fish cleaning services.

Likewise, you can choose not to bring any equipment because you can get everything you need here.

Even the bait!

But if you love bringing your own tools, gear up and head to the stream.

Bring your friends or, if you have kids and grandkids, you teach them one or two fishing tricks in this lake.

Besides, even if you get stuck about what to do, there are friendly and knowledgeable staff who are always willing to help.

Anglers are going to adore this little piece of heaven in Bryson City

Address: 3365 Coopers Creek Rd, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

15. Lakeview At Fortuna

things to do in Bryson City

Lakeview At Fortuna

If magic were a place, it would be Lakeview At Fortana.

This attraction offers a magical, peaceful, and relaxing experience in contrast to busy cities.

It features an honor market and cafe, cabins, hammocks, a coffee shop, waterfalls, and trails.

Entirely a whole different world, it offers incredible views of the lake and an amazing spa experience.

In fact, the cabins are clean and offer soaking cabanas.

This is a perfect location to ignite a sizzling romance with your plus one.

While at it, enjoy refreshing walks or sit on a patio with the sight of the gorgeous waterfall.

Immerse yourself in the tub right in your cabin and you can order delicious meals after.

Deliveries are swift, and the staff are always at your service

Thinking about that romantic getaway?

Then Bryson has just the place for you right here in Lakeview At Fortana.

Address: 171 Lakeview Lodge Dr, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

16. Nantahala Gem Mine, Bryson City

Nantahala Gem Mine

The Nantahala Gem Mine

Nantahala Gem Mine is a blend of dirt and gems.

A fun combination if you have always wanted to play prospector.

Interestingly, this attraction provides that avenue to fulfill your dreams and have fun with them.

Located in the Smoky Mountains, the world gem capital, as it is popularly called, collects gems from mines all around the world.

These gems are then brought to the retail location for visitors to get entertained as they hunt for treasures.

Visitors will find rubies, emeralds, garnet, topaz, peridot, aquamarine, rose quartz, and many more.

Moreover, you don’t only need to hunt for them just for the sport; you can purchase any gem you want.

That’s not only the great thing about this place.

The attraction also offers professional gem-cutting services.

Let’s not forget the cute little gift shop where you can purchase nice items after your search for gems.

So if getting your hands a little dirty won’t bother you, this attraction will be a blast.

Address: 1107 Wesser Creek Rd, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

17. The Boston At Everette Hotel

things to do in Bryson City

The Boston At Everette Hotel

This list won’t be complete if this attraction isn’t included, and the reason isn’t far-fetched.

The Boston At Everette Hotel offers a blend of food and romance.

What better way to enjoy a sumptuous meal than in a quaint restaurant in the heart of downtown?

This restaurant offers amazing upscale menu choices that will leave you salivating.

Not to mention, an offsetting inside as well as a covered, warm outdoor arena.

Although the bars are small, it offers tasty wines and beers. The bartending services are also a plus.

Yet to have your best culinary experience, then this restaurant will surely give you just that.

Address: 16 Everett St, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

18. Smoky Mountain Community Theatre

Smoky Mountain Community Theatre

The Smoky Mountain Community Theatre

In 1935, the Smoky Mountain Theatre was established and later renovated in the 1990s to what it looks like presently.

Of note, it held its first performance in 1989.

And since then, it has been the host of many plays and stage production that pulls audience from far and wide.

As Bryson City’s custodian of culture, education, and creativity, the theatre host plays all year round.

Along with the play comes delicious, homemade concessions that are affordable.

Experience first-hand talented artists who are good at giving outstanding performances.

Every play will leave you captivated and relaxed.

To crown it all, the admission price is really affordable for everyone who wants to get entertained in Bryson City.

Address: 134 Main St, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

19. Swain County Heritage Museum and Visitor Center

things to do in Bryson City

The Swain County Heritage Museum and Visitor Center

What used to be a courthouse in downtown Bryson City has now transformed into a two-in-one tourist site.

The building consists of a visitors’ center on the first floor and a museum on the second.

The Visitors Center is a must-stop if you are new in the area and want to know your way around the area.

Right here, the county tourist development staff will help you with directions, and hand you maps, brochures, and insightful tips about the city.

Meanwhile, if you are piqued by the history of Bryson City, then your next stop should be on the second floor.

The Swain County Heritage Museum is located here and is accessible to all.

With pictures, exhibits, audio, and videos, this museum successfully depicts the life of early settlers.

Learn about the interesting history of the Great Smoky Mountain, the national park, the Fontana Dam, and more.

View the life-changing restored log cabin porch, the 1887 church organ, and the one-room schoolhouse desks.

There is also a children’s activity area and free parking space just behind the building.

So If you are looking for free places to explore in Bryson City, here is one.

Address: 2 Everett St, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

Bryson City Is Calling Out To You

Why wait any longer when this small mountain town has so much in store for you?

A great place to wine, dine, relax, and build a budding romance with the special someone. This region has what it takes to keep you enchanted.

It’s also an amazing place to try out interesting activities, hunt for gems, visit farms, and hike trails.

If you yearn for an interesting break in your schedule, Bryson City will make it worthwhile.

So don’t hesitate and book that flight to this mesmerizing little city.

You won’t regret it.

Happy Holidays!