Gatlinburg is known as the gateway to the famed Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While it's a town packed with fun and entertaining attractions, it's also packed with tourists, traffic and high prices. Need another idea for Smoky Mountain getaway? Introducing Bryson City, North Carolina!
Bordering the Southern side of the park and the main North Carolina entrance to the park (there are four in the state), Bryson City is a laid-back, small mountain town filled with a variety of outdoor activities. It's nickname? The “Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Great Smoky Mountains.” Hiking, biking, rafting, fishing, swimming, - you name it - if it's an outside experience you're after, this is the place for you. And Bryson City averages temperatures high in the 80's and low in the 60’s, so it's a great location to spend some time outdoors.
Even downtown Bryson City offers a peaceful, strollable Main Street-esque walk with local bookstores, galleries, family-friendly museums, breweries, boutiques and a variety of restaurants.
Gas up your car and make the four and one-half hour ride to Bryson City! The adventurer in you will thank you.
Stay in the most charming condo on downtown's Everett Street. Oconaluftee Loft is a spacious and inviting two-bed, two-bath apartment perfectly located in the walkable downtown and within a 10-15 minute drive of the park entrance and many of the outdoor activities. It's also less than a five-minute walk from the historic train depot of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Excursions take you through the beautiful countryside of Western North Carolina to various destinations. You can find Oconaluftee Loft on Airbnb.com and the hosts are absolutely magnificent.
Eat at any one of the first-rate restaurants along the downtown stretch. Stop in for coffee and some sweet treats at La Dolce Vita and enjoy a delicious Italian meal at Anthony's. Check out Nantahala Brewing Burger + Bar for cold craft brews made on the premises. Be sure to stop by local favorite, Everett Street Diner for breakfast or lunch! ExploreBrysonCity.com