Home Destinations 15 Best Things to Do in Bryson City NC 2024 for All

15 Best Things to Do in Bryson City NC 2024 for All

by Naoi Rei
15 Best Things to Do in Bryson City NC 2024 for All

Tucked away in the embrace of the Great Smoky Mountains, Bryson City, North Carolina, is a treasure just waiting to be explored. This charming little town is the ultimate mix of amazing outdoor adventures, cultural treasures, and laid-back relaxation spots. It’s the perfect escape for folks of all stripes. From those hungry for a rush of adrenaline to those in search of peace and calm, our roundup of the 15 top things to do in Bryson City NC in 2024 makes sure you’ll soak up all the thrills and peaceful moments this place has up its sleeve.

### 1. Hop Aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Climb onto the historic Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for an enchanting ride that weaves through the Smokies’ lush greenery. Sitting in an old-timey train car, you’ll meander through tunnels, glide over trestles, and roll beside winding rivers. The railway comes with a lineup of different trips perfect for families, history buffs, and those who just love the outdoors.

### 2. Wander Through the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum

After your railroad adventure, be sure to visit the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum. You’ll find a jaw-dropping array of model trains and railroad treasures. Boasting one of the biggest collections of Lionel trains under one roof, this spot’s a go-to for train lovers and families searching for things to do in Bryson City NC.

### 3. Tackle the Rapids on the Nantahala River

Get ready for a wild ride on the famous Nantahala River, a hotspot for white-water rafting thrills. No matter your rafting chops, you’ll find rapids that match your level, and with local guides ready to steer you through, you can safely conquer the waters while soaking in the stunning surroundings.

### 4. Try Your Luck Fishing in the Tuckasegee River

Fishermen, the Tuckasegee River calls your name! Known for its trout-filled waters, the river is an angler’s dream for fly fishing. Whether you’re after rainbow, brown, or brook trout, the Tuckasegee River dishes out some of the finest fishing around, making it a buzzed-about activity in Bryson City NC.

### 5. Hike the Appalachian Trail

The legendary Appalachian Trail is close by for those eager to hit the trails. Hike a portion of the trail for a day adventure or pack your backpack for a longer journey into the wild. Immerse yourself in mountain stillness, forest beauty, and maybe spot some local wildlife while you’re out there.

### 6. Kick Back at the Deep Creek Area

The Deep Creek Area is a prime spot for a chill day outdoors. Pack a picnic, take a dip, or just chill to the gentle sounds of the running creek. Looking for a bit more action? Trek the paths and feast your eyes on spectacular waterfalls. Deep Creek is a serene escape and tops the list of things to do in Bryson City NC.

### 7. Cycle the Tsali Recreation Area

Bikers, get pumped for the trails at Tsali Recreation Area. A mecca for mountain bikers, Tsali serves up routes for every skill level against a backdrop of Fontana Lake and the mountains. Rent some wheels in town or cruise the trails on your own bike.

### 8. Discover Art at the Swain County Heritage Museum

Dive into Bryson City’s past at the Swain County Heritage Museum, housed in the old courthouse. You’ll see a showcase of local art, Native American finds, and curious historical exhibits. It’s a prime spot to get schooled on the local heritage and the folks who call this area home.

### 9. Enjoy a Cold One at Nantahala Brewing Company

Don’t skip out on the Nantahala Brewing Company when you’re in Bryson City. Sip on craft beers with a local twist and unwind after a day packed with fun. You might even get lucky and hit a night with live tunes.

### 10. Cruise the Scenic Blue Ridge Parkway

For the scenic route lovers, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a short drive from Bryson City. This iconic road is famous for its breathtaking mountain views and photo-op friendly overlooks. Coming for the autumn foliage or spring flowers, it’s an unmissable journey.

### 11. Zip Through the Tree Canopies

For a heart-racing time, go ziplining through the forest canopies. Local adventure companies near Bryson City offer zip tours that have you flying high above the trees, giving you a hawk’s view of the mountains. It’s an electrifying new way to see the area’s beauty.

### 12. Paddle Peacefully on Fontana Lake

Set out onto the tranquil Fontana Lake by kayak or canoe. Paddle at your own beat and take in the picturesque shores. You can even pull up on an island for a secluded picnic or a cooling swim.

### 13. Camp Under the Stars in the Smokies

Pitching a tent is one of the ultimate ways to bond with nature in Bryson City. With oodles of campgrounds and hidden backcountry spots in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can drift off under a blanket of stars and wake to the chirp of the wild.

### 14. Dig for Treasures at the Ela Gem Mine

Bryson City invites you to uncover sparkly treasure at the Ela Gem Mine. It’s a blast and you learn tons as you dig for gems like rubies, sapphires, and even gold. Great for kids and grown-ups, it’s an exciting way to spend a family day.

### 15. Feast on Southern Eats

And finally, to really get Bryson City, you have to dive into some authentic Southern grub. The town has a tasty array of eateries, from traditional BBQ spots to homey cafes. Make sure to taste the local delights and maybe discover your new all-time favorite plate.


**What’s the best season to head to Bryson City NC?**

The top times to visit Bryson City are during the spring for a burst of wildflowers or the fall for the changing leaves. But the town is buzzing all year with cool things to check out, so really, any old time is great, depending on what you want to do.

**Is Bryson City NC a good place for families?**

Absolutely, Bryson City is wonderful for families. With a mix of train adventures, rafting, trails to hike, and spots to mine gems, there’s a bit of everything for every age to love.

**Are there any fees to get into the national parks or natural spots in Bryson City NC?**

Most outdoor spaces, like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, let you in free. But some park activities and other spots in Bryson City might have fees, so it’s smart to check beforehand.

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