Photo courtesy Swain County TDA / Chamber of Commerce
Perched in the Great Smoky Mountains, Bryson City is known for its easy access to outdoor adventure. But this quaint downtown, 70 miles southwest of Asheville, has grown to cater to the thousands of visitors who flock there. Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, this small town near Asheville is worth the drive.
The High Test Deli & Sweet Shop
145 Everett St.
This daytime deli serves up a variety of made-to-order sandwiches—plus customized ice cream sandwiches. The sandwiches, hocked out of a downtown brick building with an unmissable retro sign, come in filling station-themed combos like the vegetarian No Lead or meat-packed Super Charged.
The Bistro at the Everett Hotel
16 Everett St.
If you want to cap off your day in Bryson City with a good meal, try the Bistro at the Everett Hotel. Its cozy tavern vibes, including wood-planked walls, are offset by the light, sophisticated fare on the menu, like trout cakes and Brasstown filet mignon.
Nantahala Brewing Co.
116 Ramseur St.
The sprawling, industrial taproom of Nantahala Brewing Co. is usually home to a little bit of everything we love about breweries: tours, live music, great food, and, of course, good beer. It’s closed for now, but you can grab a brew and a burger at their aptly named Burger & Bar, located at the historic RC Cola Bottling Plant.
9 Depot St
This family-run coffee shop serves up espresso drinks from a vibrant interior and charming, streetside patio where you can watch the trains roll by. Pair your specialty coffee with a snack, like a bagel, quiche, or dessert.
Bryson City Outdoors
169 Main St.
If you’re planning for an adventure in Bryson City, you’ll need to gear up first. Downtown’s Bryson City Outdoors sells gear made for getting outside, as well as their own line of popular clothes and accessories. Plus, you can grab a beer from their taproom and beer garden. Learn more about the outdoor outfitters in our 2020 article.
Nantahala Outdoor Center
13077 U.S. 19 West
Revered by whitewater sports enthusiasts around the country, the Nantahala Outdoor Center is a playground for all types of adventurers, regardless of your comfort level. Try whitewater rafting, kayaking, ziplining, or tubing, or sign up for one of their many courses to beef up your skills. Learn more about the NOC in our 2020 article.
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
45 Mitchell Street
From the historic depot in downtown Bryson City, board a passenger train and see the mountains by rail. There’s first class cars for adults looking for a special excursion, and there are plenty of options for kiddos. On the Nantahala Gorge Excursion, you’ll have a one-hour layover in the beautiful gorge.