Prepare for an unforgettable family getaway in Bryson City, where adventure meets relaxation in the Great Smoky Mountains. Perfect for families with young explorers, we’ve created an itinerary that promises excitement and tranquility. From exploring the rich history of Bryson City to thrilling tubing opportunities to embarking on safe and fun hikes through the serene mountains, Bryson City has it all! Explore why Bryson City is perfect for all ages and should be your next family vacation spot.

Guided Waterfall Hike

Rich History in Bryson City

Dive into the rich history and culture of Bryson City and the Great Smoky Mountains at one of our many fascinating museums and historic locations. Immerse yourself in exhibits that spotlight our region's unique past, the history of fly fishing in our mountainside, our vibrant wildlife, and much more!

Train Museum + Kid

The Swain County Visitor Center and Heritage Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the heritage of our people, early settlers, and how our beloved landscape came to be. Explore photos and artifacts when you step foot in the 1908 historic courthouse, and learn how the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Fontana Dam rewrote the landscape and changed lives.

The Great Smoky Mountains Train Museum (shown above) is more than an ordinary museum. With its collection of 7,000 Lionel™ engines, cars and accessories, impressive operating layout, children’s activity center, and gift/toy shop, Smoky Mountain Trains has something for everyone.

Aquarium + Kid

If you love aquatic life, head over to our Appalachian River Aquarium! Enjoy the small, native species aquarium on the banks of the Tuckaseegee River in downtown Bryson City and the wide range of fish species it cherishes. Other great museums to add to your list are the Mountain Farm Museum (Pictured Below), the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians, and the Museum of the Cherokee Indians.

Mountain Farm Museum

Bryson City is the Reel Deal

Bryson City and the Great Smoky Mountain National Forests boast of having some of the world's most diverse fishing habitats, including a variety of fish, including trout, bass, crappie, walleye, and the formidable muskie! Immerse yourself in the serene blue-green waters of lakes such as Fontana Lake, and enjoy sporting while taking in the serene beauty around you! Whether you fish on one of our many rivers or explore our winding creeks, such as Hazel Creek or Alarka Creek, Bryson City offers an unparalleled fishing experience. We take pride in being the fly fishing capital of the south and invite you to cast your line and discover the treasures our wonderful mountain town holds.

Fly Fishing Bryson City

Thrilling Tubing Adventures

Ready to cool down? Embark on a relaxing day of tubing through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the cool waters of Deep Creek near Bryson City or the  Oconaluftee River in Cherokee, NC. Tubing companies generally operate from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day; however, Deep Creek tubing (Pictured Below) can begin in early May and continue after the weather is warm. Therefore, now is the perfect time to book your excursion! Inflatables at tube rental companies are available fo rent from nearby outfitters near the entrance to Deep Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, on West Deep Creek Road. If you are rafting in Cherokee, check out tube rental places in Cherokee. This family-friendly activity promises endless fun and relaxation for all ages. Please note that children 13 years of age and younger are required to wear a life jacket while tubing. Bring your own, or rent one along with your tube!

Summer Tubing and Waterfall

Embark on a Journey to Smokemont

Bryson City is your perfect spot for a family hike, specifically a trek to Smokemont. Just 3.8 miles north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, you’ll find the Smokemont section of the Great Smoky Mountains, offering a campground, hiking trails, horseback riding, and the famous  Smokemont Baptist Church (Pictured Below). The  Smokemont Baptist Church is also known as the  Oconaluftee Baptist Church and the  Lufty Baptist Church and is rich in Great Smoky Mountain history.  Built in 1912, the church remained in active use until the area was made part of the national park in 1935. It is open to visitors to see the interior with the original pews. Discover the beauty and serenity that only untouched wilderness can bring by hiking the Bradley Fork Trail, beginning at the  Smokemont parking area. Explore Chasteen Creek Falls.  Smokemont is a great place to spend the day with your family, get active, immerse in history, enjoy elk viewing, and so much more!

Smokemont Baptist Church

All Aboard For the Ultimate Kid Adventure

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Great Smoky Mountains while traveling along the Tennessee and Nantahala River. The historic trellis bridge Fontana Trestle takes you across Fontana Lake and into the beautiful Nantahala Gorge. Several classes of service are available including meals and boxed lunches.

Train Kids

Arrive at our layover destination in the heart of the Nantahala Gorge for a one-hour layover where you can relax by the river or enjoy sightseeing! Learn more about the Nantahala Gorge excursion, along with other round trip excursions including the Christmas themed Polar Express!

Kids Zipline

kid zipline

A fantastic Aerial zipline playground for kids from ages 4 to 12. Zip, Climb and Play in the trees on three different courses. Repeat as many times as you like for two hours. There are hangout places for parents, grandparents and others who just want to watch (you can even bring a picnic lunch).

Whitewater Rafting with Kids!

Whitewater Rafting Kids

A family-favorite adventure of whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River is ideal fun for kids ages 7 and up (or, kids that weigh at least 60 pounds). Expect to learn fun facts about the Nantahala River and enjoy a few punny jokes from your guide! Half-day guided whitewater rafting adventure satisfies both beginner and experienced whitewater paddlers. Offering splashy Class I-II rapids along the popular Nantahala River and a Class III grand finale at Nantahala Falls,

Family Vacation

Bryson City, North Carolina is an ideal destination for an exciting family getaway, with activities available that are perfect for the youngest child to the eldest grandparent.