Category Archives: Cherokee NC

Back Porch Jam

On the first and third Saturdays of each month, all year, you are welcome to bring an acoustic instrument and join in on this old-time jam. Not a picker? We’ll grinners are needed too! Come kick back and enjoy the sights and sounds as others play traditional Appalachian Music. The jam takes place on the covered porch at the Oconaluftee visitor center, located at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park on Hwy 441 in Cherokee. 

Out for a Laugh

Jeff-Foxworthy-2014-PicFamous for his “you might be a redneck if. . . ” one-liners, comedian Jeff Foxworthy has been making America laugh since the early 90’s. And he’s still got it. Tonight Jeff will take the stage at Harrah’s Casino in Cherokee, NC. There are still tickets left, but not many! The casino’s Event Center seats 3,000 people and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. So go check it out and be prepared to laugh until you cry. Entertainment starts at 7:30pm.

Hope Your Holidays Were Bright

PicMonkey CollageChristmas was beautiful here in Western North Carolina. We hope you all had a wonderful time, not matter how you celebrate! Seems like a lot of people were super busy this year. Today in Bryson City, we are running into people who’s Christmas time together has spilled over into the weekend. There is still a lot going on here in this quaint little town and even more planned with a new year on the horizon.

The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad will continue the Polar Express through December 29th  and town will remain all lit up in beautiful Christmas glory.  Cherokee’s Lights & Legends display will run through January 3rd at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds.

So, if you had to work this past week, now is your chance to get out and get caught up!

Holiday Homecoming

303450_10150948177397107_742601021_nEvery year the Oconaluftee Visitors Center puts on special events to bring people into the park. These programs are designed to educate and bring awareness to the park in a fun way.

On December 20th  from 10am-2pm the visitor’s center is hosting live, traditional Appalachian music for their old-fashioned Christmas celebration. Come by to listen, dance, and enjoy hot cider and cookies! You can also pick up last minute Christmas gifts in the gift shop of the visitors center. Choose from local handmade crafts and park souvenirs. They also have an amazing selection of books and maps!

Spreading holiday cheer throughout the Great Smoky Mtn National Park!


Cherokee Lights & Legends

_MG_3081Come on down to the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds for the Cherokee Lights & Legends event. Take a stroll under the lights, view the beautiful 40ft Christmas tree, see Santa and enjoy many interactive displays. There’s also a carnival ride and a synthetic ice rink. Like a winter wonderland in the Smokies!

Tickets are $5 for adults. Children under 5 get in free. Ice skate rentals are $3 for a 30-minute session.

Cherokee Lights & Legends schedule:

5pm-9pm Wed-Thur

5-10pm Fri&Sat

5pm-12:30am on New Year’s Eve

There is live entertainment by a local Elvis impersonator at 7pm on December 20 & 31.

This event runs to Januray 3.

Rainy Start to Christmas

403091_10150653309322107_188696920_nToday is a rainy and unusually warm day in the Smokies, but those drops haven’t put a damper on the holiday spirit in the small towns surrounding the park. This morning as I walked through crowds of happy holiday people in Bryson City I could tell that they weren’t letting a little rain stop them. Pajama clad families stand under umbrellas waiting to board the Polar Express. Coffee shops are full of people escaping the wet and warming up with a latte or a simple hot chocolate. Christmas lights seem to twinkle through the sprinkle! We’re not letting a little weather stop us from ringing in the holiday season.

Bryson City’s “Biggest Little Christmas Parade in the Smokies” is scheduled to start at 2pm as planned. Shops are open! Christmas music rings out through the doors and down the sidewalk. Don’t let the rain keep you inside! Come join us!

Since you’re already in the area, the Cherokee Christmas parade starts at 5pm this evening.


Mountain Life Festival

2014-06-091The Great Smoky Mountain National Park puts on many special events each year.  These events allow you to explore the area and learn the history of the park. The Mountain Farm Museum located behind the Oconaluftee Visitors Center is hosting the Mountain Life Festival. Celebrating the fall harvest with  live demonstrations of days gone by, from soap and cider making to good old live mountain music. Hope y’all will join us as we travel back in time. The festival takes place Saturday, September 20th.

Happy Trails in the Great Smoky Mountains

2014-06-16Horseback Riding Stables in Bryson City, Smokemont, Nantahala and Fontana

Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains is exhilarating, with the expansive panoramic views, native plant and wildlife, spectacular creeks, rivers and ridgelines. However,  you haven’t lived until you’ve ridden horseback through the lush forests of Western North Carolina.


Just past Bryson City and Cherokee, North Carolina, two horse stables offer this unique adventure with guided horse rides on the trails of the Nantahala National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With their well-trained mounts and experienced guides, even the most inexperienced riders can enjoy themselves with confidence. Before long, any fears will subside as the majesty of the mountains becomes apparent.


At some point, most of the trails lead past fiddle-head fern groves and natural trout-laden rivers to points where riders can disembark for a short walk to view gently flowing waterfalls. Rides are available between one and four hours each day, while the more adventurous rider can enjoy an overnight camping trip that lasts between two to four days and explores deeper into the network of forest trails.


Located just off US 441 North within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, five minutes north of Cherokee, North Carolina, Smokemont Riding Stable offers a safe, fun, family friendly, horseback riding experience within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Elizabeth Burns Cook, Manager for more than 17 years, says her experienced mountain trail horses and friendly, knowledgeable guides help make Smokemont Stables a destination for truly enjoyable horseback riding. Groups are welcome, but please call for reservation or advance notice. Hourly rides feature wooded scenery and crossing the Oconaluftee River starting at $30 per rider.


The friendly, knowledgeable guides at Nantahala Village Riding Stables offer adventures into the Nantahala National Forest, which the Cherokee called “the Land of the Noonday Sun” for its abundant ridges and shadowy canopy covering. Owned and operated by the Loftis family for over thirty years, the stables is open from 9 am to 6 pm every day from March 15 50 November 1. Rides are scheduled at $22.00 per hour, per person and range from one hour to overnight camping trips.


If you have your own horses, the Great Smoky Mountains National park and Nantahala have enough trails that you can ride a different major trail nearly every day.


For more information about the trails in the area you can contact the Nantahala National Forest at 828-479-6431 or the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at 865-436-1231.



Smokemont Riding Stable

135 Smokemont Riding Stable Rd

Cherokee, NC 28719



Enjoy scenic guided horseback riding within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Rides available for the beginner or experienced rider featuring wooded forests, wildflowers, river and waterfalls. An authorized concessioner of the National Park Service.


Nantahala Village Riding Stables

9400 Highway 19/74 West

Bryson City, NC 28713




Best 5 Things About Thanksgiving in the Mountains

BrysonLightsIt’s that time of year now and holiday craziness and is spreading like wildfire across the homes of the mountains as families scramble to get everything ready for visitors or get ready for braving the crowds and travel across the country. We will be staying in the beautiful Mountains of NC this season and we are so thankful for so many things we wanted to share with you all just a few of those things before we forget what this time of year is really all about.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we could not be more ready to enjoy some time off and time with family while chowing down on something us southerners know really well, and that is some good home cooked Thanksgiving food. However, Thanksgiving is not only about the food, it is about being thankful for many things, which we sometimes tend to forget about as we go right in to thinking about Christmas presents and Black Friday sales. Below are what we consider The Best 5 Things About Thanksgiving in the Mountains!

1. Family Traditions: The mountains of North Carolina are steeped heavily in traditions that have been passed down from generations to generation. We know that there are other parts of the country that also value family traditions, but none quite as special as the mountains. With the rich heritage of the southern Appalachians instilled in almost every home across the mountainsides we know that there will be great time spent enjoying family and time together, knowing this gives the entire area a warm and thankful feel that even the visitors can sense.

2. No Traffic: Yes, we may be considered to be out in the middle of nowhere by some, however, we believe that being located out here provides us with an unexplainable peace that only those who live here know about. The fact that the only days that we really have to fret about traffic is July 4th, Halloween, and the Christmas Parade is pretty special. We believe that this low amount of holiday traffic leads to less stress and happier people all across the mountains. If you are looking for some good traffic to sit in though just head to Asheville on any particular day and you will get you fill.

3. Cozy Cabins: There is nothing quite like spending Thanksgiving with all of your family and friends in a warm and cozy cabin sitting on the side of the mountain with smoke rolling out of the chimney, a warm glow coming from the light reflecting off of the wood throughout the house, and a view overlooking the never-ending layers of mountains. Thnaksgiving in a mountains cabin or cottage is something special, and you may not ever know how special this is until you experience it for yourself.

4. Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree: Thanksgiving day is not only known for eating lots of great food, but it is also known as the day when families should all go together and pick out there Christmas tree and them come back and get to decorating it. However, in most places across the country picking out your Christmas tree means going to the closest tree lot of grocery store and getting a tree. Here in the Mountains we prefer to drive out right to the farm and hike through the forest of trees, taking in the wonderful smell around us and pick out a tree that is just right for us. Then the tree is cut right in front of you and carried back down to your car and prepped for you to take home. This is an experience that every family should have together at least once because it is a memory that you will never forget.

5. Cold Weather and Snow: Nothing makes getting cozy with family in your cabin better than cold weather and a chance of snow. The cold weather chills us to the bone and makes the warm hugs of welcoming friends and family all the better. A dusting of snow brings an excitement that only snow can bring, there is just some kind of cheer that is spread throughout the air when it snows. We are not talking about the kind of snow that inhibits travel, we are talking about the just enough to dust the ground and not enable travel on the roads.

These are the 5 best things about Thanksgiving in the mountains in our opinion and we know you probably have your own reasons why Thanksgiving where you are is the best, but we love the mountains of NC and we just wanted to share with you just another reason why. If you are looking to come to the mountains for the holidays look into renting a cabin from Yellow Rose Realty! Thanks for reading, and we wish you a thankful Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas!


Get Your Tickets for the Polar Express!

Looking for some holiday fun while visiting your Bryson City or Cherokee vacation cabin rental? Then, Put on your favorite pajamas and hop aboard the Polar Express! Book your tickets for the Polar Express at the same time you book you cabin for a hassle free experience….just call us at 800-528-0760.

The Polar Express train excursion is inspired by Chris Van Allburg’s classic holiday story of a boy who takes a magical Christmas Eve train ride to the North Pole and learns that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Enjoy music from the motion picture soundtrack as you sip hot cocoa and listen to a reading of “The Polar Express”. The train winds through the countryside on the way to the North Pole where Santa will be waiting. Santa will hop aboard the train for the journey back to the depot. As guests sing along to Christmas carols, Santa will visit with each child and present them with a special silver sleigh bell.

This years schedule:

PEX 2013 BlockFor more information click here.

Over 48,000 passengers rode THE POLAR EXPRESS with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in 2012 and we hope to see you this year! The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the “North Pole” to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleThings to do in the Smokies, Things to do in Bryson City, Holidays in Bryson Cityigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot. THE POLAR EXPRESS begins November 8th and operates through December 29th

Smoky Mountain Trains Museum admission is included with all train excursion tickets. Without train excursion admission is $9 for Adults and $5 for Children.

**THE POLAR EXPRESS is not afraid of a little winter weather!  No snow, rain, or gloom of night will keep the THE POLAR EXPRESS away!  Of course, we want all of our guests to remain safe on their travels. Rest assured THE POLAR EXPRESS will operate.  In the event that the North Carolina Highway Patrol or Department of Motor Vehicles deems travel unsafe on Interstate 40 or Highway 74 resulting in a closure, please call your reservations staff at 1-800-872-4681 for further details and instructions.

We encourage guests to plan ahead and stay apprised of the latest weather developments. YOU MAY RESCHEDULE your trip AS LATE AS 48 HOURS BEFORE YOUR SCHEDULED DEPARTURE with a $6.00 fee per ticket. If a cancellation occurs 48 hours before your scheduled departure a fee of $14.00 per adult ticket and $7.00 per child ticket will be applied.  Once you are WITHIN 48 HOURS OF YOUR SCHEDULED DEPARTURE, the tickets are NON REFUNDABLE.

Use our Physical Address 45 Mitchell St. Bryson City NC 28713 to find an alternate route  if 441 Smoky Mountains National Park road is closed.

                     -The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

So get ready to come to Bryson City this Christmas season and enjoy the thrill of reliving one of your child’s favorite movies. See you soon!