A season worth of Polar Express and Valentine train rides is over. Things are cold now, but the snow will soon be giving way to little sprouts of green. The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad is slowly creeping back to a full spring schedule. Currently, the railroad is running on Saturdays only. This is the Tuckaseegee River excursion. The 32 mile round-trip ride from the depot in Bryson City to the small town of Dillsboro, NC will keep you and your family entertained for four hours. You’ll be able to walk around town and check out the many artisans’ shops with a 1.5 hour layover time. From chocolatiers to potters, from wine to cheese, don’t let the size of Dillsboro fool you. This quaint mountain town has a lot to offer. The ride departs at 11am from Bryson City. Make your reservations now!
Well we may have had to wait until February, but we’re finally having a real winter. The snow is on the ground and still falling here in the Great Smoky Mountains. Sitting in a rustic cabin on the hillside, feet kicked up by the fire, that’s how we enjoy our snow days. Currently we can’t see the ridge line in the distance for the wall of white. For the adventurous, the snow turns old familiar trails into new wonderlands. This weather brings sledding, snowmen, and snow angels. Ever made snow cream? We’ve got a bowl sitting out on the porch right now. Tonight we’ll bring it in and add a little milk, vanilla, and sugar. Mmmmm. A winter treat to keep the sweet tooth at bay while we’re stuck inside. Happy February. Hope this weather finds you all happy and warm.
After taking a month long winter break, Cork and Bean in Bryson City has reopened! Freshly renovated and already bustling proving that it is true what they say, absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. This cafe is a favorite among tourists and locals alike. Whether you are looking for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or just a drink and a little break, Cork & Bean never disappoints. Stop in to see what’s new. The ingredients are always fresh and organic or local when available. Cheers y’all!
Combining fresh farm ingredients and their love for baking, Gianna Carson and Pat Tagliarini opened La Dolce Vita Bakery. This little bakery is another of Bryson City’s businesses that stay open year round, pushing through the slower winter months here in the Smoky Mountains. Their baked goods are an assortment of healthy breakfast muffins and real fruit danishes, cookies, cupcakes, pastries, and more. During our last visit, we enjoyed a muscadine cream cheese danish and a perfectly made cappuccino. La Dolce Vita also makes their own gelato featuring interesting flavors that are sure to please the taste buds. While you are there don’t forget to check out some of their gift items. On the shelves you’ll find handmade goat milk soap that Gianna makes herself, with milk from her goats!
We love their passion for all things natural and we share their passion for this area. La Dolce Vita Bakery represents an appreciation for the finer, yet simpler, things of this world. Stop in today to satisfy your sweet tooth or grab a cup of coffee to get your day back in line.
Looking for a way to check out the town of your next vacation in real time without just driving there? Wonder what the weather is like? Is there traffic in town? Lots of destination cities are starting to install Resort Cams. These cameras are placed in vacation and travel spots, so that out-of-towners can take a little peak into their favorite places. Bryson City currently has two! One is located across the street from the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. This one displays views of the depot as well as up and down Everett and Depot streets. The other is at the intersection of Everett and Main. This displays the old courthouse that has been converted to a museum and visitors center. Right now you can also watch the renovation of another building. Formerly a pawn shop, the guys who run Bryson City Outdoors have moved in and are making the place look great! So check it out! Technology is so cool! We’ve included the links to both Bryson City cameras, or visit http://www.resortcams.com to see more!
Bryson Resort Cam
GSMR Resort Cam
Nantahala Brewing Company is not only open year-round, they are brewing away the winter blues. Right now they are getting ready to release some sweet surprises. A little Valentine’s Day weekend treat for all you lover’s of craft beer. These brews encompass everything that is Valentine’s, from the chocolates to the cherries. And don’t forget the love, Nantahala beers are created by people who love beer and love brewing it.
Friday the 13th doesn’t have to mean bad luck! Stop by at 6pm for the release of The Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout in $10 bottles. At 8% ABV, it is sure to warm you up!
Saturday, February 14th marks Valentine’s Day and the second release of their Barrel-Aged version of The Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout. In December of 2013, they filled four Bourbon Barrels with their second Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout and it’s been aging for over a year! This one is 9%ABV and is a very limited release.
So grab a bottle or two!
The winds have been strong here in Bryson City this week. They are bringing in the cold winds of the north. But while the breeze has been chilly, the sun has been shining down on our little mountain town. The bright sunny days are leading us into the clear winter nights. Nights so crisp it seems you can almost grab a star. Nights that make the moon seem a lot closer.
Bryson City is nestled right up to the border of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. In town, we are in a magical valley with a wide river bringing fresh mountain water and trout. The majestic mountain peaks surround us, some still covered in the snow and ice they protected us from. This is a place where you come to feel one with nature. This is a place to remind us of our roots. This is a place that helps us to reconnect with life, ourselves, and each other.
Come find out why we love it here. Come visit for the day, the roads are clear enough to make the drive safely. Come visit for a weekend, in a warm cabin or bravely with proper camping gear. Come as you are. Winter is a slow, peaceful season. Come enjoy it with us!
February is fast approaching. Don’t let Valentine’s Day get so close that you have to resort to wilted roses and gas station chocolate boxes. Western North Carolina offers you and your sweetheart a chance to make memories.
The quaint mountain town of Brsyon City is the perfect setting for your romantic getaway. Yellow Rose Realty has a beautiful selection of mountain cabins and they are offering a lovebird special. For the entire month of February, if you book a two night stay over the phone you get a third night free. This is strictly a phone offer so you must call and not book online. Simply call 1-800-528-0760 to reserve your space now.
There are plenty of restaurants in the area and some will even be offering dinner specials for two. Or grab a few things from town and hideout for the evening. There’s a chocolate shoppe and a florist on Everett Street and the Nantahala Brewery will be releasing a Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout for the occasion. So grab a bottle, a box, and bouquet! Everything you need to impress your better half!
Western North Carolina is full of talented artists and crafters. In the heart of Bryson City rests the Wild Fern Studio. Located just across the street from the new Swain County Visitors Center, the studio showcases and sells arts and crafts from several area artisans. This winter the studio is offering day classes hosted by different artists who seek to share their craft with others.
February 7th 10am-12pm – Pressed Flowers
Karen Taylor, Crafter and Owner of Taylor’s Greenhouse in Robbinsville, NC, will be teaching the art or flower pressing. From harvesting to pressing and preserving, the class is only $20/person and includes materials.
February 14 10am-12pm – Bonsai Trees
Join Karen Taylor as she teaches Bonsai, the Japanese art of miniature tree forms. Class is $20. Trees and containers will be provided.
Classes are limited to 8 people. Call Debbie @ 828-736-1605 to reserve a spot.
These one day, two hour classes are perfect for locals looking for a reason to get out of the house and tourists looking to take home a piece of Appalachian craft and heritage.
Life is short. Never stop learning.
Bryson City resident artist , Charles Heath, hosts an kids art program. Join him at his gallery on Everett Street for a night of learning and laughs. There’s one tonight and there’s still plenty of room! So call now to reserve a spot for your child. Here’s a plus for the parents, you don’t have to stick around. Go get some errands taken care of while your child has an enjoyable learning experience. The class is $18 per child and includes materials and snacks. Call 828-538-2054 to book a spot or for information about future classes and spots for adults!