Tag Archives: Family Fun in the Smokies

A Big Celebration in a Small Town

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 2.27.14 PMJuly 4th is quickly approaching on the calender, and if you are going to be in the Bryson City area around then that means gearing up for the largest street festival of the year! This festival is an all day long event filled with local music, artisan foods, hand-made crafts and jewelry, and much more. Bryson City shuts down the majority of Everett Street for the festival and the road is lined with tents full of fantastic items for the whole family. After the day has passed and the street vendors start to clear out a portion of the road stays closed until the fireworks show takes place around 10pm. There are many places around town that you can catch the fireworks from, but one of the best is right downtown from the Everett Street bridge.

Here is what the Chamber of Commerce has to say about the festival:

Come join us for an old fashioned street festival on the charming downtown streets of Bryson City.

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Photo from: www.greatsmokies.com

Our annual Fourth of July celebration begins with the Rotary Club Firecracker 5K, and then continues with local artisans and crafters, a full day of local entertainment, festival foods, and fun events including a watermelon eating contest and hula hoop off. Explore Kids’ Street where you’ll find a rock climbing wall, water slide, bouncy house & choo choo ride.

Even Fido is not forgotten – enter your best friend in the “Strut Your Mutt” event that awards ribbons for categories such as “Best Tail Wag” and “Looks Most Like Owner”.

Where else can you find “Elvis” as your emcee as well as performing some of his favorite songs? Actually there are 3 music stages – on the river, at the depot and on the bridge.

As the day wanes and the final band exits the stage, listen to The Star Spangled Banner as you view one of the most spectacular fireworks shows in the Smokies.

For more information about Freedom Fest call 828-488-3681 or toll-free 800-867-9246

Schedule of Events provided by www.greatsmokies.com:

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We at Yellow Rose Realty would love to see you at our small town’s big celebration and if you are still looking for a place to stay we can help, just visit us a www.yellowroserealty.com or call (800)528-0760. See you soon!

Why Vacation in Western North Carolina?


Today I have decided to do my best to answer the above question for those asking because they are trying to find an awesome vacation spot for their family, and for those who are contemplating make a life changing move. Many times over you will see the western counties in North Carolina get mentioned because of their hardship, now this hardship is based on monetary value of assets and income, but can you compare us to the rest of the nation based on these facts alone? No, because the main thing you are forgetting to factor in is the wealth of happiness the people of these impoverished western counties have!

Yes our average household income may be way less than the national average, but the happiness factor is what makes up for all of that. Why are we so happy you may ask? Well, the easy answers is that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the United States, and yes I said “one of”, because I have been to the other ones and you need to go west to see them. The long answer I will get in to in below. I thoroughly enjoyed my journeys out west, and I will go back one day, but the one thing I missed the most while I was traveling was the “simple life” that seems to be so easy to find here in Western North Carolina (WNC).  The life that you can experience here is one encompassed by the amazing beauty of the mountains, rivers, and lakes that are as close as a stones throw away no matter where you are in WNC. Now if you do not enjoy the outdoors and can only see yourself spending your spare time inside of a “high-rise” shopping, or laying beside and pool that is awesome for you, because you are most like happy, but WNC may not be the best option, unless you want to experience something different.

This list of reasons is in no particular order, you must make that decision for yourself:


WNC is one of the outdoor capitals in the nation because you can enjoy almost any outdoor activity that you can dream up at some point during the year. Any day of the week you can find yourself dong any of the following in any order: IMG_1015Swim in a pristine swimming hole in a mountain stream of peaceful lake; sling mud up your back along mountain bike trails that line the ridges and valleys all around; Feel the adrenaline of taking on whitewater’s most impressive features in a raft, kayak, or stand-up-paddle-board; Fish endless miles of rivers, streams and lakes for native beauties; Hunt for wild mountain game that will keep your family full all year; Cling to the side of a rock crag while looking out over the vast landscape around you; Hike thousands of miles of trails that take you deep into the lush forest to experience serenity and natures beauty; Camp or backpack on forever undeveloped land that hides away some of the most spectacular features of WNC; Play in the snow, shred powder, or scale sheets of ice in the winter time; Find a cliff and jump off to experience your heart jumping into your throat until you splash into the glassy water. These thing and many more are what make WNC a playground for all ages, if we do not take advantage of being near all of these awesome activities then we have forgotten what truly matters!

Reason 2: SEASONS

Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall are the four seasons, right? Well yes, but have you ever lived in a place where you get to experience all four of them? WNC is a place where the four seasons are very defined, and amazing each in their own way. In Winter you get to see just the right amount of snow, IMG_1029not too much and not too little, just enough where everything turns white, but you are not stuck without power and out of work for weeks. In Spring you get to watch the many plants and trees that make up our lush landscape bloom and come to life after being held dormant during the Winter, and the show is spectacular to watch! In the Summer activities abound and people come from all over to join in on them, from festivals to competitions, the outdoors are crawling with people having fun. The tress have covered the landscape with a layer of never-ending green, that creates awesome shade for all of our outdoor activities to shield us from the 80 degree heat. In Fall watch the mountains and valleys that surround you be transformed into a beautiful painting that will make even the most unimpressed people stand in awe. Experiencing one of the four seasons is just not enough for me, which is why I call this place home!


Bryson CityThis third reason can be one of the most important for people looking to call a new place home. The community in WNC varies some depending on what city you are in, but that is just another thing that makes this place great. However, one thing that all of our communities have in common is true “southern hospitality”, and I am not talking about the use of a country twang “Ma’am and Sur” being used to greet you, I am talking about people who truly want to listen to your story and help you out in any way that they can. We may be different in many ways, but the one thing a neighbor in the mountains will always do is help one another. We eat, love, argue, live, have fun, and mourn together and at the end of the day no matter how rough it was we still support each other and carry on. A community is hard to find when you go on vacation somewhere, but while you are here I hope you get a chance to experience it because it is unique.

There are other reasons that are grouped in with these three for now so that I do not write a 50 page blog post, but these reasons and many more depending on who you ask are all great reasons to want to visit and live in Western North Carolina! If you have been here before I encourage you to come back, if you have never been to WNC the what are you waiting for, and if you are looking for a new place to call home then I hope you are convinced now!

Get to the Mountains!


Biltmore Festival of Flowers

Blooms and beauty abound at the annual Festival of Flowers at the Biltmore Estate Gardens! Hundreds of staff work together to to create an amazing flower tour from the minute you step on to the estate grounds until you leave. There are thousands of different species that you may find very commonly around your own home and others that you have never seen before.

Biltmore’s gardens, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, are alive with color as spring arrives. Enjoy special events and the beauty of tulips, azaleas, and countless other flowers during Biltmore Blooms. For the first time, guests will be able to step down into the Winter Garden to enjoy a display of exotic orchids intimately, just as George and Edith Vanderbilt’s guests might have. Some of the plants will be the same species that were planned for the Biltmore Conservatory in 1894.Outdoors, enjoy a beautiful progression of blooms from tulips to pansies, azaleas, and much more.              – www.biltmore.com

The Festival of Flowers is a great idea for a family outing while you are staying in one of our beautiful mountain homes in Bryson City or Cherokee, NC. Staying in one of our cabins opposed to a hotel in Asheville gives you a true feel and experience in the great smoky mountains. Cleaner air and clearer water will well worth the drive back t you cabin after you have spent your day in Asheville/Biltmore! We have over 60 cabins for you to choose from and would love to see you this spring. Please contact us by calling (800) 528-0760 or by visiting us at www.yellowroserealty.com

We want to help you plan your Western North Carolina experience! Contact us today!

The 99th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair Is October 4-8th

Things to do in Bryson City, Things to do in Cherokee
Performance of a traditional Cherokee dance

If you are looking for a fun way to experience some local culture while enjoying your Bryson City or Cherokee vacation cabin rental, then check out the Cherokee Indian Fair. This local fall festival is in its 99th year and is an exciting celebration of art, music, dance and local tradition.

The festival has all the usual carnival rides and games but also adds local flare with activities such as the Baby Crawl Contest, Blow Gun Contest and the Cast Iron Lid Toss, Stickball games, traditional dances, crafts, storytelling, fireworks and bands such as the Drifters, Litefoot and the Charlie Daniels Band. This event is not your average fair! It is distinctly Cherokee and is sure to provide a good time for everyone. (It’s also an awesome event at which to do a little early Christmas shopping!)

The Cherokee Indian Fair is held from October 4-8 at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds in Cherokee, NC. It’s only 15 minutes from Bryson City on the scenic old Highway 19 backroad. For more information and a schedule of events, click here.

See Ancient Petroglyphs in Western North Carolina

Judaculla, Judaculla Rock, Things to do in the Smokies, Things to do in Bryson City
This photo from the 1930s shows the Judaculla Rock petroglyphs chalked in so they can be seen more easily

Few people know that there are ancient rock art sites in the Smoky Mountains. However, if you know where to look, amazing petroglyphs can be found right here in the mountains of western North Carolina!

The rock art found in the Smoky Mountains was created by Native Americans living in the area about 3,000 years ago. One captivating example is Judaculla Rock, located in Jackson County, which is only about a 30-minute drive from your Bryson City or Cherokee vacation cabin rental.  Judaculla Rock is a soapstone boulder with hundreds of petroglyphs resembling humans, footprints and geometric shapes.

The meaning of the Judaculla Rock symbols are a mystery.  According to local legend, Judaculla (which means Great Slant-eyed Giant) was a giant hunter who lived on top of a mountain. Judaculla had the power to control the wind, rain, thunder, and lightning. The carvings on the boulder are said to represent scratches made by Judaculla’s feet as he jumped from the top of the mountain to the creek below.  The site has a small park where visitors can relax and ponder the mystery of Judaculla Rock.

To get to Judaculla Rock from US 74, take Exit 85 to Business Route 23 through Sylva. Stay on 23 1.3 miles to NC 107, then turn left onto 107. Drive 8 miles south on 107 and take a left onto Caney Fork Road, County Road 1737. Go 2.5 miles then turn left onto a gravel road and drive 0.45 mile. The rock is on the right, and parking is on the left. Have fun, and ponder how many other humans have stood beside this 3,000 year old piece of history!