Tag Archives: things to do in Bryson City

Nantahala Brewing Company: Bryson City Has Its Own Microbrewery Now!

If you enjoy a well-crafted beer, you will want to check out Nantahala Brewing Company, Bryson City’s very own microbrewery!

Located in downtown Bryson City, Nantahala Brewing brews a variety of award-winning ales. To find out more about the beer on tap, click hereThings to do in Bryson City, Things to do in Cherokee.

Nantahala Brewing Company is only a few miles away from your Cherokee or Bryson City vacation cabin rental. The beer is great and the atmosphere is fun and family-friendly. Live music is often played on the weekends. (Did you know – Bryson City is home to wonderful musicians!) The brewery serves beer only, there is no food on the menu. There are several restaurants in within walking distance, however.

The brewery and Tap Room are located at 61 Depot Street, Bryson City, North Carolina. It is directly across from the train depot station, and next to Bryson City favorites like Mountain Perks Coffee and Anthony’s Pizza. The Tap Room is open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon-10 p.m. Click here for directions.

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!

Biking Event – The Hilly Hellacious

If you are an avid cyclist, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to take part in the Hilly Hellacious, which takes place in the Asheville area on September 25th. This landmark event offers four challenging routes; a Full Century and a Metric Century, a Half Century and a Hilly Lite. Each course offers a challenging ride through the scenic rural and mountain byways of Western North Carolina. New cycling enthusiasts have the shorter options which are perfect to check out!

While you are in the area enjoying your North Carolina Smoky Mountains vacation cabin rental, plan to head over to Asheville to take part in this amazing ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can register up to the day of the event and all proceeds go to support a local organization that promotes fitness through biking for area youth. The scenery will be incredible and it is sure to be a day you will never forget!  Asheville is an easy 1 hour drive from Bryson City, NC and the scenery along highway 74 is gorgeous.  For directions and registration information, click here.

Guest Appreciation Festival

Guest Appreciation Festival
Boats lined up for sale at Guest Appreciation Festival

For outdoor enthusiasts visiting the Bryson City area the weekend of September 23-25, Guest Appreciation Festival, or GAF at the Nantahala Outdoor Center is an event not to be missed!

The three-day end-of-season festival in the Nantahala Gorge is packed with fun activities for just about everyone, live music, races, demonstrations, great discounts on new and used gear, clothing and a gear marketplace which is like a giant outdoor gear yard sale. The Nantahala Gorge is only 20 minutes from downtown Bryson City, and the site of popular white water rafting on the Nantahala River.

This year’s highlights include Surfing School, a climbing wall, an Appalachian Storyteller, a pro-BMX demonstration, a bounce house for the kiddies and even live raptor and reptile shows! Competitive events include the Hometown Throwdown freestyle event, a climbing competition and a gate race for paddlers of all ages and abilities.

GAF is an exciting weekend with a something for everyone to enjoy (and great deals on outdoor gear and clothing!) It is only a few minutes away from your Cherokee or Bryson City vacation cabin rental. For a schedule of events, click here. See you there!