Tag Archives: Things to do in Cherokee

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!

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Why Vacation in Western North Carolina?

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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:

Reason 1: BEING SURROUNDED BY THE OUTDOORS

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!

Reason 3: COMMUNITY

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!

 

No More Rumor, US-441 is Open!

With an extra $500,000 dangling in front of the construction company working diligently on the road construction project would you expect anything less than a completion date over a month ahead of schedule? Well, if you did, they have proved you wrong; but in the end they have truly surprised and excited the businesses the rely on that section of road to bring in many tourists every year. Just in time for the tourist season to set in and having US-441 back open has changed the grim outlook many businesses had on the upcoming season to smiles and enthusiasm!

US-441 is one of our favorite drives in Western North Carolina because there are just so many things that you can do and see along the way! Here is a list of our favorite things to do while driving through the National Park on any given day, however, you may have to make multiple trips to complete the list.

The List:Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 11.13.28 AM

– Mingus Mill: This neat old structure provides and easily accessible hike for all visitors and make for a nice little leg stretch and fresh air session.

– Picnicking – The US-441 drive is full of great secluded pull-offs that make for a great place to have a family picnic while enjoying the beauty of the park. Don’t feed the bears though! Picnic areas are located at Big Creek, Chimneys, Cades Cove, Collins Creek, Cosby, Deep Creek, Greenbrier, Heintooga, Look Rock, Metcalf Bottoms, and Twin Creeks.

– Newfound Gap – Just past/before the Clingmans Dome road turn-off is Newfound Gap, which is where a lot of cars stop to take a break and enjoy the view, have a picnic, or take advantage of the restroom. This is the about the mid-point of the drive and its all downhill from here on out, unless you go on a hike!

– Charlies Bunion – This popular day hike is about 8 miles round trip, but is relatively flat and well maintained. If you want to say that you have walked on the Appalachian Trail then this is the hike that you need to do, and the view at the end is pretty awesome. There is also a chance for you to see an Appalachian Trail shelter and drink out of a mountain spring!

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 11.13.53 AMMountian Farm Museum: These historic structures were once part of a functioning Appalachian community that was tucked away in the Great Smokies. Now these structure rest at the entrance to 441 and if you can catch the live demonstrations that go on you will most likely learn something new.

– Mount LeConte – This awesome peak is rare in the National Park because it offers the highest lodging and dinning facility to guests in the eastern United States! At 6593ft it is the third highest peak in the National Park but still provides awesome views. There are four different ways to hike up to Mount LeConte. The most popular along US-441 is going to be the Alum Bluff Cave Trail which will take you straight up the mountain and along cliffsides for about 4.9 miles. This is a great day hike for the family looking for a challenge, you legs will be soar, guaranteed!

– Chimney Tops – This hake is another one of those steep incline ones, but again it is worth the work once you get to the top. The unique jagged rock formations at the top make for some creative and careful climbing, but it is a great place to sit, relax, take in the view over a snack or picnic. This is a great day hike, and if you get to hot on the hike then the river at the bottom is a great place to let the kids play and cool off!Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 11.14.26 AM

– Clingmans Dome – This is one of the most popular stops along this section of road. Clingmans Dome takes you to 6643ft in elevation and if you are there on a low smog day then you will be able to see forever! The hike up to the lookout tower is about a mile and a pretty good incline, but is is a paved trail, which make for easier walking. The hike is well worth the reward once you get to the top!

– Cades Cove – Now this place is truly breathtaking, however, you do have to venture off of 441 for a bit to reach Cades Cove but it is an awesome spot. This motorway creates a loop that visitors can drive along and view historic buildings and sometimes wildlife. In the peak of tourist season though you can bet on a line of traffic because I am not the first person to write about Cades Cove, it is a very popular spot! Now on the weekends if you get there early enough there are no cars allowed on the road, just bikes, you can bring your own or rent one, but the rentals go fast.

There are many more things to be enjoyed and seen along the US-441 section of road, I have merely skimmed the surface and provided you with some ideas to get you going. We hope to see you soon in Western North Carolina and if you are looking for a cabin don’t forget about Yellow Rose Realty and their great options!

See ya soon,

The Team at Yellow Rose Realty

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.

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!

Holiday Nostalgia at the Storytelling Center in Bryson City

There are so many great tStorytelling Center of the Southern Appalachians, Things to do in the Smokieshings to do near your Bryson City or Cherokee vacation cabin rental this time of year! This week, the Storytelling Center of the Southern Appalachians kicks off their holiday program. Join the Toymaker as he builds handmade wooden toys while sharing tales of holidays in the mountains. See and smell Frankincense and Myrrh as you hear the story of the first Christmas! Listen to sleigh bells ring as the story of St. Nicholas is told! Learn why oranges mean Christmas has come to the mountains! No matter your age, you are sure to enjoy a visit to the Storytelling Center of the Southern Appalachians.

The Storytelling Center of the Southern Appalachians is located on Everett Street in Bryson City, right across the street from the Train Depot. Their holiday program runs from November 5th through December 23rd. For more information call (828) 488-5705.

WNC Pottery Festival: Everybody’s Just Claying Around!

Things to do in the SmokiesWant to get a head-start on your holiday shopping? Then head to the beautiful town of Dillsboro, NC for the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival on Saturday, Nov. 5th. Dillsboro is just a few miles from your Bryson City or Cherokee vacation cabin rental and is just off the highway.

Enjoy a stroll along the tree-lined streets of this picturesque little town while enjoying demonstrations from some of the nation’s best potters. With so many great artists in one place, you are sure to find the perfect gift! This year’s featured potter is Elmer Taylor, an talented artist whose work can be seen in exhibits and museums throughout the country.

There will be vendors, a day-long raffle and lots of demonstrations. The fun begins on Friday, Nov. 4th with the WNC Clay Olympics and the lighting of a wood-fired kiln. Festival hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., rain or shine. Admission is $3 per person; kids under 12 admitted free! Come see why the WNC Pottery Festival has become one of the area’s top arts events. For more information, click here.

It’s a Great Train Ride, Charlie Brown!

Great Smoky Mountains RailroadLooking for some family fun while enjoying your Bryson City or Cherokee vacation cabin rental? Put on your costume and hop aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for the Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Express!

Sit back and watch the scenery go by as you enjoy a narration of Charles Schultz’s “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”. When the train arrives, passengers are greeted by Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Lucy and led to the activity area. Kids can enjoy trick-or-treating, roasting marshmallows, coloring, a bouncy house, live music and hayrides. Before leaving, each child gets to choose a pumpkin from the Great Pumpkin Patch!

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is located in downtown Bryson City. Click here for schedule and ticket information.