Happy Thanksgiving

545993_10150860205577107_1108740852_nThanksgiving is a day to reflect on all we have and revel in the company of the ones we love. There is so much to be grateful for here in western North Carolina. The beauty of the mountains, with the sun setting behind ridges lined with bare trees, is a wonder to behold. May we not take it for granted. These hills have been richly blessed and we are blessed to be in such an area. From the freshest mountain waters to the wild trout that call them home, may we not lose sight of the importance of these abundant natural resources. May we continue to protect the land we love and preserve the beauty for future generations to enjoy.

There’s a reason why the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited national park in our country. Don’t miss it! Come see all that we are thankful for! With over 9 million visitors a year, the numbers speak for themselves.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Making New Traditions

liz collage thanksgivingTired of the same old Thanksgiving get-togethers? Got a young family looking to make lasting impressions during the holiday season? The Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina are more than just a picturesque vacation destination. This year let the Smokies be a place for you and your family to make fresh memories and start new traditions.

Yellow Rose Realty and Cabin Rentals offers beautiful, year-round mountain cabin rentals. The perfect setting for an Appalachian Thanksgiving. These rustic cabins have it all! Enjoy hot cider by the fire or wind down in the hot tub after a long day of cooking. Whether you are a couple looking for a romantic get-away or a large family looking for the best place to enjoy your time together, Yellow Rose Cabins has something to fit your needs.

So bring the kids, bring the turkey! Enjoy Thanksgiving in a new way!  Do the holidays right, the Appalachian way! Here’s one of our favorite holiday recipes to get you motivated!

Maple & Bacon Corn Muffins


6 oz. bacon
1 cup yellow or blue cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 Tb. baking powder
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup maple syrup


Preheat oven to 400. Chop bacon and cook in a heated skillet until slightly crispy. Remove from pan and set bacon and skillet aside, leaving bacon grease in pan.

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add milk and eggs, followed by melted butter, maple syrup and 1/4 cup bacon grease.

Add the bacon pieces into the mixture and stir.

Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper cups.  Evenly divide the mixture into the liners. Bake for 15 minutes—or until golden.

Remove from muffin tin and serve warm!

An Appalachian Toymaker

Things to do in Bryson City, Taking Santa HomeThis time of year the North Pole is bustling with busy elves putting finishing touches on this year’s load of toys. Bryson City has its own elf, an Appalachian toymaker. His name is Tim and you can find him in The Storytelling Center located behind the Great Smoky Mtn Railroad depot. Stop in to watch Tim hand carve wooden toys and listen as he shares a holiday story or two. With his beard as white as snow, he seems to be made for this time of year.

Here’s his schedule. Don’t miss him! This is a great addition to your Polar Express trip!

All visits are at 2pm unless otherwise noted.

Sat Nov 15, 2014

Fri – Wed Nov 21-26, 2014

Thu Nov 27, 2014 Thanksgiving Day CLOSED

Fri-Sun Nov 28-30, 2014 

Thur-Sun Dec 4-7

Dec 10-20

For more info call 828-488-5705


Swain County’s Gone Fishin’

trout fishingWhether it’s lakes, rivers, or cold mountain streams you’re after, Swain County has it all. You can find natural populations of brookies, brown, and rainbow trout in the waters of the Smokies. The area also has plenty of frequently stocked bodies of water with trophy-sized trout waiting for your hook. Not interested in fly fishing? Lake Fontana is said to be one of the best smallmouth bass fishing holes in the area.

Not sure where to start? For fishing locations, tips, local fly shops and guides,  and license information visit Swain County’s new website dedicated to fishing in the smokies:



All Aboard the Polar Express

The Polar Express, Things to do in Bryson City, Things to do in Cherokee, Holidays in the SmokiesIt’s that time of year again, the Polar Express is back! Join the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad as they take you and your family on a memorable journey to the North Pole. The storybook really comes to life as the train pulls out of Bryson City and winds through the quiet wilderness while you enjoy Christmas songs, hot cocoa, and good cheer!Upon your arrival in the North Pole you will be greeted by Santa himself. Santa will take the time to board the train and give a special gift to each child. The Polar Express starts this weekend, Nov 7 & 8 and continues on through January 4th, 2015.

Pottery Train & Festival

1653700_10152129796537107_341268753_nThe town of Dillsboro will be hosting the 10th annual WNC Pottery Festival tomorrow, Saturday, November 1st. This event showcases work from over 40 master potters. The artists will be giving demonstrations as well as selling their wares. Make it a day long event by taking the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad‘s Tuckasegee River Excursion which has a 2 hour lay-over in Dillsboro. An extra $3 with your admission ticket will cover the cost of the pottery festival. Tickets to the pottery festival are $5 for non-train guests. Why worry about where to park? Let the train put you right in the middle of your action!

Downtown Trick or Treat

IMG_2290Bryson City’s downtown trick or treat is a  unique, small town experience for the entire family. With the streets closed, kids are safe to show off their costumes and collect on the candy! Merchants along Everett Street will join in the fun by dressing up and handing out goodies. There will be costume contests for all ages! Winners receive a gift certificate to Soda Pop’s Ice Cream Shop. This event goes from 4-6pm on Thursday, October 30th.

On the same day from 3-6pm at Riverfront Park, The Grove Church will be hosting their annual Halloween event. Inflatables, games, costume contests, and Nathan’s hotdogs. . . . .all free!

These two events are happening right in downtown Bryson City and are in walking distance of one another. So hit ’em both!

Music on Tap

_MG_0379Come on down to Nantahala Brewing Company Friday, October 24th as the Music on Tap concert series continues into the fall. Taking the stage at 8:30pm is Owner of the Sun. Visiting Bryson City from Atlanta, GA, they are a high energy, Americana band sure to please.  The band is made up of a group of six friends that each bring different musical loves and influences to the table.

Nantahala Brewing Co. does not sell food, but feel free to grab a bite to go at any of Bryson City’s fine restaurants and enjoy it in the taproom with your beer!


1917241_196562657106_5805714_nAnother fun fall event happening near Bryson City is Nantahala Outdoor Center’s NOCtoberfest. Join us this Saturday, October 25th for this free, family-friendly event. Lots of activities and prizes! Starting at noon there will be a pumpkin decorating contest and NOC  will supply your child with a pumpkin and tools for decorating and carving. Every child will be awarded a prize after presenting their pumpkins to the judges. Of course, no fall event would be complete without a costume contest so dress to impress! The judging starts at 1:30pm. The costume categories will be : Kids, Couples, Most in Character, and Scariest. Then there’s the Great Pumpkin Pursuit starting at 2:30pm. Participants will go through Nantahala Falls collecting as many numbered pumpkins as they race toward the finish line.  To end the celebration right there will be live music and corn hole competition starting at 4pm. Plenty of autumnal awesomeness for the whole crew!

Chili Cook Off

58725_466285817106_8033232_nThis morning Bryson City is buzzing. Tourists and locals alike are being lured in by the smell of homemade chili. The Swain County Chamber of Commerce is hosting its 24th annual chili cook off. Starting at 11am today and continuing on until 3pm or the chili is gone. Some come taste some of the best and don’t forget to cast your vote for the People’s Choice Awards! The festival style event will be taking place right behind the Great Smoky Mtn Railroad depot. Live music will be provided by local favorites, The Freight Hoppers. We’re heading down there now. Hope to see you there.

Find Things To Do In The Area in and Around the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina! This blog provides info on events, happenings, and things to experience with your family while on vacation in the Bryson City and Cherokee, NC areas. The locals always know best!