north carolina · Travel

Bryson City Travel Guide | Trip Recap & Dining Highlights

Bryson City Travel Guide:

Bryson City is an absolutely gorgeous small town, nestled in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Bryson City is about 1 hour from Asheville, NC and about 1.5 hours from Gatlinburg, TN. Outdoor lovers, thrill seekers, foodies, and pretty much anyone else can all find something nearby to do and enjoy!


Lodging Highlight:

If you read my last post, you’ve already seen the beautiful Lakeview at Fontana boutique hotel. Our stay at Lakeview at Fontana was so impactful that I wrote a completely separate blog post to describe our experiences and what they have to offer! So if you missed that post, you can read it here.


Dining Highlights:

Bryson City, NC has plenty to offer its guests, but it seems to specialize in its food! During our stay in Bryson City we had two absolutely phenomenal meals… and I feel like saying that is even an understatement. Both meals were outstanding; the first was more formal, while the second was much more casual. However, I highly recommend both on your next trip!


The Bistro at Everett Hotel:

Olivia quite literally said that it was the best meal she has ever had, and I think I have to agree! Everything was exquisite, from the salad to the after-dinner coffee! We were greeted with welcoming kindness, and the service throughout our entire experience was excellent. I cannot recommend The Bistro at Everett Hotel enough!

What we ordered:

  • Drinks:Blackberry Mojito and Moscow Mule
  • Appetizer: Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Caramelized Onions (and yes, they were out of this world good)
  • Entrees:  I had a Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon with Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus. Olivia had the Chef’s Special Filet Stuffed Philly Cheese Steak  (But this was no ordinary Philly Cheese Steak… it was basically served like a Crepe. But again, it was outstanding)
  • Desserts: I had an “Almond Ball“, which was ice cream rolled in toasted almonds and smothered in chocolate. Olivia had a Chocolate Brownie Sundae!


Great Smoky Mountains Winery:

While Great Smoky Mountain Winery is very different from The Everett Bistro, they are equally good at what they do! Great Smoky Mountains Winery specializes in wood-fired brick-oven pizza! I mean, who doesn’t love excellent pizza? The crust was outstanding…  thin and crisp on the edges, yet deliciously soft in the middle!

To start, we ordered “piggy sticks”, which is basically a cheesey flat bread, cut into sticks, and smothered in bacon… so you already know that they were amazing! For our main entree, we both ordered jalapeño and pepperoni pizza (my usual). Then for dessert, we split a chocolate explosion, which was a chocolate layered cake with a brownie crust, topped with chocolate and more chocolate. You already know that it was out of this world… and pretty dang huge, so I recommend splitting one before you order two! 🙂

And the wine… my favorite varietal in the world is Malbec, and I may have found my new favorite one: Finca Decero Malbec! It was absolutely incredible, and paired great with our jalapeño and pepperoni pizza!

However, you might be wondering… why are we not drinking “Great Smoky Mountains Wine”? While GSM Winery does have the word “winery” in its title, they do not actually make their own wine. Instead, they offer a variety of North Carolina Wines, which you can enjoy in the form of a tasting, glass, or bottle. However, with the majority of those wines being sweeter, we chose to not go that route.

When we arrived, they had placed the most adorable chalkboard sign on our table, reserving it for us! Also, their wine glasses have chalkboard stickers on them so that they can be personalized! 🙂 Simple things like that make a dining experience so personal and memorable; that is why I always like to support and showcase local eateries while traveling!


Things to Do in Bryson City, NC:

Outdoor Activities:

Bryson City offers visitors tons of things to do, especially outdoor activities. One of the most popular areas is Deep Creek; which is a great place to spend a day hiking and/or tubing. You can see photos of us tubing below; the cost is around $6 for the entire day! It was really fun, and I would do totally do it again. The only downside is that you have to walk yourself back up to the start of the tubing section of the creek every hour or so!

However, there are literally 100’s of things to do in Bryson City and surrounding areas. If you are interested in reading more about things to do you can check out The Great Smokies Website.

Shopping, Beer, and Downtown:

Downtown Bryson City is literally the cutest and actually has a ton to do and see! There are several cute boutiques; two that we loved are Humanite’ and Madison’s on Main! Also, we enjoyed delicious coffee and brunch at La Dolce Vita.

If you like craft beer, there are two local breweries located downtown: Mountain Layers Brewing Co. and Nantahala Brewing Co. Sadly, we did not have time to check them out, but that is just more reason to go back one day! However, we did pop into Bryson City Outdoors, which has a small craft beer store and bar. We tried a crazy-good Blake’s El Chavo Mango Habanero Cider – a hard cider, aged in a tequila barrel, with hints of mango and spicy habanero peppers. It sounds so strange, but it tasted sooo good!


Other Nearby Locations:

For me, no road trip is complete without stopping at a few wineries on the way. Throughout this trip, we stopped at RayLen Vineyards (Mocksville, NC), Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery (Morganton, NC), and The Winery at Biltmore Estate (Asheville, NC).

Disclaimer: we did not actually get to go in The Winery at Biltmore because you had to buy a ticket to the house to get into it. However, the kind man working did inform us that the gift shop near the entrance of the estate offers tastings of their wines… so that is what we did!

All of the wineries were lovely, but Silver Fork is truly special to me. I stop there every time that I come through this area. The views from the tasting room are absolutely stunning. You can see how gorgeous their property is in the photos below. However, even though the pictures are good, it doesn’t compare with how breath taking it is in person!  Silver Fork is located one hour from Asheville, NC and almost two hours from Bryson City, NC.


*Fun Fact: I lost my flip flops while tubing, but later found them (one by one) floating down the creek. But, shout out to Olivia for diving into the deepest part of Deep Creek to grab one of them. LOL*

Thanks so much for reading my Bryson City Travel Guide. I hope you enjoyed it. Whether you are in need of a girls trip or a romantic getaway, I truly recommend Bryson City as your next weekend getaway!

As always, thanks for your support, and please follow along on Instagram for a first look in my next adventure to Barbados!


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Parts of the experiences detailed in this blog were generously offered to us at a complimentary rate. However, all reviews and opinions expressed on this site are honestly and organically my own. 

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