Show Blog Categories

Unforgettable Road Trips from Bryson City: Exploring the Beauty Beyond

By Sarah Johnson, Posted on 18 May, 2023 at 07:32 am

Find deals on hotels, homes and much more... Best Price Guaranteed!

Exploring the Beauty Beyond

Bryson City, North Carolina, serves as an ideal starting point for embarking on epic road trips that will take you through captivating landscapes, charming towns, and hidden gems. Buckle up, hit the open road, and prepare to be amazed as you explore the beauty that lies beyond Bryson City.


Blue Ridge Parkway: A Scenic Journey

The Blue Ridge Parkway, often referred to as "America's Favorite Drive," is a must-visit destination for road trippers. This iconic road stretches for 469 miles, winding through the Blue Ridge Mountains and offering breathtaking vistas at every turn.

Starting your journey from Bryson City, you can hop onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and head north. As you traverse this scenic route, you'll be treated to panoramic views of rolling mountains, vibrant forests, and stunning overlooks. Make stops along the way to explore charming towns like Asheville, known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture.

Be sure to visit notable attractions such as the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately-owned house in the United States, which offers tours and breathtaking gardens. As you continue your journey on the parkway, you'll encounter picturesque waterfalls, hiking trails, and opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Whether you embark on a day trip or plan an extended adventure, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a road trip you won't want to miss. Each season offers a different kind of beauty, from the vibrant colors of fall foliage to the wildflowers that bloom in the spring.


The Great Smoky Mountains Loop

For a road trip that encapsulates the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, embark on the Great Smoky Mountains Loop. This scenic drive takes you on a circular route through stunning landscapes, charming towns, and iconic landmarks.

Start your journey by driving east from Bryson City to Cherokee, a town rich in Native American history and culture. Explore the Museum of the Cherokee Indians and learn about the heritage of the Cherokee Nation. From Cherokee, continue your drive north to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a bustling mountain town nestled at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

From Gatlinburg, follow the Newfound Gap Road, a scenic highway that winds through the heart of the national park. Enjoy breathtaking views of mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. Be sure to stop at Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Smokies, where a short hike rewards you with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

As you continue the loop, pass through picturesque towns like Townsend, Tennessee, and Maggie Valley, North Carolina, each offering its own unique charm and attractions. The Great Smoky Mountains Loop is a road trip that combines natural beauty, cultural experiences, and unforgettable memories.


The Tail of the Dragon: A Thrilling Adventure

If you're craving an exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping experience, the Tail of the Dragon is the road trip for you. This famous stretch of highway, officially known as US Route 129, is renowned for its 318 curves in just 11 miles, making it a mecca for driving enthusiasts and motorcycle riders from around the world.

From Bryson City, head west and make your way to the beginning of the Tail of the Dragon. As you navigate each twist and turn, you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding forests and mountains. Keep your eyes on the road as you conquer this thrilling route, which takes you through parts of Tennessee and North Carolina.

Along the way, you can stop at overlooks to catch your breath and capture breathtaking photos. Cherohala Skyway, a scenic byway connecting North Carolina and Tennessee, is a great addition to your Tail of the Dragon adventure. This 43-mile stretch offers sweeping vistas, expansive forests, and peaceful mountain landscapes.

As you complete the Tail of the Dragon, take a moment to reflect on the excitement and adrenaline that accompanies conquering this legendary road. You can commemorate your journey with a visit to the Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort, where you'll find a variety of services, souvenirs, and a community of fellow driving enthusiasts.


Hidden Gems and Off-the-Beaten-Path Excursions

Beyond the well-known road trips, Bryson City provides access to numerous hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path excursions. Take the time to explore lesser-known routes and discover the unexpected treasures that lie along the way.

  • Fontana Dam: Embark on a scenic drive to Fontana Dam, the tallest dam east of the Mississippi River. Marvel at the engineering marvel and enjoy panoramic views of Fontana Lake.
  • Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest: Venture into the heart of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, a preserved tract of old-growth forest. Take a leisurely hike and stand in awe of the towering trees that have stood for centuries.
  • Little Tennessee River Greenway: Follow the Little Tennessee River Greenway, a picturesque trail that winds along the river's banks. Enjoy a peaceful walk or bike ride surrounded by nature's beauty.
  • Mountain Farm Museum: Visit the Mountain Farm Museum in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This living history museum showcases historic buildings and artifacts, providing a glimpse into the region's rural past.

These hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path excursions offer unique experiences and allow you to connect with the lesser-known aspects of the Bryson City area. Take the time to explore, wander, and uncover the hidden treasures that await.



Bryson City, NC, serves as an excellent starting point for unforgettable road trips that will take you through stunning landscapes, charming towns, and thrilling adventures. Whether you choose to embark on the Blue Ridge Parkway, explore the Great Smoky Mountains Loop, conquer the Tail of the Dragon, or uncover hidden gems, each road trip promises excitement, natural beauty, and a sense of discovery.

So, hop in your car, roll down the windows, and let the open road guide you on a journey of exploration and adventure. Embrace the beauty that lies beyond Bryson City, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

About Author

Sarah Johnson

Sarah produces creative and informative content based on her travel experience. She keeps her blogs up-to-date with the latest information. 

Next post Celebrate in Style: Events and Festivals in Bryson City, NC

Previous Post Embracing Nature's Playground: Bryson City's Weather and Outdoor Adventures