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Winter Train Excursions in the Smoky Mountains

A train prepares to depart from The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Bryson City.

The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad has extended its operating season into the winter. These train trips allow you to experience the beauty of the winter season in the Smoky Mountains. You’ll be able to see unobstructed mountain views from their cozy and festive train cars. An Incredible Experience – No Matter the Season Whichever time […]

Celebrate Smoky Mountain Holiday Traditions

Jackson County holiday lights

Not much beats the the Smoky Mountain holiday season!  Enjoy a cozy and festive holiday escape with plenty of gorgeous winter-time mountain views to go around in addition to the small town feel of holiday spirit.  Wander among dazzling light displays, ride the Polar Express, enjoy a parade on main street, and support local small […]

Where to Find Beautiful Fall Color in the Smoky Mountains – The Final Week

Hikers in Deep Creek Falls

This coming week, outside is where it’s at! Outside all day, if you can work that out. Soaking in these last warm fall days while the final leaves of the season change their hues and fall away is an excellent way to spend time here in the NC Smokies. You’ll still find leaves in transition, including the […]

Disruption: The Museum of the Cherokee Indian Exhibit

disruption is on display now at The Museum of the Cherokee in Indian in North Carolina.

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is a leader in the museum Disruption movement, aiming to return art and cultural artifacts to its rightful place and people of origin. The Disruption exhibit features the contemporary work of tribal artists. These pieces replace the culturally sensitive and funerary objects previously on display. Some of the removed […]

Heads Up: New Parking Fee at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

woman staring at the smokies with the words park it forward.

A new “Park It Forward”  program has been implemented for visitors wishing to park within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP). As of March 1, 2023, parking tags are being sold for $5 per day, $15 per week, or $40 per year per car. Passes are for sale online at or for […]

Farm to Fork in the Smokies

John C Campbell Folk School students

The Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina are known for their outdoor adventures; vibrant arts and crafts; and exceptional food scene. What makes for this outstanding food and drink landscape is readily available and locally grown and sourced food products. The Fork-to-Table movement, also known as Farm-to-Table, means that the food is obtained directly from […]

Explorer’s Guide to Scaly Mountain

Scaly Mountain in the Smoky Mountains of NC

Deep in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains lies a hidden gem that is slowly but surely being discovered by nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Scaly Mountain in the Highlands of Western North Carolina has it all, and it is quickly becoming a national vacation destination. Here are the can’t-miss experiences waiting there for […]

Plan A Romantic Date In The Smokies

Couple looking at Cullasaja Falls' upper section in the NC Smoky Mountains

Many places can be considered romantic destinations, but few of them compare to the adventure and allure of the NC Great Smoky Mountains. Outdoor hot tubs, couple’s massages, candlelit dinners, and sweets for your sweet all add up to one very romantic getaway. Take Your Love To New Heights Start your day with an exhilarating […]

Smoky Mountain Arts and Eats Itinerary

Shopping in highlands nc

Beyond the stunning views of the Smoky Mountains, you’ll find western North Carolina has an incredible cultural arts scene. Combine that with delicious farm-to-fork dining options and you’ve got yourself the makings for a perfect extended weekend vacation. Need some inspiration on what to do? Here’s a three-day itinerary to help guide you during your […]

Wellness and Mindfulness Retreats in the Smokies

person doing yoga in the smokies

The mountains of Western North Carolina have long been a destination for those looking to improve their health and wellness. Ever since the days when Tuberculosis was ravaging the nation, the fresh mountain air was seen as a way to help heal and rejuvenate the body. Today, the Smoky Mountains still call to those looking […]

John C. Campbell Folk School Offers Folk Craft Immersion

John C Campbell Folk School sign

Imagine yourself immersed in an art school experience that specializes in the study of more than 50 forms of historic folk craft. Picture a place with expert instructors who teach in a small-classroom setting with joy and encouragement. Now visualize a school where you can spend either a full week or just a weekend engaged […]

Exploring the Highest Peaks in the Smokies

clingmans dome

The NC Great Smoky Mountains boast some of the highest peaks on the eastern seaboard. Some of them provide long-range views, including across several states. Others have distinct features that make for an exceptional and unique visit. Here are some of our favorite highest peaks in the area and what you can expect to find. […]

Smoky Mountain Winter Adventures

Blue Ridge Parkway winter vista

One of our favorite times to visit the NC Great Smoky Mountains is in winter! Explore outdoor sports and adventure in the beautiful snowy landscape, hike the trails without the crowds, and relax by a cozy fire in a resort or secluded cabin. Visitors will find plenty of fun activities all season long – both […]

Discover the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center

Crawdad that is studies at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center.

The NC Great Smoky Mountains, known for their unparalleled beauty and outdoor adventure, is also home to the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center. Sitting at an elevation of 4,900 feet at Purchase Knob in Haywood County, this learning center supports scientific research and education in our national parks. What that means to you is that […]

Nearby Neighbors of the NC Smokies

Bear Trap Gap on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The most fascinating thing about Mountain Folk is that they are all kindred spirits, linked by the heritage of the NC Great Smoky Mountains. Regional and state borders don’t define their Appalachian culture, and there are a few places outside of the westernmost NC area and just over the border that you definitely will want […]

Winter Adventures at Highlands Outpost

snow tubing in Highlands

Highlands Outpost, formerly the Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center, offers all-day, winter fun for the whole family in Scaly Mountain, NC! Snow tubing, ice skating, and The Screamer are open all season and ready to take you on a snowy escapade you won’t soon forget – and all in one place. The Screamer Aptly named, The […]

Exploring the Primitive Outback of Otto NC

Primitive outback bunny rabbits

Vacationers seeking an ultimate, one-stop adventure in kayaking, gem mining, and yes, even fainting goats, should check out Primitive Outback in Otto, NC. Here is everything you need to know to get the most out of your visit. Kayaking the Little Tennessee River Imagine yourself kayaking down the Little Tennessee River, sharing space with beavers, […]

Rustic Luxury Rentals at Buffalo Creek Vacations

cabin at buffalo creek vacations in clyde nc

Whether you are looking for an exciting family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a perfect gathering place for a large group, Buffalo Creek Vacations has something for everyone. The accommodations are stellar, but the setting is what draws people from across the country to this bucolic destination. Located in Clyde, NC, Buffalo Creek Vacations comprises […]

Where To Hear Smoky Mountain Music

bluegrass at folkmoot in waynesville

Westernmost North Carolina is celebrated for its rich tradition of Appalachian music and is a renowned destination for music enthusiasts. Old Time mountain music is a melting pot of religious hymns, Scottish ballads – including the origins of bluegrass – and African blues. It’s down home, toe-tapping tunes meets Appalachian heritage. However, there’s more to […]

Apple Harvest Adventures in the Smokies

apple orchard in the smokies

Apples, apple-picking, apple growing, apple pie-making, you get what I’m saying, have become somewhat synonymous with our mountain communities in large part because nearby Henderson County is the top apple producer in all of North Carolina AND is one of the top 10 apple-growing counties in the entire U.S. of A. Haywood County, NC, is […]