Scenic Drives

Bryson City is perfect to explore our beautiful mountains. We are close to some of the most beautiful spots in the country - all of which are close and perfect for a scenic drive. Whether by car or by motorcycle, you are sure to love the winding roads, gorgous views, & sparkling water.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469 miles from Swain County to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. The Parkway was designed for a leisurely drive with plenty of pullovers to enjoy the incomparable views. Yet it`s the southernmost section of the Parkway, near Cherokee, that provides some of the most spectacular vistas.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The 32-mile drive on US-441 from Cherokee to Gatlinburg is arguably the most popular scenic drive in the area. There are numerous overlooks, including the Newfound Gap at the Tennessee-North Carolina state line and Clingmans Dome.
Deal`s Gap -

Deal`s Gap - "The Dragon"

Known as "The Dragon" or "Tail of the Dragon" - U.S. Highway 129 connecting Western North Carolina with East Tennessee is world-famous among motorcyclists and sports car drivers for its eleven-mile section with 318 continuous curves.
Location: 1 hour West of Bryson City
Road to Nowhere

Road to Nowhere

Just north of Bryson City, is a scenic mountain highway that takes you eight miles into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and ends at the mouth of a tunnel. On the map, it is called Lakeview Drive, but to the citizens of Swain County it is “The Road to Nowhere — A Broken Promise”. The road was promised to replace old Hwy 288 which was lost to the building of Fontana Lake in the 1930s, but it was never completed.
Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

At the North Carolina end of the Cherohala Skyway, don’t miss The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and the two-mile walk through an old-growth virgin forest with giant Hemlocks and Poplars.
Location: 1 hour West of Bryson City
Fontana Dam

Fontana Dam

The massive Fontana Lake is contained by the highest dam in the eastern US. Fontana was built during World War II to provide electric power for the war effort. The Fontana Dam Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from May through October except major holidays. The visitor center has updated maps, videos, and displays about TVA and the construction of the dam. There is also a nice observation deck where you can enjoy some beautiful views of the mountains and Lake Fontana.