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How to spend a weekend visting Bryson City - Lauren's Suitcase

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Western North Carolina has some of the most beautiful views and experiences the state has to offer. Camping, rafting, zip lining, romantic spas, unique stays, fishing.. Bryson City has it all and plenty to do for all ages. Keep reading about our recent weekend trip to Bryson City to learn more!

Blog highlights

  • Car camping

  • Zip lining through the Great Smoky Mountains

  • Rafting the Nantahala river

  • Yurt stay in the Nantahala National Forest

  • Fly fishing in and around Nantahala National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains

Day 1

We woke up early Friday morning, packed the car, and headed to western North Carolina from coastal Wilmington. The full drive would have taken 6-7 hours, but we noticed Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC was on the way, so we decided to stop there (about 5 hours). We tried fly fishing in Davidson River (no luck) and booked a last minute car camping spot on Hipcamp to settle in for the night. Hipcamp is a GREAT way to find accommodations! It's basically like airbnb but for camping!

Day 2

Brevard to Bryson City (1.5 hours)

Today was our jam packed day! We won a giveaway with Wildwater and they booked us a day filled with zip lining, rafting, and staying in a yurt. Although this was gifted, the whole package was surprisingly affordable. They offer a Raft and Zip package for $250 total for two people and Yurt stays are about $100 a night. I also loved that it was all booked together in one place. This saved time and allowed us to do more!

11:00 am- Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tour (3 hours)

This tour involved zip lining through the Nantahala National Forest. I was honestly SO nervous about this, I hate heights. We ended having a great group and even better guides (Robbie and Abby!!) and this ended up being my favorite activity all weekend!

3:00 pm- Nantahala Guided Rafting (2 hours)

I was so happy we went zip lining before rafting! When it was time to raft, the temperatures were the highest and we were ready for a cold dip.

Logan was our guide and we had such a great time! I was starting to get tired but the level II and III rapids woke me right up.

This was also part of the package with Wildwater, one night here is about $100 a night!

Checking into the yurt was SO convenient, all the info we needed was waiting for us at the rafting center when we finished rafting.

The Yurt village was conveniently located right across the street near zip lining. This was truly glamping! We had a deck with furniture, electricity, a comfy bed, futon, fridge, microwave, and coffee. There were beautiful views of the river and fire pits scattered throughout. We had a bath house with running water, showers, and more seating.

My husband and I cooked brats and peppers (one of my favorite camping recipes coming soon on the blog) on our camping stove and had a fire on our deck using our Solo Stove. Throw in a bottle of wine and it was the perfect evening!

Day 3

After an adventurous weekend, what better way to end than soaking in a private tree top tub at a romantic spa, Lakeview at Fontana.

This was part of the giveaway package but needs to be booked separately. This is also a great place to stay but offers the tubs to be rented out without being a guest!

We soaked for 90 minutes in a private cabana with beautiful views of the mountains and river. I am an outdoorsy girl but I also LOVE a good spa day.

We were still feeling adventurous so we decided to stop at Scott Creek to try fly fishing again. We ended up catching two little baby fish! Better than nothing!

Other fly fishing spots near Bryson City to try: Hazel Creek, Deep Creek, Forney Creek, Noland Creek.

Comment below what you would look forward to the most visiting Bryson City!


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