This post is in partner with Bryson City. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please read my disclaimer page for more information.
Last week, my family and my brother-in-law and his children went to the mountains for a winter vacation. I have always wanted to go to the mountains during Christmas time and this year, it came to fruition. Derrek and his brother actually planned this trip and I was just tagging along for the ride. They wanted to surprise the kids and take them to the Polar Express in Bryson City, North Carolina.
What I knew before we went to Bryson City was that it was the town where the Polar Express is. But what I found when we left is the cute little town with great foods, beautiful views, kind people and lots of unique shopping.
For those of you that do not know what the Polar Express is, it’s a play on the movie for sure. You’re supposed to wear your pajamas and enjoy the theatrical performance during the ride. It was about an hour and a half and during the ride you have different characters (including Santa) coming through the box cars. Our children really loved the hot cocoa and cookie they received. I am so happy we were able to do that with them and check that off of their bucket list. After the train ride, we were all so tired we headed back to our cabin.
When it comes to staying in Bryson City, North Carolina, there are several different ways you could go about doing so. You could stay in a regular hotel like a Days Inn, a cabin (like we did) or down town at the Everett Hotel. This place is GORGEOUS and if you need a little get away with your family or just you and your spouse, I strongly urge you to check it out. It’s connected to a restaurant (the Bistro) with 5 star quality food and a bar. It also has a rooftop bar that is absolutely gorgeous. We stayed at a resort called Natahala Village. You can rent rooms or cabins and we rented a spacious two bedroom cabin. We enjoyed it so much. We had a full on fridge area so we could keep snacks and drinks for all the kiddos. There was even a fireplace that we all enjoyed cozying beside. There is a playground, basketball courts, mountain trails and even a game room to keep the kids entertained.
As for food, I’m gonna share a few of the places I really enjoyed. They have several mom and pop type restaurants but I look for menus that really stand out to me. The Bistro at the Everett Hotel has to be the nicest of entire town. The menu is really well taught out and something great for everyone. If you need a special date night out, I strongly suggest here. Pasqualino’s Italian Restaurant comes in second. I ordered the artichoke pasta and the kids split Alfredo noodles and pizza. Everything is prepared fresh and tastes delicious. Bread is my weakness and they serve their bread with this amazing dipping sauce. SO GOOD! Great Smoky Mountains Winery is another place that really impressed us. The atmosphere and menu are amazing! We ordered the pretzel knots with beer cheese and charcuterie board for appetizers, both were amazing and the kids actually inhaled the charcuterie board before we were able to taste a lot of it! Their wings are also really great if you don’t want pizza which was the other hit amongst the kids. I also loved their Moscato wine selection. Anthony’s Restaurant was also another great place to eat that was family friendly and had good food selections. I strongly urge you to try their French fries! They are delicious! I dipped them in ranch and I loved them as if that was my meal. I had one of their salads and really loved how green the lettuce is that they used and also the toppings! For coffee and breakfast, I suggest you stepping outside of Bryson City and heading over to Cardinal Coffee. They have breakfast quiches, sweets and also organic coffee. WHAT? I love their eggnog latte! It was my favorite from the entire trip.
The last thing that I want to share are the things that the kids really enjoyed outside of the Polar Express. It rained a lot during our trip so we didn’t get to go walk a ton of trails BUT we still had so much fun. The Visitor Center and Heritage Museum was our central hub during the trip. The kids wrote letters to Santa, picked up Great Smokey Mountains coloring books and colored pencils, went on scavenger hunts and also ate hot cocoa and cookies! There were so many cute things to do and see there, I really loved that space.
Regardless if you want to go on a family trip or alone with your spouse, I highly recommend Bryson City! There are so many wonderful fun things to do and see it makes for a great trip.