Fodor's Expert Review Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Bryson City's historic train station is the departure point for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Diesel or steam locomotives take you on a 32-mile journey along the Tuckasegee River or a 44-mile trip passing through the Nantahala Gorge. Open-sided cars or standard coaches are ideal for picture-taking as the mountain scenery glides by. Trips are offered year-round, but with very limited schedules January to March. There's a café on board serving basic fare like pizza and hot dogs. Your ticket gives you free admission to the nearby Smoky Mountain Trains Museum and its room-size functional model train dioramas. During the holiday season, the town booms as pajama-clad families arrive for Polar Express–themed rides.