Great Smoky Mountains Family Travel Guide

All Aboard for a Marvellous Family Journey: The Smokies

Take a ride that invigorates the senses. The Great Smoky Mountains by train will captivate and inspire the family. “All Aboard!”

There are plenty of thrilling things to do this coming fall, yet none perhaps more invigorating than feeling the vibrant sense of beauty in the Great Smoky Mountains.

A rewarding experience would be to plan a trip to North Carolina, where the family can spend a day touring the sites, most notably taking a train ride in the Great Smokys.

2020 Marks 75th Anniversary of Blue Ridge Parkway

2020 marks the 85th Anniversary celebration of the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway, running through most of North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Parkway currently connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, spanning throughout the Smokys and Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina.

Nothing refreshes the senses and eases the mind than to take a train through the Smokys.

The adventure totally comes to life and makes a family vacation more than just a humdrum vacation. The sight’s,  smell, and sounds of this region by train transcend the soul. So during this 85th birthday, why not come to North Carolina and give this a shot.

Making Reservations to Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Travelers can make reservations for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad by calling 1-800-872-4681 or going online. The trains are stationed at the depot in Bryson City, in Western NC.

From Clayton, GA takes I-441 North to Hwy 74 West and follow the signs to Bryson City, Exit 67.

The address is 226 Everett St, Bryson City, NC 28713.

Book family and friends for a four-hour trip first-class style on the Champion car. Tourists must arrive on time, as to not miss the train. Then they are treated to premium service of a barbecue lunch, tea, wine, and coffee prepared fresh from the chef on board, the car’s private attendant. The engineer is there to tell some very informative information and stories of the history of the Smokys train service, as well as the history behind the Nantahala River, which flows alongside the train’s route.

The staff is renowned for doing a tremendous job of making the passengers feel genuinely comfortable, as they relax in a 1940’s style car.

This is certainly the place to take one’s family for an all-out unforgettable adventure.

The Great Smoky Mountains train service runs year-round. Depart for a 44-mile journey through the Nantahala George, reveling in the gorgeous scenery, including the Nantahala River.

Another marvelous route you’ll want to take advantage of is a ride near the Tuckasegee River-a 4 hour, 32 miles round trip, complete with a run through the historic Codee Tunnel, past a site where the movie, The Fugitive was filmed.

Get onboard first class on one of four train cars: the MacNeil, Champion, Dixie Flyer, & Silver Meteor Cars. These cars are climate controlled, as you breathe easy during the spring and summer months, and revel in the changing colors of fall, or smile at the glistening snow-capped mountains in the Smokys winter.

Ride and Dine:  Smoky Railroad Special Holiday Themes

Ride and dine in First Class (Adult $89 Child ages 2-12 $54, Infant $20), Crown Class (Adult $65, Child ages 2-12 $37, and Infant $9) or Coach Class (March-September & November-December: Adult $49, Child ages 2-12 $29; Fall Foliage October: Adult $53, Child ages 2-12 $31)

There are also packages for sleeping overnight and celebrating private parties or birthdays on your own Caboose.

Many events and activities are scheduled for the whole family year-round, including the “Easter Beagle Express” for Easter season, the “Lone Ranger Express,” “Day Out with Thomas,” and “Peanuts Great Pumpkin Patch Express” during Halloween, and “The Polar Express” during Christmastime.

A great way to rejuvenate the soul and awaken the weary spirit, this is a perfect opportunity to share the beauty of nature and the outdoors. The Great Smoky Mountains is a vital part of the Appalachians and Blue Ridge area, and a legendary park of wonder and awe.


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