Things To DoThe Chalet Inn is both a romantic mountain hideaway and a focal point from which to explore all the popular Smoky Mountain destinations — the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the rich cultural heritage of Western North Carolina.
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The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers scenic excursions into the Nantahala Gorge departing from Bryson City, plus a popular Raft’n’Rail, a Dinner Train and Mystery Theatre Train. And in Bryson City, Smoky Mountain Trains model trail museum has one of the South's largest Lionel layouts with more than a mile of track.
Whitewater rafting draws thousands to the Nantahala and Tuckaseigee rivers each year, as does whitewater tubing on Deep Creek in the National Park near Bryson City.
There’s antiquing and shopping in Bryson City, Waynesville, Sylva and Dillsboro, a quaint village of over 50 shops, including working artists studios and local crafts. Stecoah Valley Center has a unique crafts gallery and is also a great venue for live music in the summer. Be sure to ask us for a map to the many antique shops scattered throughout the area.
The Biltmore Estate with its gardens and winery is just an hour away, in nearby Asheville.
Of course the area’s biggest attraction is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And although The Chalet Inn is located on the quiet side of the Park, it is only a one-hour scenic drive thru the Park to Gatlinburg. Many guests who enjoy an extended stay at The Chalet Inn take a day trip to find bargains in the factory stores of Pigeon Forge or enjoy Dollywood.
If you enjoy driving mountain roads, there's the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Cherohala Skyway. And at Deals Gap, the Tail of the Dragon gives sports car and motorcycle enthusiasts 318 curves in eleven miles.
At the nearby Cherokee Indian Reservation, you can learn all about the Cherokee Trail of Tears by seeing the Unto These Hills outdoor drama and the Oconaluftee Indian Village. Or visit Harrah's Cherokee Casino.
Fontana Lake, with the highest dam east of the Rockies, is great for boating and stillwater fishing. Or, if you prefer, take a scenic jet boat ride on the Lake.
And for trout fishing, there are dozens of mountain streams and fly fishing guide services just a short drive from the inn.
Smoky Mountain Country Club, a challenging mountain golf course near the inn, is just one the area's scenic links.
The area is famous for trails, including a portion of the Appalachian Trail and the mountain bike trails at Tsali, Roy Taylor and Panthertown Valley. Many of these trails, and others, are also available for Horseback riding.
The area is also known for its rich gem deposits and a number of gem mines are open to the public.
Spectacular natural beauty is everywhere, particularly at the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, a virgin wilderness, and at Whiteside Mountain and Whitewater Falls — longest vertical drop and tallest waterfalls respectively, in the Eastern USA.
For an online map of Western North Carolina showing the location of these activities, as well as waterfalls, hiking trails, scenic overlooks and suggested day excursions, please visit our interactive map and guide to Smoky Mountain destinations.