The gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, Bryson City is a laid-back mountain town that’s gained a reputation for fresh-air adventure. With easy access to the Great American wilderness, as well as all the creature comforts you might need to make a stay extra special, it’s one of the most popular small towns in North Carolina. While there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from, cabin rentals remain the most popular way to go. In fact, Trip Advisor even named Bryson City one of the ‘Top 15 Affordable Summer Cabin Getaways Across America’. Unsurprisingly, there’s a myriad of options to choose from too.
Set against the mighty Appalachian Mountains in the far west corner of North Carolina, Bryson City is one of the state’s most scenic spots. While it might be a relatively compact town at just 5.8 km², it punches well above its weight in cultural and natural attractions. It’s particularly popular with adventure enthusiasts, who flock here for white rafting along the Nantahala River, boating and fishing on Lake Fontana and hiking alongside crystal waterfalls. The so-called ‘Road to Nowhere’ leads straight out of town to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, formed more than 200 million years ago. Within the town walls, there’s a handful of art galleries, a historic courthouse and a heritage museum, as well as independent boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants.
You could book into one of the town’s many inns and B&Bs, but to experience the small mountain community at its most authentic, it’s worth renting a cabin. Early settlers built log cabins amid the fertile forest valleys and many of the modern versions mimic these. We’ve compared several popular booking platforms offering cabin rentals and have cherry-picked the best based on variety, customer service, reviews, location and prices.
VRBO has fast become one of the United States’ leading vacation rental platforms and, at the time of writing, the site offers over 1,000-holiday rentals in Bryson City alone. There is a plethora of cabins to choose from, ranging from sprawling family cabins with mountain views and hot tubs to secluded lodges for two. You can filter by price, rating, bedroom, house rules and amenities, and there’s also a search function that allows you to whittle down your search further to cabins. Pricing is affordable compared with similar properties and you can also read reviews at the bottom of the page. For example, we found a five-star, six-person cabin for under $150 per night.
Book at VRBO.com
This global accommodation provider needs no introduction, but few people realise that Booking.com offers a wide range of cabin and lodge rentals too. There are currently over 70 cabins to choose from in Bryson City, most of which have been rated independently by guests. There’s an option to filter your search by property type (cabin), star rating, distance from the city centre and facilities. You can also set your nightly budget and benefit from ‘Genius’ discounts if you’ve booked through the site before. The ‘fun things to do’ filter is a nice touch too, with options to filter properties by keywords such as ‘hot tub’, ‘horseriding’ and ‘games room’.
Book at Booking.com
GREAT SMOKY CABIN RENTALS
Locally-based Great Smoky Cabin Rentals offers an excellent range of cabin rentals in Bryson City, ranging from lakeside timber log cabins to quaint fishing cabins on the mountain creeks. There’s a range of hyper-specific filters to choose from, including ‘pets welcome’, ‘motorcycle accessible’ and ‘bring your own fishing pole’. You can also search by the number of bedrooms and specific locations, like ‘mountainside’ and ‘creek’. Guests rate both the property and the property manager, with reviews listed at the bottom of the page. There’s a handy online chat function for any questions and all rates are advertised upfront, so you can be confident that you’re getting the best deal on your stay. ‘Featured properties’ come with a 10% discount off-season too.
Book at GreatSmokyCabinRentals.com