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Polar Express Article

Local Attractions

Local Outdoor Activities

Area Attractions (located within a one hour drive of most cabins)

Area Attractions (located within a two hour drive of most cabins)

Local Attractions

Wildwater Rafting offers Jeep Tours, Canopy Zip Line and a full range of rafting adventures.

Nantahala Outdoor Center - Located a short drive from the Inn, NOC offers all varieties of white water river rafting trips, including kayak and canoe instruction.  

Their world-class staff leads white water rafting trips on seven of the Southeast's best rivers, including the Chattooga River, Cheoah River, French Broad River, Nantahala River, Nolichucky River, Ocoee River, and Pigeon River. You can learn to whitewater paddle from pros at their renowned canoe and kayak Paddling School.  They also offer adventure-learning programs for groups of all types, ropes course climbing, flat water lake kayaking and hiking.

At their Nantahala headquarters, you will also find the Nantahala Welcome Center, three restaurants, a pub, a fully-stocked Outfitter's Store and the Wesser General Store and Fly Shop.

Calhoun House guests can receive a 10% discount at NOC.

Blue Ridge Parkway  - The Blue Ridge Parkway begins in Swain County and provides spectacular views of the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains. It is an ideal place for picnics and bicycling.

Cherokee Indian Reservation  - Discover 11,000 years of culture and adventure in Cherokee, North Carolina, and the sovereign nation of North America's first people.  Experience daily life in an authentic 1750's Cherokee village, surrounded by the sights and sensations of life lived "dyuktv" - The Cherokee Way.  Meet living masters of Cherokee arts, crafts, life, skills and lore as they demonstrate their mastery and create works you can own.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park  - With sixteen peaks over 6,000 feet and more than a half-million acres of pristine primitive wilderness, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the nation's most-visited national park. Clingmans Dome —the highest point in the Smokies — and Cade's Cove are the most popular landmarks.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad  - The Nantahala Gorge Excursion from Bryson City is a 4 1/2 hours, 44 miles round trip ride. The train travels to the Nantahala Gorge and returns. This magnificent trip offers highlights like the Horseshoe Curve, Fontana Lake Trestle, Tennessee River and the Nantahala River. Passengers ride in comfortable, reconditioned coaches, crown coaches, club cars, dining cars, cabooses, and open cars, which are ideal for viewing and picture taking. Special excursions and group rates are available.  The Polar Express train runs throughout November and December each year.  (read the Polar Express article from November 25, 2008)

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino  - 24-hour casino fun, featuring 2,700 video gaming machines, three great restaurants, live entertainment, a gift shop, a culturally-themed educational child care facility and all the friendly, first-class service that has made Harrah's famous. 24 hours a day - 7 days a week!

Museum of the Cherokee Indian  - Totally renovated in 1998. By combining high-tech wizardry and an extensive artifact collection, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian is fun for the entire family and an exciting, educational event.

Oconaluftee Indian Village  - Recreated Cherokee Village of the 1750s. Regular tours by Cherokee guides present history, crafts, early homes and mountain forest demonstrations of beadwork, pottery, blowguns, and much more in a beautiful forest setting.

Santa's Land Fun Park and Zoo  - See Santa and his elves, browse through gift shops and exhibits, and visit the domestic and exotic animals in the zoo. Santa's Land also features rides, picnic facilities, and eating establishments.

Smoky Mountain Trains  - Their mission is to share the spirit of model railroading with individuals of all ages. Smoky Mountain Trains is more than an ordinary museum. With its collection of 7,000 Lionel engines, cars and accessories, impressive operating layout, children's activity center, and gift/toy shop, Smoky Mountain Trains has something for everyone.

"Unto These Hills" Outdoor Drama  - Recognized as one of the top outdoor dramas in the United States with over 5,000,000 visitors since its opening in July 1950. The Drama tells the history of the Cherokee people from about 1540 through their forced removal from this area in the late 1830's.

Wheels Through Time - Museum of Vintage Transportation - It will sweep you back in time with its astounding presentation of vintage transportation.  Located in the picturesque town of Maggie Valley, NC, the 38,000 sq. ft. museum offers the world's largest collection of rare American motorcycles and cars from each of the ten decades of America's automobile history as well as related memorabilia and mementos.  The collection contains over 250 rare antique American motorcycles and automobiles from 1903 to the present - 90% of which are still operated regularly.  

Local Outdoor Activities

Biking

Deep Creek Tubing

Fishing

Fontana Lake

Golf

Hiking

Horseback Riding

Skiing

Waterfalls

Whitewater Rafting

Area Attractions (located within a one hour drive of most cabins)

Asheville, NC - Mountain adventure of the most diverse kind awaits your visit to Asheville, whether you’re planning a tour of restaurants and culinary delights or coming to try out the area’s top-rated outdoor sports activities.  Plan a trip of cultural discovery to explore the homes of our nation’s great writers and take in the history of mountain music. Whatever the season or the reason for your visit, Asheville is sure to have something special to offer.

Biltmore House and Gardens - George Vanderbilt’s 250-room mansion is virtually the same as it was at the turn of the 20th century. Sculptures, paintings, furnishing, and household items have been carefully preserved. Tour the gardens and the winery, and enjoy a sumptuous three-course meal or a sandwich in one of several restaurants.

Deals Gap (The Tail of the Dragon) - U.S. Highway 129, connecting Western North Carolina with East Tennessee, is world-famous among motorcyclists and sports car drivers, for its eleven-mile section with 318 continuous curves.

Dollywood - Unique as its namesake Dolly Parton, Dollywood theme park is a one-of-a-kind Smoky Mountain Family Adventure! Spanning 125 acres and nestled in the lush foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, near Gatlinburg, Dollywood is one of the most popular family vacation destinations.

Fun Factory in the Smokies - A 56,000 square-foot family entertainment center with a variety of arcade games, two miniature golf courses, bowling, go-carts, kids play area, carousel, batting cages, laser tag, three restaurants, and more.

Gatlinburg - Beneath the natural beauty of Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains lies the colorful lore of Tennessee history and times gone by, dating back to even before the founding of our Country. Many of the specialty shops in the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community and other locales throughout the town cling to that heritage in the utilitarian craftsmanship and artistic renderings of their wares. Stop and browse through the hundreds of shops; you'll leave with a newfound appreciation for the assemblage of fine art available in the Smokies. Additionally, the City's historic tour brochure and site markers will put you in touch with Gatlinburg history and the City's sometimes colorful past.

John C. Campbell Folk School - A school dedicated to the preservation of time-honored crafts, music and dance since 1925.

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest - This magnificent 3800-acre forest is a remnant of an old growth cove hardwood forest. Enormous yellow poplar, hemlock, basswood, beech and other trees tower over the two loop trails. This forest stands as a living memorial to Joyce Kilmer — teacher, journalist, soldier, and poet — best known for his poem, "Trees". Located twelve miles northwest of Robbinsville, NC, off Hwy 143.

Pigeon Forge - In addition to the fun-filled attractions, Pigeon Forge is home to music, magic and variety, making Pigeon Forge one of the best family vacation spots around. The city's theaters present all styles of music, high-energy dancing and magical illusions. On your Pigeon Forge vacation, you'll see amazing horsemanship, racing ostriches, mind-reading-pigs, fire-eaters, jugglers and the best Elvis impersonator this side of Graceland! You'll find all this and more on the stages of Pigeon Forge, where the theaters are dedicated to presenting wholesome family entertainment.

Scottish Tartans Museum and Heritage Center - Dedicated to the history and heritage of the Scottish Tartan. It contains the official registry of all publicly known tartans.

Area Attractions (located within a two hour drive of most cabins)

Cradle of Forestry In America - This major visitor attraction was once part of George Vanderbilt's vast Biltmore Estate. It was here that Dr. Carl Schenck started the first forestry school in the nation and first practiced forest conservation. A visitor center, exhibits, guided tours, historic buildings, and two paved trails lead you back to the era of the first forestry school, established 1898.

Cherohala Skyway - The spectacular 51-mile skyway connects Hwy. 143 in Robbinsville, NC to Hwy.165 in Tellico Plains, TN, traveling through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests.

Chimney Rock Park - Spectacular 75-mile views, sheer cliffs and unique rock formations. Trails leading to the 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls. Famous as the filming site for the climactic scenes of The Last of the Mohicans.

Fields of the Wood - From the top of Prayer Mountain to the gigantic Ten Commandments spread across the mountainside, to the All Nations Cross, Bible passages are presented in marble and stone in an outdoor park. Open every day from sunrise to sunset.

Folk Art Center - Home of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild. Changing craft exhibits in three galleries, Daily demonstrations April thru December, Also the Allenstand Craft Shop.

North Carolina Arboretum - Miles of nature trails, cultivated gardens, and state-of-the-art greenhouse complex.

Sliding Rock - Slide down Mother Nature's 60-foot smooth rock waterslide and plunge into a pool of cool water at the bottom.  Located in the Pisgah National Forest, north of Brevard, NC.

Western North Carolina Nature Center - A living museum of plant and animal wildlife in the Southern Appalachian mountains.

Whiteside Mountain - Named for its sheer white cliffs, Whiteside Mountain rises above the Nantahala National Forest. A two-mile loop trail leads to the 4,930-foot summit.

Whitewater Falls - With a drop of 441 feet, Whitewater Falls is the highest falls in the Eastern US.  Located off of Hwy 281 south of Cashiers, NC.

Source:  Swain County Chamber of Commerce

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Please Contact:  Ed Ciociola

Cell Phone:  828-788-0505 
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