One of the most historical train rides with some of the best scenic views in the United States is a short 90 minute drive from Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad owns and operates the line from Dillsboro to Andrews in North Carolina.
Travel back in time. See the depot that was the unsurpassed "place to be" in town, especially when the train brought the mail. It is the place where bridges, tunnels, and trestles carry you back to the 1800's. It is the place where twenty-four miles of track had to be relocated during World War II for Fontana Dam construction, and the government said to do it without using one piece of new steel! Ride to a place where life was a bit slower, far removed from the race of today.
Yet today, riding on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, with the comfort and safety of modern equipment, you have an opportunity of a lifetime to relive what it was like to travel the Murphy Branch back in the 1940's.
You will travel in air-conditioned rail cars and can enjoy a magnificent gourmet meal, on board as you travel through tunnels and villages of the Great Smoky Mountains. If you prefer to eat on land, begin your trip at milepost 47 (just east of Dillsboro) and visit the well-known landmark Jarrett House Restaurant for a filling, home-style family meal.
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers several train excursions including Fontana Trestle, Mystery Theatre Dinner Train, Nantahala Gorge, The Polar Express, Day Out With Thomas, and many, many, more. One of the best times of the year to experience the railroad is in the fall. The Smoky Mountains come alive with color as cool evenings change leaf colors from green to gold, red, orange, and burgundy. This great railraod is a family trip that you don't need to miss.
One of the most popular excursions is roundtrip from Dillsboro to Bryson City and back. Visit the shops during your layover in Bryson City. And don't miss the train museum with thousands of train engines, cars, and more. Make your plans and reservations early to ensure your ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railraod. The scenery, tasty food on the train, and interesting company are a unique occurrence you will not forget.
For reservations and more information on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, Dillsboro and Bryson City, NC, click here.
Darryl Payne is a native of the Smoky Mountain area. He is a web developer with a passion for building great websites. As a local, he can offer a unique perspective on where to stay and things to do while on vacation in the Smokies. To read his latest recommendations, please click the Google+ follow button.