The Great Smokey Mountain Railroad is located in Bryson City, NC.

Only a two and half hour drive from Atlanta, this is a sure spot to hit with your family or your significant other for a romantic train ride through some of the prettiest scenery around.

With 53 miles of track, 2 tunnels, and 25 bridges, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers a variety of excursions that explore the amazing landscape of Western North Carolina. With the romance and mystique of an era gone by, guests on-board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will enjoy scenic train journeys across fertile valleys and through river gorges in a spectacular region near The Great Smoky Mountains. This section of Western North Carolina offers a wide array of ever-changing vegetation and fantastic landscapes. Dating back to the 1800s and located on the southside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Murphy Branch allowed access to one of the most remote and beautiful places in the world.

I took my family there to experience one of their more popular adventures, The Day Out With Thomas.  My husband Rob, our three kids, and I headed out Friday morning and began our trip through the mountains to Bryson City, NC.

The drive was beautiful. I can not wait to make this drive in the fall and see all the gorgeous colors as I pass through the North Georgia Mountains and into North Carolina.  With little kids, the drive was easily doable.  Two and a half hours and we arrived in Bryson City.  A small town nestled in the Smoky Mountains with a train depot that dated back to the 1800s.

They are very well prepared for these events as parking was not an issue. Everything is clearly marked and you always know where to go.  We went to the will call part of the station and were greeted by the staff.  They were certain to ensure we had a great time together on their railroad.

From the beginning, all the staff works hard to make your children feel special and happy about seeing Thomas.  There were kids of all ages at the train station the day we visited and all of them were having a great time.  Thanks partly to the hard work of the staff, taking time to greet each child and talk to them.  As a parent, these trips are only worth it if your kids are having a good time and the smiles I saw from my kids made it worth it and then some!

Everyone can take a picture with Thomas, then board the train for a twenty-minute ride.  Onboard the staff and conductor make the rounds and visits with each child. They pose for pictures and dance to the Thomas songs that play for the duration of the trip.  It is a beautiful ride into the mountains and then back to the depot.  Before your child leaves, the staff on board the train make sure to give them a certificate from Thomas! So cute!

There are tents set up with things to do for kids and parents, balloon animals, tattoos (temporary of course) and you can meet Sir Topham Hatt!

While there, please go inside and visit the model train collections! Hundreds and hundreds of trains on display. You can even control the ones set up on adorable little scenes.  Great fun for the whole family.

This was a wonderful experience and we are already planning our adventures for the fall and winter. You will not believe this… In the fall, Peanuts (Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Snoopy) all ride the train and take you to pick out a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch! We can not wait for The Great Pumpkin Patch Express, running October 2 – October 31.

Starting November 5th, you can ride The Polar Express! Get into the Christmas spirit by enjoying a 1 hour and 15-minute round-trip journey to the “North Pole” Read along with the magical story and meet Santa himself! Guests will receive warm cocoa and special treats. First Class Upgrade for The Polar Express™ will receive warm cocoa in a POLAR EXPRESS souvenir mug and other treats, all served up in our premium first-class seating coaches. Ride The Polar Express™ Christmas Eve Limited for an unforgettable evening and receive a special Christmas souvenir.  Guest are encouraged to wear their pajamas, just like in the movie!!!

These are the perfect adventures for your family and I can tell you that all the staff at The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad will make you feel at home and make your experience wonderful! You can purchase your tickets online for any of their events at Make sure you view their full list of events and make a great memory for you and your family!

A special thanks to Michelle McCain for the tickets and for allowing us to have this great experience for my son’s 5th birthday!  Thanks to all the staff on the grounds and on the train for making it special!