Everything You Need to Know About the Nantahala Outdoor Center

Everything You Need to Know About the Nantahala Outdoor Center

Spring is here and with it comes some of the best weather in the Smoky Mountains. There are a lot of wonderful things to do and see in Bryson City, NC, but perhaps none is as action-packed as the Nantahala Outdoor Center. If you've never been to the center (or are looking to go for the first time), we have everything you need to know in this week's blog. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well then? A video must be worth a million! All kidding aside, before we get started with all the fun things you can do at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, take a look at this video to get an idea of what awaits you at the outdoor center. 

Three fun things to do at the Nantahala Outdoor Center

Planning a day at the center is easy. The center offers activities that range from one-day activities to multi-day courses. For most visitors to the Smoky Mountains, a day activity suits them best. Here are three of the best activities that our guests have raved about. 

Zipline Adventure

Soar high above the trees with our signature Mountaintop Zip Line! Perched on the rim of the Nantahala Gorge, guests glide over 350 feet above the Nantahala River below, with spectacular 360-degree views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Nantahala Gorge.

Whitewater Rafting

For more than 40 years, Nantahala Outdoor Center has pioneered the industry, taking more families whitewater rafting than any other adventure company in the Southeast. Recognized as “One of the Best Outfitters on Earth” by National Geographic ADVENTURE, you can always trust NOC to provide you with the whitewater rafting experience of a lifetime.


Experience the tranquil side of Atlanta with a tubing float trip on the Chattahoochee River! Rated one of the top things to do outside of Atlanta, Shooting the Hooch is easy and convenient with NOC. With two locations north of Atlanta in Roswell’s Azalea Park and Sandy Springs, NOC is the park’s only outfitter with outposts located inside the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Eating at the Nantahala Outdoor Center

There are two great riverfront dining options at the NOC. The River’s End Restaurant is open daily from 11am-7pm. The restaurant is open and you are able to sit outside on the covered porch overlooking the river. The restaurant has a great view of the river. Get there early to grab a prime seat on the patio – it filled up quickly on a Sunday. With a menu ranging from burgers, salads, pizza, and sandwiches, there is definitely something for everyone.

If you’re looking for a more casual option, order food for pick up at Big Wesser, directly across from River’s End Restaurant, where you’ll take your food to a table (first come first serve) with also great views of the action on the water!

Finally there is Relia’s Garden Restaurant. An ode to home cooked meals, southern charm, and rustic elegance, thousands of savory meals were once served to guests of Nantahala Outdoor Center. More recently, Relia’s Garden Restaurant has served hungry guides and retreating groups (who Aurelia would have simply referred to as “family”) under its towering ceiling and on the expansive deck overlooking the garden.

Getting to the center

Getting to the Nantahala Outdoor Center is easy and only a few minutes from any of our Smoky Mountain luxury cabins. Just throw the address in the GPS and you will be having the time of your life in no time. Need help finding the center? Feel free to give one of our staff a call. We are always here to help you have the best adventure possible.

Covid Response

The Nantahala Outdoor Center has taken lots of precautions to make sure the health and safety of their guests is ensured during Covid. 

"In light of the risks associated with COVID-19, NOC is modifying its operations across all locations. For guests who choose to join us on an adventure, in our retail stores, at our resort or in one of our restaurants we welcome you with important changes. We ask, as a responsible and conscientious traveler, that you assist us in following guidelines for the health and safety of our community."

For more details, take a moment and watch the center's response. 

Are you ready for a big Bryson City, NC adventure? If you are, now is the perfect time to book your spring or summer Smoky Mountain vacation. Give one of our vacation reservationists a call at 888-604-3075 or click the button below to book using our safe and secure website. 

Everything You Need to Know About the Nantahala Outdoor Center

Book your smoky mountain vacation.

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