This Boozy Train Ride Through The Smoky Mountains Has Stunning Fall Views & It's Adults-Only

It's a 4.5 hour roundtrip! 🍂

A woman holding a drink next to the diesel Great Smoky Mountains Railroad train. Right: The steam train riding along the Nantahala River.

A woman holding a drink next to the diesel Great Smoky Mountains Railroad train. Right: The steam train riding along the Nantahala River.

As the weather cools down, fall activities are coming into full effect. For you, this might mean going to a pumpkin patch, exploring a corn maze, or brewery hopping, all of which there is plenty of in North Carolina.

However, one activity in Bryson City, NC is perfect for just the grown-ups. It offers a way to see the stunning fall foliage, and all it takes is a ride on one of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSMR) excursions.

There's one adult-only experience you can have during the train ride called the Carolina Shine Moonshine Experience, which offers sample tastings of various moonshine flavors throughout a scenic journey winding through the Smokies.

The boozy adventure is held inside a first-class fleet car that travels along the Nantahala Gorge excursion, however, no one under the age of 21 is allowed in the moonshine cart.

For four and a half hours, you'll glide down the tracks along the Nantahala River as you're served cajun-inspired plates and yummy flavors of the high-proof liquor like apple pie, peach and strawberry. There are also full-sized cocktails offered if you're wanting more than a little taste.

There is a one-hour layover mid-journey through the mountains, which stops in the middle of the gorge and you can explore the area while drinking in the gorgeous riverside views.

If you could care less about the booze or having a child-free experience, the GSMR has three cheaper autumn-inspired rides that are sure to warm your heart.

There are different paths to choose from whether you wish to witness the vibrant fall-colored leaves or a tranquil ride through the Carolina countryside, under the golden glow of a sunset.

Prices vary with whatever package you choose, as well as what type of train, either diesel-powered or steam engine, but tickets start at $119 for the Carolina Shine experience.

Carolina Shine Moonshine Experience on the Great Smoky Mountains National Railroad

Price: $119 for diesel: $129 for steam

Address: 45 Mitchell St, Bryson City, NC 28713

Why You Need To Go: It's an adults-only train journey through the bountiful Great Smoky Mountains.


This article has been updated since it was originally published on October 9, 2019.

Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Brittany Cristiano
Texas Staff Writer
Brittany Cristiano is a Staff Writer for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on viral TikToks, and trending local characters in the Southern United States. She is based in Houston, Texas.
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