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The Wonder of Christmas

Even though it is still November, our thoughts are turning towards Christmas. The reason is the “Polar Express”.

Several years ago, the local excursion train, the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, began to do a holiday train based on the book and movie by the same name. Over time, it has become the most popular event they do. We are told that from the first weekend in November until December 23, over 40,000 happy children and their parents will ride the Polar Express.

The ride starts in Bryson City and goes to the “North Pole”. Along the way, they gleefully sing Christmas carols, read the Polar Express book, and drink hot chocolate. Upon reaching the North Pole, they are greeted by Santa Claus, who boards the train and rides back with them to Byson City, talking with each child and giving them a bell from his sleigh.

The whole excursion lasts an hour and fifteen minutes, but the wonder last much longer than that. We began staying open for the train four years ago and love every minute of the time. The children come back to the inn after their magical ride and are still filled with excitement.

They will tell anyone and everyone about their adventure to the North Pole and that they saw Santa. It lifts the spirits of everyone who listens and watches their joy.

Christmas should be a magical time for all of us…even us grown ups.

We should all take a lesson from the kids back from the North Pole and join in the joy and celebration of the season.

Here at Hemlock Inn, we offer special packages for those wishing to ride the Polar Express. Most of the weekends are already reserved, but there is a little room still available, mostly rooms with one king bed.

_*There is plenty of room on weekdays*_. You can check the train website at for the schedule of rides. Check our website for our packages. The inn will be decorated after Thanksgiving with a live 10 foot tree and live garland and wreaths everywhere.

Your kids will love the Polar Express and Hemlock Inn too. Last year, one small girl wrote in our keepsake book ….

“I feel like a first class passenger on the Titanic (before it sank). It is very comfortable and the view is fantastic….love it”

Another wrote

“We’re having a wonderful time here at Hemlock Inn, we’re sharing memories that we will never forget,.. this place rocks…the Polar Express is great, SO GO RIDE IT”.

Call us and make your plans now before it is too late. Come join in the wonder of Christmas!