In the history of the United States, the Cherokee people are among the earliest settlers. Things To Do In Cherokee NC, visiting this community is a joy because of its rich cultural, social, and historical background. Visitors and tourists from all walks of life will find Cherokee, North Carolina, to be a joy to experience.

Things To Do In Cherokee NC
Things To Do In Cherokee NC

The truth is that Cherokee, NC, is still one of the few places where you can still find remnants of the fascinating tribal history and early settlements that once thrived there. Cherokee, North Carolina, is well worth a trip because of its rich cultural heritage, the abundance of outdoor activities, amusements, and so on.

26 List Of Things To Do In Cherokee NC Today

1. International Park Great Smoky Mountains

International Park Great Smoky Mountains
International Park Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the ideal starting point for your exploration of Cherokee, North Carolina. In every direction you look in this area, which covers an area of 800 square miles, you’ll see breathtaking views of the natural world in all its unadulterated glory at Bryson City.

Located on the North Carolina-Tennessee border, this location is easily accessible from Cherokee. The Ocanaluftee Visitors Center is located just 8 minutes from Cherokee’s downtown core.

You can take a scenic drive through the park’s winding roads to explore its historic sites, take in the beautiful scenery, and marvel at the park’s outstanding forest features for an unforgettable day trip. Fishing streams, exhibitions, picnic areas, campgrounds, horseback riding, hiking, and biking trails are just some of the many things you can do while you’re here at Cherokee Indian Reservation.

Address: 107 Park Headquarters Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States

2. Blue Ridge Parkway Drive, Inc

Blue Ridge Parkway Drive, Inc
Blue Ridge Parkway Drive, Inc

In addition to being close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s entrance, Cherokee also serves as the starting point (or ending point) of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

You can take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy the breathtaking views of valleys, mountains, and clear blue skies. The parkway is a dream to drive because of the stunning views, fantastic hiking trails, and delightful picnic areas.

On the southwest side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway stretches for 469 miles.

3. Trails In The Fire Mountains

Trails In The Fire Mountains
Trails In The Fire Mountains

We previously mentioned that Cherokee has a rural, historical vibe, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in excitement and adventure. The city’s Fire Mountain Trails, in particular, are a great place to get a taste of both at Cherokee nation.

As a multi-use trail, the trails in this area allow visitors to go mountain biking and hiking, as well as running, as they see fit. The Oconaluftee Indian Village, another interesting attraction in the city, is nearby, as are several hiking trails.

Fire Mountain Trails are a great place to start if you’re looking for a variety of trails to explore. There are a wide variety of options, including rock gardens and berms, tables, blinds, and more.

Address: State Rd 1361, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

4. Mingo Goes Down

Mingo Goes Down
Mingo Goes Down

Mingo Falls, a popular waterfall viewing area, is just 10 minutes from Cherokee’s downtown area.

The water spray from Mingo Falls can be felt as you descend the stairwell to the waterfall’s base. The falls are the tallest in the southern Appalachian Mountains, rising 120 feet above the surrounding landscape.

Address: Eastern Cherokee Reservation, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

5. Oconaluftee Indian Community

Oconaluftee Indian Community
Oconaluftee Indian Community

Everyone knows that the Cherokees are among the most ancient groups of European settlers. As a result of this, they have a fascinating history and culture to explore and learn about. Oconaluftee Indian Village is the best living museum to learn about the Cherokee people of the 16th century and their way of life.

Visit this village and have a cultural expert show you around the interactive museum and tell you about the community that the Cherokees lived in on this side of North Carolina. Find out what it’s like to live and work in the places where the people you’re learning about did.

Traditional craft making, such as canoe building, basket weaving, war reenactments with blowguns, and dancing, is also a fascinating topic to learn about at Western North Carolina.

6. Museum Of The Mountain Farm

Museum Of The Mountain Farm
Museum Of The Mountain Farm

The Mountain Farm Museum is one of Cherokee’s best-known attractions, as well as one of the city’s most fascinating. The architecture and farm equipment on display here date all the way back to the 1800s.

The Ocanaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to the Mountain Farm Museum, which will transport you back to the early 19th century. Take a stroll along the path and admire the historic farm buildings that were brought together from across the Smoky Mountains.

At this location you’ll find a house (complete with a barn, apple house, springhouse and smokehouse), as well as some pigs in their pen during the summer months. Hike the Ocanaluftee River Trail while you’re here. In Cherokee, you’ll find the 1.5-mile trail.

It’s possible to spot elk on the grounds of the Mountain Farm Museum. Make sure you keep a safe distance and only observe them from afar if they’re around at deep creek.

Address: Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

7. Quala Arts And Crafts Mutual, Inc

Quala Arts And Crafts Mutual, Inc
Quala Arts And Crafts Mutual, Inc

Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. carries authentic Cherokee handicrafts made with methods that have been passed down through the family for generations. The oldest Native American cooperative in the United States is here.

You’ll find a variety of handcrafted items, including carvings in stone and wood, baskets, and jewelry. If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind souvenirs, this is the place to go.

Their baskets are the most well-known handiwork in this area. White oak, rivercane, and honeysuckle vines, all common in the area around Cherokee, are used by the Cherokee to make baskets. Isn’t that incredible a great smoky mountains railroad?

Address: 645 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

8. Swimming Club Of The Sequoyah

Swimming Club Of The Sequoyah
Swimming Club Of The Sequoyah

The Sequoyah National Golf Club is just three miles away from Whittier Town if you’re in the area. Locals in North Carolina will tell you that this is a must-visit destination at downtown cherokee.

Seeing Robert Trent Jones II’s incredible talent and personal style is reason enough to come here. Furthermore, each of the holes on the golf course here has a clever historical twist to it, all thanks to the fascinating land here. There are bent grass fairways, bluegrass fairways, and a landscape that you won’t want to miss.

Address: 2120 Chickering Ln, Nashville, TN 37215, United States

9. Unto These Hills

Unto These Hills
Unto These Hills

Since its inception in 1950, Unto These Hills has served as a premier mountainside theater for tourists. There is no better place in the world to learn about the Cherokee culture or see an outdoor play than this mountainside theater.

The ‘Trail of Tears’ story is brought to life here by the city’s university’s drama department and the local tribe. From the 1780s to the present day, the latter is a significant historical event at fire mountain trail.

During this time, many Native Americans were forced to relocate to the west of the Mississippi River. With dance and music performances, as well as more, the event is awe-inspiring. If you’re ever in Cherokee, North Carolina, don’t miss this spectacular production.

Address: 688 Drama Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

10. Harrah’s Cheyenne Resort and Casino

Harrah's Cheyenne Resort and Casino
Harrah’s Cheyenne Resort and Casino

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is one of the best resorts in the country and a popular destination for tourists. There’s no shortage of things to do here, thanks to the area’s picturesque mountain setting. More than 1,000 rooms are spread across 21 floors in the casino resort.

In addition to the bustling casino, there are numerous dining options, shops, karaoke sessions, swimming pools, and live concerts throughout the resort. Visitors can also play a round of golf at a nearby golf course, which is conveniently located near the casino at South Carolina.

Address: 777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

11. Stables At Smokemont Riding Camp

Stables At Smokemont Riding Camp
Stables At Smokemont Riding Camp

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is waiting for you to explore it on horseback! There are many reasons to visit the Smokemont Riding Stables in Cherokee, North Carolina. The stables feature a variety of beautiful horse breeds, trails throughout the park, and beautiful scenery.

If you’ve never ridden a horse before, the stables are the perfect place to fulfill your dream. Visitors can ride horses that are friendly and well-trained at the facility.

Address: 135 Smokemont Riding Stables Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

12. Trip to Gatlinburg

Trip to Gatlinburg
Trip to Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, and it’s only a short drive from Cherokee. Gatlinburg is a short drive from Cherokee and a great destination for a day trip.

Visit the family-friendly city of Gatlinburg after driving through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Gatlinburg is jam-packed with things to do, including hiking, ziplining, boating, and many other water-based activities. To truly appreciate the city from above, make sure to ride the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram as it’s have exotic animals.

Address: 1339 Ski Mountain Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States

13. Mountain Farm Museum

Mountain Farm Museum is one of the best vacation destinations in the world. As a unique feature of Cherokee, the Mountain Farm Museum is a thriving collection of farm structures and buildings that date back to the 1800s, all frozen in time.

You enter the Mountain Farm Museum via a dirt path and are soon surrounded by a variety of buildings, all of which have something unique to offer a cherokee indian fair.

Address: Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

14. Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine

Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine
Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine

An excellent way to retrace the steps of the old great prospectors and gold miners is to visit the Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine. It’s a great place for families with young children, who can spend hours digging through the dirt and mud in search of treasures like gemstones, gold, and more.

It’s possible to polish and identify your stones on-site after you’ve found them, then take them home with you is a thing.

Address: 971 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

15. Cherokee Indian Museum

Cherokee Indian Museum
Cherokee Indian Museum

There are more than 13,000 years of Native American history to be found in the Cherokee Indian Museum’s collection of artifacts. The exhibit here was named one of the ten best Native American experiences by USA Today.

The museum in Cherokee, North Carolina, is a must-see for anyone visiting the area, even if you don’t care about the rankings. They have a wide variety of artifacts and photographs as well as holographic images and life-size figures on display at this museum.

Address: 589 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

16. Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals

Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals
Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals

The Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals are a must-do for visitors to the area. The Oconaluftee River is an essential part of any visit to this North Carolina town, which is surrounded by nature and history.

There is nothing wrong with swimming in it, but you should also try out a kayak or a tube!! The Oconaluftee River’s grade I and II rapids are excellent for kayaking and canoeing.

Address: 1681 Acquoni Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

17. Fontana Lake

Fontana Lake
Fontana Lake

Take a 45-minute drive out of town to Fontana Lake, a natural beauty. The lake is ideal for a variety of outdoor activities as well as a peaceful retreat in the woods.

You can go swimming, fishing, or boating in this location. You can even go skiing if you visit in the winter. At Fontana Lake, the sunsets are spectacular.

Address: North Carolina, USA

18. Mingo Falls

Mingo Falls
Mingo Falls

Visit Mingo Falls, one of the state’s many free attractions. It’s not technically a Cherokee attraction, but it’s such a popular tourist destination and close enough to town that you should include it in your travel plans if you’re in the area.

Just ten to fifteen minutes away from town, it’s a great place to take pictures.

Address: Eastern Cherokee Reservation, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

19. Santa’s Land Fun Park and Zoo

Santa’s Land Fun Park and Zoo
Santa’s Land Fun Park and Zoo

Only three miles from the southern entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Santa’s Land Fun Park and Zoo is open from May to October and welcomes visitors of all ages despite its name.

As far back as 1966, it’s been a bright and exciting place for those who love Christmas and the spirit of giving during this time of year at Cherokee Valley River.

Address: 571 Wolfetown Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

20. Cherokee Bear Zoo

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26 Best and Fun Things To Do In Cherokee NC (North Carolina) 21

In spite of its niche, the Cherokee Bear Zoo in North Carolina is one of the best places to visit for its intended audience. There are grizzlies, black bears, and many other majestic bear species to be found in this picturesque setting.

Address: 1204 Tsalagi Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

21. Fire Mountain Trails

One of the best things to do this weekend in Cherokee, NC, is to take a ride on one of the city’s newest attractions, the Fire Mountain Trails. Trail users can run, bike, or hike on a network of over 10.5 miles of multi-use trails.

With a variety of roads and features, including berms, rock gardens, blinds, tables, and more, the Fire Mountain Trails near Oconaluftee Indian Village are among the most popular in the Smoky Mountains.

Address: State Rd 1361, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

22. Sassy Sunflowers Bakery and Cafe

Located in Cherokee, North Carolina, Sassy Sunflowers Bakery and Cafe is a local favorite.

It has a wide variety of dishes to choose from, including full meals and smaller snacks. In a way, it’s one of the town’s tourist attractions because of its uniqueness!

Address: 1655 Acquoni Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

23. Mingus Mill

A short distance from Mingus Mill is the Mountain Farm Museum. One of North Carolina’s most historic sites, it is surrounded by numerous other historic landmarks and beautiful hiking trails.

It has been in business since 1886 and sells a wide variety of cornmeal products. A visit to Mingus Mill is a must-see for anyone interested in indigenous history and nature.

Address: Mingus Creek Trail, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

24. Soco Falls

There are plenty of fun things to do in town, including a trip to the stunning Soco Falls. Many native waterways can be found in the area, and the cascading water adds to the beauty of the lush surroundings and the secluded location.

Address: US-19, Maggie Valley, NC 28751, United States

25. Qualla Boundary

The Qualla Boundary is marked by 30 miles of long, ancient streams. The Cherokee have been fishing the same streams in the Qualla Boundary for millennia.

Along the stream’s banks, there are about 40 businesses selling fishing licenses. You can enjoy a peaceful day of fishing thanks to an easy-to-obtain permit at the border. Seasonal tournaments offer the chance to win cash prizes, as well.

26. Cherokee Rapids River Tubing

A trip to Cherokee isn’t complete without a trip down the Oconaluftee River and a dip in the river’s natural pools. Children must be at least five years old to participate in this fun family activity.

Take in the beautiful scenery and mild grade I or II rapids as you float down a 2-mile stretch of river. At the Little Princess Restaurant, you can leave your car and be picked up by the Cherokee Rapids crew, who will supply you with a life jacket and tube and take you upstream.

Address: 1681 Acquoni Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States

Final Thoughts

A wide variety of Cherokee attractions can be found in this town in North Carolina, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the town’s rich history, take in the natural beauty of the area, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

You’ll have a great time, and hopefully, this list will assist you in planning the perfect vacation.

FAQs Things To Do In Cherokee NC

What can you find in Cherokee, North Carolina?

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway (home of Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), Qualla Boundary, 11,000 years of Cherokee history, outdoor sports of all kinds, and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort are just a few of Cherokee’s most well-known attractions, to name a few.

In what foodstuffs did the Cherokee people dine?

Corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers were the most common crops harvested by Cherokee women. The majority of hunting was done by Cherokee men, who shot deer, bears, wild turkeys, and other small game. Also, they fished in the rivers and on the coasts. Cornbread, soups, and stews cooked on stone hearths were part of Cherokee cuisine.

Is Cherokee NC part of a federally recognized tribe?

There is no reservation for the Cherokee people, which is land that the federal government gives to a native American tribe. Tribal members instead purchased 57,000 acres of land in the 1800s.