Cherokee is in North Carolina, a town full of adventure and history. It’s also close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Due to its location, it has numerous hiking and camping facilities.
In addition to the national park, other well-known activities include the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Quallas Boundary.
The town also has a casino resort. Thousands of years of Cherokee history can also be found in this unique town.
The article covers all the exciting things to do in Cherokee (NC).
Where Is Cherokee, North Carolina?
Located in North Carolina’s Western region, the town of Cherokee is a census-designated Place. It’s part of the Quallas Boundary land trust.
According to the 2010 census, its population was 2,138. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is one of the three federally recognized tribes and the only one in North Carolina.
The town is also a popular tourist destination. Many motels, campsites, and hotels are located within the community.
It is on the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway and is home to the Oconaluftee River, a significant water sports destination.
A living history museum called the Oconaluftee Indian Village is also known for hosting the television show Unto These Hills.
Things To Do In Cherokee (NC)
Many outdoor activities can be done in Cherokee, North Carolina, and you can add these to your bucket list.
In addition to museums, parks, and restaurants, many other activities are available in the area.
These are 21 exciting things to do in Cherokee, North Carolina;
1. Unto These Hills Cherokee Theatre
The Unto These Hills Cherokee Theater has been entertaining audiences since 1950. Through the years, various groups have collaborated to tell the story of the Trail of Tears.
The University of North Carolina’s drama department and the local tribe have also collaborated to present the story.
The Trail of Tears began in 1780 and stretched through the 21st century. It involved thousands of Native Americans who left their homes and lands on the west side of the Mississippi River.
Address: This attraction is at 688 Drama Road, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA.
2. Soco Falls
If you’re looking for some of the most beautiful locations in Cherokee, North Carolina, head to Soco Falls. It’s a fantastic location and an excellent option for various activities.
Soco Falls features a double waterfall. It’s 120 feet high and has a higher fall of approximately 120 feet.
This natural waterway is surrounded by various vegetation and adds to the area’s beauty.
During the 1700s, the area was used by Native Americans as an entrance point to their lands. This is a great historical site and an excellent option for learning more about the area’s past.
Address: The Soco Falls is located at US-19, Maggie Valley, NC 28751, United States.
3. Mountain Farm Museum
The Mountain Farm Museum, located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, features various historical buildings, such as a barn, a smokehouse, and a house. This museum is also near the Oconaluftee Visitor’s Center.
The museum’s collection includes various structures initially built during the 19th century.
It’s located in the exact location as the park’s other attractions. This is a great way to learn more about the area’s past.
During the museum’s outdoor museum, you can explore the area and see a working blacksmith shop.
Visiting this museum is one of the best things to do in Cherokee, North Carolina.
Address: The Mountain Farm Museum is located at Cherokee, NC 28719, USA.
4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in the Smoky Mountains region of North Carolina.
It features over 800 square miles of natural beauty. It’s the most frequently visited national park in the country.
The park, bordering Tennessee and North Carolina, is also known for its beautiful scenery.
Setting off on a beautiful drive through the area is the best way to see parts of it. There are over 300 miles of roads that lead to various historical sites.
Address: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is at 1194 Newfound Gap Road, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA.
5. Mingo Falls
One of the most famous waterfalls in the area is Mingo Falls, located on the Indian Reservation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s 120 feet tall and has a variety of exciting features.
Although this trail is relatively short, it has a variety of steps that you can take to reach the falls. The general conclusion is that seeing the falls is worth the effort.
Address: This Mingo Falls is located at Mingo Falls, Eastern Cherokee Reservation, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA.
6. Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc
One of the best things to do in Cherokee, North Carolina, is to visit the Quallas Arts and Craft Mutual Inc., located east of Mississippi.
This is the largest facility that showcases Native American arts and crafts. It’s also the oldest Native American cooperative in the country.
Since its opening in 1946, this facility has featured over 350 Native American artisans.
Every item sold at the facility has the artist’s name and story. This is a great way to learn more about the individuals who make these beautiful pieces.
Address: This attraction is located at 645 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States.
7. Oconaluftee Indian Village
The Oconaluftee Indian Village is an excellent place to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of the Cherokee. After visiting this museum, you’ll understand the area’s past more deeply.
This tour is led by a Cherokee culture expert and provides a glimpse into the traditional life of the tribe. During this time, you’ll get to see how the people lived.
Aside from conventional practices, you’ll also see other exciting activities such as cultural dancing.
Address: The Oconaluftee Indian Village is at Oconaluftee Indian Village, 218 Drama Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA.
8. Fire Mountain Trails
Another fun thing to do in Cherokee, North Carolina, is to visit the Fire Mountain Trails.
This multi-use trail system is a great way to get around the area and experience the outdoors. It features over 10 miles of hiking, biking, and running.
The Fire Mountain Trails are located close to the Oconaluftee Indian Village. Due to the diverse terrain, they’re frequently visited by people who want to experience the outdoors.
Some of the other notable features of this trail system include a berm, quick tables, and rock grades.
Address: This Fire Mountain Trails is at State Rd 1361, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States.
9. Museum of The Cherokee Indian
If you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of the Cherokee, then the Museum of the Cherokee Indians is a must-visit.
This museum features various interactive exhibits to better understand the tribe’s past.
Besides displaying artifacts, this museum also features pop-up books and graphic panels designed to make the minds of young visitors come alive.
In addition, it hosts various seminars and workshops designed to teach people how to make traditional basket making and pottery.
Address: This Museum is located at 589 Tsali Boulevard, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA.
10. Mingus Mills
One of the most historic sites in Cherokee, North Carolina, is the Mingus Mill, located near the Mountain Farm Museum.
This mill dates back to 1886 and is surrounded by various landmarks. It also has a variety of food products for sale.
The Mingus Mill is a beautiful and unique historical site dedicated to showcasing the culture and history of the area’s native people. It’s still in operation and can still be used to grind corn.
Address: The Migus Mills is located at Mingus Creek Trail, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States.
11. Saunooke Village
Saunooke Village is an area of shopping located on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. It’s one of the city’s top attractions.
It features several shops and restaurants designed to provide various products and services. Some of these include local food products and Indian arts and crafts.
Address: This Saunooke Village is located at Big Cove Road, Cherokee, NC, USA.
12. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
The Cherokee Casino Resort has over a thousand guest rooms and is situated in an impressive building.
It features several gaming machines and is also surrounded by two golf courses. This area is an excellent choice for people looking to enjoy a relaxing stay.
The hotel has several facilities and services designed to give people a great experience.
Some of these include an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a spa, and an on-site gym. It also hosts regular concerts.
Address: The Cherokee Casino Resort is located at 777 Casino Drive, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA.
13. Cherokee Veterans Park
The Cherokee Veterans Park is a large park located in northeast Cherokee County. It features a variety of facilities and activities.
This area is a must-visit for visitors, making it one of the best things to do in Cherokee, North Carolina.
One of the park’s most prominent features is a monument dedicated to the service and sacrifice of all the individuals who served the country in the military.
It features a large US flag that’s surrounded by plaques that are designed to commemorate the various branches of the military.
Address: The Cherokee Veterans Park is at Us-441, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA.
14. Smokey Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine
If you’re looking for something different from the usual activities in the area, try the Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine.
This is a family-friendly place that’s designed to provide people with an opportunity to explore the various gold and gemstones that are available in this area
Address: This attraction is located 971 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States.
15. Bearmeats Indian Den
Bearmeat’s Indian Den was established to provide the public with the best local Indian arts and crafts.
It also hosts various demonstrations and workshops. These events are designed to allow people to try their hand at making unique art.
The shop is open all year round, so if you’re in the area and looking for something different, head over to Bearmeat’s Indian Den. Its hours are 9 am to 6 pm.
Address: This Bearmeat’s Indian Den is at 4210 Wolfetown Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719-8741, USA.
16. Smokemont Riding Stables
The facility has several horses trained to match the varying levels of riders. Beginners can start with a couple of well-trained horses before progressing to more experienced riders.
The facility’s trails allow people to explore the beautiful Oconaluftee River.
Address: This attraction is at 135 Smokemont Riding Stable Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA.
17. Blue Ridge Parkway
One of the most popular attractions in the area is the Blue Ridge Parkway, which provides spectacular views. It’s also one of the most exciting things to do in Cherokee, North Carolina.
This area is also a must-visit for people looking for a great experience. During your time in the area, you can ride the rollercoaster located on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It’s a great way to experience the different views that the area has to offer.
Address: This attraction is in NC 28719, USA.
18. Sassy Sunflowers Bakery and Cafe
One of the local businesses in Cherokee that’s also popular with the public is the Sassy Sunflowers Cafe.
This establishment offers various food and treats to its customers. Its menu features traditional favorites such as chicken sandwiches and pastries.
The menu also features several healthy options, such as vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. You can additionally add desserts and drinks to its list.
Some of the beverages that this establishment offers include coffee, juices, and flavored teas.
Address: This attraction is at 655 Acquoni Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA.
19. Sequoyah National Golf Club
Robert Trent Jones II designed the Sequoyah National Golf Club. It features a variety of holes that are designed to provide a challenging and enjoyable experience.
The surrounding area is also a must-visit for people looking for a great experience.
Address: This golf club is at 79 Cahons Mt Rd, Whittier, NC 28789, United States.
20. Santa’s Land Fun Park and Zoo
The park is a seasonal facility that’s active during the summer. During this time, children and adults can enjoy various activities and attractions.
Some of these include a miniature train ride and a Santa’s sleigh ride.
The park also has a petting zoo to allow the public to see various types of animals from different parts of the world.
Address: This attraction is at 571 Wolfetown Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA.
21. Cherokee Bear Zoo
The facility features a variety of bear species, such as grizzly bears, black bears, and various other animals.
Coming to this zoo is an excellent way for the public to glimpse these animals’ daily lives.
Address: This attraction is at 1204 Tsalagi Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States.
Best Time To Visit Cherokee, North Carolina
The best time to visit Cherokee is from April 23 to October 21. According to data collected by NOAA, the ideal weather in the area can be expected to occur during this period.
Cost Of Visiting Cherokee, North Carolina
The average cost of a seven-day trip to Cherokee is around $1,623 for a solo traveler. It ranges from $2,915 for a couple to $5,465 for a family of four.
There are also various accommodations in the area. They include hotels and vacation rentals, costing anywhere from $83 to $500 per night.