Top 15 Things to Do in Cherokee North Carolina

Top 15 Things to Do in Cherokee North Carolina

Top 15 Things to Do in Cherokee North Carolina

Cherokee North Carolina, is a city rich in history and full of outdoor adventures. It has preserved the Cherokee way of life due to its location on the reservation home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation.

It is also close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and has plenty of places to hike and camp.

And plenty of amazing lodging options are available here, too, from the best hotels near the casinos to the best riverside hotels in Cherokee.

With your accommodation sorted out, you can now explore this amazing city. Check out these best things to do in Cherokee, North Carolina, for your trip there!

  • Fire Mountain Trails – Bike Trail Start

If you’re visiting Cherokee for some adventure, Fire Mountain Trails is worth a visit. The trails here are ideal for outdoor travelers for walking, biking, and running.

It has numerous paths that suit beginners and experienced cyclists and hikers. Cross the Great Smoky Mountains and enjoy some amazing views during your journey. For your convenience, there are parking spaces within the area.

  • Fire Mountain Trails – Bike Path
  • Address: 1361 State Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States
  • Hours: 24 hours (daily)
  • Price: Free
  1. BJ’s Dinner

Serving delicious American cuisine, BJ’s Dinner is a must-visit in Cherokee for some tasty burgers. The establishment offers comfortable benches and umbrellas to enjoy al fresco dining even on sunny days.

Order a delicious bacon cheeseburger and wash it down with chili cheese fries or onion rings. They also have healthier options, like salads, for the health-conscious.

  • Address: 840 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States
  • Opening hours: Tue – Sat: 11 am – 4 pm (closed Sunday to Monday)
  • Mingo Falls

If you’re wondering what to do in Cherokee, how about visiting Mingo Falls? Mingo Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in southern Appalachia, standing at 120 feet.

It is just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. The hike is less than a half mile and not difficult.

The steps and paths can be slippery, and it’s a bit rocky, but generally, anyone in good health should be able to climb. The impressive falls are well worth seeing up close!

  • Address: Eastern Cherokee Reservation, Cherokee, NC 28719
  1. Museum of the Cherokee Indian

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian presents Cherokee culture, art, and history in various media. Visitors will experience typical museum exhibits, photography, digital film, and holograms.

It reflects the Cherokee people and is truly unique. The presentations are informative and interesting. It’s a great place to learn Cherokee history and the area.

  • Cherokee Indian Museum
  • Address: 589 Tsali Blvd., Cherokee, NC 28719
  • Skip the Line Admission to the Museum of the Cherokee Indians
  • Duration: 1 day
  1. Mountain Farm Museum

Mountain Farm Museum is a collection of old farm buildings taken from the Smoky Mountains and preserved on one site.

Facilities include a barn, a spring house, a smokehouse, and an apple house. All of these are available for visitors to explore and review. It gives an idea of how things might have been 100 years ago.

Mountain Farm Museum also presents agricultural practices, such as gardening and tending livestock, as they might have been 100 years ago.

It’s a great museum to see what life would have been like a century ago. The Oconaluftee River Trail also starts here and follows the river 1.5 miles to Cherokee.

  • Mountain Farm Museum
  • Address: Cherokee, NC 28719
  1. Oconaluftee Indigenous Village

Oconaluftee Indian Village is a “living museum” showing what a Cherokee community would have been like in the 18th century.

Visiting the town is one of the best Cherokee activities as it will take you back to 1760 when the Cherokee faced challenges from European settlers.

Visitors can interact with villagers, watching them make pottery, weave baskets, navigate canoes, and go about everyday life.

Visitors will have the opportunity to witness cultural dances, preparations for war, and blowgun demonstrations. There are even Cherokee art classes for kids at the Oconaluftee Indian Village.

  • Oconaluftee Indian Village
  • Address: Cherokee, NC 28719
  • Duration: 1 to 3 hours
  • Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine

Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine allows visitors to find beautiful gems (emeralds, rubies, garnets, and more) in a large sifting channel.

One of the analysis professionals can identify these gems and stones. The rocks can go home in your bucket or a setting of your choice in the gift shop!

It is a fun experience for children and adults to dig and find the stones, identifying them along the way. (Cherokee North Carolina)

  • Smoky Mountain Ruby and Gold Mine
  • Address: 971 Tsali Blvd., Cherokee, NC 28719
  1. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is undoubtedly one of the best things to see in Cherokee. It is absolutely beautiful, with deep green forests and mossy streams.

There are incredibly diverse plants and animals throughout these ancient mountains. There are extensive hiking trails within the park, both easy and difficult. There are picnic spots and exhibits.

There are streams and rivers to float. It’s a great place to hike for several days or just for a day trip. The beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is astounding, and you will surely love it no matter what you do. (Cherokee North Carolina)

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Oconaluftee Visitor Center
  • Address: 1194 Newfound Gap Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719
  1. “Unto These Hills” – Outdoor Drama

“Unto These Hills” is an outdoor historical drama performed since 1950. More than six million people have viewed it in that time. “Unto These Hills,” tells the story of the Cherokees from 1780 to the 21st century.

It takes place regularly, every day except Sunday nights. The Mountainside Theater seats 2,800 people. (Cherokee North Carolina)

  • Unto These Hills Ticket Office
  • Address: 564 Tsali Blvd., Cherokee, NC 28719
  1. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is more than just a casino. There are also many shops and restaurants to enjoy. Live music and karaoke regularly occur in the area.

And, of course, the casino offers table games and slot machines. It’s a nice place, with friendly employees. (Cherokee North Carolina)

  • Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
  • Address: 777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719
  1. Cherokee Bear Zoo

Cherokee Bear Zoo allows visitors to admire magnificent bear species. From black bears to grizzlies, they have various species, and visitors can enjoy watching them play and eat. Cherokee Bear Zoo also has lemurs and tigers that visitors can watch while they’re here. (Cherokee North Carolina)

  • Cherokee Bear Zoo
  • Address: 1204 Tsalagi Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719
  1. Santa Claus Land

Christmas can happen all year long with Santa’s Land! It is a perfect place to come with the little ones. This Santa theme park has rides, a zoo, and rowboat rides on the lake. (Cherokee North Carolina)

  • Land of Santa Claus
  • Address: 571 Wolfetown Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719
  1. Take a trip and play a round of golf at Sequoyah National Golf Club

If you’re looking for things to do in Cherokee, consider Sequoyah National Golf Club. It is 3 miles from Cherokee, in Whittier.

The views from the course add to the pleasure of the game. The system can be rough in places due to the terrain, with five par 3s and five par 5s.

Hit a few balls on the course if you prefer. Just take lots of golf balls and your camera. The landscape is beautiful. Take some extra water with you, as it’s thirsty to work on the challenging Robert Trent Jones course. (Cherokee North Carolina)

  • Sequoyah National Golf Club
  • Address: 79 Cahors Rd, Whittier, NC 28789-7111
  1. Tube or raft with Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals

Get out on the water and go tubing with Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals. Take a ride to the river sunset spot and float down the river.

But it’s not all laziness as you navigate the river’s obstacles. Rapids are more fun than scary, so hold on tight. Bring your hat, sunscreen, water bottles, and snacks for a fun time on the water.

It’s a good way to spend a few hours. The exit is for an ice cream parlor and sweets so that you can replenish your energies. If you are unsure of the tube sizes, ask the staff, which are helpful and knowledgeable. (Cherokee North Carolina)

  • Cherokee Rapids Kayak & Tube Rentals
  • Address: 1681 Acquoni Rd, Cherokee, North Carolina 28719-9413
  1. Oconaluftee Island Park

Spend a fun day with your family or friends at Oconaluftee Island Park in Cherokee, North Carolina. This beautiful park has a river flowing through it which is the park’s highlight.

You can enjoy trout fishing, tubing, swimming in the river, or watching your kids splash in the shallows.

Enjoy a picnic by the shore, take a walk through the bamboo forest, admire panoramic views from the many bridges, or spend a day relaxing in nature.

  • Oconaluftee Island Park
  • Address: US-441, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States
  • Hours: 24 hours (daily)

Cherokee has a rich history and many outdoor adventures. It has plenty to keep couples or families busy.

If hotels aren’t your preference, you can also choose from a selection of secluded and pet-friendly cabins. Have fun exploring Cherokee, North Carolina! (Cherokee North Carolina)

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Things to Do in Cherokee, North Carolina

  1. What are the main attractions to visit in Cherokee?

A host of attractions await you in Cherokee, and some of the top must-sees include the Cherokee Indian Museum and the Oconaluftee Indian Village.

Both lures will give you more information about the heritage and culture of the city. You can also visit Mingo Falls and the Cherokee Bear Zoo for other options. (Cherokee North Carolina)

  1. What are the best outdoor activities in Cherokee?

One of the best outdoor activities you can do here is to hike Mingo Falls. It is one of the tallest waterfalls in the southern Appalachians.

Another must-try outdoor activity here is exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where you can find various animals and plants. (Cherokee North Carolina)

  1. What are the most popular things to do in Cherokee with kids?

If your kids are joining you on your trip to Cherokee, you’d better bring them to the Oconaluftee Indian Village, which offers art classes for kids.

Plus, you’re sure to enjoy a day at the Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine, where you can have a treasure hunt-like experience.

We hope you like our article on Top 15 Things to Do in Cherokee North Carolina.

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