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12 Best Things To Do In Cherokee, North Carolina - Updated 2019

Megan
Updated Aug 07, 2019

Cherokee, North Carolina is a town rich in history and full of outdoor adventure. It has preserved the Cherokee lifestyle, due to its location on the reservation home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. It is also near the Great Smoky Mountains National park and thus has many places to hike and camp. Take a look at these things to do in Cherokee, North Carolina for your trip there!

1. Mingo Falls


Mingo Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in the southern Appalachians, at 120 feet tall. It is just outside of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. The hike up is less than half a mile, and not terrible difficult. The steps and paths can be slippery and it is a bit rocky, but over all any one in good health should be able to make the climb. It is worth it to see the breahtaking falls up close!

Mingo Falls

Address: Eastern Cherokee Reservation, Cherokee, NC 28719

Website: Mingo Falls

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2. Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Source: Wikimedia

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian presents Cherokee culture, art, and history is a variety of mediums. Here visitors will experience typical museum exhibits, photographs, digitals films and holographs. It reflect the Cherokee people and is truly unique. Exhibits are informative and interesting. It is a great place to learn the history of the Cherokee and the area.

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Address: 589 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719

Website: Museum of the Cherokee Indian

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3. Mountain Farm Museum


Mountain Farm Museum is a collection of old farm buildings that were taken from through out the Smoky Mountains and preserved on one site. The buildings include a barn, a spring house, a smoke house, and an apple house. These are all available for visitor to explore and look through. It gives a sense of how things may have been 100 years ago. Mountain Farm Museum also presents agricultural practices, such as gardening and caring for livestock, as they may have been 100 years ago. It is a really excellent museum to see what life would have been like a century ago. Oconaluftee River Trail also begins here and follows the river 1.5 miles to Cherokee.

Mountain Farm Museum

Address: Cherokee, NC 28719

Website: Mountain Farm Museum

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4. Oconaluftee Indian Village


Oconaluftee Indian Village is a “living museum” showing was a Cherokee community would have been like in the 18th century. Visiting the village will take you back to 1760 when the Cherokee were facing challenges of European settlers. Visitors will be able to interact with villagers, watching them make pottery, weave baskets, hull canoes, and go about daily life. Cultural dances, preparations for war, and blow gun demonstrations are things visitors will all have the chance to witness. There are even hand on Cherokee art classes for kids at Oconaluftee Indian Village.

Oconaluftee Indian Village

Address: Cherokee, NC 28719

Website: Oconaluftee Indian Village

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5. Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine

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Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine allows visitors to find beautiful gems (emeralds, rubies, garnets, and more) in a large trough for sifting. These gems and stones can then be identified by one of the assay professionals there. The stones can then go home in your bucket or in a setting chosen by you in the gift shop! It is a fun experience for both kids and adults to dig through and find the stones, identifying them on the way.

Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine

Address: 971 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719

Website: Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine

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6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Source: Wikimedia

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is absolutely beautiful, with deep green woods and moss covered creeks. There are incredibly diverse plants and animals through out these ancient mountains. Within the park there are extensive hiking trails, both easy and difficult. There are picnic spots and exhibits. There are streams and rivers to float on. It is a fantastic spot to hike for multiple days or just to go do some hiking for a day trip. The beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is astounding and you are sure to love it, no matter what you do.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Oconaluftee Visitor Center

Address: 1194 Newfound Gap Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719

Website: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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7. "Unto These Hills" - Outdoor Drama

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“Unto These Hills” is an outdoor historical drama that has been played since 1950. It has been seen by over six million people within that time. “Unto These HIlls” tells the story of the Cherokees from 1780 until the 21st century. It is performed regularly, every day but Sunday in the evening. The Mountainside Theatre can seat 2800 people.

Unto These Hills Ticket Office

Address: 564 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719

Website: Unto These Hills Ticket Office

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8. Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort

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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 is a nice place, with friendly employees.

Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort

Address: 777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719

Website: Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort

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9. Cherokee Bear Zoo

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Cherokee Bear Zoo allows visitors to admire the magnificent bear species. Black bears to grizzlies, they have a variety of species and visitors can enjoy watching them play and eat. Cherokee Bear Zoo also have lemurs and tigers that visitors can take a look at while they are here!

Editor’s Note: There’s an on-going lawsuit against against Cherokee Bear Zoo for the treatment of their bears. Please travel responsibility and read up on all cases (can be found on PETA’s website) before deciding to visit the zoo.

Cherokee Bear Zoo

Address: 1204 Tsalagi Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719

Website: Cherokee Bear Zoo

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10. Santa's Land


Christmas can happen all year with Santa’s Land! It is a perfect spot to come with the kiddos. This Santa Clause themed park has rides, a zoo, and paddle boating in the lake.

Santa's Land

Address: 571 Wolfetown Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719

Website: Santa’s Land

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11. Take a trip down and play a round of golf at Sequoyah National Golf Club


Sequoyah National Golf Club is 5 km (3 miles) from Cherokee, in Whittier. The views from the course add to the pleasure of the game. The course may be a bit tough in places due to the terrain, and it has 5 par 3 and 5 par 5. Hit some balls on the range, if you prefer. Just take along lots of golf balls and your camera. The scenery is beautiful. Take along some extra water as it’s thirsty work on the challenging Robert Trent Jones course.

Sequoyah National Golf Club

Address: 79 Cahons Rd, Whittier, NC 28789-7111

Website: Sequoyah National Golf Club

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12. Tube or raft with Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals

Posted by Cherokee Rapids Tube Rentals on Friday, 25 May 2018

Get out onto the water and go tubing with Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals. Grab a ride to the river put-in spot and float downstream. But it’s not all laziness, as you navigate around river obstacles. The rapids are fun rather than frightening, so hold on tight. Take along your hat, sunscreen, water bottles, and snacks for a fun time out on the water. It’s a nice way to spend a few hours. The exit is by an ice-cream and candy store, so you can replenish your energy. If you’re not sure about tube sizes ask the staff, who are helpful and knowledgeable.

Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals

Address: 1681 Acquoni Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719-9413

Website: Cherokee Rapids

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cherokee and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Cherokee

Enjoy

Cherokee has a rich history and loads of outdoor adventure. It has plenty to keep couples or families occupied. Have fun exploring Cherokee, North Carolina!

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Cherokee and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Cherokee

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Source: Trip101.com

This article was originally published on Sep 13, 2017

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Forest on baxter creek trail in great smoky mountains national park
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Megan is an avid explorer and food aficionado. She loves to see the world, experiencing different cultures & traditions. When she’s not off traveling, you’ll most likely find her tucked away with a...Read more

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