10 Best Things To Do In Whittier, North Carolina

things to do in whittier north carolina
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Located in the west of North Carolina, Whittier is a quaint village with a lot of outdoor attractions for locals and adventurers. Founded in 1881 by Clark Whittier, the town, unfortunately, faced an industrial decline during the Great Depression. However, in recent years, Whittier has made a comeback with a rise in tourism and unique attractions. Whittier is one of the hidden gems of North Carolina. For comfy accommodation, you would never have to wonder about where to stay. The place is bustling with some of the best Airbnb vacation rentals. You can also find unique cabin rentals should you fancy a camping trip. Planning a visit soon? Continue reading to find out about the best things to do in Whittier, North Carolina.

1. Smoky Mountain River Adventures

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Smoky Mountain River Adventures on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Whittier is located on the Tuckaseegee River, making it a top destination for water sports! Smoky Mountain River Adventures offers all kinds of river fun for individuals, groups, and families! From white water rafting to kayaking and guided tours, there is something for everyone here.

The river only has class one and two rapids in this region, making it a great place for beginners to try their rafting skills without having to worry about more intense rapids. Locals and travelers alike consider this one of the best rafting locations in the state. It’s definitely a must-do if you’re in the region!

Smoky Mountain River Adventures

Address: 5306 Hwy 74, 28789 Whittier, NC

Website: Smoky Mountain River Adventures

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2. Sequoyah National Golf Club

Challenge yourself with a round of mountain golf at the Sequoyah National Golf Club in Whittier, NC. Don’t be fooled by the beautiful views of the Smokey Mountains. This is not a beginner golf course! The Sequoyah National Club Golf Course is named one of the most challenging courses in the region, so bring your best skills. The walks between holes can be steep at times, and it is definitely recommended you rent a golf cart to avoid tiring too quickly.

Sequoyah National Golf Club

Address: 79 Cahons Rd, 28789 Whittier, NC

Website: Sequoyah National Golf Club

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3. Explore Mingo Falls

Mingo Falls - panoramio (1)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user hakkun used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Technically located on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, Mingo Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls near Whittier, North Carolina, and a great surprise amidst the Smoky Mountains. The falls are over 36 meters (120 feet) tall, making Mingo Falls one of the tallest waterfalls in the southern Appalachians. The hike to the falls is less than 1 kilometer (half a mile), but it can get a little bit tricky at points, especially after it’s been raining. Mingo Falls is a picturesque, one-of-a-kind waterfall that will impress anyone new to the power of the Smoky Mountains!

Mingo Falls

Address: Accessible via Pigeon Creek Trail

Website: Mingo Falls

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4. Mountain Farm Museum

Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill
Source: Photo by Flickr user Robert Lz used under CC BY 2.0

Take a trip back through time at the Mountain Farm Museum. Located less than 20 minutes from Whittier, this collection of historic log buildings were gathered from materials throughout the Smoky Mountains to be preserved on a single site. Visitors can explore a log house, barn, apple house, and smokehouse. The structures are from the late 19th century and this is one of the last remaining homes built from American chestnut! There is even a functioning mill on the property!

Mountain Farm Musuem

Address: U.S. 441 at Occonaluftee Visitors Center, 28719 Cherokee, NC

Website: Mountain Farm Musuem

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5. Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama

Cast members of "Unto These Hills" Cherokee, NC IMG 4867
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Billy Hathorn used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Debuted in 1950, “Unto These Hills” play has shared the Cherokees’ history from 1780 to modern day. This play is performed live regularly under the stars at the Mountainside Theatre near Whittier, North Carolina. Experience the Cherokee performing arts like never seen before with this well-known production! This drama couldn’t be limited to film, and is best experienced in person within this 2,000-seat outdoor theater! “Unto These Hills” is the best way to end a day at the Cherokee Reservation!

Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama

Address: 564 Tsali Blvd, 28719 Cherokee, NC

Website: Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama

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6. Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual

Qualla Arts and Crafts, Cherokee, NC IMG 4892
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Billy Hathorn used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This cooperative sells traditional Cherokee crafts such as clay pots, jewellery and handmade clothes. These unique finds can’t be seen anywhere else, so this is a must-visit for those who like one of a kind souvenirs. It’s worth visiting even if you don’t wish to shop, as this cooperative could double as an art museum.

Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual

Address: 645 Tsali Blvd, 28719 Cherokee, NC

Website: Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual

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7. Old West Wagon Trains

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

These old-timey wagons are designed after the wagon trains used to transport goods and people in the 18th and 19th centuries. This staple of American history is now pulled behind lawn mowers, providing rides to families daily through the Smoky Mountains. This is the closest you’ll ever get to living out your Little House on the Praire dreams! This tour is even more magical in the fall when the leaves begin changing colors around you!

Old West Wagon Trains

Address: 414 Whittier School Rd, Whittier, NC

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8. Tuckaseegee Outfitters

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Brian Stansberry used under CC BY 3.0

Tuckaseegee Outfitters is for the more intense adventurers. This company hosts whitewater rafting tours, kayaking excursions on the Tuckaseegee River, and extreme tubing near Whittier, North Carolina. Start your trip with a drive in a red double-decker bus 8 kilometers (five miles) down the river so you won’t have to endure a wet bus ride back to your car at the end of the day! See why Tuckaseegee Outfitters is one of the top destinations in western North Carolina.

Tuckaseegee Outfitters

Address: 4909 US Highway 74 W, Whittier, NC

Website: Tuckaseegee Outfitters

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Nearby things to do

9. Blue Ridge Parkway

Green Knob Overlook -- Blue Ridge Parkway (NC) July 2019
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ron Cogswell used under CC BY 2.0

Blue Ridge Parkway, often dubbed “America’s Favorite Drive,” is a scenic masterpiece that winds its way through the Appalachian Mountains, connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

This iconic roadway not only offers stunning panoramic views of the rolling hills, verdant forests, and misty valleys of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but also provides a plethora of exciting activities for visitors to enjoy. Hikers can explore an array of trails, each leading to breathtaking overlooks, cascading waterfalls, and serene meadows. Cyclists can pedal through the captivating landscapes, while picnickers can relax at the many scenic pull-offs. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts will revel in the diverse wildlife and rich ecosystem. Throughout the journey, cultural sites, historical exhibits, and visitor centers add depth to the experience.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Website: Blue Ridge Parkway

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10. Nantahala National Forest

Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina
Source: Photo by Flickr user Carl Wycoff used under CC BY 2.0

Nestled in the heart of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Nantahala National Forest is a haven of natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Encompassing over 530,000 acres (214,483.58 hectares) in North Carolina, the forest boasts a diverse landscape of ancient forests, clear streams, and rugged peaks.

Visitors can delight in a range of exciting activities that include hiking near Whittier, North Carolina. The scenic trails lead to panoramic vistas and hidden waterfalls. You can also partake in water sports like kayaking and whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River. The forest’s abundant camping sites offer a chance to immerse oneself in the tranquility of nature, and avid anglers can cast their lines in its pristine waters teeming with fish. Mountain biking, horseback riding, and wildlife watching are also popular pastimes.

Nantahala National Forest

Website: Nantahala National Forest

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Visit Whittier, North Carolina!

On a holiday with the family and wondering about what to do in Whittier, North Carolina? Don’t fret as the place is full of unexpected fun for the whole family. Located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, the Tuckaseegee River provides endless opportunities to explore the area by raft, kayak, or boat. Whittier is also conveniently located near the Cherokee reservation, adding another layer of fun activities and cultural experiences that aren’t to be missed. Be sure to stop by Whittier the next time you’re in this region of North Carolina. You won’t be disappointed!

Frequently asked questions about things to do in Whittier

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Sam is a writer and blogger who loves to travel! She's been to over 27 countries across five continents and loves to push herself outside of her comfort zone. When not writing, she loves to re-read...Read more

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