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9 Best Things To Do in Cherokee, NC

Come visit Cherokee, North Carolina and experience a town and the Cherokee Indian Reservation, both steeped in history and the spirit of the Cherokee tribe. From fun family attractions and nightlife for the adults, as well as places that serve to preserve the Cherokee heritage, there are so many things to do in Cherokee, NC. Depending on when you plan your trip, you can attend the Cherokee Indian Fair in October or learn from elders at the Cherokee Voices Festival in June. Here are the best things to do in Cherokee, NC. 

Outdoor Activities in Cherokee 

Cherokee is the perfect place to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors in Western North Carolina. Take a colorful, scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, revel in a few water activities with friends and family or take the time to cast a line in the fish-filled Tuckasegee River. 

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

One of America’s greatest treasures is the Great Smoky Mountains. Find a sense of calm in the rolling rivers, sounds of wildlife, and fresh air that is in excess in this National Park. Get active and take a hike, go for a swim, enjoy a picnic, or any other number of things you can do in this nature preserve. 

2. Mingo Falls

Located on the Cherokee reservation, this 120-foot waterfall is a must for everyone that appreciates them. A short 0.4-mile hike to the falls is considered to be a moderate level of difficulty, due to the stairs leading to it. 

3. Tuckasegee River 

Take part in any number of water activities that are allowed on the Tuckasegee River. Catch a few trout, wade in to cool off, kayak down the river, or tube through the rapids, the possibilities are endless. 

Fun Attractions in Cherokee 

There are plenty of fun attractions indoor and out for everyone that comes to Cherokee, NC. Enjoy a romantic weekend getaway, some family fun, or a weekend with friends. Here are a few of our top picks for attractions in Cherokee, NC. 

4. Harrahs Cherokee Casino Resort 

One of the most popular attractions in Cherokee is Harrahs Casino Resort. Enjoy a romantic dining experience with award-winning steaks at Ruth’s Steak House, belt some karaoke tunes at Soundbytes bar, try your luck at the slots and card tables, or enjoy some family fun at the bowling lanes or arcade in the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center. 

5. Santa’s Land Fun Park & Zoo

Even Santa needs a summer vacation. Where better to take some time off than his vacation home right here in the mountains of Western, NC. Take a trip to meet Santa and get your picture taken with his toyshop helpers. Ride a few North Pole-themed rides and walk through Santa’s Zoo and see a combination of wild and exotic animals like kangaroos, bears, porcupines, monkeys, and so much more. 

6. Sequoyah National Golf Club 

Play a round of golf surrounded by the lush forest mountains of the Great Smokies. Relish the gorgeous postcard views at all 18 holes on this 6,600-foot course. Beautiful bluegrass fairways and the natural elevation changes through the course, provide a fun, but challenging par threes, fours, and fives. When you are finished, grab lunch or a drink on the deck overlooking the beautiful Smoky Mountains. 

Educational Activities in Cherokee

One of the best and most rewarding ways to experience Cherokee, NC is to learn about the Native American culture that is as much a part of the town as the mountains themselves. Let your family learn about the Cherokee Nation and have fun at the same time with these Native attractions. 

7. “Unto These Hills”: Outdoor Theatre Production

Presented by the Cherokee Historical Association, Unto These Hills is a theatre production that tells the story of the Cherokee people as they were forced onto the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma. Learn about the proud historical figures in Cherokee history and the hardships that tested them. 

8. Museum of the Cherokee Indian 

A great place to start your educational journey, the museum will take you through the history of the Cherokee Indians. Hear from the knowledgeable staff about the day-to-day life in Cherokee. See examples of their tools for hunting, crafting, etc. and learn about the beliefs and culture that live on through the Cherokee tribe to this day. 

9. Oconaluftee Indian Village

Experience the preserved Native American lifestyle as you take a walk through this historic village. See firsthand the ingenuity in the built shelters, tools used to cook and craft and hunt, and traditional basket weaving and cooking. Watch traditional Cherokee dances and see other performances in the spirit of the village. Also, enjoy guided tours and demonstrations of traditional crafting techniques. 

A short 22-mile drive from Cullowhee River Club, Cherokee has everything you’d want for a day trip or weekend getaway in Western North Carolina. Learn about the Cherokee people, in the mountains that are steeped in their culture. Visit Harrah’s Casino for a little fun run at your luck, or enjoy taking part in some family-friendly fun. No matter what you decide to take part in, you will be surrounded by the abundant woods and rolling mountains that are the Great Smokies.