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Cherokee, North Carolina Travel Vacation Guide

Cherokee Area: Great Smoky Mountains | Blue Ridge Parkway | Oconaluftee Visitors Center & Farm Museum | Museum of the Cherokee | Unto These Hills | Mingo Falls | Soco Falls | Oconaluftee Indian Village | Harrah’s Cherokee Casino | Cherokee Pow Wow | Zipline Tours | Bryson City | Great Smoky Mountains Railroad | Jackson County | Dillsboro

Cherokee, NC
Cherokee Pow Wow

Just 50 miles from Asheville is Cherokee, located in Jackson County at the main North Carolina entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (via US Highway 441) and home to Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation and many things to do. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation is one of the only three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. There are about 13,400 Eastern Band of Cherokee members, most of whom live on the Reservation. Properly called the Qualla Boundary, the Reservation is slightly more than 56,000 acres held in trust by the federal government. This is part of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

Top things to do in Cherokee

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
At the entrance to the Park at Cherokee is the Oconaluftee Visitors Center, Mingus Mill and the Mountain Farm Museum, a beautiful setting of historic buildings. See our Great Smoky Mountains National Park Guide for more. Drive up U.S. 441 to Newfound Gap and Clingman's Dome.

Mountain Farm Museum

Cherokee Heritage
Learn the story of the Cherokee people from the Cherokee in several outstanding museums, a legendary outdoor drama and at several festivals. See our full page guides for the following:

Cherokee Heritage

Shop!
Browse the many shops, clustered in several areas of town. Stock up on your mocassins, plastic tomahawks and mini totem poles. Or fine quality Cherokee crafts such as Cherokee Indian pottery, baskets and beadwork; as well as other locally made gifts such as dream catchers, dolls and woodcrafts. Also find a variety of home furnishings and leather goods, including handbags, belts, backpacks, hats and wallets; as well as biker apparel such as vests, jackets and chaps.
Cherokee NC

Wonderful Park
As the Oconaluftee River passes through Cherokee, it is split by a beautiful, grassy island. It's home to the Oconaluftee Islands Park – sheltered by canopies of oak and sycamore. Beautiful walking bridges connect the island. Wade in the water, have a picnic, or sit by the relaxing river. Find is along U.S. Highway 441.
Oconaluftee River

Artful Bears
Go bear hunting. The town of Cherokee is being overrun by a collection of bears. But, don¹t worry­ these bears are completely harmless. Several Eastern Band of Cherokee artists have created a series of large, life-like fiberglass bears and painted them in bright vibrant colors and designs. Currently there are 15 painted bears completed, located in various spots around town.
Cherokee NC Bear
Cherokee NC
Cherokee NC

Harrah's Cherokee Hotel

Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Hotel, Cherokee
The 21-story luxury hotel is highlighted by the beautiful mountain setting. Features four-star lodging and creates a luxurious experience with 1,108 spacious rooms that include plenty of amenities. Enjoy dining at five restaurants.
1108 rooms, large baths, coffee maker, 42-inch HD TV, casino, indoor pool, restaurants, pet friendly rooms. Click here to visit their Web site


Mingo Falls
Mingo Falls cascades 200 feet nearly straight down past granite boulders and rhododendrons schrubs. This beautiful waterfall is located just five miles from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains and just eight miles from Harrah's Casino. See our Mingo Falls Guide.

Nine miles on the other side of Cherokee (toward Maggie Valley) is another impressive waterfall, Soco Falls.

See more waterfalls and tube down the river in the Deep Creek section of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Mingo Falls

Harrah's Casino
The impressive Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee and is open 24-hours-a-day. Harrah's Cherokee includes a 1,108 room hotel, conference center, a 3000-seat events center, the Essence Lounge, food court, and Chef's Stage Buffet. See our Harrah's Cherokee Casino Guide for more.

Harrah's Casino

Historic Mill
At The Old Mill, experience a Historic Grist Mill on the edge of the Cherokee Reservation. A Country Store with fresh ground cornmeal, grits, jams, honey, country ham, candles and quailty gifts. The 1886 room is full of antiques, lamps furniture, china and advertising signs. They offer the work of 60+ Cherokee Artists carvings, baskets, pipes and beadwork to name a few. Collectors will find Civil War, Indian artifacts, Southern pottery and rare one of a kind items. They carry the largest selection of carving stone in the Southeast in a variety of colors. Located South of Cherokee 1 mile on US 441 N.

Cherokee Festivals and Special Events
Ramp It Up! Festival
: The tourism season in Cherokee commences on the last Saturday in March at the Indian Fair Grounds with the annual Ramp It Up! Festival. This event highlights two mountain delicacies - trout and wild ramps, a garlic-like plant grown locally. The festival coincides with the opening of trout season. Ramp It Up! is not just about fishing, but it also features music, a trout and ramps feast, the fifth annual Chief's Horseshoe Tournament.


Pow Wow: Three days of authentic Indian dancing, drumming and tribal regalia. Dance competitions rock. See more photos and details.

Cherokee Voices Festival: Held in June at the Museum of teh Cherokee Indian with traditional dancing, music, crafting, food and more. Free admission.

Volkswagen Show: Beetles, bugs, striped, polka-dotted. Come see all the different ways people have customized their favorite sedans and camper vans. August.

Southeastern Tribes Cultural Arts Celebration: Artists and craftspeople representing the Cherokee, Creek, Chicksaw, Seminole and Choctaw tribes present tribal dance, storytelling, crafts, contests and food. September.

Cherokee Rod Run: Held in May and October with plenty of vintage pre-1972 vehicles.

Cherokee NC Festival

Sequoyah National Golf Course
Sequoyah National Golf Course is the newest attraction to the Cherokee area and is owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. The 18-hole golf course, open to the public, is designed by world renowned Robert Trent Jones II and has a state of the art irrigation system, along with each hole's unique and breathtaking views.

 

Cherokee Golf

Download a PDF map of Cherokee.

Nearby are the towns of Sylva and Bryson City. And ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

Cherokee is just 52 miles from Asheville via I-40 West to Exit 27, then U.S. 19 to U.S. 441 in Cherokee (Just over an hour's drive). Or you can take the more scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, but this could take three to four hours. A great day trip is to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway to Cherokee and return the faster way via I-40.

     
     

More: Pet-Friendly | NC Arboretum | Chimney Rock | Gay & Lesbian Friendly | River Arts District | Madison County | Jackson County | Burke County | Linville Falls | Zip Line Tours | Shopping | Biltmore Village | Art Galleries | Lake Lure | Cherokee | Hendersonville | Highlands | Waynesville | Hot Springs | Black Mountain | Golf | Ski_Resorts | Sliding Rock | Winter Outings | Pisgah Forest | Nantahala Forest | Christmas at Biltmore | Rafting | Site Directory | News

RomanticAsheville.com Travel Guide, an insider's vacation planner for Asheville and North Carolina Mountains.
Writing & Photography By Mark File - ©2003-2014 File Investments, Inc - All Rights Reserved
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