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23 Best & Fun Things To Do In Cherokee (North Carolina)

Cherokee appears to have two distinct historical origins according to archeologists and anthropologists.

A source claim that the early inhabitants are relatively those that came late to Southern Appalachia, and they might have come during the prehistoric period while the other source has a distinct source.

It wasn’t until Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual was built in this beautiful city that the city found a new title “tourist city”.

Absolute quiet spot, quaint and more! It is just easy to identify why this is the North Carolina vacation home center.

With rivers, nature, and tons of culture and history, this is absolutely a relaxing destination to go to when avoiding the hustle of larger places.

The word “Cherokee” ordinarily means “inhabitants of different speech”, and the city was named as far back as centuries ago.

It is fittingly inhabited by about 390,000 people and several animals that could survive in the ecosystem.

Do not let those who are myopic about this wonderful city scare you away from its loads of best things.

Uncertain about what to check out during a visit to Cherokee?

Below are our careful picks for the 23 best and most fun things to do in Cherokee, North Carolina!

Things To Do In Cherokee

1. Cherokee Mingo Falls

Mingo Falls

Photo Courtesy of Mingo Falls

Mingo Falls is a beautiful waterfall in North Carolina, Cherokee that is about 120 ft high.

This waterfall is among the tallest in the southern Appalachian.

If you are available in this amazing city, there is no such thing as a bad time to visit Mingo Falls because it is always a fun place at all times.

It is absolutely beautiful in high water, low water in all Seasons.

Early arrival is best as the small viewing area at the base of the falls can fill up fast.

From the parking lot, you have to climb 161 steps to teach the trail to the falls.

The trail is strewn with tree roots and rocks, so be sure to use caution while having the fun

Although, if you have physical issues, this may not be the place for you as there are over 100 steps to climb.

However, if you can do it with breaks along the way it’s worth it

Staffs are also amazing and always welcoming visitors with a view of satisfying them during their visit!

There is equally a parking space where you can park your cars and the admission fee to this Cherokee attraction is absolutely reasonable to this is a fantastic place.

Address: Eastern Cherokee Reservation, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

2. Museum Of The Cherokee Indian

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Photo Courtesy of Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Do you want to see some nice exhibits when next you visit Cherokee?

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is a large Museum in Cherokee, North Carolina.

This museum housed lots of fine arts, history & culture presented via exhibits, digital films, photographs, and unlimited holographs.

Apparently, it is a museum that you wouldn’t hate to step in!

Despite the fact that there is a decent amount of content in this museum, the admission fee is just $12 for an adult ticket.

It would be interesting seeing these great exhibits with lots of interesting information on the Cherokee culture and history.

Reasonable entry fee, plentiful free park space, helpful and friendly staff, nice gift shop, in short, this is a museum you can check out if you want your stay to be fun while in Cherokee!

Address: 589 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

3. Oconaluftee Indian Village, Cherokee

Oconaluftee Indian Village, Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Oconaluftee Indian Village, Cherokee

Will you like a place where you can learn more about the local history of the Cherokee people?

Oconaluftee Indian Village has tons of monuments that tell more about the historical antecedents of the Cherokee people and the people of North Carolina as a whole.

It is an incredible living-history museum that demonstrates what life was like in the 18th-century.

With their monuments, you will get an insight into how the early inhabitants lived their lives, their predominant activities, and what they loved doing.

The tour guides are friendly and do not hesitate to ensure that all visitors leave happily.

Beyond that, no admission fee is required here and there are gift shops and restaurants near this Cherokee Museum and the prices of their goods are not so expensive.

Despite being affordable, they sell quality goods, and their vendors are courteous and friendly.

Aside from the fact that this place isn’t always fun during the weekdays, it is a nice place to enjoy your weekend if you are in Cherokee.

While planning a visit to Cherokee, if you care for a fun trip, do remember to add this place to your itinerary!

Address: 218 Drama Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

4. Casino At Harrah’s Cherokee

Casino At Harrah’s

Photo Courtesy of Casino At Harrah’s Cherokee

If you are arriving at Cherokee for the first time and not sure of where to lodge, consider visiting Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee!

They provide awesome and lively lodging and they have the best and most modern facilities that you wouldn’t remember you are not home.

In addition, they serve lodgers the best combinations of food and no visitor will enjoy these delicious dishes lesser!

Not just is this amazing Cherokee house aimed at being a lodge zone for visitors, but they also provide visitors with a casino offering over 100 table games and views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Obviously, the enjoyment of coming here is beyond what you could get if you lodge in other places.

The staff are also phenomenal, and the receptionist is highly friendly.

Importantly, valet Park space is also offered for guests at no additional cost.

Address: 777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

5. Oconaluftee Island Park, Cherokee

Oconaluftee Islands Park, Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Oconaluftee Island Park, Cherokee

Oconaluftee Island Park is a picturesque park with a bamboo forest, a river for swimming, picnic areas, and a sand volleyball court.

So, if you want a park that offers lots of fun activities beyond what an ordinary park could offer, this park should be your next destination if you are in Cherokee!

You can be here to do some hiking, and trail work and if all you want is a place to have a picnic, this place wouldn’t be a bad destination.

There are picnic tables for lunch, plenty of shade to get out of the heat and it appears to be a beautiful place for photography too!

Aside from that, they have a very nice swimming pool with very clean water.

If you get to know the park, you’ll notice so many differences in the river level, it seems very safe!

They also have incredible volleyball courts which are of modern facilities.

The park is neat and tidy with ample space to walk around for kids.

The bridge across the river is a photo scenic, and the river is just a foot deep making it the perfect place for small kids and families to enjoy their time out while in Cherokee.

In short, there is something fun for all categories of visitors, either young or old, you can’t be here without having anything fun to do!!

There are also at least three parking areas, so loop around and park elsewhere if the little lot is busy.

Avoid leaving Cherokee without checking this fun place!!

Address: US-441, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

6. Cherokee Mountain Farm Museum

Thing to do in Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Mountain Farm Museum

If you don’t plan to visit the museums earlier recommended, you should endeavor to visit Mountain Farm Museum.

This museum has been attractive to visitors even outside North Carolina since 1950.

One incredible thing about this museum is that it is an open space demonstrating farm methods of the past.

Not only that, the staff will take time to demonstrate some of the old farming methods.

This invariably will make every visitors realize how labor-intensive farming was and how it involves the whole family including the very young children.

Besides, there are also some animals like pigs and chickens that would appear so very interesting to children and it is for free.

If you have the privilege of coming to visit Cherokee, do not forget to check the blacksmith, apple orchard, pigpen, corn crib, and other buildings that are enriched with living history to learn about.

There is also a nice walking trail next to the river that would be so fun for every visitor!

This is surely going to be a great stop for pioneering wonders, a beautiful creek, and an open field to catch a glimpse of elk passing through.

Address: Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

7. Motion Makers Bicycle Shop In Cherokee

Thing to do in Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Motion Makers Bicycle Shop

In need of a bicycle while in Cherokee, North Carolina?

Motion Makers Bicycle is a shop that offers bicycles of various types at inexpensive prices.

Interestingly, they carry great brands like Specialized, Surly, and others and none of their bicycles is less original.

Beyond that, they provide a tutor who is always available to tutor kids on how to ride bicycles.

The employees are generally friendly and are experts in what they are employed for.

So, do you care about your kids’ happiness?

If you do, you need to get a bicycle for them here and also bring them for free training.

Ensure you do so on your next visit to this beautiful city, it will absolutely be worth it!

Address: 878 Brevard Rd, Asheville, NC 28806, United States. 

8. Cherokee Bear Zoo and Exotic Animals

Thing to do in Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Cherokee Bear Zoo and Exotic Animals

Will you love to explore a Zoo on your next visit to Cherokee, North Carolina?

Cherokee Bear Zoo and Exotic Animals is a popular zoo that requires not much description because of its popularity even beyond North Carolina.

It is notably a small venue in this ancient city that offers close encounters with grizzly bears and a petting zoo for children.

One great thing about this place is that these animals all looked healthy and well taken care of and their environment appears so welcoming.

Moreover, the staff in this incredible place are so nice, insightful, polite, and engaging, you will surely love to interact with them!

The admission fee is also affordable and there is no time frame you can spend here, as long as you make the little token, you can spend all days here.

Above all, there is a park where all visitors are allowed to park their cars and no extra cost is required for that.

Checking out this place will be highly memorable if you can!!

Address: 119 Whitewater Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

Looking to explore other cities in North Carolina? Why not check out our lists of things to do in Little Switzerland, Fayetteville, Bryson City, Corolla, and Waynesville?

9. Cherokee Visitor’s Center

Thing to do in Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Cherokee Visitor’s Center

Cherokee Visitor’s Center is the place to begin your tour in Cherokee city.

The staff are always available and are ready to provide every visitor with all the necessary information that is required of them during their stay.

Besides, the staff will not hesitate to point out all the local attractions, wonderful events, and several beautiful places that make the city one of the top tourist-attracted areas in the Southeast.

They also provide lodging for visitors who appears to have no place to sleep on their first day in this amazing city and it is extremely affordable, you can’t regret taking their room!

More so, they ensure that only the best-prepared meals are served to visitors.

That apart, the bathroom is neat and they equally provide some indoor games to keep visitors relaxed anytime they are here.

If you can have some hours here, it would make your other exploration more fun and memorable, do ensure you do so if you can!

Address: Cherokee / North Carolina.

10. Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine

Thing to do in Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine

Do you want to get some jewelry home anytime next you visit Cherokee?

Are you searching for a perfect place to get amazingly priced jewelry when next you are in this lovely city?

The look is over! Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine have the kind of jewelry you would ever want!

This fantastic cabin-style jewelry store offers gifts and custom pieces.

Not only that, you can be sure of getting gem mining and gold panning for kids here.

It is indeed an amazing shop that has something great for all ages!

In fact, if you are not getting anything else, don’t forget to get their incredible rubies!

Interestingly, if you are not so certain of what to go for, their friendly staff will not hesitate to make perfect recommendations for you.

Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine is an amazing place worth visiting, it will surely be worth a stop!

Address: 971 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

11. Cherokee Transit

Things to do in Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Cherokee Transit

Another best and most fun place you can visit in Cherokee is Cherokee Transit.

They are notably the most stable company providing transportation services in this city.

Will you be needing a short drive or a personal transportation service that can take you out during your exploration here?

You really don’t have to wonder how to explore these amazing places we’ve been recommending, Cherokee Transit will surely do the magic!

They don’t only focus on providing safe transportation to visitors, they also ensure that visitors’ satisfaction is their manta!

Their employees and the drivers are so nice and totally friendly to all visitors, in fact, they don’t drive at high speed!

In addition, the cost of their services is inexpensive and they offer great discounts to visitors on their first patronage.

Address: 680 Acquoni Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

12. Saunooke Village, Cherokee

Things to do in Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Saunooke Village

Saunooke Village is a Sandwich shop that offers made-to-order hot and cold subs, plus a variety of hot sauces.

Their food is always good and made with the right ingredients.

Their workers are also very nice, and the whole place appears so clean and well-maintained.

It is without a doubt, a great place for a quick bite!

In short, this is a very professional establishment and always creates a wonderful experience for visitors.

Though there are limited spaces available for visitors to park their cars if you make it up early, you wouldn’t have issues with that.

Do you so much care about your enjoyment during your exploration of this wonderful city?

If you do, do not conclude your exploration without adding this amazing place to a place you’d visit.

You can’t leave less excited!!

Address: 17 Big Cove Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

13. Smokemont Riding Stables

Things to do in Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Smokemont Riding Stables

Smokemont Riding Stables is a place that provides visitors with the ability to ride horses in Cherokee, North Carolina at a non-expensive price.

Of note, this wonderful initiative provides visitors with modern facilities that will ensure their safety while riding these horses.

Will you love to experience how horse riding used to be?

Have you ridden one before and want to experience it again?

If you are willing to do either of these, Smokemont Riding Stables should be on top of your itinerary!

Even if you are less professional, you need not worry, their trainers are so friendly and will do all required to make it more interesting for you!

There are also small gift shops adjacent to this incredible initiative and they offer extremely cheap gifts that you can take home.

Moreover, they have a little kid area that can actually engage your kids during their visitation.

If you plan to come here, do remember to come along with your kids because it is going to be a fun experience for all sets of visitors!

Address: 135 Smokemont Riding Stables Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

Want to see more of North Carolina? Check out our list of things to do in Hickory, Winston-Salem, and Blowing Rock!

14. Qualla Arts And Crafts Mutual

Things to do in Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual

Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual is a beautiful Art gallery in Cherokee, North Carolina

This beautiful location in Cherokee is divided into two amazing parts, one is reserved for shopping while the other part is used as a gallery strictly to showcase Cherokee’s craftsmanship and initiatives.

Both parts are really fun places to explore, meanwhile if you have limited time to spend in Cherokee, ensure you explore the gallery!.

The gallery has an impressive collection of locally produced products from jams to jewelry

Besides, they also have lots of individually produced baskets and hand-woven runners and scarves.

Beyond that, they also have amazing wood carvings and so much more that will add to your enjoyment while on sight here.

There is apparently much to see and purchase here and the best part of it is that the money required of visitors is so cheap and stays in the community helping local artisans.

Even if you don’t want to buy anything, visiting is rather like going to an art gallery to appreciate the pure talent displayed with worth it.

Address: 645 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

15. Unto These Hills, Cherokee

Things to do in Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Unto These Hills

Unto These Hills is an outdoor drama center that you can visit in Cherokee.

It is a wonderful theater made up of 2800 seats and notably the third largest and oldest outdoor historical drama in the whole United States.

Mainly, the play in this Cherokee destination recounts the historical antecedents of this beautiful city.

If you visit Cherokee and do not go to this production, can you really say you have explored Cherokee?

Absolutely, no! A visit to this beautiful city without coming to Unto These Hills is not a complete exploration!

The production in this place is just about 2 hours long and the acoustics are great.

So, you will have no issues hearing the actors.

More remarkably, the entire set, cast, costumes, and choreography is a sight to behold.

A description simply cannot give it the justice it deserves.

For it to be an outdoor theatre, they do have something going on good with this production.

You need to stop here to have a look!

Address: 688 Drama Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

16. Smoky Mountain Helicopters

Things to do in Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Smoky Mountain Helicopters

Ever been to a helicopter station before?

Tried checking out what a helicopter station looks like?

If you are in Cherokee and you can visit Smoky Mountain Helicopters, you will have a vantage opportunity to explore what a helicopter station is like.

Apart from that, this helicopter tour agency in offers a spectacular view of the surrounding of the entire Cherokee lands.

The pilot is also very friendly, knowledgeable staff who are always eager to answer any questions coming from visitors.

Interestingly, the admission fee for this great initiative is less expensive.

If you can make come during weekends, you stand a chance of getting a discounted ticket.

If you are visiting this amazing place, be sure to come with your kids, and more importantly, it is advisable you visit during the summer.

Address: 264 Casino Trail, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

17. Cherokee Rapids Tube And Kayak Rentals

Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals

Photo Courtesy of Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals

Cherokee Rapids Tube and Kayak Rentals is notably the largest best and most welcoming kayaking and tubing outfitter in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Been to a kayaking or tubing center before?

If you haven’t, you need to visit this amazing place.

Even if you have, visiting this amazing place will create a different experience from the one you earlier had!

Interestingly, this wonderful place offers guests a relaxing setting to unwind and have some fun.

They have the latest and modern facilities in place and it is not in any way risky.

The water also appears so neat and they have restaurants all over this place that provide quality and cheap food for every visitor.

Will you still prefer to dwell more on these descriptions or take the time to visit this amazing place?

The decision is yours! Meanwhile, if you care for a more fun experience while in Cherokee, a visit here will definitely be worth it!

Address: 1681 Acquoni Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

18. Medicine Man Crafts

Medicine Man Crafts

Photo Courtesy of Medicine Man Crafts

Medicine Man Crafts is a stationed gift shop in Cherokee with nice and authentic Native American arts and crafts.

The shop is remarkably incredible because these arts and crafts are made to reflect the true culture of the Cherokee people.

Besides, they are made with quality materials and it’s certainly going to be your favorite shop in Cherokee.

Not only do they offer amazing artistic works, but they also offer effective herbals and unique collectibles handmade by local artisans.

A lot of handmade things could be found here such as flutes, dream catchers, masks, soaps, salves, and many more.

For easy identification of these items, they have innovative attached tags on them that truly reflect the artist’s name.

Despite the fantastic workmanship that goes down here, they are offered at a fair price and the staff are highly welcoming.

If at all you won’t choose from these artworks, you shouldn’t miss choosing from many amazing herbs for different ailments.

You can find anything for any ailment, made by the local men, and they are so effective.

Address: 482 Tsali Blvd, US-441, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

19. Talking Leaves

Talking Leaves

Photo Courtesy of Talking Leaves

If you are in Cherokee, Talking leaves is a perfect destination to visit if you are interested in getting some insightful books.

This store provides visitors with a wonderful variety of books that are not in any way expensive.

Importantly, they also have a Children’s Library that is dedicated to children, and it’s certain your kids will love them.

Besides the great range of books, they have an amazing section for indigenous history, ghost books, and fry bread recipes.

There’s also a large supply of graphic t-shirts and traditional Cherokee clothing as well, plus a wide assortment of jewelry, crafts, and movies.

You will not regret stopping by, there’s something great you can enjoy here!

Address: 30 Nickeh Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

20. The Leather Shack

The Leather Shack

Photo Courtesy of the Leather Shack

Do you care about some quality leather goods while in Cherokee?

Leather Shack is a leader store in Cherokee, North Carolina that offers quality and affordable leader goods to visitors and inhabitants.

If you want to appreciate the high-quality craftsmanship of this North Carolina, you need to check out what they offer here!

Cherokee’s finest handcrafted leather belts, bags, and some indoor equipment are top-notch and extremely beautiful!

More so, the employees are not only talented but totally friendly.

In fact, they will not avoid making recommendations if you are unsure of what to pick here.

Beyond all this, they have a little play area adjacent to this shop and it is open to all visitors without having to pay any other cost.

Will you be coming to Cherokee any time soon?

Do remember to update your itinerary with this wonderful attraction, it will be worth the visit!

Address: 67 Big Cove Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

21. Bowling Alley in Cherokee

Bowling Alley

Photo Courtesy of Bowling Alley

Bowling Alley is another beautiful and fun place you can visit in Cherokee if you are on a vacation.

This amazing place doesn’t just have a bowling alley, they also have arcades and an entire console/pc gaming area!

If you are here, you have tons of indoor games to enjoy, and that is a plus to the fun things to enjoy here!

The bar is great and all sorts of food they offer are great!

Pizza, wings, salads, nachos, loaded tater tots, and lots more, are extremely great and delicious.

Moreover, the staff are friendly enough and so courteous, you wouldn’t have any complaints about them!

Bathrooms are also clean and they have an upstairs lounge area, to get away from the crowds below.

All in all, this is a great place you should endeavor to visit anytime you have a trip to this beautiful city!

Address: 777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

22. Owl Cage Cherokee

Owl Cage Cherokee

Photo Courtesy of Owl Cage Cherokee

Do you love to get your basic items at a very beautiful and comfortable place?

Owl Cage Cherokee is one of the best spots in South Carolina where you can get lots of basic items at a reasonable price.

Not just basic items, you can also get some historical in this location.

Their clothes store is really cool and they are of good quality.

Moreover, the price tag on them is reasonable!

Owl Cage Cherokee has different departments in its store.

So, you might be confused, but you don’t have to be embarrassed because their staff are always available.

Additionally, Owl Cage Cherokee has different items for all age ranges, including kitchen accessories and historical pots.

Owl Cage Cherokee is a nice location to finish your vacation.

They also have a store specially made for items that can be presented as gifts.

Address: 668 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

23. Cherokee Fun Park

Cherokee Fun Park

Photo Courtesy of Santa’s Island

Cherokee Fun Park is an amusement park for all ages and also, and it serves as home to different animals.

There is room for everyone to have fun in this location, however, there is absolutely no playground here!

There are different ponds here where you can fish.

Also, there is a place in Cherokee Fun Park where you can get some items at a reasonable amount.

Cherokee Fun Park has lots of wooden areas where you can hike or go to work to enjoy some free time.

Also, the park is always clean and the animals here are well cared for.

That obviously is one of the reasons why they are friendly around visitors.

There are lots of buildings close to this location where you can choose to explore as well.

The Fun Park is always open on Thursdays and Sundays 10 am-8 pm, and Saturdays and Fridays 10 am-9 pm.

Address:1897 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States. 

Final Remarks

Cherokee is not the vastest anytime it relates to tourism hotspots, but the city being called a visitors destination is not without a reason!

It is without a doubt that Cherokee, along with a close range of tons of best and most fun attractions.

Beyond that, it also boasts its fair share of fun attractions for visitors and inhabitants.

Whether you are seeking an excursion, wanting to explore some museums, having the interest to check out some arts and culture, or some fun games, you will definitely see something to admire in Cherokee!

Happy travels.