What to do and see in Cherokee, United States: The Best Places and Tips

September 2, 2017 Karren Gelb

Located at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee is the headquarters for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Signs around town are in English and Cherokee, and the city itself is anchored by the Harrah's Cherokee Casino. The tourist-oriented area is rich in outdoor activities for the entire family. The tribe runs a botanical garden, cultural museum, Indian village recreation, historical dramas, and an arts and crafts center.
Restaurants in Cherokee

1. Oconaluftee Visitor Center

1194 Newfound Gap Hwy, Cherokee, NC 28719-8249 +1 828-497-1904
Excellent
78%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 846 reviews

Oconaluftee Visitor Center

The adjacent Mountain Farm Museum contains a fascinating collection of log structures including a farmhouse, barn, smokehouse, applehouse, corn cribs and others. Demonstrations of farm life and ranger-led tours are conducted seasonally.Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Public restrooms and telephones. Soda and water machines. Backcountry permit station.

Reviewed By chris G - Port Macquarie, Australia

We dropped in for some info. Great place...very helpful about walks etc and all staff were super helpful and friendly .
The shop has some great stuff and they even had international stamps and offered to post my postcard. Very good displays to look at while there.
Ample parking and a lovely river trail that starts right behind the centre, where you can see elk grazing by the stream!

2. Sequoyah National Golf Club

79 Cahons Rd, Whittier, NC 28789-7111 +1 828-497-3000
Excellent
70%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
3%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 76 reviews

Sequoyah National Golf Club

Reviewed By mixaconsulting - Oldsmar, Florida

We played Sequoyah a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed this magnificent mountain course that was working on making a turnaround. Playing two years later, it was most impressive. Sequoyah is a true mountain course! With our son and a friend playing with us they were in awe of the fantastic holes, magnificent scenery and constant challenge. With the course perched on the mountain top many holes have tee boxes high above the fairways while a few wind along hillsides. The course is in great shape and even on a busy Saturday afternoon, the pace of play was good. The GPS on the golf cart gives some very good information so pay attention to it.
No. 1 starts from an elevated tee that gives a hint of what to expect on the course. With multiple tees, select the one that matches your handicap and remember mountain golf is different. As a lady golfer with 3 men, I was delighted to see that the ladies tees still have elevation. Today, we had clear skies but still nice temperatures at this elevation. So many holes have elevated tee boxes and we were thrilled with the various challenges. Beware of the grass around the greens, hillsides, a few areas with water that create challenges. Each of us thoroughly enjoyed the course, its great condition and the excitement of making a birdie or par. Take time to take in the views on this course that has a scenic view from each hole and especially the holes along the top of the mountain. They have a small café for grabbing a bite to eat. Due to rains the night before the driving range was not open the day we played.

3. Mingo Falls

Big Cove Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee, NC +1 865-430-1613
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 872 reviews

Mingo Falls

Reviewed By coolhandeastside - Shelby Township, Michigan

I was so happy we went and checked out Mingo Falls while we were staying in the area! It was so much better than the pictures I had seen online! Beautiful trail leading to the falls. Don’t miss it if you have the opportunity to go see it!

4. Oconaluftee Islands Park

Hwy 441, Cherokee, NC
Excellent
67%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 340 reviews

Oconaluftee Islands Park

Reviewed By Rachel L - Newark, Delaware

Even when this park is busy, it still retains its peacefulness. The river is gorgeous and lovely to sit next to.

5. Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Highway 441 and Drama Road, Cherokee, NC 28719 +1 828-497-3481
Excellent
67%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

This site tells the history and culture of the Cherokee Indians through displays and modern computer images.

Reviewed By Wendy G - Fernandina Beach, Florida

The museum was full of interesting facts and history of the Cherokee Indians. I really enjoyed listening to the headphones that told the story about each part of the exhibit. There was a lot to see, hear and read in addition to the listening devices at the entrance counter. Excellent stories and artifacts made it fun to experience the museum.

6. Mingus Mill

1/2 Mile North of Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC +1 865-436-1200
Excellent
60%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 160 reviews

Mingus Mill

Reviewed By Todd G - Omaha, Nebraska

What a fantastic piece of history. It was very interesting to learn how the mill worked. I really enjoyed studying how it was all constructed. The water starts in a creek then into a flume that delivers it hundreds of feet downhill. Great place to take pictures.

7. Mountain Farm Museum

U.S. 441 at Oconaluftee Visitors Center, Cherokee, NC +1 828-497-1904
Excellent
67%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 382 reviews

Mountain Farm Museum

Reviewed By Baltzer - Halifax, Canada

Be sure to check out my YouTube video of this location at Josh the Travel Guy (sorry can't put any links)

This is a great stop before heading into hills of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. Located on the North Carolina Side of the park, this location is easily reached and found since it is close to the visitor center.

This location is free to visit.

It consist of a walking path along the river, as well as a handful of buildings belonging to an old farm. The information tells and shows what it would have been liked to be a farmer in the mountains of this area 100 years ago.

There were pigs in a pen, but no other animals. Would be suitable for people of any age!

Lots of parking since it's near the visitor center.

I would spend an hour to two hours here. It is all outdoors, so this would be a weather dependent activity.

Once again, be sure to check out my YouTube video of my experience at Josh the Travel Guy! Thanks!

8. Juney Whank Falls

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC
Excellent
44%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 79 reviews

Juney Whank Falls

Reviewed By Alain L - Rochester, NY

As many have said before the falls are very small for the amount of effort required to get to them. We intended to view all three but were disappointed after two, so we went home. Great park though if you want to picnic and raft down the river.

9. Oconaluftee Indian Village

218 Drama Road, Cherokee, NC 28719 +1 828-497-2111
Excellent
63%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
4%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 722 reviews

Oconaluftee Indian Village

A guided tour of the Oconaluftee Indian Village; a replica of a 1750s Cherokee Village. See Cherokees making traditional trades using centuries old techniques. The Village Square Grounds is a place of ceremony where you will learn about traditional songs and dance, our clan system and beliefs. Inside the Village Council House you will learn of our government, family and structure. We welcome you to our home.

Reviewed By Lissf1976 - Australia

We enjoyed our stroll through the village looking at the buildings to the gardens and apple trees. The visitors centre is nearby with interesting items and a shop to buy souvenirs.

Saunooke Village, Cherokee, NC 28789-0607 +1 828-497-3211
Excellent
73%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 131 reviews

Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery

Reviewed By Harley S

This is my second time here to the museum it is breath taking. Here you will see how the Cherokee Indians lived there is so many wonderful things to see, it is also a awesome learning experience for children to learn some Native American History. I honestly loved the whole museum, but there is one wall dedicated to the Trail of Tears it is a very touching scene as you look at this wall take yourself back in time, and imagine walking in the freezing cold ,and snow in 1838. I've shed many tears over that wall it is very moving. When in Cherokee North Carolina please go to the museum and have a wonderful time learning some Cherokee History.

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