5 Things to Do in Cherokee NC This Fall11.24.2015
In Cherokee, NC, Fall is a time of transformation. The leaves put on a dizzying display, competing for color, and the air is crisp and cool. Here in Cherokee, Fall is a time to slow down and gather with loved ones. If you've been before, we welcome you back! If this is your first time to Cherokee, we invite you and your family to explore the beauty, and the bounty, of the season. Welcome!
1. Experience the history.
Visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and learn the story of the Cherokees spanning the last 13,000 years. This award-winning museum, called a "model museum" by Disney Imagineering, takes visitors from the Paleo period all the way through the Trail of Tears using stunning animations, artifacts, life-size figures, audio, artwork, and more. As part of Native American Heritage Month, the museum is offering special programming on Saturdays, including arts and crafts workshops, ancient skills, and more. Some of the programs cost a small fee. Visit www.cherokeemusuem.org for more information.
2. Meet the Cherokee Friends.
The Cherokee Friends are tribal members who are cultural specialists with vast knowledge of Cherokee history and culture. The group includes storytellers, singers, flute players, wood and stone carvers, and more. You can find the Cherokee Friends at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, oftentimes in the lobby, where they demonstrate their arts and crafts skills and talk to visitors. Jerry Wolfe, Beloved Man of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, tells stories in the Education wing of the museum from 1-2 on Fridays.
3. Support local artists.
Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc., the nation's oldest and foremost Native American cooperative, showcases the work of over 250 artists working to preserve the artistic traditions of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Discover handmade work from master crafters of pottery, basket weaving, beadworking, silversmithing, wood and stone carving and more, and take a piece of Cherokee home with you. Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual is open year round.
4. Get in nature.
Mingo Falls on the Cherokee Indian Reservation is one of the tallest, most beautiful waterfalls in the southern Appalachians. (Check out the image at top.) To Cherokee, it's known as "Big Bear Falls," or "yon equo" as it's called in the Cherokee language. It cascades almost two hundred feet down granite boulders, with a spectacular view you can take in safely from a bridge at the base of the falls. A short, moderate hike will get you to the falls, with 161 steps leading up to the base.
5. Take a trip to the past.
The Mountain Farm Museum is a collection of historic buildings from the Smoky Mountains that have been preserved from the last century. This open farmstead has structures including a farmhouse, a barn and apple house, springhouse, and a blacksmith shop. Take a stroll on the beautiful grounds, take in the Fall colors, and learn how Cherokee families lived in the mountains 100 years ago.
For more ideas on things to do in Cherokee this Fall, check out some sample adventures.