Top 10 Things to Do in Cherokee This Spring2.27.2015
If you’ve never visited Cherokee before, spring is the perfect time to go. There are so many wonderful things to do and see that you’ll want to make the most of your time. Whether you’re packing your bags for a day trip in and around town, exploring the outdoors for a weekend of fishing or golf, or bringing the whole family for a week filled with fun and discovery, here are ten of the best things to do in Cherokee this spring.
1. Explore your options. How do you want to spend your time in Cherokee? The Cherokee Welcome Center is a great little stop to explore your options and has a friendly, knowledgeable staff. Find information about the latest family-friendly events and attractions—there’s something for everyone!
2. Step into history. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is an amazing experience for visitors of all ages with state-of-the-art computer animation, special effects, audio, and an extensive artifact collection. Step back in time—11,000 years—to experience the history of the Cherokee and celebrate the traditions, customs, and unwavering spirit of the Cherokee people. AAA and AARP discounts available.
3. Go shopping. Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual, Inc. is the oldest and leading Native American Arts cooperative in the United States. Discover amazing beadwork, pottery, hand woven baskets, clothing, and accessories, all made by skilled native artisans, and take a piece of Cherokee home with you.
4. Follow the bears. Started in 2005, the Cherokee Bears are a series of life-like fiberglass bears painted by local artists, each representing a different aspect of the Cherokee culture, with themes like Eagle Dance Bear, Fish Bear, and Winter Bear. Can you find them all? Maps of the 20 bear locations are available at the Cherokee Welcome Center.
5. Get wowed by waterfalls. Mingo Falls on the Cherokee Indian Reservation is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the southern Appalachians. A moderate 0.4 hike is well worth the view for 120 feet of cascading water, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in the region. Nearby Soco Falls is a stunning double waterfall that can be viewed in a short walk to the observation deck.
6. Take a nature hike. Just outside of Cherokee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts over 800 miles of hiking trails, and in the spring you can see over 1600 types of flowering plants. The park is also home to over 200 species of birds, 66 types of mammals, and over 60 native fish species. Keep your eyes peeled and your camera handy.
7. Cast on for cash or fun. Enjoy 30 miles of privately stocked streams bursting with rainbow, brook, and brown trout. The Cherokee Cast Into Spring Tournament kicks off the season March 27-March 29, with a chance to win $25 to $5,000 for tagged fish—up to $20,000 in cash prizes! For more info, call Mike LaVoie at 828.554.6113. Get your permit now and get fishing.
8. Play a round, or two. Golf Magazine named Sequoyah National Golf Club one of the best new courses to play for a reason. With 6,057 yards of groomed greens and bluegrass fairways, the course offers fun challenges with stunning mountain views. For new or seasoned golfers, this is an experience not to be missed.
9. Get lucky. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort has 150,000 feet of gaming action including live table Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, video poker, and more. Take advantage of seasonal discounts for overnight stays in the four-star hotel, and get tickets for legendary performances at the Event Center featuring some of the biggest musical stars in the world.
10. Cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers breathtaking vistas with plenty of scenic overlooks. The view changes with the seasons, and in the spring you can admire the blooming wildflowers and unfolding foliage. Pack a picnic, roll down your windows, and take in the fresh mountain air. The journey is as long as you make it!