Top 10 Things to Do in Cherokee This Spring3.10.2020
This blog was published before specific COVID-19 measures were taken into effect in Cherokee. As of March 23, 2020 all Tribal and tourism-related operations have been suspended until further notice, per Richard Sneed, Principal Chief, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Thank you for your understanding. We will be back up and running just as soon as it's safe to do so!
If you’ve never visited Cherokee before, spring is the perfect time to go. 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. Experience the history of the Cherokee over the last 11,000 years and celebrate the traditions and customs that continue to this day. On April 14th, the Oconaluftee Indian Village opens, where you can explore what Cherokee life was like in the 1760s. As you wander, interact with villagers as they hull canoes, sculpt pottery and masks, weave baskets, and fashion beadwork. You'll even have the chance to join in on some traditional social dances.
3. Go shopping. Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual, Inc. is the oldest Native American Arts cooperative in the United States. Discover amazing beadwork, pottery, hand woven baskets, clothing, and accessories, all made by skilled native artisans (over 250 artists are represented!), and take a piece of Cherokee home with you.
4. 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 twin waterfall that can be viewed in a short walk to the observation deck.
5. See the Smokies. 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.
6. Walk, hike, or bike. The Fire Mountain Trails, a multiuse trails system in Cherokee, was made for big adventure. The network of trails is more than 10.5 miles total, perfect for mountain biking, hiking, running, or walking. The trailhead is located about 100 yards from the Oconaluftee Indian Village and shares a parking lot.
7. Cast on for cash or fun. Enjoy 30 miles of privately stocked streams bursting with rainbow, brook, and brown trout. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, Cherokee has something for every level of experience. Check out the 2020 fishing tournament lineup in Cherokee, NC.
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. Go to an Event. Cherokee has a whole lineup of family-friendly events that take place year round, including cultural festivals and celebrations, fishing tournaments, bike races, art shows, and more!
10. Cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers breathtaking vistas with plenty of scenic overlooks. The view changes with the season, and in the spring you can admire the blooming wildflowers. Pack a picnic, roll down your windows, and take in the fresh mountain air. The journey is as long as you make it!