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, there’s something for everyone. Here are ten of the best things to do in Cherokee this spring.

cherokee welcome center

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!

Step Into History

The Museum of the Cherokee People 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.

The Oconaluftee Indian Village opens each spring and 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. For official dates and times, please visit the Oconaluftee Indian Village information page.

demonstration in the oconaluftee indian village
unto these hills outdoor drama

Go to a Performance or Event

Experience the power of Cherokee performing arts in a live production certain to move you by getting tickets to the renowned drama Unto These Hills at Mountainside Theatre in Cherokee, NC starting in May. You won’t want to miss this heart-pounding drama.

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! Other great spots to buy local, handcrafted Cherokee goods include the gift shops at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and Qualla Creations. 

qualla products
soco falls in western north carolina

Take In the Beauty of 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.

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! 

landscape view of the smoky mountains
bikers at fire mountain trails

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.

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 most recent list of fishing tournaments in Cherokee, NC

two people in fishing gear fly fish in Cherokee smile while showing large fish caught in Cherokee
sequoyah national golf club aerial view

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.

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!

A man and a woman, tourists in Cherokee, stand looking out over vast, rolling hills covered in colorful autumn foliage under a clear blue sky.