The Cherokee Indian nation lives, in part, on a reservation in North Carolina. Typically known simply as Cherokee North Carolina, it is a popular travel destination all year due to the diversity of its attractions (see map). Consider the following just to get a flavor of what fun these mountains hide away.
One of the most popular draws for many years has been the drama, Unto These Hills, which tells the story of the Cherokee people and their escape to the mountains in lieu of forced relocation to the west on the infamous Trail of Tears. It incorporates music, dancing, and history into a wonderful presentation that continues to delight visitors of all ages. The show only runs during the summer months from June until August so some planning is needed in order to catch this event.
Anyone who loves history will find The Museum of the Cherokee Indian a thrill. It is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children 6-13 with those under 5 admitted free. It is a fascinating experience tracing human life in the area back into its most ancient history.
Another longstanding attraction has been the Oconaluftee Indian Village, which is a re-creation of a Cherokee village from the 1750s. This is more than just some empty buildings for display since the Cherokee present it as a living village with guided tours. Open from May through October, “the Village also hosts live reenactments, interactive demonstrations, ‘Hands-On Cherokee’ arts and crafts classes, Villager outfit rentals for children, and evening storytelling performances.”
The Cherokee also have many annual events such as their Powwow, the Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby, the Cherokee Days of Recognition, the Cherokee Indian Fair, and Thanksgiving Day Feasts, and they host the Festival of Native Peoples. Almost every Saturday from the end of July through the end of September there is a Handmade-Homemade-Homegrown agriculture and crafts market where fresh produce and goods can be bought.
There are plenty of creeks in Cherokee in which to romp and play during warm weather and lots of seasonal attractions from the simple spring blooms, summer greenery, and fall foliage to festivals, carnivals, rod runs, motorcycle runs, lots of bluegrass music and shows, a Big Rigs Antique Truck Show and so much more (see the Events Calendar) in addition to hiking, camping, fishing and such.
Located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherokee is a great place for birdwatchers not only for its birds but is proximity to other bird sanctuaries (see video). Also nearby is historic Soco Gap (where the Cherokees would ambush any invaders) and Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Rockies, on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Other nearby activities include whitewater rafting kayaking and golf.
The Cherokee website contains a wealth of information about attractions, events, lodging, and planning your trip. Pick your pleasure, plan, pack, and pounce on the opportunity to enjoy Cherokee North Carolina.
Help the Examiner writers by clicking on Subscribe to keep up with their latest material, by leaving Comments below, by sharing this article with others on Facebook or Twitter, and/or by clicking on the “Like” button above. Also check out the New Appalachian Mountain Travel Examiner Facebook page.