Located on the eastern edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Maggie Valley is a short drive to the gorgeous Cataloochee Valley section of the park and the quaint town of Waynesville, North Carolina. The area offers beautiful views, outdoor adventure, wildlife encounters, family activities, old time music, and small town charm. Pick a few experiences below to make your visit one to remember.
Things to do in Maggie Valley
The stretch of U.S. Route 19 that passes through the small town of Maggie Valley offers access to charming accommodations, live entertainment venues, skiing and tubing, a museum, and a brewery. Along this route you’ll also find access to the most photographed scenic lookout in the mountains as well as access to the beautiful Soco Falls.
Motorcycling Through the Smoky Mountains
One of the popular ways to experience this region of the North Carolina Smokies is by motorcycle. Spend the day on a scenic drive through the mountains. Smoky Mountain Steel Horses offers a selection of motorcycles to rent plus resources on beautiful rides through Maggie Valley. Ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Deal’s Gap, also known as “The Dragon.”
After your ride, swing by The Wheels of Time Museum to see a collection of rare American vintage motorcycles. It also includes other memorabilia, artifacts, and classic cars to peruse.
Grab Your Partner
The sounds of the Smoky Mountains are rooted in old-time mountain music. Listen to the bluegrass and old-time fiddle tunes at the Stompin’ Ground and watch as folks dance the mountain two-step, square-dance, and clog on the large dance floor. Get in on the action as audience participation in line dances is encouraged. They’ll guide you through the steps!
Mountain music is a big part of the music scene in Maggie Valley, but the musical influence is also international. Folkmoot USA brings musicians from around the globe to perform traditional song and dance. This year-round celebration boasts a diverse selection of exhibits, cultural programs, and fun for all ages. Then every July, the famous festival showcases global talent with events all around Maggie Valley, and nearby Waynesville.
Great Places to Dine
There’s no shortage of good eats and places for libations in Maggie Valley. Barbeque fans will enjoy Fat Buddies Ribs and BBQ of Waynesville along with the legacy of their famous Firehouse sauce. For those who enjoy old-fashioned ice cream in a warm waffle corn, make time in your plans for a stop by Jack the Dipper in Waynesville.
Elevated Mountain Distilling Co. brings traditional whiskey spirits to the area but also offers full bar with beer and wine options as well.
Shopping in the Smokies
Maggie Valley offers independent and locally owned shops, specialty boutiques, antiques, and handmade crafts. For those looking for local goods head to Downtown Waynesville for a plethora of art galleries, wonderful people, and unique shopping experiences like Mast General Store.
During the holidays, a trip to Boyd Mountain Christmas Tree Farm is fun for the whole family. Besides charming cabin accommodations, visitors can pick out a famous Frazier Fir to bring home some mountain holiday cheer!
Outdoor Exploration in Cataloochee Valley
A popular spot for outdoor adventure is Cataloochee Valley. Here you’ll find multiple hiking trails to explore like the popular Boogerman Trail, Rough Fork Trail, and Pretty Hollow Gap Trail. While exploring the Valley you’ll also find multiple historic home-sites, churches, and a barn open to the public for self-guided tours.
See the Elk
The biggest attraction to the Cataloochee Valley is the ability to watch free-range elk grazing in the fields. They typically travel in a herd through the large open fields to graze in the morning and late afternoon. They are accustomed to people hanging out in the fields so you won’t have any trouble finding them. As with any wildlife encounter, be sure to watch them from a safe distance. They are not contained behind a fence and they will become aggressive if they feel threatened. Respect their space and you shouldn’t have a problem.
Cataloochee Creek is home to wild rainbow and brook trout, making it a haven for fly-fishing. There are multiple tributary creeks you can fish so while it’s a popular place to fish, it’s not difficult to find a peaceful spot out of sight from other anglers. You must have as state license and follow the fishing regulations.
There are like horseback riding, skiing, tubing, hiking to natural attractions such as Soco Falls or the popular Elk Tours and Firefly tours through Cataloochee Valley Tours, Inc.
Horseback Riding on the Mountaintop
Take in the panoramic beauty of the Smoky Mountains on horseback. At the Cataloochee Guest Ranch sign up for a ridge top tour that winds through forest trails, rhododendron tunnels, and creeks. Once you’re done riding take part in the many other activities the Ranch offers including tennis, swimming, daily hayrides, cookouts, bonfires, and lawn games.
Places to Stay in and Around Maggie Valley
With all the great adventures in the area, there are diverse accommodation options to make anyone feel at home.
For stunning and unique rooms, the historic Andon-Reid Inn Bed and Breakfast in Waynesville provides cozy accommodations and is close to many attractions.
The Cataloochee Guest Ranch has a diverse range of accommodations from inn style rooms to large group cabins along with many onsite activities such as horseback riding.
Named the #1 “top Resort in the South” by Conde Nast, The Swag, a luxurious all-inclusive mountain resort provides a great location to celebrate an anniversary or other special weekend away.
Most folks come to western North Carolina in hopes of seeing a few bears. However, if you stay at in a cabin at Buffalo Creek Vacations, chances are you will catch a glimpse of Buffalo while you enjoy your stay. You can even rent a refurbished caboose train car for your accommodations.
Maggie Valley Country Cabins has a plethora of cabins to accommodate small or larger groups surrounded by beautiful mountain views.
Best Western Smoky Mountain Inn provides traditional and comfortable hotel accommodations in Waynesville.
Nestled in the heart of Maggie Valley, the quaint Hearth & Home Inn offers comfortable accommodations and easy access to attractions.
Within walking distance of Waynesville, the Oak Park Inn has modern accommodations with old-fashioned charm.