Smoky Mountains Activities and Attractions
Make some time with your family this year to visit the attractions in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. The Smoky Mountains are a well-known family destination offering solid value at reasonable prices for those in search of a quick vacation getaway, family reunion location, or extended summer stay.
Attractions in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina can keep any family busy enjoying the rich mix of activities these unique mountains have to offer. Many Smoky Mountain communities even offer special events that showcase mountain crafts and culture in a way that is truly authentic, from ancient Cherokee rituals to music festivals.
Ever since the railroad was constructed through the westernmost part of the state, travelers have visited in mass to take in the breathtaking beauty of the Smoky Mountains. What began as Cherokee footpaths have become popular hiking destinations leading to stunning vistas. This abundance of nature trails are perfect for cyclists to enjoy as well.
There are other ways to explore the great outdoors. Visitors can ride a train along the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Drivers and motorcyclists can cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Cherohala Skyway to take in the breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains. Thrill seekers can take to the sky on a zipline adventure.
Numerous waterways provide access to whitewater rafting, fishing, swimming, boating, kayaking, and waterfall hunting. You can also encounter native wildlife along your journey including bears, elk, peregrine falcons, and thousands of different species of plants and flowers.
Smoky Mountain Shopping
Artists in the Smokies are influenced by the gorgeous scenic views, winding rivers, thunderous waterfalls, and the cultural and historical significance of the area.
Art lovers will find everything from original Cherokee and pioneer art to incredible 21st Century creations. Discover handmade works of local art along the Blue Ridge Craft Trails.
Small family farms are abundant in the Great Smoky Mountains, and you and your family can stop to purchase homegrown produce, plants, flowers, and trees.
If antiquing is more your style, the area is ideal for finding one-of-a-kind, hidden treasures.
Experience Cherokee Culture
The cultural experiences of the Smokies are one-of-a-kind. There are so many opportunities to learn about the past, as the Smokies are home to the Cherokee people. A visit to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian provides amazing insight into how the tribe lived off the lands for so many years as hunter gathers. The outdoor production of Unto These Hills tells the story of the Cherokee tribe in the years before the heartbreak of the Trail of Tears to the present day.
If you’re looking for a little bit of gambling fun, visit one of two mountain casinos, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, and Harrah’s Cherokee River Valley Casino and Hotel.
Stop by the Oconaluftee Village and pursue the many shops with local art and crafts and other interesting wares.