Skip to Main Content

About the Cherokee Area

Home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee

Cherokee exists as a crossroads of regional and Native American history at the eastern entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park  (where you’ll find the Oconaluftee Visitor Center) and the southern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is an excellent stop for learning more about tribal history and culture; the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual across the street offers a wide variety of Cherokee crafts for viewing and purchase. Oconaluftee Indian Village is a full-scale reproduction of a Cherokee village in the late 18th century – with performers, interpretive exhibits and interactive displays, including special programs for children. And Unto These Hills is an outdoor drama performed almost nightly that portrays the Cherokee story.

Beyond these popular attractions, many events and festivals also take place in Cherokee from the award-winning Festival of Native Peoples, powwows and bonfires to fishing tournaments, sports events, and carnivals.

Stories from Cherokee

November 11, 2021
There are many places in the Blue Ridge region where you can snag a prime fishing spot if you know where to look and what regulations to follow.
February 24, 2021
A drive along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway is literally a trip through time. But there’s lots more history and heritage to experience along the Parkway beside the route itself. But there’s lots more history and heritage to experience along the Parkway beside the route itself.
October 16, 2018
The Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounding mountain communities in both Virginia and North Carolina have a long and storied history as an arts and culture destination. Traditional artisans still practice their crafts, while up and coming artists forge ahead in new techniques and cutting edge creativity.
November 27, 2017
Here’s how not to start a road trip. First, at the Alamo rental car counter at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport just over the line from Washington, D.C., discover that your driver’s license is missing. Search and swear for two hours. Then find it in your left shoe. Second, when the Holiday Inn clerk asks what brings you to town, tell him you’re kicking off a big fall foliage road trip: all 105 miles of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, then all 469 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina.

Recommended Itineraries

Region: North Carolina
Duration:2 - 3 days
A two-day trip through the Pisgah District comes with unique rewards. There is a natural resource emphasis that features relic populations of plants, long vistas across rugged and remote areas, and a feel of wilderness that dominates many areas.
Region: North Carolina
Duration:2 - 3 days
Bryson City and Swain County are located just west of the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 469.1), and the Cherokee entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here’s a sample multi-day itinerary to inspire your next getaway.
Region: North Carolina
Duration:1 day
A one-day trip through the Pisgah District is a long drive that comes with unique rewards. From Mount Mitchell (Milepost 355.3) to places like Craggy Gardens (Milepost 364.3) and Devil’s Courthouse (Milepost 422.2), you'll experience long vistas across rugged and remote areas, a feel of wilderness, and amazing biodiversity.