Plan a Trip to Cherokee, NC

Plan a Trip to Cherokee, NC

Planning a trip to Cherokee, North Carolina, is easy when you have access to the best visitor information. Whether you travel with friends or family, it is the perfect location to create lasting memories in the great outdoors. From a serene morning hike to an evening campfire and all of the adventures in between, Cherokee offers plenty of fun for campers. To help you plan your next trip, we created an itinerary full of exciting possibilities. 

Is Cherokee, North Carolina, Worth Visiting?

Cherokee, North Carolina, is a magnificent destination nestled in the breathtaking Great Smoky Mountains. This wondrous location is worth visiting for the views alone, but it also features exciting attractions and thrilling outdoor adventures for a memorable experience. When you visit Cherokee, you can fill your itinerary with hikes, local food, outdoor activities, cultural experiences, relaxing moments and campfire gatherings. 

Enjoy a Fun Morning Hike

Start your day in Cherokee by welcoming the sunrise on a beautiful morning hike. Exploring Cherokee's trails is an opportunity to take in stunning views, breathe in the fresh mountain air, get some excellent exercise and immerse yourself in nature. Experience the great outdoors on some of the area's most magnificent hiking trails, and see where the morning takes you.

Try a Delicious Local Lunch

Hiking can build your appetite for some of Cherokee's excellent lunch spots. Sassy Sunflowers Bakery and Cafe serves delicious sandwiches, salads and homemade soups. They also bake sweet treats such as cupcakes and cookies, so you can indulge in a delightful dessert after lunch.

If you enjoy home-cooked country cuisine, you can have lunch at Granny's Kitchen. This family-owned buffet serves tasty comfort foods such as fried chicken, country-style steak, roast beef and chicken and dumplings. You can also enjoy lunch at Wize Guyz Grille, a local favorite that serves pizza, wings, burgers, specialty sandwiches and pasta dishes. 

Embark on an Afternoon Adventure

After a peaceful morning hike and a delicious lunch, you should have plenty of energy for an exciting adventure. Whether you enjoy simple and fun activities or more exhilarating experiences, you will surely have a blast in Cherokee. You can spend your afternoon embarking on any of the following adventures:

Horseback Riding

Explore Cherokee's gorgeous landscape and trails on horseback for a unique experience. Horseback riding is a fantastic opportunity to connect with animals and nature. When you go horseback riding in Cherokee, you can trust an adorable four-legged companion to take you on a memorable outing through breathtaking forests full of mountain scenery. 


You can also hit the trails on two wheels if speed is more your style. The Smoky Mountains welcome bicycles on the following trails:

  • Gatlinburg Trail
  • Lower Deep Creek Trail
  • Select trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Oconaluftee River Trail

For an even more thrilling experience, you can ride mountain bike trails at Tsali Trails and Fire Mountain Trails. Feel the wind in your hair as you pedal your way past incredible views and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

Water Thrills

Cherokee's waters are also full of thrills. Whether you are an experienced thrill-seeker or want to try whitewater rafting for the first time, the Nantahala River provides a memorable experience. Take a guided whitewater rafting trip to travel along exciting twists, dips and turns. For a more relaxing excursion, you can kayak, canoe, raft or water tube on a fun float down the river.  


Visiting a museum is an exciting way to experience and learn more about Cherokee culture. You can experience 13,000 years of the area's history at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. This museum's fascinating collection features priceless artifacts, stunning artwork, special effects, life-sized figures and computer-generated animation to transport visitors into Cherokee's past.

Visit the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to ride the rails or explore an incredible model train collection. The railroad offers various excursions with gorgeous views and old-fashioned fun. You can also visit the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum to marvel at over 7,000 model train engines, accessories and cars arranged in an exciting operating layout.

Immersive Cultural Experiences

You can also learn about Cherokee culture at Oconaluftee Indian Village, an immersive and interactive living museum. Dive into Cherokee history and lifestyle as a Cherokee cultural expert guides through traditional work areas, dwellings and ritual sites. 

As you explore, you can interact with villagers to witness individuals craft pottery, beadwork, canoes, baskets and masks. Oconaluftee Indian Village also presents cultural dances and war preparation demonstrations, so you can fully immerse yourself in Cherokee's past and present culture. 

Camping Activities

You can enjoy memorable adventures without leaving the campground when you stay at Kampgrounds of America. You and your family or friends can enjoy the following recreational activities at Cherokee/Great Smokies KOA Holiday:

  • Swim in a refreshing outdoor pool
  • Relax in a soothing hot tub
  • Watch a movie under the stars
  • Fish in the Raven Fork River that flows along the campground
  • Tie-dye a shirt to take home
  • Take your kids to the campground's playground or the Big Bouncer jumping pillow 
  • Meet other campers during KOA Campfire Time
  • Enjoy special activities during themed weekends

Indulge in a Relaxing Spa Treatment

If you have time after your afternoon adventure, visit the Indigenous Boutique and Spa for a tranquil experience. Wind down for the day with a delightful massage, facial or beauty treatment. A spa visit is a pleasant way to unwind after a day of hiking, biking, exploring or rafting. 

Gather Around a Cozy Campfire at Night

Gather around a cozy campfire with friends or family after an adventure-filled day. You can cook dinner or s'mores over the crackling flames while sharing stories and laughter with your loved ones. Take in the sounds of the forest and enjoy being surrounded by the great outdoors.

Camp at KOA to Experience the Best of Cherokee

When you camp in Cherokee, you can start your day by welcoming the sunrise on a beautiful hike and end it around a glowing campfire. Plan some adventures and delicious meals in between, and you will surely have a grand time during your stay.

Cherokee/Great Smokies KOA Holiday offers plenty of fun recreational campground activities as well as nearby attractions, delicious local lunch spots and exciting outdoor excursions. When you camp at KOA, you can fill your itinerary with fun and relaxing activities while enjoying all of the convenient amenities KOA has to offer. Book a stay at KOA to start planning a delightful trip to Cherokee, North Carolina.

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