Local Area Attractions Near Cherokee / Great Smokies KOA Holiday
Call ahead and make your reservations early so you can enjoy some of the great activities that the Cherokee area has to offer.
Our Tours Office can help with information concerning the attractions in the area and if you are staying on the campground we will shuttle you to many of them.
**Tours Office and Shuttle ONLY AVAILABLE Between Memorial Day and Labor Day**
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is America's most visited National Park unit and is known as “America's favorite drive.” Its 469 miles connect the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Along the way, the Blue Ridge Parkway offers stunning views of the Blue Ridge mountains, forests, and pastoral landscapes, with abundant hiking trails, picnic areas, campgrounds, and interpretive signage.
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
A ride on the magnificent Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is perhaps the most relaxing way to take in the local scenery. In the wintertime, choose the Polar Express ride, where your kids can hitch a ride with Santa. Other themed rides include ones with the Wizard of Oz and the Peanuts gang.
Visit Cherokee's newly renovated downtown district to enjoy Native American art and craftwork and shop local artisans.Live band every Saturday in summer. Free shuttle offered between Cherokee KOA and downtown Cherokee. Check at front desk for details.
Museum of the Cherokee Indian
At the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, you can experience the Cherokee Nation's rich history of over 13,000 years and learn about their resilience, inventive spirit and will to survive. You and your family are sure to enjoy the museum's many interactive videos and fascinating displays.If you're coming with a larger party, ask about group packages, which include experiences like Cherokee language courses and performances by the Warriors of Anikituhwa. The museum's exhibits are also fully handicapped-accessible, including its new education and research wing and restrooms. The museum's store stocks a wide variety of crafts, clothing and books, including educational coloring books for kids.
"Unto These Hills" Outdoor Drama
One of Cherokee's most popular attractions, “Unto These Hills” is an outdoor drama that tells the history of the Cherokee people from 1780 up to the 21st century. Since its debut in 1950, this production has welcomed more than 6 million visitors. Shows are performed outside at the Mountainside Theatre every night of the week except Sunday from June to August. “Unto These Hills” will teach you about the courage and beauty of the Cherokee people through its action, drama and gorgeous imagery.
Oconaluftee Indian Village
When you're in the Oconaluftee Indian Village, you'll realize that Cherokee culture is alive and well. Upon entering the village, you'll immediately be transported back to the 1760s. Enjoy the aroma of wood smoke as you go on an interactive tour led by a Cherokee cultural expert, who will show you traditional Cherokee dwellings, sacred ritual sites and work areas. You can also interact with villagers while they sculpt pottery, hull canoes, fashion beadwork and weave baskets. You can even learn about how a village prepares for war or attend a blowgun demonstration.
Santa's Land Fun Park and Zoo
The beloved Santa's Land is a theme park that will let you and your family enjoy the best of Christmas whether it's the holiday season or not. It boasts a zoo with exotic animals such as bears and lemurs, exciting rides, gift shops, games and, of course, Saint Nicholas himself. Don't miss a ride on the Rudicoaster!
Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort
Unlike any casino you'd find in Las Vegas, Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort is surrounded by beautiful, green mountains. This resort is massive, with more than 1,000 guest rooms and a wide selection of facilities.In addition to enjoying the popular gaming machines and tables in the casino, you can also treat yourself to a refreshing spa session, work out in the on-site gym or just kick back by the resort's indoor or outdoor pools. If you're a lover of live music, you can attend one of the resort's concerts, where big-name musicians regularly perform.
Cherokee Tribal Bingo
Come on out and try your luck at Cherokee Tribal Bingo. An Enterprise of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Tribal Bingo takes place Wednesday - Sunday.
Highway 19 North
91 Bingo Loop Road
Cherokee, NC 28719
Dollywood Amusement Park and Splash Country
For a variety of amusement park rides and attractions Dollywood is only an hour away from Cherokee KOA. Thrilling roller coasters, daring water excursions, family rides and kiddie rides all available at Dollywood. A separate water park offers family fun.
2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd.
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Take a beautiful drive through the Smokies and visit Pigeon Forge for a day trip. Enjoy shopping at the outlets, fun at Dollywood or Splash Mountain and more at your fingertips in Pigeon Forge.
Cades Cove is an isolated valley located in the Tennessee section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. The valley was home to numerous settlers before the formation of the national park and usually can view some wild life.
Smoky Mountain Opry
For some of the best live entertainment, makes plans to visit the Smoky Mountain Opry! The Smoky Mountain Opry is the largest musical variety show in the area. Sit back, relax, and watch a talented cast of singers, dancers, comedians and musicians, along with incredible special effects, laser lights, pyro, dazzling costumes and more! It's guaranteed to be a performance you'll never forget.
Gatlinburg Space Needle
The Gatlinburg Space Needle is a 407' observation tower that overlooks beautiful Gatlinburg and the surrounding Smoky Mountains. Our tower is served by two elevators with a capacity of 20 persons each. Ride our safe and comfortable glass elevators over 400' to our observation deck for a 360° view of the Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg.
Smoky Mountain Rafting
Whitewater Rafting offering the longest trips in the area priding themselves on having knowledgeable, fun, experienced guides that are focused on making your trip down the river the best it can be. With two parts of the river offering both mild and wild rides or a combination of both for a fun filled day.
The picturesque Soco Falls is another dramatic spectacle in the area. To get here, drive east on US Route 19 toward Maggie Valley. After 11 miles, the falls will be on your right. You'll see a small, unmarked pullout, and a short walk will lead you to a viewing platform for the falls. If you're coming from Maggie Valley, it'll be 1.5 miles past the Blue Ridge Parkway on your left.
This beautiful hidden treasure is arguably the region's most stunning waterfall. It's located about 10 to 15 minutes from Cherokee. Towering 200 feet above the base, these falls make for a breathtaking photo backdrop. Although the parking lot is not far away and the path to the falls is not long, the hike can be slightly challenging, with about 150 steps to climb. Fortunately, the view makes it all worth it!
Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine
At the Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine, you and your family can follow in the footsteps of pioneer gold miners by panning for gold or gemstones. You'll be supplied with everything you need to find your own gemstones, and once you've found some precious stones, you can have them identified and polished on-site. You can also have them set into charming jewelry items to bring back home.This activity is especially refreshing on a hot summer day, as you're sure to get wet!
Mountain Farm Museum
At the Mountain Farm Museum, you can see an assortment of old farm structures that were taken from all over the Smoky Mountains to be preserved on one site. These structures include a smokehouse, a spring house, an apple house and a barn. You're welcome to explore and walk through all of them and get a feeling of how things were a century ago.You can also learn about the agricultural practices of the day, such as caring for livestock and gardening. The Oconaluftee River Trail also starts here and follows the river for a mile and a half to Cherokee.
At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the park — and in the entire state of Tennessee. If you're visiting between April and November, you can take the scenic access point from Newfound Gap and then walk a short distance to the summit. The peak includes a futuristic observation tower that offers stunning views. As Clingmans Dome is popular, we recommend that you beat the crowds by leaving early in the day. If you're coming during the winter and would like some guaranteed solitude, you can access the summit by cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual, Inc.
Founded in 1946, Qualla Arts and Crafts has the distinction of being the oldest Native American Cooperative. It promotes and preserves the traditional arts of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, showcasing works of more than 250 members. It offers a wide selection of pottery, baskets, beadwork, wood carvings and much more.
Smokemont Riding Stables
If you're a horseback riding enthusiast, you can't miss the Smokemont Riding Stables, which offer a wide selection of horseback trail rides within Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The horses here are well-trained and suit any level of riding ability — even beginners can get saddled up and start riding in no time.The majority of these trails lead riders through gorgeous scenery along the Oconaluftee River and are two to four hours long. Children must be at least five years old to ride, but if you have kids who are younger, you can still take them on a relaxing wagon ride.
Sequoyah National Golf Club
Located just three miles outside of Cherokee, this par-72 championship golf course measures 6,600 yards and features beautiful bent grass greens and bluegrass fairways. The course offers stunning views of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and provides excellent playing conditions throughout the year. In addition to its 18 holes, the Sequoyah National Golf Club also offers an expansive practice area that includes putting greens, a driving range and a chipping area. Their golf shop sells a wide variety of golf apparel for men and women.When you're not golfing, you can sit back and enjoy a delicious lunch or refreshing beverage on the outdoor deck, which offers stunning panoramic views of the Smokies.
Cherokee boasts 30 miles of streams, which is arguably the Eastern U.S.'s largest stretch of managed private fishery. What's more, the streams are teeming with trout, including rainbow, golden brook and brown. The area has more than 40 stores and shops that offer authorized fishing permits and an increasing number of tackle shops that supply flies, bait and tackle for both experts and novices.
Zipline Across The Nantahala Gorge
You can take an exhilarating zipline trip over the Nantahala Gorge by signing up with the Nantahala Outdoor Center. You'll experience 360-degree views of the valleys below, meaning that this adventure is not for the faint at heart. There are eight sky bridges and 12 different ziplines total, so your entire family can spend the day flying through the trees.