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Best things to do in Cherokee

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Where in the world: USA  /  North Carolina  /  North Carolina Mountains  /  Cherokee

Top 15 things to do in Cherokee

1. Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee

Try your luck at a game of black jack, video poker, roulette, or bingo at Casino at Harrah’s Cherokee while enjoying your complimentary non-alcoholic drink. Occupying the site of a former theme park, the casino is an enterprise of the Eastern Cherokee Indians and one of the two casinos in North Carolina. Since the state restricts the types of gambling, all the games at the casino require some sort of skill. A poker room with 20 tables is reserved for non-smokers.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Immerse yourself in thousands of years of Cherokee history at Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Your self-guided tour begins in the Story Lodge, where computer animations retell ancient myths. The galleries that follow track the Cherokee from the Paleolithic period to modern day. You can explore digital exhibits and admire lifelike wax models. Artifacts, textiles, and art are displayed throughout the galleries. If you will be in the area for a few days, consider signing up for one of the many classes in Cherokee craftsmanship, language, or culture.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Museum of the Cherokee Indian

3. Mountain Farm Museum

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. White Water Rafting Experience on the Upper Pigeon River

FROM $43
The Pigeon River gorge cuts east to west across the Smoky Mountains from North Carolina and into Tennessee. As one of the most popular rafting trips in America, the Upper Section of the Pigeon River offers guests with the best introduction to whitewater anywhere.
Suggested duration: 1h 30min
Tours from $43 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Mingo Falls

Just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, discover Mingo Falls. The 36.5 m (120 ft) waterfall is one of the tallest falls in the southern Appalachians. Take a short hike along Pigeon Creek Trail to view the falls. The hike is only 0.65 km (0.4 mi) but includes many steep steps, making it a bit of a challenging climb. At the top of the stairs, you'll see and feel the mist of the powerful falls. There are no facilities other than parking here, but you'll find services in the town of Cherokee just a few miles south.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. River Rafting & Tubing, Bryson City

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. River Rafting & Tubing, Hartford

Splash down the crystal waters of the Pigeon River, one of the most popular whitewater rivers on the east coast, on a rafting or tubing trip from Hartford. For a fun and thrilling ride, opt for a rafting trip on the Upper Pigeon and you'll get to paddle alongside your experienced guide navigating Class III and IV whitewater rapids. A scenic float trip on the Lower Pigeon, with the beautiful Smoky Mountains as your backdrop, allows families with younger children, non-swimmers, and rafting beginners to enjoy outdoors, without getting too excited or soaking wet. Either way, your entertaining guide will keep you safe throughout this entire 2-hour journey.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $37 › Learn more about River Rafting & Tubing

8. Upper Pigeon River Whitewater Rafting Trip

FROM $52
UPPER SECTION (Pigeon River) The Big Pigeon River boasts twelve class III and three class IV whitewater thrilling rapids! Accompanied by one of Rafting in the Smokies professional river guides, you'll be escorted down five miles of lively whitewater, rafting through class III & IV rapids such as "Too Late, Vegamatic, Razor Blade, After Shave, and Lost Guide."
Suggested duration: 1h 30min
Tours from $52 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Oconaluftee Islands Park

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Horseback Riding Tours

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

At an elevation of 2,025 m (6,643 ft or 1.25 mi), Clingmans Dome is both the tallest mountain of the Great Smokies and the highest point along the Appalachian Trail. Park your car near the summit and embark on 0.8 km (0.5 mi) walk to the observation tower atop the mountain. Note that while the trail is short and paved, it is very steep. Benches along the way provide a place to rest and catch your breath. The tower's observation platform provides panoramic views of the surrounding area, and handy signs help you identify points of interest. Bring a jacket with you; cold temperatures and rain are common here.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $15 › Learn more about Clingmans Dome

12. The Best Whitewater Rafting

FROM $46
Raft the Upper Pigeon River in Tennessee on this exciting 2-hour guided trip through the beautiful Smoky Mountains. A perfect trip for groups, families, and couples with no experience or wanting to add to their white water rafting stories! Expect to get soaking wet and have lots of fun! Our guides pride themselves on our safety training and record as well as their ability to entertain you with our stories and humor while navigating you through class III and class IV rapids. Experience what rafting is about with the most popular white water river on the east coast, with the Great Smoky Mountains as our backdrop. YOU NEED TO BE HERE A HALF HOUR BEFORE YOUR TRIP TO CHECK IN AND ALLOW AN HOUR COMING FROM THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN AREA
Suggested duration: 2h
Tours from $46 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Zipline, Hartford

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $43 › Learn more about Zipline

14. Oconaluftee Indian Village

Oconaluftee Indian Village showcases the history of the Cherokee people and the impact that European settlers had on custom and culture. Surrounded by tall oaks and sycamores, this 1760s style living-history village is accessible through snaking paths. You can tour the dwellings, sacred areas, and work sites. Be prepared to encounter townspeople and craftspeople who have stories to tell. You'll learn about traditional medicine-making and interact with craftspeople as they hull canoes. Witness the village prepare for war, and see a blowgun demonstration. You'll have the opportunity to observe cultural dances and talk with the townspeople as they make pottery and masks, do beadwork, and weave baskets.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Learn more about Oconaluftee Indian Village

15. Upper Pigeon Rafting Adventure

FROM $47
Looking for a unique, guided Whitewater Rafting expedition? We are a premium outfitter that caters every adventure to what our guests want to experience! Come raft with us on the Pigeon River - #1 Whitewater Rafting destination in the United States. Our Upper Pigeon expedition features five miles of scenic river with rapids ranging from class III to IV and refreshing swimming holes to enjoy along the way. Surrounded by the beauty and grandeur of the Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains, the Upper Pigeon River combines racing rapids with natural beauty to bring you the excitement of rafting in the Smoky Mountains.
Suggested duration: 2h
Tours from $47 › More about this tour at viator.com ›