Area Attractions


Things To Do In The North Carolina Smokies

Vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and you’ll never run short of great things to do. In addition to the National Parks and our many outdoor activities, you’ll love our family attractions, including a scenic railroad, gem mines, museums and entertainment.

Cherokee is the perfect great home base for your Smoky Mountain vacation. It’s only one hour through the National Park to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, or one hour East to Asheville and the Biltmore House and Garden.


  • Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours

    Fly through the trees above the forest floor and across 20 acres on 11 zip line sections that zigzag from slope sides, trees and elevated platforms. In your 3-hour glide and slide experience, you'll also use three sky bridges and five transfer bridges. State-of-the-art equpment is provided including a helmet, full body harness, trolley, gloves and a tether safety line. Professional Canopy Rangers are on hand all along the way. Open all year as weather permits.
  • Museum of the Cherokee Indian

    Open since 1948, the museum tells the story of the Cherokee people using high-tech wizardry along with an extensive artifact collection. The museum is fun for the entire family and an exciting, educational event. Open daily at 9 am except closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission prices for adults $12 and children $7 (ages 6-12), with children 5 and under free. Group rates are available, as well as discounts for AARP or AAA members
  • UltraStar Multi-tainment Center

    Twenty-four lanes, including eight VIP lanes available for group events and parties. The center will provide a family-friendly bowling experience with on-lane dining and multiple bowling themes for all ages and levels of bowlers. Our restaurant will offer delicious gourmet food at great prices, served in a casual atmosphere. This full service, sit-down restaurant will provide a variety of performances from local acts to great tribute bands as well as headliners, there's something for everyone! Family members of all ages will enjoy UltraStar Game Center, a large arcade area featuring the newest and hottest video and redemption games. A seamless system for points earned will be stored on redemption cards which can be redeemed in the redemption store. Our second level will offer a sophisticated escape from the normal bowling fare. This exclusive walk-up bar is reserved for only those taking part in the 21 and over VIP bowling experience. Upstairs guests will find billiards, along with sunset patio-dining offering decadent food paired with exquisite craft cocktails and local brews. Diners can sit back and enjoy their meal while appreciating the incredible mountain views. The second level private party room is also available for special events.
  • Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

    Travel along cool rushing rivers, cross over a man-made lake on a high trestle and through lush green valleys and rolling farmland. Offering a variety of rail excursions including the Nantahala Gorge & Tuckasegee River. Smoky Mountain Trains Museum admission included with most train tickets. All trains depart Bryson City. Special Events include: Peanuts Valentine Express, Easter Beagle, Dinosaur Train, Peanuts Pumpkin Patch & Polar Express. Call 800-872-4681 to reserve tickets or visit at
  • Wildwater Ltd. Rafting

    The original professional outfitter in the southeast since 1971. Family owned and operated by three generations. Trips on the Nantahala, Big Pigeon, Ocoee, Chattooga and Cheoah Rivers, suitable for ages 4- 94. Adventure locations within 20 minutes to 2 hours from Cherokee. Fully guided river trips. Rental Rafts and Inflatable Kayaks. Price includes all required gear (no hidden equipment fees), hot showers, changing rooms, complementary beverages. Combo adventures with Jeep, Zipline, or Scenic Train Excursions. Choose quality, choose Wildwater.
  • Smoky Mountain Gold & Ruby Mine

    Pan for gold and precious gems including rubies, amethysts, emeralds, sapphires, garnets and topaz. All equipment is furnished, and we have free gemstone identification. Expert gem cutting and mountain are available. Have your precious stone set in a ring or pendant. Fun for the entire family. We even have special buckets for the kids. Mine with us, you could strike it rich.
  • Santa’s Land

    One admission price covers all rides, zoo and entertainment. Over 60 things to see and do. Ride the Rudicoaster, Santa's favorite ride. Paddle the lake and feed Santa's fish, ducks and monkeys. Enjoy the Magic Show in the Jingle Bell Theatre. Watch the baby bears being fed. Bring your picnic. Visit with Santa and his elves. There's something for everyone.
  • The Factory

    Located in scenic Franklin, North Carolina, The Factory is Western North Carolina's award-winning destination for family friendly entertainment - with 100+ arcade games, mini-golf, go-karts, laser tag, carousel, party rooms, and more. Plus, there's even an area just for the little kids. Don't miss the all new Jump Factory trampoline park with dodgeball, basketball, and foam pit. Refuel at the Pizza Factory & Grill serving pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, twist fries, milkshakes, & more.
  • Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort

    An enterprise of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort is located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. The Casino has 150,000 square feet of gaming space featuring over 130 traditional table games such as black jack, roulette and craps, as well as 3,700 slot games. The property also features over 1,100 hotel rooms, the Le Fu Men gaming area, 10 restaurants, the ESSENCE Lounge, the luxurious 18,000 square feet Mandara Spa and seven retail shops. In addition to the 56-acre property, guests have privileged access to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation-owned Sequoyah National Golf Club, named one of Golf Magazine's best new golf courses.
  • Unto These Hills Drama

    "Unto These Hills" outdoor drama. June through mid-August. General Admission: Adults $18.00 - $22.00; Children (6 years old - 12 years old) $8.00 - $12.00; Children (5 and under) free. Family Pack: 2 free tickets for children ages 6-12 with the purchase of 1 adult ticket. Family pack is only available Monday through Wednesday. Reserved: Adults $22.00; Children (ages 12 and under) $10.00.
  • Cherokee Helicopters

    Want to try something out of this world? Fly with Cherokee Helicopters and see the beauty of this wonderful area from above. Every flight takes off over Thomas Peak where you will enjoy views of mountains in all directions. Flights start as low as $15.00 per person with eight different flights including a trip to the top of Clingmans Dome the second highest peak in the eastern US. Call 828-497-5797 for reservations or just stop by.
  • NOC Mountaintop Zip Line Tour

    Soar to new heights on NOC's newest adventure - NOC Mountaintop Zip Line Tour. This premier three-hour tour includes over two miles of zip lines above the treetops and 360 degree views of the Nantahala Gorge and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Featuring a half-mile megazip 350' above the ground, this tour is unique to any other in the area. NOC's adventure resort also hosts the Zip Line Adventure Park, Nantahala whitewater rafting, mountain biking and more.
  • Cherokee Bear Zoo

    In addition to the Smoky Mountains Black Bear, you will observe many different exotic animals like tigers and monkeys. We also have grizzlies, and during certain times of the year, baby wild animals. At the Petting Zoo children actually hand feed some of our animals like the baby goats. Mini Golf, Gift Shop and Ice Cream Shop. Open year round weather permitting. $6 per person. Tour packages available. Opens at 10am daily