DescriptionForget about present-day Cherokee for a minute and imagine a time machine magically transporting you back approximately 11,000 years. You would be sharpening a primitive hunting tool and setting out in search of dinner, concocting natural remedies for ailments and coexisting peacefully with your neighbors. Much later, you might be marching alongside some 16,000 victims of broken promises, bidding farewell to your homeland and embarking on a painful trek along the Trail of Tears. Or maybe you were one of the fortunate few able to reclaim prized land and build a new community protected from takeover.
This story of hardship vanquished through perseverance resonates throughout the chartered Qualla Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The town of Cherokee is the center of this 56,000-acre region. The southern entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway are both nearby, drawing outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs with plenty of recreational opportunities and events that focus on Native American culture.
Cherokee craftsmanship is on display at Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual , 645 Tsali Blvd. Embark on a kayaking, tubing, hiking, biking, camping or bird-watching adventure. Enjoy the sounds of banjos, fiddles and guitars in the Smoky Mountains at the Cherokee Bluegrass Festival in mid-June. Treat the kids to a day filled with fishing, hands-on exhibits, food and music at the Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby, held in August. The annual Cherokee Indian Fair in October features a parade, fireworks, live entertainment and authentic food and crafts.
Visitor InfoCherokee Welcome Center 498 Tsali Blvd. CHEROKEE, NC 28719. Phone:(828)497-9195 or (800)438-1601
Things to SeeCherokee Marker
Oconaluftee Visitor Centersee Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
GAMBLING ESTABLISHMENTSHarrah's Cherokee Casino
Horseback RidingSmokemont Riding Stable