When traveling to the Smoky Mountains few places are as captivating and enriched in heritage as Cherokee North Carolina. The Cherokee Indians were the first to be attracted to the "Land of the Blue Smoke" with it's fresh flowing streams and clear blue sky. Many people from around the world visit here to find insight into Cherokee culture and take a trip back to days earlier in our nations history. If you're looking for excitement and education there are plenty of Cherokee North Carolina Things To Do.
One major attraction to Cherokee is the Oconaluftee Indian Village. Set in the year 1760, the Village allows visitors to "step back" into a period of rapid cultural changes and experiences of the Cherokee people. Open daily from 9am to 5pm, May 1 to October 22, visitors can experience traditional medicine, witness daily tasks such as basket weaving and beadwork, and are encouraged to participate in the daily activities. The village also hosts live reenactments and interactive demonstrations.
If you're visiting the area in the summer months between June and August, you can witness The Outdoor Drama of the Cherokee "Unto These Hills...a retelling." This beautifully scripted pageantry is one of the longest running outdoor dramas in the U.S. Tracing the Cherokee people through the ages from the height of their power to what they have become today, audiences marvel at the dedication of each member of the ensemble in their recount and rendition of each performance.
Experience the history of Cherokee in the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. This 11,000 year old culture can be witnessed through priceless ancient artifacts, computer generated imagery, artwork, life-sized figures and more. If you're visiting with a group, contact the staff for the "Cherokee Experiences" featuring language courses, workshops and performances by the Warriors of AniKituhwa.
Another new aspect of Cherokee North Carolina are their painted bears strategically placed throughout the streets of Cherokee. In an effort to highlight Tribal artists, Several Eastern Band of Cherokee artists have created a series of large, life-like fiberglass bears and painted them in bright vibrant colors and designs. There are currently 19 bears completed and an overall count of 25 bears commissioned. Each is a work of art and the response has been outstanding.
Adventurous travelers can visit the Cherokee Bear Zoo & Exotic Animals, open from the beginning of March until the end of December. Here a visitor can see up close the Smoky Mountains Black Bear and the powerful Grizzly. They also have an assortment of exotic animals like tigers and monkeys. During certain times of the year wild baby animals fill the area. Also on-site is mini golf, a gift shop and ice cream shop.
Regardless of what your interests are, our staff at "Stay And Play In The Smokies" has the knowledge and experience to plan your next vacation to fit all your specific wants and needs. Let us find out what matters most to you on your trips and allow us to use our native knowledge of the Great Smoky Mountains to your advantage. After a trip planned by "Stay And Play In The Smokies" you might never want to plan another event by yourself ever again.