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Cherokee: A Vibrant Native Culture Preserved and Celebrated

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Western North Carolina have a rich history and a strong heritage that is being shared with younger generations. The centuries between the first European contact and the present day have been filled with tragedy and triumph as the cultures of the Cherokee and the white explorers and settlers clashed time and again. It is a history of a proud, intelligent, and highly spiritual people with democratic values, a deep respect for the land, and a strong belief in balance in all aspects of life. The Cherokee of North Carolina have built a vibrant and successful tribal community in the Blue Ridge Mountains—where visitors are always welcomed! Explore our website and learn more about Cherokee crafts, Cherokee history and Cherokee heritage

The town of Cherokee on the Qualla Boundary can be accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway, I-40 West, or Highway 74. 

Blue Ridge Craft Trails Sites  

Bearmeat’s Indian Den showcases the work of more than 300 artists, most of whom are Cherokee. Find anything from intricate carving to beadwork to pottery to herbal medicines.

At Traditional Hands General Grant carries on the Native American tradition of wampum jewelry. This purple shell was once currency for many tribes on the Eastern seaboard. He’s also a master silversmith and jeweler.

Medicine Man Crafts has offered an impressive selection of authentic Cherokee work for more than 50 years. Find an incredible selection of baskets, masks, pottery, and books on Cherokee culture and history.

Unique Gift Outlet offers pottery, woodwork, beadwork, and more from Cherokee artists and Native American artists from across the country.

At Cherokee Baskets and Vessels, three generations of Cherokee artists produce pottery, basketry, jewelry, clothing, and more. Don’t miss the waterfall where the material for traditional baskets is soaked!

Native American Craft Shop features a variety of Cherokee-made handicrafts along with items from native American artists from across the country.

Saunooke’s Mill produces its own lines of ground corn products with a repurposed mill found in the Western North Carolina mountains. Visitors can also find a selection of authentic Cherokee craft.  

Qualla Creations offers modern product lines inspired by traditional Cherokee imagery, symbolism, and lore.

The Cherokee Indian Fair has taken place for more than a century. It brings together the entire community and welcomes members of other Native American tribes from across the country. Enjoy crafts, community, and traditional Cherokee stickball. Mark your calendar for this early October festival!

Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual: the nation’s oldest and foremost Native American cooperative showcases some of the best work from Cherokee artists of the past and present.

At Oconaluftee Indian Village step inside the world of an 18th-century Cherokee village and see a dugout canoe under construction, pottery and baskets being crafted, and a blow gun demonstrated.  

The Musuem of the Cherokee Indian offers extensive exhibit of artifacts and photos enhanced with computer-generated holograms and other imagery, sound, and special effects that traces the story of the Cherokee from the earliest inhabitants of the area 11,000 years ago to the present.

Mountain Farm Museum in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, preserves one of the finest collections of historic log structures in the National Park system. The 19th century buildings were relocated from mountain coves to re-create a typical farm of the era.

Natural Attractions:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Trout Fishing

Oconaluftee Island Park

Cherokee Culture:

Indian Storytelling at the Bonfire (Seasonal Activity)

Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama

Other Attractions:

Indigenously owned and locally crafted beer by 7 Clans Brewing can be enjoyed at Frog Level Brewing in nearby Waynesville.

Yogi in the Smokies Campground

Harrah’s Resort, Casino & Event Center

Find out more about the area and its offerings through Visit Cherokee NC and the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce.

Qualla Creations

Qualla Creations creates modern gifts with Cherokee inspiration. Opened in 2019, the retail space seeks...

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The Regions of the Blue Ridge

In planning the best use of your NC mountains vacation days, know that the region can be divided into three sub-regions for ease of exploration:

Far West

  • Cherokee
  • The Nantahala Gorge
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Central

  • Asheville
  • Hendersonville
  • Chimney Rock State Park
  • The waterfalls of Transylvania County
  • Many more highlights

High Country

  • Grandfather Mountain
  • Linville Falls
  • Boone
  • Blowing Rock
  • High northern mountains

Foothills

  • Mt. Airy
  • Lenoir
  • Elkin