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About Cherokee

Cherokee, North Carolina

A gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a whole host of outdoor pursuits, Cherokee thrives on tourism. That's why FlipKey has a great selection of vacation rentals here for you to choose from!

It’s the main settlement in a 56,000-acre Indian reservation and hosts one of the largest casinos in the north west of America. It’s also a fun educational experience. Why not find your perfect rental home today, and start planning a trip to this great destination?

About Cherokee, North Carolina

This was the ancestral homeland of the Cherokee Indians, until they were driven out by the US government during the infamous Trail of Tears. Cherokee became ‘white man’s’ land for a time until Will Thomas handed 56,000 acres of the 135,000 square acres of it back in the late 1800s.

The descendants of around 1000 Cherokee Indians who escaped the clearances by hiding in the nearby mountains, can once again hold the Cherokee flag high in this north-western part of North Carolina. Today, the land is held in trust and you’ll find many signposts in the Qualla Boundary area written in Cherokee.

The Cherokee Indian tribe also own the huge Harrah’s casino complex and several hotels and restaurants in the area.

Outdoor types will love the fact the town is less than half an hour’s drive away from excellent hiking, swimming and trout fishing in the Smoky Mountains.

What to do in Cherokee, North Carolina

Go back in time to the late 18th century at the interactive Oconaluftee Indian Village. There you’ll find genuine Cherokee people weaving baskets, sculpting canoes and engaging in tribal dances (such as the Green Corn or Bear numbers).

You might also be lucky enough to encounter some roaming Elk. It’s a living history lesson you won’t want to miss out on.

Visit at the end of the March and celebrate 'The Ramp'. This wild vegetable has its own annual get-together, known as the Rainbows & Ramps Festival where you can taste variations of it, along with trout and barbecue. There’s also music and a big BBQ cook-off.

There’s gold in them thar’ hills – yes, they’re talking about the Smoky Mountains. The Gold and Ruby Mines there offer visitors the chance to pan for gold and precious stones, which you can then have fashioned into bespoke jewelry. Go along for a exciting experience just like the old prospectors did!

Top travel tips for Cherokee, North Carolina

Don’t mention tipis – if you do, you’ll be talking about the wrong Indian tribe. It was only western Native Americans who lived in these. The Cherokee people lived in houses made of woven grass and mud.

The town can only be accessed via steep mountain roads, so you’ll need some kind of vehicle or bike to get there. Similarly, if you don’t have your own car you’ll need to hire a taxi to travel around the town.

It’s not necessary—and generally good manners—to tip the Indian traditional dancers and storytellers in town. Many won’t charge, but they’re happy to take donations.

Whether you fancy trying your hand at whitewater rafting, trekking through streams on a horse or trout fishing with the stunning backdrop of the Smoky Mountains, then this outdoor wilderness playground is for you. 

Find your perfect vacation rental on FlipKey, and discover more about this historical area.