About 25 miles from our bed and breakfast is Cherokee, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The village itself has many souvenir shops and stores that carry Cherokee Indian pottery, baskets and beadwork; as well as other locally made gifts such as dream catchers, dolls and woodcrafts. You'll also find variety of home furnishings, hand-painted and rustic furniture, jewelry, leather goods and unique gift items available throughout Cherokee.
Cherokee Indian Reservation, where Cherokee Indians have lived for centuries, is located on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 56,000 acre Reservation is still linked to ancient customs, culture, history, and traditions.
The Museum of the Cherokee Indian takes visitors all the way back to the beginnings of human existence here in these glorious, storied mountains of western North Carolina. The museum provides an educational and interactive experience where concise, chronological stories retrace the 11,000 year documented history of the Cherokees. This is a Museum in which the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians present themselves and their history according to their own firsthand point of view. It uses modern technology, computer-generated imagery, and special effects to present some of the oldest technologies in existence, as embodied by the most extensive collection of Cherokee artifacts anywhere.
Harrah's Casino The biggest attraction in town is the huge Harrah's Cherokee Casino with 24-hour action. It features live tables, video gaming machines with plenty of slots and video poker and blackjack, great restaurants, live entertainment and shopping. The casino is owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and operated by Harrah's Entertainment.
Oconaluftee Indian Village is an authentic replica of an 18th century Cherokee community. Cherokee guides explain the history, culture and life-style of their ancestors. Watch Cherokee craftsmen demonstrate their skill in making arrowheads, baskets, blowguns, beaded belts, ceremonial masks, dugout canoes, pottery, and wood cravings. You'll also enjoy the replica of a 7-sided Council House and typical Cherokee homes as they were 250 years ago. Adjacent to the Village is the mile-long Nature Trail that provides visitors the opportunity to walk through the woods and see a variety of trees, plants and flowers indigenous to the western North Carolina area. Open May – October.
One of the most compelling outdoor dramas, Unto These Hills, tells the tragic story of how the Cherokee ancestors were forcefully driven out of the Great Smoky Mountains and marched 1,200 miles to Oklahoma. You will never forget how Tsali gave his life as sacrifice, so that a handful of his people could remain on the land of their heritage. June – August.
Visitors who come to Cherokee and the Qualla Boundary in search of authentic Cherokee art and crafts can find top-quality handmade work at the Qualla Arts and Crafts Co-op gallery and shop. Baskets, pottery, woodcarving, bead work, jewelry, masks, dolls and other items of Cherokee traditional art are for sale, and photos of the artists at work are displayed in the exhibit room.The non-profit co-op provides a place for Cherokee artists and craftspeople to market their creations. In so doing, it also encourages the preservation of the many craft traditions and promotes the quality of Cherokee traditional work. The co-op has become a place of education as well, with members conducting workshops for other Cherokee artists.
As the beautiful Oconaluftee River winds through downtown Cherokee, it creates two small islands accessible by footbridges. Oconaluftee Islands Park is a lovely place to relax, take a leisurely stroll, listen to our talking trees, or enjoy a picnic lunch. There are plenty of benches, picnic tables, grills and covered shelters for your convenience.
After a day of exploring Cherokee and Harrah's Casino, return to our nearby bed and breakfast for a peaceful night's rest.