There are so many things to do in NC, specifically in Western North Carolina near the Maggie Valley area, we had trouble containing them to a list of 20. Enjoy everything from the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, to visiting Cherokee and river tubing near Maggie Valley. Harrah’s Casino, Wheels Through Time Museum and visiting Maggie Mountain Valley Crafts are just a few things to do in NC during your warm-weather vacation. Check out our top 20 list and start crossing these great opportunities for adventure off your bucket list without delay.

  1. Blue Ridge Parkway – See the beauty of the mountains from the safety of one of America’s most scenic parkways that covers 469 miles. Waterrock Knob is the most popular parking area for panoramic views; it’s located near the Maggie Valley entrance to the parkway at Soco Gap.
  2. Soco Falls – This is one of the most visited natural attractions near Maggie Valley. There are two waterfalls for your viewing pleasure, located off Highway 19, just outside Maggie Valley as you head toward Cherokee.
  3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – There are dozens of things to do in the most visited national park in America. Cades Cove offers a variety of premier attractions, including historic cabins and churches.
  4. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort – Harrah’s offers a great time for adults but also for children. Within the resort, you’ll discover a huge gaming section, as well as a restaurant, spa, pool, bowling and children’s activities. It’s located within the town of Cherokee, just a short drive up Highway 19 from Maggie Valley.
  5. Maggie Valley Festival Grounds – As you’re planning your trip, be sure to see what’s happening at the Festival Grounds during your stay. Locals and visitors alike enjoy bike rallies, live music and festivals of all kinds throughout the year.
  6. Golf – Maggie Valley Golf Club offers visitors a challenging game of golf during their vacation. For those who enjoy mini golf, try Maggie Valley Carpet Golf.
  7. Antiquing – Maggie Valley and western NC have no shortage of antique shores. It’s a veritable paradise for antique lovers. Check out our list of great antique stores near Maggie Valley.
  8. River Tubing – Cherokee Rapids is one of the area’s largest tubing outfitters and is located on the Oconaluftee River in the heart of Cherokee, NC. It’s open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, weather permitting. Learn more about tubing near Maggie Valley.
  9. Horseback Riding – Cataloochee Valley Ranch and Cherokee Horse Trails are but two of the nearby opportunities for horseback riding and trails. Additional opportunities can be found at numerous campgrounds within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  10. Camping – There are many places to camp in Western North Carolina. The national park offers an array of primitive camp sites for camping enthusiasts.
  11. Wheels Through Time Museum – Featuring over 350 rare motorcycles and memorabilia, this intriguing museum is located in downtown Maggie Valley, NC.
  12. Cataloochee Valley Elk Viewing – Located just outside of Maggie Valley, Cataloochee Valley is renowned for its herd of majestic Elk. Get directions and learn more about elk viewing in Cataloochee Valley.
  13. The Stompin’ Grounds & Maggie Valley Opry House – Both of these Maggie Valley venues offer live music. At the Stompin’ Grounds, you’ll be able to see professional dancers perform a variety of authentic mountain dances, from clogging to square dancing and high-stepping.
  14. Elevated Mountain Distilling Company – Situated at 3732 Soco Road in Maggie Valley, this distillery offers guided tours and tastings. Learn more about craft beer, wine and spirits in the Maggie Valley area.
  15. Maggie Mountaineer Crafts – Discover everything from Native American goods and moccasins to jams, jellies, fudge (made right at the store), memorabilia and more at this iconic craft and souvenir store in the heart of Maggie Valley. It also offers great photo opportunities beside the big black bear, the antique truck or on the welcoming front porch.
  16. Slinging in the Smokies – This Maggie Valley business offers rentals of Polaris Slingshots. Rates at the time of this writing are $75/hour or $350/day. Cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway in a slingshot is billed as “the experience of a lifetime.” Learn more.
  17. Great Smoky Mountain Railroad – The fun begins at 45 Mitchel Street in Bryson City, NC. The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad ( offers scenic trips through mountain terrain, as well as a “BBQ and Brews” dining experience on their Fontana train. For reservations, call 800-872-4681.
  18. Maggie Valley Rock Shop & Gem Mine – Located at 3894 Soco Road in Maggie Valley, this business offers a fun chance to try your hand at mining for gems in a local creek. They also have gems available for purchase.
  19. Nantahala National Forest – Whether you enjoy horseback riding, fishing, camping or bicycling, this beautiful forest beckons the outdoorsman.
  20. Cherokee – Cherokee is home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee and it’s conveniently located just a short drive from Maggie Valley. Cherokee offers an array of exciting things to do in NC, including: Oconaluftee Indian Village, Unto These Hills Drama, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee Bear Zoo and Cherokee Fun Park. Learn more.

The Perfect Home Base for Exploring Our ‘Top Things to Do in NC’ List

Every day must end, even the most fabulous vacation day ever, and you need a place to hang your hat while you sleep. Meadowlark Motel on Soco Road is much more than that – it is the ideal home base from which to explore all 20 places in our list of top things to do in NC. Enjoy a variety of accommodations, from guest rooms to a cottage or cabin, along with complimentary Wi-Fi and continental breakfast. Some accommodations offer jetted tubs and kitchenettes. Take advantage of the outdoor seasonal pool, the outdoor pavilion and a gorgeous Creekside, park-like setting. Don’t miss a tour of the seasonal community garden on-site, where kids can learn all about vegetables and herbs. Located in the heart of Maggie Valley, Meadowlark Motel is within walking distance to restaurants and the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. Book your stay today.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash