Your Guide to What’s Open in Cherokee This Summer | Cherokee, NC

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Your Guide to What’s Open in Cherokee This Summer

Looking for cultural attractions and outdoor fun in Cherokee, NC? Even though things are changing frequently with COVID-19, these places are all open. As always, we encourage everyone to be extra safe and follow all the recommended guidelines to stay healthy during this challenging time.

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian

No visit to Cherokee is complete without a visit to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, named a “Best Native American Experience" by USA Today, and filled with state-of-the-art exhibits created by Disney “imagineers,” covering everything from the Paleo period to the Trail of Tears.

Hours: 9 am–5 pm daily. Masks required.

Purchase tickets here.

The Oconaluftee Indian Village

Experience Cherokee’s rich and resilient culture at the Oconaluftee Indian Village. Modeled after a Cherokee Indian village from the 16th to 18th centuries, the Village is an immersive living history experience that transports you back in time. A Cherokee cultural expert will lead you on an interactive journey through Cherokee lifestyle and history, including live demonstrations of beadwork, finger weaving, pottery, wood carving, basket making, hull canoes, blowgun demonstration, and weaponry stations.

Hours: 9:30 am–4:30 pm, Mon-Sat. Masks required.

Purchase tickets here.

Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc.

Part shopping experience, part gallery dedicated to the preservation of Cherokee’s craftsmanship and skill, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. promotes the work of over 350 Cherokee artisan members.

Hours: 8 am–4:30 pm, until further notice. Masks required.

Fire Mountain Trail System

Do you love mountain biking? The Fire Mountain Trail System offers seven different trails spanning 10.5 miles, including single-track and wider sections of different difficulty.

Hours: Open daily; free to the public.

Fishing is back!

Attention anglers! Your wait is over. Cherokee’s Fisheries & Wildlife Management reopened fishing to the general public starting on May 15. To ensure your continued safety, please social distance while fishing. Fishing permits may be purchased online at or anywhere on the Qualla Boundary fishing permits are sold. 

Hours: Open daily; permit required.

Soco Falls and Mingo Falls

Do you love nature? Take in the beauty of Cherokee’s famous waterfalls: Mingo Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the southern Appalachians, and Soco Falls, a twin fall. Both are easily accessible by short hikes. 

Hours: Open daily

Oconaluftee Islands Park

Summers in Cherokee can be hot, and there’s nothing like cooling off at the Oconaluftee Islands Park. When the water levels are normal, the Oconaluftee River is divided by a grassy island complete with bridges, shaded picnic tables, and piers to fish for rainbow trout. Pack a lunch and your swimsuit for wading, swimming, tubing, or simply splashing about. Oconaluftee Islands Park is the perfect stop for families and anyone seeking an island oasis alongside the rushing waters of the Oconaluftee River.

Hours: Open daily

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