A Land Rich in Culture
Cherokee and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
Connect the Dots
is an exciting new way to explore a long-standing region. The system has identified a collection of unique places that tell a notable story about the history and culture of the area. And as you journey through the mountains and foothills, you’ll find signs at each location informing you of everything you need to know about the site. You’ll learn about The Blue Ridge Heritage Trailtraditional music of the region, the history of the Cherokee people, the agricultural evolution of the land and crafts that are native to the area. The signs are spread out, giving you a reason to travel to different parts of the area. And codes on each sign enable you to find other sites by simply using your smartphone. For more information about the trail, go online and download the map brochure, or visit a visitor kiosk inside one of the North Carolina Welcome Centers.
The Legend that Lives on
There’s a town in Western North Carolina where the street signs are written in both English and Cherokee syllabary, where baskets are still made entirely by hand, and wild elk can be spotted grazing nearby. Welcome to Cherokee, North Carolina. This is a destination at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains that is built on the heritage of the Cherokee people and welcomes anyone who cares to learn more.
Start your journey by being transported to the 1760s in the Oconaluftee Indian Village, a vivid recreation of a Cherokee village, complete with cultural dances and potters at work. Then, attend the spectacular outdoor drama, “Unto These Hills” performed under a starry sky. Once you have an appreciation of the Cherokee culture dip your feet in the same streams the natives did hundreds of years ago and explore the land that has sustained them with gorgeous hikes like Mingo Falls and relax at Ocanaluftee Islands Park. After all the adventure rest your legs with a luxurious stay at the impressive Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, enjoy the indoor pool, delicious food, and try your luck at the traditional table games, poker and slot machines.