Culture | Cherokee, NC

How will Cherokee affect you?

The intricate culture of the Cherokee people.

So many chapters in a fascinating story.

The culture of the Cherokee people is a rich, deep narrative that yearns to be explored. Delicately, carefully protected by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, Cherokee culture can be seen as a book filled with 11,000 years of artistic invention and intellectual achievement, survival and perseverance, featuring a peace-loving people who proudly dealt with the savagery of war and overcame. But that barely scratches the surface of what makes Cherokee culture a treasure for the curious traveler.

Intricately woven like the sturdy yet beautiful baskets of the Cherokee weavers, ones made of river cane once so plentiful in these parts, and carefully dyed with bloodroot, the Cherokee culture beckons. Explore the age-old arts and crafts of the Cherokee artisans at Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc.; see them made and demonstrated at Oconaluftee Indian Village, with its incredibly vivid recreation of an historic Cherokee village; attend the spectacular outdoor drama “Unto These Hills” under a starry night; or take a hike to Mingo Falls to feel the spray that the ancient Cherokees have felt on their faces through history. Don’t forget the interactive cultural exhibits waiting at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, or the hundreds of opportunities to find the Cherokee culture outdoors. 


Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc.

It’s difficult to find authentic, handcrafted art in today’s world. Luckily, it has been a Cherokee tradition for centuries. Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. is the oldest Native American cooperative in the country, with over 350 juried artisans creating traditional Cherokee masks, pottery, baskets, jewelry, and much more. Qualla gives you the chance to hold history in your hands, and even take it home.

Museum of the Cherokee People

The Museum of the Cherokee People, named “One of the top ten native sites east of the Mississippi” by Cowboys & Indians Magazine, is open year round and gives families a unique, fun way to experience the history of the Cherokee people and their beautiful stories. Immerse yourself further by making special reservations for the museum’s “Cherokee Experience.”

Mountain Farm Museum

Step back into history inside the unique Mountain Farm Museum. Walk through a farmstead of structures carefully preserved from the last century, including a log farmhouse, a barn and apple house, a springhouse, and a working blacksmith shop. Explore and learn how families lived in the mountains 100 years ago.

Oconaluftee Visitor Center

The Oconaluftee Visitor Center is Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s first new visitor service facility to be constructed since the early 1960s. Situated outside the historic Mountain Farm Museum, the visitor center serves as the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park with all its natural beauty, outdoor attractions, and amenities.

Mingus Mill

Visit Mingus Mill near the Mountain Farm Museum, and explore one of the most historic sites in the region, surrounded by some of Cherokee country’s finest hiking trails and numerous historic landmarks. Mingus Mill is the ideal place for those looking to immerse themselves in the natural world of the Cherokee people.

Sample Trips