By Charles E. Taylor, Eastern Cherokee
Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina approximately 56 miles from Asheville is the town of Cherokee.
A historical site that is home to a remnant group of Cherokee people referred to as the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The Eastern Cherokee are descendants of Cherokee people who escaped removal in 1838, and fled into the Great Smokey and Blue Ridge mountains.
“A Land of a Thousand Smokes”
Rich in culture as well as natural beauty, Cherokee offers a wide range
of leisure opportunities for all age groups. Some of the most popular
tourist attractions are the Oconaluftee Indian Village, The Museum of
the Cherokee Indian, and the famous outdoor drama Unto These Hills. The
Oconaluftee Indian Village is a Cherokee village replica from the 1750s,
which depicts Cherokee life post European contact with dances, craft
demonstrations, and is accompanied by a live tour guide.
The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is an establishment that brings to
life the history via ancient artifact displays, computer generated
images, artwork, figures, and more. The famous outdoor drama, Unto These
Hills, depicts Cherokee history via dance, storytelling, and
Authentic Cherokee handmade crafts can be purchased at fine retail shops
such as the Native American Craft Shop, The Medicine Man Craft Store,
and the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual Co-op. These fine shops specialize
in handmade crafts that perpetuate Cherokee craftsman skills which
retain historical value in style, designs, and patterns. These three
businesses are located on U.S. 441 North, close to the museum, village,
and outdoor drama. Oconaluftee Island Park is within walking distances
to the aforementioned businesses.
Hotel accommodations vary from small family owned chains to larger
national chains. A wide variety of campgrounds exist as well, such as
Yogi in the Smokies located on Big Cove Road, and Happy Holiday
Campground located on U.S. 19/23 North. Both campgrounds can accommodate
RV’s, small motor homes, and have an array of campsites located
adjacent to creek sides at both places. Holiday Inn Cherokee is located
on U.S. 19/23 south. A newly remodeled Ramada Limited inn exists across
from Harrah’s casino, and is named the “Inn of the Seven Clans.” This
new motel is located at 196 Paintown Road on U.S. 19 North.
Harrahs Cherokee Casino & Hotel is a major attraction that is
considered to be the most recent added tourist attraction, and is owned
by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Established in 1996, the casino offers resort type gambling with
electronic gaming machines, digital Black jack tables, and Baccarito.
Child care facilities are available for gamers coming to the casino.
Cherokee is still a great “Staycation” destination that has been enjoyed
by many and still remains a favorite place to visit in WNC. More
information can be obtained at www.Cherokee-NC.com
translates to “Come on, You are invited” in the Cherokee Language.