On one of our trips to the Smoky Mountains during the off season we had a rainy, overcast day but felt like getting out into the park to do something. So we took a drive south on Hwy. 441, all the way through the park to Cherokee, NC. It was nice to drive south through the park. We usually go from Gatlinburg to Newfound Gap, then turnaround and come back.
Cherokee, NC has a completely different feel than Gatlinburg, it doesn’t have quite as many shops or tourists. The day we were there the town was not very busy at all, which was quite nice. We ended up at Harrah’s Casino and gambled a bit – this might be a fun thing to do with a group of adult friends travelling together.
Cherokee, NC has a deep history. The Cherokee people have been around for thousands of years and the town boasts a Cherokee museum. We haven’t been there but I’m told the museum is very interesting. The story of how the Cherokee people were forced off their land is one of the sadder stories of the Smoky Mountains.
You can also visit the Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill near the Oconoluftee Visitor Center. I do remember some old farm buildings on a drive I did through the park in the 1980’s. Whew that takes me back!
I think a day in Cherokee when the sun is shining might be in order on our next visit.
- Cherokee, Gold and Gem Mine and Newfound Gap Road (fredericklillywhite.wordpress.com)