The 15 Best Things to Do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Things to do in the Smoky Mountains - Couple at Newfound Gap Cherokee NC

Straddling the boundary of North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses over 500,000 acres and is the most visited of all the U.S. National Parks. Part of it is located in the Qualla Boundary of the Eastern Band of Cherokee people, who occupied the territory prior to the 1830s Indian Removal Act and … Read more

Hiking the Deep Creek Trail to 3 Waterfalls in Bryson City NC

Bridge on the Deep Creek Trail in Bryson City NC

Spanning more than half a million acres, Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. Averaging over 14 million visitors a year, GSMNP is the most visited of all the US National Parks. The park was commissioned by the US Congress in 1934, and officially dedicated in 1940 by President … Read more

The 15 Best Things to Do in Bryson City NC & Swain County

Downtown Bryson City seen from the Oconaluftee Loft Balcony

Bryson City is surrounded by Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the north, Fontana Lake to the west, Cherokee NC to the east, and the Nantahala National Forest to the south.  So even a shortlist of the best things to do in Bryson City NC could include dozens of exciting activities that would take weeks … Read more

The 15 Best Things to Do in Cherokee NC & the Qualla Boundary

The Best Things to Do in Cherokee NC & the Qualla Boundary

Cherokee, North Carolina is not like any other town we’ve ever visited during our extensive explorations of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  That’s partly because most of the area lies within the Qualla Boundary, which is held as a land trust by the US Bureau of Indian Affairs for the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. … Read more

Exploring Oconaluftee Indian Village & Visitor Center in Cherokee NC

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians strongly resisted the Indian Removal Act of 1830, even as many other Native American tribes were forced westward and out of their own established lands. After the signing of the Treaty of New Echota, thousands of the Cherokee people who walked the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma died. The rest resettled … Read more