25 Best Things to Do in Maggie Valley

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Nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina lies the charming town of Maggie Valley. Maggie Valley’s elevation ranges from around 3,000 to 4,600 feet, contributing to its stunning mountain views.

This small town with a population of approximately 1,200 is a true gem in the Smoky Mountains region and has been a popular destination for tourists for decades.

With its breathtaking mountain views, friendly locals, and abundance of outdoor activities, Maggie Valley is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in nature.

Maggie Valley is surrounded by scenic routes and drives that offer breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. The Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are easily accessible from the town.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what you see and do in this beautiful mountain town. Let’s explore together the best 25 things to do in Maggie Valley, North Carolina when visiting:

Things to Do in Maggie Valley, NC

1. Explore the beautiful scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Embarking on a couple of hours’ trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park promises a delightful adventure filled with natural beauty and captivating sights. As you enter the park, you’ll be greeted by the lush greenery of the ancient forests that blanket the landscape.

Driving along the scenic roads, you’ll have the opportunity to soak in breathtaking vistas of rolling mountains, mist-covered valleys, and cascading waterfalls. The Great Smoky Mountains, with their distinctive blue haze, provide a picturesque backdrop that is sure to leave you in awe.

Though a couple of hours may only scratch the surface of the park’s vastness, it offers a glimpse into the enchanting world of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

2. Take a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Embarking on a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway promises an unforgettable experience immersed in the breathtaking beauty of nature.

The ever-changing landscape reveals rolling peaks, verdant valleys, and cascading waterfalls that will leave you in awe.

Each bend in the road unveils a new perspective, inviting you to stop at scenic overlooks and absorb the sweeping vistas.

Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to witness nature’s vibrant palette as the seasons paint the landscape with hues of red, orange, and gold in the fall, and blankets of wildflowers in the spring and summer.

Historic sites, such as the iconic Linn Cove Viaduct and the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, offer glimpses into the region’s rich heritage.

3. Visit the Wheels Through Time Museum

Wheels Through Time Museum

The Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, is a captivating destination that takes guests on a remarkable journey through the history of American transportation.

Founded by Dale Walksler, a passionate collector and restorer of vintage motorcycles and automobiles, the museum houses an impressive collection of two-wheeled and four-wheeled treasures.

The collection spans decades, showcasing iconic brands such as Harley-Davidson, Indian, and Excelsior.

Each motorcycle tells a story of innovation, craftsmanship, and the evolution of design.

4. Go skiing or snowboarding at the Cataloochee Ski Area

Hogadon Ski Area

Cataloochee Ski Area, nestled in the picturesque mountains of North Carolina, is a premier destination for winter sports enthusiasts. With its convenient location near Maggie Valley, approximately 10 miles northeast it offers a thrilling and accessible skiing and snowboarding experience for people of all skill levels.

The ski area boasts a range of well-groomed slopes, from beginner-friendly runs to challenging trails, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

5. Attend a concert or event at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds

Maggie Valley Festival Grounds

Maggie Valley Festival Grounds is a vibrant venue that hosts a variety of concerts and events throughout the year, offering entertainment and excitement for visitors of all ages.

During the summer months, the festival grounds come alive with a series of concerts featuring a diverse range of musical genres.

One of the highlight events held at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds is the Maggie Valley Hillbilly Jam, a lively and family-friendly festival that celebrates the rich Appalachian heritage through live music, arts and crafts, storytelling, and traditional mountain cuisine.

Mark your calendar, grab your friends and family, and get ready to enjoy an unforgettable experience amidst the beautiful surroundings of Maggie Valley.

6. Go hiking or mountain biking on the trails at the nearby Pisgah National Forest

People hiking

Pisgah National Forest is a beautiful natural area located in western North Carolina, United States. It covers over 500,000 acres and offers a diverse range of landscapes, including mountains, forests, waterfalls, and rivers.

The forest offers an extensive network of trails catering to various skill levels. Some notable trails include the Graveyard Fields Loop, Black Balsam Knob, and the Art Loeb Trail.

These trails offer opportunities to experience the forest’s diverse ecosystems, mountain views, and wildlife.

7. Take a scenic drive on the Cherohala Skyway

Cherohala Skyway drive

Cherohala Skyway is a special experience that stretches for 43 miles through the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina.

Driving along the Cherohala Skyway, you’ll encounter sweeping curves, gentle ascents, and descents that showcase the natural beauty of the region.

The road is well-maintained and provides smooth driving conditions, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the picturesque surroundings.

The Cherohala Skyway is also known for its stunning fall foliage, making it particularly spectacular during the autumn months.

8. Visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian to learn about the history and culture of the Cherokee people

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

A visit to the Museum of the Cherokee Indians is a captivating journey through the rich and tumultuous history of the Cherokee people. Located in Cherokee, North Carolina, this museum offers a comprehensive and immersive experience that spans centuries of Cherokee heritage.

The exhibits vividly depict their vibrant culture, traditions, and deep connection to the land. You’ll learn about their sophisticated agricultural practices, intricate artwork, and complex social structures.

9. Go tubing or whitewater rafting on the nearby Nantahala River

whitewater rafting

Tubing or whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River is an exhilarating and memorable experience set amidst the breathtaking beauty of North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest.

If you choose tubing, you’ll find yourself floating down the river on a large inflatable tube, allowing you to relax and enjoy the gentle current.

The Nantahala River offers a perfect balance of adventure and serenity, making tubing a popular choice for those seeking a more leisurely and family-friendly experience.

10. Take a guided tour of the Biltmore Estate in nearby Asheville

Biltmore Estate Ashville city

The guided tour at Biltmore Estate in nearby Asheville offers an extraordinary opportunity to explore one of America’s most iconic architectural and historical landmarks.

The Biltmore House, a sprawling French Renaissance château, is a marvel to behold. The guided tour at Biltmore Estate provides an experience allowing you to appreciate the grandeur of the Biltmore House, explore its stunning gardens, and gain a deeper understanding of the Vanderbilt family’s influence and the estate’s significance in American history.

It’s a must-visit destination for those seeking a blend of architectural splendor, natural beauty, and cultural heritage.

11. Attend a performance at the Maggie Valley Opry House

At the Maggie Valley Opry House, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant world of live music and entertainment. This iconic venue showcases a variety of performances throughout the year, delighting audiences with the sounds of traditional and contemporary country music.

From classic country hits to modern chart-toppers, the Opry House offers a diverse lineup that caters to all country music enthusiasts.

So, sit back, relax, and let the music transport you to the heart of country music’s rich heritage.

12. Go fishing or boating on Lake Junaluska

boating on Lake Junaluska

Fishing on a boat at Lake Junaluska provides an ideal opportunity for anglers to enjoy a serene and rewarding fishing experience.

Located amidst the picturesque Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, Lake Junaluska offers not only stunning natural beauty but also a diverse range of fish species waiting to be caught.

Setting sail on a boat allows you to access prime fishing spots that may be unreachable from the shore, giving you the freedom to explore different areas of the lake.

13. Visit the historic Cataloochee Valley

Cataloochee Valley

The historical Cataloochee Valley, located within the stunning Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, beckons visitors with its fascinating history and natural allure.

As you venture into the valley, you’ll discover a treasure trove of well-preserved historic buildings that serve as a window into the past.

The Cataloochee Valley Historic District showcases architectural gems like the Palmer House, the Caldwell House, and the Cataloochee Church, transporting you back to a bygone era and offering a glimpse into the lives of the early settlers.

Another highlight of Cataloochee Valley is its thriving elk population. Elk, once absent from the region, were successfully reintroduced in the early 2000s.

14. Explore the Maggie Valley Cemetery

Summerville Cemetery

Exploring the Maggie Valley Cemetery offers a unique opportunity to delve into the history and heritage of this charming town.

The cemetery’s setting amidst the picturesque backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains adds to its tranquility and beauty.

While exploring, you may come across names that resonate with the area’s rich past, giving you a glimpse into the lives of those who once called Maggie Valley home.

15. Attend the annual Maggie Valley Moonlight Race

Maggie Valley Moonlight Race

The Maggie Valley Moonlight Race is an exhilarating event for first-time attendees. This nighttime race takes place in the charming town of Maggie Valley, North Carolina, and offers a truly unique and thrilling experience.

As a first-time attendee, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the dedication and determination of the participants as they tackle the well-marked course, which offers a mix of flat stretches and gentle inclines.

16. Go horseback riding at the nearby Cataloochee Ranch

Horse riding

Cataloochee Ranch is a premier destination for horseback riding adventures in the enchanting Cataloochee Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina.

The trails offer mesmerizing views of the majestic mountains, providing the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable ride. Along the way, keep an eye out for wildlife sightings, as the area is known for its diverse range of animals.

Cataloochee Ranch’s horseback riding adventures offer an ideal opportunity to connect with nature, appreciate the serene countryside, and create lasting memories.

17. Take a scenic drive on the Tail of the Dragon

Scenic drive on the Tail of the Dragon

A drive on the Tail of the Dragon is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. Located in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, the Tail of the Dragon is a legendary stretch of road that runs for 11 miles along U.S. Route 129.

It is famous for its 318 curves, making it a mecca for driving enthusiasts and motorcyclists from around the world.

The serpentine road and beautiful surroundings create an unforgettable backdrop, making it a must-visit destination for those who appreciate scenic drives and the thrill of navigating challenging roads.

18. Visit the nearby town of Waynesville

Waynesville city

The journey from Maggie Valley to Waynesville takes only about 15 minutes, making it a convenient and worthwhile side trip. This charming town located just a short distance from Maggie Valley, North Carolina, is a delightful destination that offers a mix of history, natural beauty, and small-town charm.

Waynesville’s rich history is evident in its well-preserved buildings and landmarks. Make sure to visit the Haywood County Courthouse, an impressive architectural gem that serves as a centerpiece for the town.

The courthouse, built in 1932, showcases beautiful Art Deco-style design elements and offers a glimpse into the area’s past.

19. Go on a scenic drive on the Waterfall Byway

Waterfall Byway drive

Get ready for an unforgettable journey as you embark on a scenic drive along the Waterfall Byway in western North Carolina. This delightful route promises a picturesque adventure, filled with stunning landscapes, charming towns, and, of course, breathtaking waterfalls.

The Waterfall Byway is not just a drive; it’s an experience that allows you to reconnect with nature and find serenity amidst the beauty of western North Carolina.

So pack a picnic, roll down your windows, and let the scenic views and cascading waterfalls enchant you as you meander along this picturesque route.

20. Play a round of golf at the Maggie Valley Club & Resort

People playing golf

Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner looking to dip your toes into the sport, this club has something for everyone. The club caters to golfers of all skill levels, providing a friendly and supportive environment for those who are just starting out.

Like many private clubs, membership at the Maggie Valley Club & Resort does come with associated fees. However, you don’t necessarily need to be a member to enjoy the amenities and activities offered by the club.

From the pristine 18-hole golf course, designed to challenge and inspire golfers of all levels, to the resort’s spa and wellness facilities, where you can relax and rejuvenate, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

21. Attend the annual Maggie Valley Fall Arts & Crafts Festival

North Carolina Renaissance Festival

Held in the picturesque town of Maggie Valley, North Carolina, the annual Maggie Valley Fall Arts & Crafts Festival brings together talented artisans and crafters from all around the region, making it a must-visit event for anyone with an appreciation for unique handmade treasures.

As you stroll through the festival grounds, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant atmosphere filled with the sights, sounds, and aromas of creativity.

The festival showcases an impressive array of arts and crafts, ranging from traditional to contemporary styles.

22. Take a scenic ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

All aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, where adventure, nostalgia, and breathtaking scenery come together to create an unforgettable experience.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers a variety of excursions to suit different tastes and interests. Choose from a range of scenic trips, such as the Nantahala Gorge Excursion or the Tuckasegee River Excursion.

No journey on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad would be complete without indulging in the delicious dining options available onboard. From gourmet lunches to specialty desserts, the culinary offerings are sure to satisfy your taste buds while you savor the breathtaking views outside your window.

23. Visit the Maggie Valley Rock Shop

Maggie Valley Rock Shop

At the Maggie Valley Rock Shop, you’ll discover a treasure trove of geological wonders that will delight rock enthusiasts of all ages. Step inside this charming store and immerse yourself in a world of natural beauty.

Admire the vibrant colors and intricate patterns of agates, amethysts, and quartz crystals, or marvel at the fossilized remains of ancient creatures that once roamed the Earth.

24. Go on a guided fly fishing trip on the nearby Tuckasegee River

Fishing on Lake

If you’re looking for a memorable fly fishing adventure, the nearby Tuckasegee River is the perfect destination to cast your line and reel in some unforgettable experiences. This beautiful river, nestled in the picturesque mountains of North Carolina, offers excellent fishing opportunities and breathtaking natural scenery.

One popular spot for fly fishing on the Tuckasegee River is the delayed harvest section, where stocked fish provide exciting angling opportunities.

25. Attend the oldest and largest rally

Taking place, three times a year, the Thunder Ralley in Maggie Valley can be a thrilling experience.

Here you can see thousands of bikers roll into the Great Smoky Mountains for the busiest motorcycle weekend of the year. 

You can even run for their $1,000 cash prize, but if you are interested in finding out more about this event I recommend you go on their website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Maggie Valley, NC known for?

Maggie Valley, North Carolina is known for its Appalachian culture, wildlife, outdoor recreation opportunities, and charming mountain village atmosphere.

Why is Maggie Valley so popular?

Maggie Valley is popular for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreational opportunities, and attractions such as the Great Smoky Mountains, skiing at Cataloochee Ski Area, motorcycle rides on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the nostalgic nostalgia of its mountain town atmosphere.

What is it like to live in Maggie Valley, NC?

Living in Maggie Valley, NC offers residents a small community with stunning natural beauty, including the Great Smoky Mountains. The town has a nostalgic charm and provides access to recreational activities such as skiing, golfing, and fishing.

While amenities may be limited, residents enjoy a peaceful environment and a tight-knit community atmosphere.

Why is it called Maggie Valley, NC?

Maggie Valley, NC is named after Maggie Mae Setzer, the daughter of the valley’s first postmaster. The valley was initially known as “Valley Town” but was later renamed in honor of Maggie Mae Setzer, who played a significant role in the area’s development and community.

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