25 Things to Do in Maggie Valley, NC

Maggie Valley, NC city overview

Nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina lies the charming town of Maggie Valley. 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. Whether you’re looking to hike, fish, ski, or just relax and take in the scenery, Maggie Valley has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top things to see and do in this beautiful mountain town.

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. So, whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photographer seeking breathtaking vistas, or simply looking for a scenic drive through the mountains, a short trip to this national treasure is sure to leave a lasting impression and create cherished memories of the remarkable beauty found within the Great Smoky Mountains.

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. As you traverse this iconic roadway, you’ll be greeted by panoramic vistas of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. 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.

Nature enthusiasts will delight in the abundance of wildlife, from white-tailed deer and black bears to a variety of bird species. The Blue Ridge Parkway is also home to numerous hiking trails, where you can venture into the wilderness and explore hidden gems, such as secluded waterfalls and peaceful meadows. Whether you embark on a short drive or venture further along the parkway, this scenic route promises a journey of awe-inspiring beauty and a connection with the natural wonders of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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.

As you step into the museum, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a captivating array of rare and antique motorcycles. 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. You’ll have the opportunity to admire the intricately restored bikes and marvel at their timeless beauty.

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, 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.
Cataloochee Ski Area is located approximately 10 miles northeast of Maggie Valley, North Carolina. The distance between the two destinations can be covered in about a 20-minute drive, depending on traffic and road conditions. The relatively short distance makes it convenient to stay in Maggie Valley to access the ski area and enjoy a day of winter sports and outdoor activities.

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. From live music performances to festivals and community gatherings, there’s always something happening at this dynamic outdoor venue.

During the summer months, the festival grounds come alive with a series of concerts featuring a diverse range of musical genres. From country and bluegrass to rock and pop, the lineup caters to different tastes and preferences. Local and regional bands as well as well-known artists take the stage, providing an unforgettable experience for music lovers.

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. This festival typically takes place in late summer or early fall and attracts both locals and tourists who want to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture of the region.

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

6. Explore the Maggie Valley Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park

Amusement park

If you are in for a thrilling adventure filled with nostalgia, excitement, and breathtaking mountain views, then spend a couple of hours in this unique attraction and immerse yourself in the Wild West era brought to life. For those seeking thrills, the amusement park offers a variety of rides and attractions that cater to different age groups and preferences. Experience the exhilaration of classic roller coasters, take a spin on the Ferris wheel for stunning views, or let the little ones enjoy the gentle rides designed just for them.

Explore the meticulously designed streets lined with rustic buildings, saloons, and shops, all capturing the essence of a bygone era. Enjoy live entertainment, such as thrilling gunfights, Wild West reenactments, and cowboy shows that showcase the legends and folklore of the American frontier. Brace yourself for a journey back in time, immerse yourself in the spirit of the Old West, and create unforgettable moments amidst the stunning beauty of the Smoky Mountains.

7. 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. Whether you’re a casual hiker or an experienced trekker, you’ll find trails that suit your preferences. 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.

8. 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. The vibrant colors of the changing leaves create a stunning backdrop and enhance the overall beauty of the drive. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography lover, or simply seeking a scenic road trip, the Cherohala Skyway is a must-visit destination for its unparalleled beauty and serenity.

9. 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 Indian 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. As you step inside, you’ll be transported back in time to the pre-colonial era when the Cherokee thrived in the southeastern United States. 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.

A visit to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian is not just a glimpse into the past but a celebration of a vibrant and resilient culture that continues to thrive and evolve to this day. It is a profound and enriching experience that deepens one’s understanding of the Cherokee’s complex history and their enduring spirit.

10. 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. As you leisurely glide along the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be immersed in the stunning surroundings of the forest, with towering trees, lush greenery, and the soothing sounds of nature creating a tranquil atmosphere.

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.

11. 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. As you embark on the tour, knowledgeable guides will lead you through the magnificent rooms and gardens of the Biltmore House, providing fascinating insights into the estate’s history, architecture, and the Vanderbilt family’s legacy.

The Biltmore House, a sprawling French Renaissance château, is a marvel to behold. The guided tour takes you through grand halls, opulent rooms, and intricate architectural details, showcasing the meticulous craftsmanship and luxurious design that went into creating this remarkable residence. Your guide will share stories about the Vanderbilts, their extravagant lifestyle, and the vision behind the estate’s creation.

Overall, the guided tour at Biltmore Estate provides an immersive and informative 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.

12. 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. As you step inside, you’ll be enveloped by the warm and welcoming atmosphere, ready to experience the magic of live country music. Talented musicians and bands take the stage, filling the air with heartfelt lyrics, soulful melodies, and toe-tapping rhythms.

From classic country hits to modern chart-toppers, the Opry House offers a diverse lineup that caters to all country music enthusiasts. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply appreciate the authentic sounds of twangy guitars, heartfelt vocals, and captivating storytelling, attending a performance at the Maggie Valley Opry House promises an unforgettable evening of pure country bliss. So, sit back, relax, and let the music transport you to the heart of country music’s rich heritage.

13. 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. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, the calm waters of Lake Junaluska provide a tranquil setting for casting your line and waiting for the fish to bite.

The lake is known for its population of bass, trout, and various other freshwater species, ensuring that there’s always a chance for a successful catch. As you navigate the crystal-clear waters, surrounded by the majestic mountains and the serene ambiance, you’ll find yourself immersed in the beauty of nature and the joy of angling.

14. 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. Now, visitors have the opportunity to witness these majestic creatures up close, observing their graceful movements and powerful presence. The best times for elk viewing are typically during the early morning or late evening hours, when they are more active.

Cataloochee Valley it’s a place where the past and present harmoniously coexist, inviting you to delve into the rich heritage of the region and marvel at the unspoiled beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

15. 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. As you wander through the cemetery, you’ll encounter a peaceful and serene atmosphere that invites reflection and remembrance. The cemetery is home to weathered tombstones and grave markers that tell stories of lives lived and loved ones cherished.

Take a moment to observe the diverse range of styles and designs, each with its own tale to tell. 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.

It’s a place where history comes alive, where the past intertwines with the present, and where you can pay homage to those who have left their mark on this beloved community. So, take a leisurely stroll through the Maggie Valley Cemetery, listen to the whispers of the past, and find a sense of connection and appreciation for the stories etched into its hallowed grounds.

16. 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 you arrive at the race, you’ll be greeted by a mesmerizing atmosphere illuminated by vibrant lights that cast a magical glow on the surroundings.

The supportive and festive atmosphere is palpable, with spectators cheering enthusiastically and creating a lively energy that adds to the overall thrill. 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.

The cost of participating in the Maggie Valley Moonlight Race can vary depending on several factors, including the specific race category and any additional amenities or perks included. It’s best to refer to the official race website or contact the race organizers directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding registration fees and any associated costs.

17. 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. At the ranch, visitors can embark on guided trail rides that promise an immersive and unforgettable experience. Accompanied by knowledgeable and experienced wranglers, riders of all skill levels can explore the breathtaking mountain landscapes on horseback.

As you traverse the well-maintained trails, you’ll find yourself immersed in the beauty of nature, surrounded by lush forests, open meadows, and scenic valleys. 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.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, Cataloochee Ranch’s horseback riding adventures offer an ideal opportunity to connect with nature, appreciate the serene countryside, and create lasting memories.

18. 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 Tail of the Dragon is definitely worth visiting if you enjoy driving or seeking adventure on the road. It offers a unique and thrilling driving experience that can be quite addictive for automotive enthusiasts. 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.

19. 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.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the town’s proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. These natural wonders provide endless opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, scenic drives, and wildlife spotting.

With its proximity to Maggie Valley and its own unique offerings, Waynesville is a wonderful place to explore, shop, dine, and soak in the small-town charm of western North Carolina. So take a short drive from Maggie Valley and discover all that Waynesville has to offer—you’ll be greeted with warm hospitality and a delightful array of experiences that will make your visit truly memorable.

20. 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.

As you set off on this scenic drive, you’ll find yourself immersed in nature’s splendor. The winding roads take you through lush forests, where sunlight filters through the trees, creating a magical ambiance. The air is crisp and refreshing, and the sounds of birds singing and leaves rustling accompany you along the way.

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.

21. 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. The professional staff is on hand to offer guidance, lessons, and tips to help beginners feel comfortable and confident on the course.

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. Visitors and guests can still access the golf course, spa, dining facilities, and other resort amenities by paying daily fees or purchasing day passes.

Regardless of membership status, the Maggie Valley Club & Resort offers a range of amenities and activities to enhance your experience. 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.

22. 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. Talented artisans display their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, paintings, textiles, woodworking, and so much more. It’s the perfect opportunity to find that one-of-a-kind piece you’ve been searching for or to discover a new favorite artist.

23. 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, each showcasing its own unique natural beauty and landmarks. Along the way, knowledgeable guides provide commentary, sharing fascinating insights about the history, geology, and wildlife of the region.

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.

24. 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. From stunning crystals and polished gemstones to unique fossils and mineral specimens, there’s something here to captivate every visitor.

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. The knowledgeable staff are always ready to share their expertise and help you identify and understand the fascinating specimens.

25. 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. As you patiently wait for the tug on your line, you’ll be surrounded by stunning views of the mountains and lush vegetation, creating a serene and relaxing atmosphere.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a curious beginner, a fly fishing trip on the Tuckasegee River promises excitement, relaxation, and a deeper connection with nature.


In conclusion, Maggie Valley, NC is a true hidden gem in the Smoky Mountains region that offers a unique mix of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and small-town charm. With its stunning mountain vistas, welcoming locals, and abundance of activities, Maggie Valley is the perfect destination for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in nature. Whether you’re looking to hike to the top of a mountain peak, cast a fly in a pristine mountain stream, or just relax and take in the scenery, Maggie Valley has something for everyone.

Plan a trip to Maggie Valley today! With its scenic drives, picturesque hiking trails, and one-of-a-kind attractions like the Wheels Through Time Museum, it’s a destination you won’t soon forget.