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Hotels in Cherokee

2,594 Travelers rated Cherokee highly for Casinos and mountain

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Get yourself acquainted with the Cherokee Nation

Fans of the “great outdoors” are highly likely to fall in love with Cherokee, North Carolina. Home to the Eastern Cherokee people, this Jackson County town was known to them as “Yellow Hill” and is still imbued with the tribe's rich heritage, with arts and crafts stores, a traditional Indian village at Oconaluftee, and signs in both the English and Cherokee languages. Learn about 11,000 years of the Cherokee Nation, double-down at Harrah's for a long time the only casino in North Carolina—or take an exhilarating drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway into the Great Smoky Mountains.

Where to stay

Most accommodations are found along the main street of Tsali Boulevard, although you can find a couple further into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and on the Cherokee Reservation if you want quick access to whitewater rafting and mountain biking activities. The town's 2-star and 3-star hotels offer all the souvenir shopping, local diners and buffet restaurants guests could wish for. Mountain views are generally the order of the day, and facilities for meetings, conferences and group tours are readily available here.

Things to do
Cherokee activities

Enjoy miles of mountain wilderness perfect for horseback riding, biking and rock climbing around trails like Indian Creek Falls. Cherokee also offers both lazy tubing and more energetic whitewater rafting along the central Oconoluftee River and Nantahala River (within a 30 -minute drive of the town).

Trout fishing is one of the most popular pastimes in Cherokee, and key fishing events are held each year. The EBCI Fish and Wildlife Management division stocks more than 30 miles of streams with brook, rainbow and large brown trout. Cherokee has hundreds of secluded locales, so you'll never need to share your fishing spot if you don't want to.

Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort

This 15,000-acre casino is a major focal point of the town, promising spa-style pampering and a diverse menu of eateries, as well as the numerous gaming tables. Owned by the Cherokee people and managed by Caesars Entertainment Corporation, it's an unusual blend of ancient and modern America.

Oconaluftee Indian Village

Leave the frantic pace of modern life behind while you step back to the 1700s. Oconaluftee Indian Village is an authentic replica of a Cherokee village. Explore sacred ritual sites, tribal dances, traditional living areas, and meet authentically-costumed villagers who put on demonstrations of Cherokee pottery, canoe hulling, basket weaving and even show how generations before them prepared to defend the village.

Cherokee events
Unto These Hills

If visiting during the summer, you can't miss seeing “Unto These Hills,” the sometimes harrowing story of the Cherokee people in early American history. One of the nation's first outdoor dramas, it chronicles the Trail of Tears—the forced evacuation of the Cherokee people from the eastern states in the 19th century—with dance, pageantry and authentic costumes.

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

From open air markets showcasing Cherokee art to local bluegrass concerts and food festivals, the Indian Fair Grounds host a year-round program of events at the grounds opposite the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, in the center of town. Try a rodeo in the fall, and run riot on the Ferris Wheel and rides at the Cherokee Indian Fair in October.


The western mountains of North Carolina offer pleasant and moderate weather throughout the year. July temperatures rarely exceed 84 degrees Fahrenheit, and January remains comfortable, with an average high temperature of 48 degrees. Of course, if you like skiing, Cherokee features some awesome fresh slopes, and great conditions for snowboarding in the winter at nearby Cataloochee ski area. Plenty of snow bunnies enjoy aprés ski activities at the lodge, so you'll have no problem hooking up with like-minded visitors.