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Oconaluftee Indian Village, Cherokee
(4.1/5 based on 600+ reviews on the web)
Oconaluftee Indian Village showcases the history of the Cherokee people and the impact that European settlers had on custom and culture. Surrounded by tall oaks and sycamores, this 1760s style living-history village is accessible through snaking paths. You can tour the dwellings, sacred areas, and work sites. Be prepared to encounter townspeople and craftspeople who have stories to tell. You'll learn about traditional medicine-making and interact with craftspeople as they hull canoes. Witness the village prepare for war, and see a blowgun demonstration. You'll have the opportunity to observe cultural dances and talk with the townspeople as they make pottery and masks, do beadwork, and weave baskets. Make Oconaluftee Indian Village a part of your Cherokee vacation plans using our Cherokee vacation planner.
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6 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC June, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 28 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in North Carolina BY A USER FROM GRENADA December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, culture, outdoors, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Visited at the end of October, but had limited hours even on Saturday, so we were unable to take the village tour. We hi,ed through the gardens which were peaceful and serene. 
  • We visited the Cherokee Botanical Gardens (Indian Gardens) which are next to the ticket booth and are free. Nice, easy trail especially good if you only have a few minutes and want to get a taste of n...  more »
  • Ocanaluftee Indian Village was a great experience. The tours, the stories, the social dances, and the information sessions were so informative. I truly felt like I had stepped back in time. Learning a...  more »
Google
  • This is one of those "been there, done that"-type of attractions. If you're looking to learn about the Cherokee, visit the Museum of the Cherokee. This place is overpriced for what they have to offer, but I was nevertheless happy to pay the $19 (each) admission fee to help keep them in business; that said, I hope that the employees are getting a fair wage for their (undoubtedly boring) efforts. I was last here 60 years earlier, as a young boy, and I was unimpressed even then (albeit for different reasons). Then, the Cherokee natives [I assumed] giving the description of each exhibit/site and artistic activity were seemingly authentic and obviously knew what they were talking about. Our group's guide was clearly reciting a rather-poorly-memorized talking script, and had to be corrected (in a clear Southern drawl) by the "artists" who were supposedly to mostly remain silent during the "talk." The site seems to be not so well-maintained (not surprising), and many things were in an obvious state of disrepair (that could have easily been fixed). Be sure to watch out where you park if you come in late September or early October, as the acorns falling from the very tall oak trees WILL leave dents in your vehicle or break windshields. We saw one in our group get hit on the forearm by a falling acorn, with the result of a minor, but nonetheless blood-gushing laceration on her forearm. Others were hit on their head (including several bald ones) with very painful, if not similar, results. So be sure to bring a hat. If your eyes are sensitive to wood smoke, also be careful, as there are about a half-dozen wood fires around the pathway you will need to stroll. It's barely suitable for powered wheelchairs or motorized personal transports, and some areas are, no doubt, inaccessible thereto. Children will be interested in some of the exhibit sites, but too many things are in the category of "don't touch" so the youngest or those whose behavior cannot be well controlled will be reprimanded. Some of the very old artifacts on exhibit are delicate and obviously precious, so be warned (you can't handle them, either). It will take as much as an hour at the slow pace the groups obviously have to take. But you can walk ahead and join another group, or lay back and get the next one; we did that because our native guide was, in our opinion, completely unsuitable for public talking. We did find one that was actually competent and knowledgeable, who could answer even the most tactless and ignorant questions from folks, but the portion of the sites where the guide actually him/herself talks is only a subset of what there is to see. Finding the place (it's not obvious where you have to drive to get to it), getting there, parking somewhere safe, getting your tickets, waiting for a large enough group to accumulate, and then waiting for the group ahead of you to move on along far enough that your group can even start, and then walking (and standing) around for up to an hour, all will take as much as 2 to 2.5 hours, so be prepared to be underwhelmed for what must surely be less than a handful of interesting things to see (and learn). Avoid it if possible (go to the Museum instead, which itself is underwhelming if you have any knowledge whatsoever of what happened to the Cherokee natives).
  • Living history. Friendly and knowledgeable staff make it a perfect experience. The dancers were quite entertaining. Be sure to your the botanical gardens too.
  • Went in the afternoon. Not real crowded. So you could take your time and enjoy it. The people doing the demonstrations were talented, very informative and friendly.
  • Awesome place I learned alot taking the tour. It so cool to see how people used to do things
  • A little pricy but we'll worth it. Guided foot tour includes quite a few craftsmen and women all very friendly and willing to answer your questions. All staff vertical friendly and knowledable.