and the Smoky Mountains
Things To Do
Do you love art? Murphy has a monthly Art Walk Spring through Fall in downtown Murphy. Learn about the Valley River Arts Guild.
Yes, we love our jacked up jeeps and 4 wheelers. Rain around here means better crops and more mud to play in! Having a private place to ride your ATV is one of the many advantages of owning your own land in the mountains. For those of you who don’t have a private place to ride, don’t get discouraged, there are several places you can go, including Rockcrusher Farm.
Murphy’s main lake is Lake Hiwassee. Lake Chatuge, Nottley, Nantahala, and Blue Ridge are all just a short drive and all have public boat ramps. If you need to rent a boat, check out the local marinas. Explore the lakes.
Visiting the area or looking to spend the night in a cozy mountain cabin? Check out our friends at Mountain Country North Carolina Cabin Rentals.
We love to camp in one of our many USFS camp grounds. One of our favorites is Fires Creek in Hayesville, NC. Autumn actually got married there and camped for her honeymoon. It has campgrounds for tents, campers, and horses. There are several other USFS campgrounds around. If you are looking for a privately owned campground with a few more amenities, we have several of those as well. Explore the campgrounds.
For all you muscle car fanatics there are plenty of car shows around keep your engines running! Murphy and Andrews have one annually. One of my favorites is the MoonShine Festival in Dawsonville, GA every Fall. You can take bring your vintage car for a moonshine run or simply enjoy the entertainment. It’s family-friendly and all the proceeds go to charity. Local towns often have cruise nights as well, so keep checking the calendar of events at the local. Check out Blairsville Cruisers.
Every Saturday on the square of downtown Murphy local farmers and craftsmen sell all kinds of things: fruits, veggies, crafts, honey, etc. It’s a great time to check out the shops on the square and meet people as well. Discover the markets in the area.
My husband and son love to fly fish so we live in the perfect place! We’re surrounded by trout waters. Popular spots to fish are Lake Hiwassee, Nottley River, Hiwassee River, Valley River, TellicoRiver, Davis Creek, Fires Creek, and on and on. Find all the best spots.
We have 3 Flea Markets in town. The Tuesday Flea Market is located across from McDonald’s in Murphy. The Decker’s and Foster’s Flea Markets are open on the weekends and are located at the 19/129 and Hwy 64W intersection. Explore all the markets.
They are everywhere and year round. Fall festivals are definitely a must! We have John C. Campbell Folk School Fall Festival, Heritage Day Walk, Sorghum Festival, Apple Festival, Moonshine Festival, and so many more. Stay up to date with this calendar of events.
The Western Carolina Regional Airport is located between Murphy and Andrews. Check out their website for more information.
Food and Drink
Golf, golf, everywhere. There are several courses within 30 minutes of Murphy: The Ridges, Brasstown Valley, and Old Union. Several of the resorts offer amazing restaurants and spa services, so be sure to check out the links… Whether you are looking for a day in the spa or on the green, you will not be disappointed! Find the course for you.
Enjoy the world-renowned Appalachian Trail! We also have lots of smaller trails throughout Cherokee County and the surrounding area. Search the trails in the area.
If you have horses, there are many trails for you and your equine friend. If you don’t have your own horse or any riding experience, you can take a guided horse trail ride through the mountains. Find the local stables.
Our family’s favorite season is hunting season. Talk to the locals or contact NC Wildlife Resources Commission to find out where to hunt. Just make sure if you have permission before entering someone’s land. This is a perk for owning your own piece of mountain real estate. Explore hunting resources.
There is no better place to ride than these mountain roads. Every pretty weekend, we get on the Harley and head out. In any direction, you are guaranteed to enjoy the views of the mountains, waters, and there are waterfalls everywhere. One of the most popular rides is the Tail of the Dragon listed below. See where you can ride.
We have an abundance of trails for mountain biking all over the US Forest Service Land. Find your next trail.
Occasionally you might want to take in a movie or two. There are several local cinemas to choose from: Henn Theater, Andrews Twin Cinema, and the Fieldstone at Fun World. Enjoy the big screen at the Henn Theatre.
Cherokee County has its own museum you can check out! Located right downtown, you can learn about the history of the area and so much more. It’s worth the trip! Discover history.
Who doesn’t like music?? Live music can be heard all over the area. The John C Campbell Folk and Young Harris College are both places that offer excellent concerts almost every weekend. Trisha Yearwood actually attended Young Harris college, so their music department is top-notch. Also, many local restaurants offer live music: The Chop House, Shoe Booties Cafe, The Daily Grind, and Chevelle’s. See what’s up next on the calendar.
We have a local dirt track located just a few minutes from downtown Murphy. Races are held just about every weekend during the racing season. The little boys in our families can’t wait for the next annual demolition derby and monster truck rally. Visit the Tri-County Race Track.
The US Forest Service has a shooting range open to the public on Panther Top Road. It’s an outdoor range that’s covered and complete with a handgun range, rifle range (up to 100 yards), benches, and more. Learn more.
Downtown Murphy offers a wide variety of shops: clothing, hunting, bakery, antiques, home decor, and much more. Just outside the town square are furniture, hardware, jewelry, and feed stores as well. Peruse the shops.
Need some relaxation? The local spas are a great way to do just that. Infinity Spa is located in Murphy and Serenity in the Mountains located in Blue Ridge, GA. Get relaxed.
The Lost Sea in Sweetwater, TN is a short drive from Murphy, NC, and offers a fun day for the entire family. Walk through the cave down to an underground lake. If you want a little more adventure you can schedule a private spelunking tour through part of the cave not seen on the regular tour.
Manmade or natural, we have several option for swimming. Hiwassee Valley Pool & Wellness Center has a gym, pool, and fitness classes. There are several local lakes, and rivers you can swim in as well.
They are all over and there is no telling what gems you will find in them.
Blue Ridge Scenic Railways. The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. My family’s favorite time to ride the train is around Christmas when the train becomes the Polar Express to the North Pole.
A great way to relax for all ages is to float downstream on a tube. We like a rent an extra tube with a bottom and pack cooler and for an average of $5/tube it’s an inexpensive way to enjoy nature. Great tubing locations are in Helen, GA, Deep Creek in Bryson City, and McCayesville, GA.
Any day trip can include 1 or 2 stops to see a waterfall. They are everywhere. Before you venture out, check out the waterfall map link to see which waterfalls you will pass along the way. Explore western NC Waterfalls.
Got Wine? We do… and lots of it. There are vineyards and microbreweries all over the tri state area! Many of them offer live music and tastings! Also, the Biltmore Estate Winery is just a 2-hour drive to Asheville, NC.
Mild or wild, take your pick. We have 2 whitewater rivers in our area. Nantahala is the milder of the two, but still tons of fun. Let me warn you, the water is COLD!! Jump off Picnic Rock and you will understand what I’m talking about! The Ocoee River is much wilder. This is the where the 1996 Olympic were held. Both rivers have several rafting companies to choose from.
Spring through Fall there are plenty or yardsales to be found.
Places to Visit
Asheville is known for its artistic vibe. It has become one of NC’s hottest spots to visit offering the Biltmore Estates and an eclectic downtown area with homemade crafts and several microbreweries. Asheville is also known for it’s famous Grove Park Inn and Spa that is frequented by celebrities and even a president or two.
Atlanta offers so many activities. My favorites are the Atlanta Zoo and the Fabulous Fox Theatre. I love to eat at the OK Cafe and the brunch at Einstein’s is amazing. Fun fact, Elmo’s serves Brasstown Beef, which is raised in Brasstown, NC, right across from my house. Atlanta is home of the Braves, Falcons, and so much more.
Chattanooga offers a variety of fun and educational activities for the whole family. The Tennessee Aquarium is filled with birds, animals, and fish found in our area. Cross a swinging bridge and view 7 states at Rock City. You can also enjoy shopping in Chattanooga’s many stores.
Greenville is a family friendly city just a few hours from Murphy. It’s such a clean, growing city, with a many great restaurants and shops. Walk through the city to find the eight bronze mice, play in the waterfall, and bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
Outdoors to Explore
Blue Ridge Parkway – Great ride on a Harley! The Parkway runs all the way through NC, through the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. It is breathtaking!!
Brasstown Bald – as the highest point in the state of Georgia. I love to visit during leaf season. WOW!!! It’s breathtaking.
Cherohala Skyway – One of my favorite motorcycle rides. Rising above 5,400 feet in elevation through Cherokee and the Nantahala National Forest. It’s filled with scenic overlooks. The Cherohala Skyway.
Cherokee – Definitely a family favorite! Visit the Oconuleftee Indian Village, watch the seasonal outdoor drama Unto These Hills, try your luck at Harrah’s Casino, spend the day at Santa’s Land, or picnic at the entrance into the Blue Ridge Parkway and wait for the elk herd to enter the open fields. Cherokee is a cultural experience you don’t want to miss. Cherokee is also the home of Southern Charm, which is an extremely popular appairel store whose owner’s drive trucks with tires so big you can stand underneath it for a photo. Visit Cherokee, NC.
Cherokee Lake– This is an awesome spot to spend the day picnicking, fishing, and enjoying the water.
Chimney Rock Park – Chimney Rock Park. A great day ride on the Harley! Make sure you take off a layer before you walk to the top though, because it’s a lot of steps!! The view from the top of the rock is truly spectacular and, as I already mentioned, the walk up to the top is breathtaking.
Field of the Woods – The World’s Largest Ten Commandments are located here! No matter your religious preference, this is a great spot to visit. Challenge yourself and take the steps to the top of the hill!
Hiwassee Dam– This 307 feet tall hydroelectric dam is responsible for making the Hiwassee like. This is definitely something to see.
Hiwassee Lake – This lake is almost entirely surrounded by US Forest Service. The lake is georgeous and offers a variety of activities; boating, fishing, swimming, or just relaxing. Boat rentals are available at several “Marinas.”
John C. Campbell Folk School – John C.Campbell Folk School. Have you always wanted to learn to blacksmithing or how to play the fiddle? There are dozens of folk classes taught here and the campus is postcard beautiful year round.
Joyce Kilmer Memorial – Have you ever seen a tree so big it takes 4 men to reach around it? Visit Joyce Kilmer and you will see just that! It’s just a short easy hike and it’s a great outdoor activity for the whole family.
Konaheeta Park – Located in downtown Murphy, this park has tons to offer. Walk Murphy’s Riverwalk Murphy River Walk & Canoe Trails feed the ducks, let the kids play in the playground, have a picnic or family reunion at one of the pavilions, play some tennis, hit a few baseballs, or just relax in one of the swings along the riverbank. My family loves loves loves the park!
Mercier Orchards –The best fried apple pies on the planet!! It’s only a 20-30 minute drive from Murphy and well worth the trip. Mercier Orchards.
Tail of the Dragon – Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap. Also known as Deals Gap. 318 curves in 11 miles. Bring some Dramamine, this is a ride you will never forget.
Wagon Master Adventure Ranch – Wagonmaster Adventure Ranch. Gem mining, target paintball arcades, a bounce castle, mini golf, wagon rides, and more.