Cherokee is in Swain and Jackson counties in western North Carolina, United States, within the Qualla Boundary land trust. It is located in the Oconaluftee River Valley. Cherokee is the headquarters for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. To continue the heritage of the Cherokee in the town, several signs for streets and buildings are written in both Cherokee syllabary and English.
What is now Western North Carolina has been part of the homeland of the Cherokee people for untold centuries. Today’s Eastern Band members are direct descendents of those who avoided the Cherokees’ forced removal to Oklahoma in the 1830’s the „Trail of Tears.“ Cherokee was previously known as „Yellow Hill“, which is still used in Cherokee.
Cherokee is home to North Carolina’s largest tourist attraction – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel.
It might happen on a mud-spattering romp through the nearby Great Smoky Mountains. Or while hearing the creation legend in the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. You’ll be having fun in Cherokee, relaxing, and suddenly, you’re a little more in tune with the natural world. With just one visit to something as profound as the outdoor drama “Unto These Hills,” you can’t help but look at things a little differently. And you’ll certainly have more fun.
Each place you visit in Cherokee pulses with the stories and significance of a people whose roots run deep and whose ancient wisdom is fascinating to uncover. Nestled in the lush landscapes of Western North Carolina, Cherokee invites you to smell the wood smoke and open your ears. If you listen closely, maybe you can hear the chanting of the little Nunnehi people of the mountain peaks.
Cherokee history, song, dance, and period regalia come to vivid life in sites such as the Oconaluftee Indian Village, the outdoor drama “Unto These Hills,” or the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Cherokee hosts a variety of annual cultural festivals throughout the year where you can share in the celebration of colorful customs and learn about ancient beginnings.