The mountains of western North Carolina are one of the most popular vacation destinations in the southeastern U.S. If you’re planning a trip to the area, consider including these three enjoyable activities in the many things you do during your adventure.
Three Must-Do Western NC Activities
1. Ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Step back in time and get a unique view of the mountains when you take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. The train departs from Bryson City daily. There are two routes, with one going to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, where you’ll be able to debark and enjoy watching rafters traverse the Nantahala River and one that goes to the town of Dillsboro, where you will have a bit of time to shop and dine in a quaint mountain community. Schedule and route availability varies seasonally, so be sure to check the website before making plans. Air conditioned and open air seating options are available.
2. Visit Oconoluftee Indian Village
Located on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, the Oconoluftee Indian Village is a living history museum that showcases the lives of the early Cherokee Indians. You’ll be able to see and walk inside traditional structures, see crafters using old ways at work, and learn about th culture of and challenges faced by the Cherokee. Touring this facility is both fun and educational, and it’s something that children and adults are likely to enjoy. The museum is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm, with guided tours offered throughout the day.
3. Go Antique Shopping at the Whistle Stop
The Whistle Stop Antique Mall in Franklin, NC is a paradise for those who love to browse eclectic collections of antiques. Be prepared for walking, as the facility houses more than 60,000 square feet of antique booth space, with something fun to discover in every inch. Whether you are interested in furniture, glassware, tools, decorative items, or just about any other item you can imagine, this antique mall will likely become one of your favorite spots to shop.
Travel Time from the Mobile AL Gulf Coast
If you live in the Mobile, Alabama Gulf Coast area, you’ll likely find that it takes you between 8 and 10 hours driving time to get to the area, depending on what part of the region you decide to stay in. If you stay in Franklin, NC, which is just north of the Georgia state line, the drive is a about 9 hours, but you’ll need to add on an hour or so if your home base will be Cherokee, Bryson City, or another town within the region.