If you’re looking for fun things to do in Murphy, NC, you’ve come to the right place!
This small town is located in Cherokee county and has a population of 1626. It’s an attractive destination with an impressive cultural heritage.
In this location, you will be able to see stunning views and get acquainted with the culture and people. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to try new foods and drinks while learning about the culture and history.
From outdoor recreation to arts and culture, there is something for everyone in Murphy. You can explore the great outdoors by hiking on Murphy River Walk. Or, take a fishing trip with Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Center. For those who love horses, visit A Step Above Stables.
Here are 20 things to do in Murphy, North Carolina!
Things to do in Murphy
1. Nature Trails
Murphy River Walk
The river walk is a popular destination, and you will see why once you go. You can enjoy the sights on foot by hiking the 4-mile Greenwood Trail or make a reservation to make the trip by canoe.
This beautiful pocket of nature’s best sights is right in the center of town. As you’re walking down the trail, you can scan the QR codes on the trail markers with your phone; and learn about the plants and trees by each stop.
A visit to this serene place is one of the best fun things to do in Murphy, NC.
Piney Knob Trail
The trails here are all dirt trails, and although they are wonderful to enjoy while walking, they can also be enjoyed by mountain bike enthusiasts.
Volunteers maintain the beauty of the Park. On the trails, you will see artfully arranged displays of stones and some cairns constructed by past residents.
2. Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino And Hotel
If you are looking for some Vegas-style and fun things to do in Murphy, then you have to visit Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel.
The star of the casino may be its 1000 slot machines, but there is also a place where you can place bets on sports games.
If you’re tired or hungry, you can take a break and enjoy some delicious food. You can sit and relax while you eat, but no food is allowed in the casino.
You are allowed to bring drinks to the card tables and slot machines. You can stay overnight at the casino if you wish.
3. Cherokee Historical Museum
The museum is dedicated to telling the story of Native Americans and the indigenous people that once lived in this area and should be on your bucket list of top things to do in Murphy.
More than 2000 Cherokee artworks are displayed here, as well as photographs and drawings depicting details of the life of the Natives that once lived there.
There are also artifacts like an array of household items and farm tools. One of the museum’s highlights is the 700-doll collection donated by former Murphy resident Louis Kilgore.
The museum hosts educational workshops and is happy to help anyone searching for information about the history of the Cherokee tribe.
4. Hiwassee Dam
One of the best things to do in Murphy is to visit Hiwassee Dam. The dam was built in the late 1930s and is now a hydroelectric power station.
Visiting a dam may seem like a strange destination, but this dam is a popular visitors’ spot. The walk along the dam is 1200 feet, and you will arrive at a pinnacle of 307 feet above the Hiwassee River.
The dam is listed in the National Register of Historic Places; because of its contribution to controlling floods in this area.
There are guides at the dam who will gladly share information about its operation and history. If you like, you and your family can enjoy a picnic on the grounds of the dam.
5. Charter of Freedom Monument
The granite and glass monument was constructed in 2015, commemorating the signing of the North Carolina Constitution.
Its construction was commissioned by Foundation Forward (an organization that is dedicated to installing life-sized replicas of historical documents in places of historical interest around the country.)
Its construction was planned so the building would last 300-500 years, and it has a wealth of information about national and local history,
6. Parks Of Murphy
One of the best things to do in Murphy is to visit one of the town’s many parks. Murphy has several parks, and each has something unique to offer visitors.
Appalachia Lake Park
This beautiful lake in the center of town has a 31-mile coastline. Families who visit here can go camping in its woodland setting or enjoy swimming, tubing, fishing, or taking a boat tour on the lake.
There are many lovely hiking trails; one of them features a beautiful waterfall. Bald River Falls The trails in this Park will lead you to a spectacular 90-foot waterfall, or you can drive to a part of the Park where you can see the falls from your car.
The falls are breathtaking at any time of the year, but they are sometimes frozen when the temperatures drop too low. During the summer, you and your family can swim near the waterfall.
Cherokee Lake Recreation Center
This park is all about lake activities, and you’ll enjoy the view from every picnic table or while hiking on its trails. You can walk to the end of the pier and enjoy a one-of-a-kind view of the lake. You can also go fishing there. Admission to the park is free.
7. Mining For Treasures
Bear Creek Adventure Mini Golf & Gem Mining
One of the fun things to do in Murphy is to play a round of mini golf at Bear Creek Adventure Mini Golf & Gem Mining.
Amid the mountains, you’ll find this 18-hole mini-golf course and a newly-added gem mine. At the gem mine, you might also find shark teeth and fossils.
When you play mini-golf here, you will enjoy a view of the beautiful trees which grow here. Many companies hold corporate events here. There is also an elevated deck overlooking the course, where you can relax and enjoy some refreshments.
Salty Dog Gem Mining
You can rent a cabin or park your RV here and then enjoy gem mining and gold panning in a country setting.
If you’re not camping here, you can still get a bag of the gems or fossils “to go”. Inside the office, there is also a place where you can buy a tiny home or cabin in the area.
Smoky Mountain Gold and Ruby Mine
This attraction is another place where the family can enjoy mining for gems or panning for gold. Professionals are available to help you identify your findings.
If you are visiting Murphy, North Carolina, you should definitely take some time to visit the many vineyards in the area.
Nottely River Valley Vineyard
This picturesque vineyard is situated on 10 acres of land and was founded in 2008. The hosts here will present classes to provide education about winemaking, and you can visit the tasting rooms to sample its many vintages.
You will find not only a working vineyard here but an art gallery. You can taste wine made of California or Georgia grapes while enjoying the artwork. This makes one of the best things to do in Murphy.
Visiting the galleries is one of the best things to do in Murphy, North Carolina. The town has many art galleries, and you can find paintings, sculptures, pottery, and jewelry.
This gallery features the artwork done by the Baerreis family. These unique crafts include puzzle boxes, folk toys, sculptures, and silver chignon pins.
A special display of jewelry handmade by Elizabeth Baerreis is forging copper, brass, and sterling silver with jewels and beads. She is also responsible for many drawings made with acrylics, watercolors, and natural inks.
Celebrate Life Art Gallery
This gallery has a wide selection of local artists. The currently featured exhibit is a display of photographs taken by Dave and Debra Vanderlaan.
They were great admirers of the natural beauty of the area. Their photos have won acclaim, and some have been displayed at the Smithsonian Museum.
If you’d like a preview of the art shown here, take a look at their online gallery at http://www.celebratelifegallery.com/on-line-gallery.html
10. Market Place Antiques
Antique lovers or those who enjoy browsing unusual merchandise will love this place. Many of their works evoke a spirit of patriotism.
There are many handcrafted household items, including toys and dishes. The toys are kept in a special alcove; so kids can enjoy browsing through them.
11. Henn Theatre
The theatre was built in 1934 and has brought entertainment to the community since then. Although the theater retains its vintage appearance, the seats and sound system were recently renovated.
The whole family can enjoy the programs here. You can see today’s movies at yesterday’s ticket prices.
12. Nantahala Us Forest Service Campground
A visit here is for anyone who loves outdoor activities. Visitors will enjoy camping, hiking, climbing, and horseback riding.
At the waterfront, you can go swimming or boating. Admission here is free. The Fire Creek Falls, also located here (sometimes called the Leatherwood Falls), features many densely wooded trails and a beautiful view of the waterfall. You can picnic or go tubing near these falls.
13. Wagon Master Adventure Ranch
You’ll find adventure here for every member of the family. They offer skeet shooting, a pistol range, a bounce castle, and gem mining.
Kids will enjoy riding a dune buggy around the ranch. You can also rent a cabin here. This attraction is pet-friendly
14. Valley River Arts Guild
Local art lovers built this organization and its gallery to celebrate the work done by local artisans.
There are paintings and crafts (including handmade dolls and Christmas ornaments). This gallery is a creative experience that allows you to feel the pulse of the local people.
15, Adorable Animals
Shaka Alpaca Farm
You’ll get up close and personal with many alpacas here and chickens and goats. You can pay for a tour where you’ll experience leading an alpaca out to graze in the fields or to milk a goat.
Visitors are also encouraged to feed the goats and then to stop on the way out to purchase some of the fresh eggs laid by the chickens.
Ye Olde Goat Farm
You’ll love meeting and feeding the goats here. The farm owners enjoy showing off the goats and teaching visitors about their care. They are amusing when they play, and you’ll enjoy watching their antics.
Two Crows Farm
This is a great place to bring the whole family. They’ll love to see the llamas, alpacas, cats, and dogs here. Many family activities are offered here. The owners also allow visitors to observe and learn farm activities, including yarn making.
16. Flea Markets
Deckers Flea Market
You’ll be greeted by a statue of a giant grinning gorilla and see an eclectic mix of just about everything, complete with a charming snack bar.
Fosters Flea Market
There are lots of vintage home furnishings and dishes here. They will sometimes have a band that plays while visitors shop
Kings Flea Market
This is a great flea market with several collections and a wide variety of merchandise
17. Big Ol’ Fish Guiding Center
If you’d like a trip on a fishing goat with an experienced guide, this is the place to go. They specialize in catching bass, walleyes, and striper.
Enjoy being out on the water for the day, and experience the satisfaction of landing a fish. While at the center, buy a gift certificate for a fishing buddy or some equipment for your next fishing trip.
18. A Step Above Stables
If you love horses, this is a great place to visit with your family or someone special. They offer riding lessons, trail riding, or horse boarding.
There are also horses here that are for sale. They are proud to say they are the preferred stables for several police groups.
19. Fields Of The Wood Nature Park
This Park sits on 200 acres of beautiful land and is a must-see for Bible believers. It is located on the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains.
This Park has a Biblical theme, as it features a large exhibit devoted to the influence of the Ten Commandments upon today’s world.
On the left side of the Park, you’ll find Prayer Mountain. In another part of the Park is a listing of Bible prophecies. In the center of the Park, you’ll find the Rotunda (also called the Psalms because there are psalms of praise printed all over the building.)
There is a small river in the Park for baptisms, and there is also a replica of the tomb where Jesus was buried before His resurrection.
A visit to Fields Of The Wood Nature Park is one of the most unique things to do in Murphy, North Carolina.
20. Dining In Murphy, Nc
During your visit, stop by one of these dining establishments:
This restaurant is known throughout the area, and its famous chef, James Reaux, has a menu featuring world-class dishes that will highlight your visit. Many diners enjoy eating on their outdoor patio.
This is another upscale restaurant whose cuisine is worth a visit. Its ambiance is of quiet elegance, and the soft lighting and lovely local artwork will help you enjoy your experience. Their chef, Shawn Johnson, offers a menu with Latin, Asian and American dishes.
This restaurant is unique because of its theme: it is dedicated to classic cars. Its menu offers a delicious selection of salads, seafood, and steaks.
The food is prepared by the family that owns the restaurant. The restaurant is known in the area for its live entertainment, including rock and country bands.
Shoe Booties Cafe
Are you looking for a more casual place to eat? Shoe Booties Cafe is one of the best cafe to go in Murphy.
Their menu ranges from burgers to pasta to salads. Every Wednesday, offer a Build-Your-Own Pasta Bowl bar which is very popular.
Plan a trip to Murphy
Murphy is a great place to visit because there is something for everyone. There are beautiful nature trails and parks to explore, excellent shopping and dining options, and plenty of historical sites to visit.
Murphy also has some great wildlife attractions, including a deer park and a trout hatchery. Murphy is the perfect destination whether you are looking for a quiet getaway or an action-packed vacation.
There are plenty of things to do in Murphy, NC, so be sure to add it to your list of places to visit!