Last Updated on February 9, 2023
Last Updated on February 9, 2023
Maggie Valley is where North Carolina’s favorite scenic road meets America’s most visited park! The small town sits just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is just a short drive from the famed Blue Ridge Parkway.
With plenty of outdoor adventures, great food, and more, there are some amazing things to do in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
Known for its old-fashioned vibe, motorcycle rallies, bluegrass and clogging, and plenty of mountains to hike, there truly are so many things to do in Maggie Valley.
Keep reading if you’re ready to plan your next visit to Maggie Valley! If you’re looking for specific things to do in Maggie Valley, here’s how we’ve organized things:
- Where is Maggie Valley?
- Where to Stay in Maggie Valley
- Annual Events
- Winter Fun (Skiing and Tubing)
- Things to Do in Maggie Valley NC ALL Year (+ Where to Eat and Drink)
- The Best Things to Do in Maggie Valley (Our Top 5)
- Things to Do near Maggie Valley
- Blue Ridge Parkway, Hiking, Waterfalls, and More
- Related Posts
Read More: 100+ Wonderful Places to Visit in Western North Carolina
Where is Maggie Valley?
Before we dig into the best Maggie Valley attractions, here are a few quick facts about the town.
- Maggie Valley is a town in Haywood County, about 35 minutes west of Asheville (perfect for a day trip) and 16 miles east of Cherokee.
- Haywood County has the highest median elevation of any county east of the Rockies.
- Maggie Valley has a population of about 1,200.
- Named after John Sidney Setzer’s daughter, Maggie Mae Setzer, John founded the first post office in the valley. His descendants still come from all over the country for a large family reunion.
- Maggie Valley is the birthplace of the legendary bootlegger and Appalachian moonshiner Popcorn Sutton.
Read More: 125+ Important Facts About North Carolina
Where to Stay in Maggie Valley
Downtown Maggie Valley is blessed with a wonderful mix of motels, with multiple vacation rentals around the corner. The seclusion and views are especially unbeatable at this cabin above Maggie Valley (pictured above).
Closer to town, the Meadowlark Motel is pretty hard to top, especially for those morning views of the creek from your back porch. Not all of the rooms have a porch, so make sure you book one in advance!
Annual Events in Maggie Valley
No matter when you visit, there are always special events in Maggie Valley around the corner. Here are a few of them:
- Annual motorcycle rallies
- Hillbilly Jam in July
- Smoky Mountains Bluegrass Festival in October
If you know about any other special events going on in Maggie Valley, please feel free to contact us.
Read More: Colorful Fall Hikes in North Carolina (+ 20 Beautiful Places to Explore!)
Winter Things to Do in Maggie Valley (Skiing and Tubing)
Before we get to the rest of the year, we think you should know about how much fun it is to visit Maggie Valley in the winter!
The kid-friendly Tube World and the slopes at Cataloochee Ski Area are two very family-friendly things to do in Maggie Valley! The latter is one of North Carolina’s most popular ski resorts.
If you’re a beginner, take a ski lesson at the PSIA-certified Ski & Snowboard School or go straight to one of the eighteen slopes and enjoy the fresh powder.
Read More: The Best NC Mountain Towns
Things to Do in Maggie Valley ALL Year
Beyond those big events, here are some fantastic things to do in Maggie Valley throughout the year!
Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum
The Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum draws motorcyclists from all across the nation. We once sat across from Jason Momoa while he was in Maggie Valley to check it out!
Home to the world’s best collection of rare American motorcycles and memorabilia, this museum is a memorable experience for advanced riders and motorcycle newbies.
Read More: Museums in North Carolina
The Stompin’ Ground Dance Hall
Want to get an authentic taste of Appalachia? Then you definitely must check out The Stompin’ Ground Dance Hall in Maggie Valley!
With live performances that feature mountain, bluegrass, clogging, and square dancing, this is THE place to go in North Carolina for all things dancing.
Open only on Saturday nights, you can sit and watch the performances or join in on the massive dance floor. The barn-like building is hard to miss on Soco Road, and the music will keep your feet tapping.
And don’t miss out on the annual Clogging Competition that is held the last weekend of every October!
Meet Maggie Valley Artists
One of the most interesting things in Maggie Valley is exploring its art scene. Blue Ridge Craft Trails have been created throughout Western NC, and Haywood County is a massive part of them.
Here are a few Maggie Valley artists you can visit, either by appointment or when they’re open:
Read More: How to Find 20+ Haywood County Artists on Blue Ridge Craft Trails
Haywood Quilt Trails
Another way to explore the area’s arts is to search for quilt blocks. Each block is eight feet across and can be seen easily from the road.
You can download your driving map or pick up a fold-out map at the Haywood County Visitor Center.
Where to Eat in Maggie Valley
Scoping out the town’s restaurants, the brewery, and the distillery are among the best things to do in Maggie Valley.
- Joey’s Pancake House (4309 Soco Rd): One of the highest recommended restaurants is Joey’s Pancake House, a rating we agree with after trying it ourselves! Only open from 7 am to 12 pm, there was already a wait when we showed up at 7:01 am on a weekday! Order a stack, and we guarantee you’ll be fueled up for your day of adventure in Maggie Valley.
- Pop’s Place (3253 Soco Rd): This is another excellent option for breakfast and lunch in Maggie Valley. Using family recipes, they have some of the best made-from-scratch biscuits in North Carolina!
- Brickhouse Burgers & Pizza (3914 Soco Rd): After you’ve licked all the pancake syrup off your fingers, save room for lunch at Brickhouse Burgers & Pizza. It is perfect for families and pets alike, as they even have a dog-friendly patio!
- Butts on the Creek BBQ (1584 Soco Rd): And of course, being the North Carolina barbecue fanatics that we are, we couldn’t leave out Butts on the Creek BBQ! Applewood smoked pork shoulder, ribs, fried corn on the cob, and homemade banana pudding from this BBQ restaurant will soothe your soul and fill your belly.
BearWaters Brewing Company
We also always love a place where you can enjoy a locally crafted brew and relax with food. BearWaters Brewing Company sits along the creek in Maggie Valley and serves delicious bites with some refreshing pints.
The comforting vibe of this North Carolina brewery is a great way to end a long, fun-filled day of adventure. Just sit back, relax, and listen to the creek ramble by!
Elevated Mountain Distilling
Located in the heart of Maggie Valley, Elevated Mountain Distilling is one of North Carolina’s many distilleries worth visiting. Specializing in whiskey, moonshine, and vodka,
Elevated Mountain Distilling was founded by third-generation whiskey makers and used a custom hybrid that produces smooth products. Stop by for a tour, a cocktail, or take a bottle of their small-batch liquor home!
The Best Things to Do in Maggie Valley (Our Top 5)
We made some tough decisions when picking our favorite Maggie Valley things to do. Nevertheless, here’s what we think are the best of the best:
- Joey’s Pancake House
- BearWaters Brewing Company
- Wheels Through Time Museum
- Tube World
- Maggie Valley Artists
Things to Do Near Maggie Valley
While technically not in the town limits, ask anyone and they’ll agree that these are fun things to do in Maggie Valley’s surroundings.
Once almost wiped out, the wild elk have made quite a comeback in the historic Cataloochee Valley nearby. Viewing these elk has become a very popular activity in Maggie Valley.
Staying in Maggie Valley is a perfect way to ensure getting a peek at them!
Another good spot to see the elk is at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, about 30 minutes away and inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The elk typically roam the valley in the early morning or late evening—but remember to keep your distance as they can be aggressive.
Read More: 25 of the Most Amazing Winter Hikes in North Carolina
The Blue Ridge Parkway
The southern end of NC’s most popular scenic road is also just 30 minutes away from Maggie Valley. From Milepost 469, you can count down to many of the best Blue Ridge Parkway stops and hikes, all within a 1-1/2 hour drive from Maggie Valley.
Here are a few of them:
- Waterrock Knob (Milepost 451)
- Richland Balsam Overlook (MP 431)
- Black Balsam Knob (MP 420)
- Graveyyard Fields (MP 418)
- Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower (MP 409)
Due to weather (and other factors), some sections of the Parkway will close in higher elevations. Please check here for road closure info.
Read More: Unique Things to Do in North Carolina
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a short 30-minute drive away from Maggie Valley and should be somewhere on your itinerary. Innumerable stops and trails await, especially the Oconaluftee Visitor Center that we just mentioned.
We’ve enjoyed hikes along the Deep Creek Trail for three beautiful waterfalls, walks on The Road to Nowhere, and treks to Mouse Creek Falls.
Purchase Knob provides high-elevation views with a moderate 3 to 5-mile hike to get your heart pumping! This trail will take you by a historic 1874 cabin, bald mountain tops, and 360-degree views from the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center.
Of course, you can pick just about any spot and enjoy the natural beauty of the Smokies!
Read More: Beautiful Waterfalls near Asheville
Waterfalls near Maggie Valley
While these waterfalls aren’t technically in town, you should still add them to your list of things to do in Maggie Valley!
Two waterfalls converge at Soco Falls in Cherokee, just a few minutes from Maggie Valley.
If you are up for a bit of a hike, try the short yet rugged climb down to the base of these waterfalls: the views are definitely worth it!
Read More: 50+ Beautiful Waterfalls Near Asheville
Only 10 miles away from Soco Falls is Mingo Falls, another must-see waterfall near Maggie Valley! This 120-foot-tall waterfall in Cherokee is reached by 160 steps and is worth every single one.
We promise that visiting Mingo Falls will take your breath away. Your kids will love it, too!
Read More: The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in North Carolina
While investigating all the fun things to do in Maggie Valley, you’ll run into some wonderful neighboring towns. Here are a few of them.
Take a moment to stare into the water at Lake Junaluska, but don’t stare for too long as there are 3.8 miles to walk! The path that encircles Lake Junaluska is a great place for an early morning stroll.
The mist rises off of the water and the mountains frame the glassy reflection, making for a stunning outdoor hike just outside Maggie Valley!
Waynesville is the largest town west of Asheville, with a nice Main Street and the interesting Frog Level district below. The town is packed with awesome restaurants and welcoming small businesses.
The Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts also resides in Waynesville, open from May to October. You’ll find a nice collection of furniture, quilts, and more there.
Interesting Waynesville events include October’s Apple Harvest Festival and Folkmoot, a huge celebration of international dance.
While investigating all these fun things to do in Maggie Valley, you’ll likely end up in Cherokee. As we mentioned, Soco Falls and Mingo Falls are two wonderful things to do in Cherokee.
Many people also come here to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and we think you should, too. You can also learn about Native American heritage at either the Oconaluftee Indian Village or the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
Don’t forget about Qualla Arts & Crafts, which will introduce you to pottery, baskets, and more produced by over 250 native artists. And if you’d like to stay outside in Cherokee, check out the Fire Mountain Trails for walking, hiking, and biking opportunities.
Read More: 20 Excellent Things to Do in Cherokee and the Qualla Boundary (and Nearby!)
Ready for These Things to Do in Maggie Valley NC and Nearby?
In case you’re staying elsewhere, Maggie Valley is perfect for exploring.
No matter what you choose, we hope you’re ready to be surrounded by some truly beautiful sights and these amazing things to do!
Have you ever visited this area of North Carolina? If so, we’d love to know your favorite things to do in Maggie Valley! If you haven’t been yet, what’s the first way you will enjoy this awesome place?
4 thoughts on “20+ Amazing Things to Do in Maggie Valley (and Nearby!)”
Was there in April of 2005 and met popcorn Sutton and got him to sign a jug for me I feel very blessed to of met him. And was back in 2019 and bought a 4ft bear from mountain Mike he is very good at what he does
Folkmoot in Waynesville is international dance and has nothing to do with the Cherokee nation, other than they have been invited to dance there a few times.
I visited Maggie Valley in June and unknowingly stayed in the best/funky motel around.
Everyone owes it to themselves to spend a week(end) at Meadowlark Motel!
The owner is always striving to make this motel the #1 spot for tourists.
There was karaoke Thursday night at their creekside pavilion, followed by a BBQ dinner Friday night.
The motel is currently remodeling their kitchen to commercial standards with plans to open to the public as a late night cafe!
Unfortunately, the distillery has closed 🙁