Things to Do in Maggie Valley

Maggie Valley, North Carolina, is a treasure trove of experiences waiting for you to discover. The range of activities and attractions can leave you spoiled for choice, whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a craft enthusiast, a motorcycle aficionado, or a family looking for wholesome adventures.

Here, you can hike alongside mesmerizing waterfalls at Soco Falls, capture awe-inspiring mountaintop vistas from Waterrock Knob, witness breathtaking sunsets and stargaze along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, or enjoy exhilarating snow skiing at the Cataloochee Ski Area. For some family-friendly fun, challenge your loved ones to a round of putt-putt at Fantasy Golf and Game Room, or immerse yourself in the world’s finest collection of rare American Vintage Motorcycles at Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum.

With such an array of activities, there’s no need to wait any longer. Step outside and begin your adventure in Maggie Valley today!

Where is Maggie Valley?

Maggie Valley is a town located in Haywood County, North Carolina, United States. It’s situated in the Great Smoky Mountains, a popular tourist destination due to its scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and cultural heritage. The town has various accommodations, attractions, and events that cater to visitors year-round. Nearby points of interest include the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Time Zone in Maggie Valley

Maggie Valley, North Carolina, is located in the Eastern Time Zone (ET). Eastern Time is UTC-5:00 during Standard Time (Eastern Standard Time, or EST) and UTC-4:00 during Daylight Saving Time (Eastern Daylight Time, or EDT).

Please note that the observance of Daylight Saving Time can affect the local time in Maggie Valley. When Daylight Saving Time is in effect, usually from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, the local time in Maggie Valley is UTC-4:00 (Eastern Daylight Time). When Daylight Saving Time is not in effect, it is UTC-5:00 (Eastern Standard Time). Be sure to check the current time and time zone before your visit to Maggie Valley, especially if your plans depend on specific operating hours or appointments.

Best Ways to Go in Maggie Valley

If you’re asking about how to get to and navigate within Maggie Valley, North Carolina, here are some directions and transportation options:

By Car:

From Asheville, NC: Take I-40 West towards Knoxville for about 20 miles. Take exit 27 for US-74 towards Waynesville. Continue on US-74 for about 8 miles, then take exit 103 for US-19 towards Maggie Valley. Follow US-19 to reach the heart of Maggie Valley.

From Knoxville, TN: Take I-40 East towards Asheville for about 90 miles. Then follow the same directions as from Asheville.

By Air:

Asheville Regional Airport (AVL): Located about 40 miles east of Maggie Valley, it’s the closest major airport. Once you land, you can rent a car or hire a taxi/shuttle service to reach Maggie Valley.

Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS): Another option is to fly into Knoxville, Tennessee, and then drive approximately 2 hours to Maggie Valley.

By Bus: 

While there’s no direct bus service to Maggie Valley, Greyhound services nearby cities like Asheville. From there, one can take local transportation or rent a car to reach Maggie Valley.

Getting Around in Maggie Valley:

Car: The most convenient way to navigate Maggie Valley and its surrounding attractions is by car. The town and nearby areas are spread out, making a personal or rental car handy.

Biking: If you’re into cycling and have a bike, certain parts of Maggie Valley are bike-friendly. Always be cautious, though, and be aware of traffic conditions.

Walking: The central part of Maggie Valley can be explored on foot, especially if you’re staying in a centrally located accommodation.

Local Tours: Some local companies offer tours, especially for attractions outside the town or in the Great Smoky Mountains. This could be a good option if you prefer not to drive yourself.

Always ensure you check local transportation options and road conditions, especially if you’re visiting during the winter when snow and icy conditions can be a concern. Safe travels!

10 Best Things To Do in Maggie Valley

1. Cataloochee Elk Watching

The Cataloochee Valley is a cherished haven for locals, a place where the wild elk have become beloved residents. Nestled in the southeastern corner of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, this area has become a sanctuary for these magnificent creatures.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the elk population faced a dramatic decline and was on the brink of extinction. To ensure their survival and resurgence, 52 elk were released into this region in 2001. The hope was that they would not only endure but also thrive, a dream that has indeed come true.

When you venture into this area, you’ll have the chance to witness these majestic elk in their natural habitat. They roam freely, without enclosures or barriers, so it’s crucial to observe them with respect and from a safe distance. Typically, the early morning and late evening hours offer the best opportunities to catch a glimpse of these awe-inspiring creatures.

Springtime is particularly enchanting, as it’s when the calves, the adorable baby elk, make their debut and join the herd. Some of the prime elk-viewing spots include the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and the Cataloochee Divide Trail. These locations provide an opportunity to connect with nature and witness the thriving elk population in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains.

2. Explore Wheels Through Time Museum

Explore the renowned Wheels Through Time Museum, a must-visit attraction situated at 62 Vintage Ln, Maggie Valley, NC.

This extraordinary museum boasts the “world’s most exceptional compilation of rare American motorcycles, cherished memorabilia, and a remarkable assortment of one-of-a-kind American automobiles.” Each exhibit is thoughtfully presented within lifelike settings, accompanied by a wealth of historical insights.

With more than 350 exceptionally rare machines on display, there’s an abundance to discover and appreciate within this captivating indoor venue. Take your time immersing yourself in this remarkable attraction, as it’s brimming with fascinating treasures.

Conveniently located just 5 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, our museum invites you to delve into a world of motorcycling history and automotive excellence. Don’t miss the chance to explore this extraordinary collection.

3. Visit Soco Falls

Soco Falls is an enchanting hidden treasure that often goes unnoticed by many travelers. Situated a short distance beyond the Blue Ridge Parkway on Highway 19, as you head towards Cherokee, this natural wonder captivates all who discover it. Soco Falls isn’t just one waterfall; it’s a duo of cascades, with one standing at approximately 50 feet and the other commanding a height of over 100 feet. These two magnificent falls gracefully spill alongside each other, ultimately merging into a tranquil creek below.

The allure of Soco Falls transcends the seasons, but it truly comes to life during the vibrant tapestry of autumn when the foliage transforms the landscape into a breathtaking masterpiece. Don’t let this hidden gem escape your itinerary—it’s a remarkable sight to behold.

4. Drive the Scenic Blue Ridge Parkway

Embarking on a journey along the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) is undoubtedly one of the quintessential experiences in Maggie Valley, and some might argue that you haven’t truly explored Western North Carolina until you’ve embarked on this iconic scenic drive.

Accessible directly from Maggie Valley’s Highway 19, the BRP stretches its picturesque path from Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park to North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Often touted as “America’s favorite scenic drive,” it holds a well-deserved reputation.

This two-lane road, with a leisurely speed limit of 45 mph, weaves through a landscape teeming with a myriad of attractions. Along the way, you’ll encounter hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulties, enchanting waterfalls, and awe-inspiring scenic overlooks. Keep your eyes peeled, and you might even have the privilege of spotting a bear or marveling at Western North Carolina’s renowned wildflowers.

Now, let’s delve into one of Maggie Valley’s most cherished attractions: Waterrock and Browning Knob, where the wonders of nature come to life along this remarkable journey.

5. Hike Waterrock Knob

Embracing the beauty of a mountain sunset or relishing a picnic amidst nature is an integral part of life in Western North Carolina (WNC). If you find yourself pondering what to do in Maggie Valley, and the choice between hiking trails seems daunting, consider the enchanting Waterrock Knob and its visitor center—an ideal destination for witnessing breathtaking sunsets while accommodating the whole family.

Upon arrival at the parking area, you’ll discover pit toilets, convenient picnic tables, and enlightening exhibits about the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). It’s worth noting that there’s no running water available, so packing essentials like hand sanitizer and wet wipes is wise.

The trek to Waterrock Knob involves a moderately steep incline, spanning roughly a mile out and back. Despite the elevation gain, it’s a manageable challenge suitable for leisurely hikers. You’ll likely encounter fellow nature enthusiasts, including families and older couples, along the trail. However, be prepared for sections of steep slopes, stairs, and uneven terrain.

Upon reaching the summit, you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent cliffside vantage point that overlooks an array of mountain ranges, including the Smokies, Craggies, Balsams, Blacks, and the Blue Ridge. Plan for approximately 45 minutes in total for the round-trip hike.

For those seeking further adventure, consider continuing on to the more demanding hike leading to Browning Knob, which offers similarly captivating views as Waterrock.

Bear in mind, though, that the presence of fog can obscure the vistas, and the BRP often closes during the winter months. It’s advisable to consult the National Park Service (NPS) for updates on BRP gate and road closures before embarking on your journey.

6. Deep Creek Loop Trail

This path attracts numerous hikers due to its enchanting forests, captivating bridges, and stunning waterfalls. Deep Creek is a favorite spot for swimming and tubing during the summer months. While there are several branching paths in this vicinity, the primary route forms a 4.6-mile loop.

The trek is of moderate difficulty, featuring gentle inclines and occasional rock scrambles, making it a great choice any time of the year. With three waterfalls dotting the route, don’t forget your camera and swimsuit.

7. Dip Into Waynesville

Similar to its vibrant festivals, WNC boasts a collection of charming small towns and cities, each deserving of exploration. For additional attractions near Maggie Valley, consider a trip to Waynesville.

The journey from Maggie Valley to Waynesville is a brief 20-minute drive, leading you to a historic downtown teeming with eateries, cafes, and boutique stores. We have a special fondness for Boojum Brewing. With its inviting taproom ambiance, it offers an array of local brews and scrumptious meals – making it a top pick for lunch.

Naturally, a visit to the iconic Mast General Store is a must – where you can indulge in whimsical purchases. And for those with a passion for reading, Wall Street Books beckons. While you’re in the area, don’t miss out on a performance at the Haywood Arts Regional Theater (HART).

8. Mingo Falls

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders and breathtaking vistas. Among its many gems is Mingo Falls. Standing at 120 feet, it’s not only one of the park’s loftier cascades but also widely regarded as one of North Carolina’s most picturesque waterfalls.

Historically, the Cherokee people, the original inhabitants of these lands, revered the falls as a hallowed site.

Reaching the waterfall requires a brief hike, spanning just about a quarter-mile. However, be prepared to ascend 160 steps to get to the optimal viewing point at the top. The effort is truly rewarding, presenting a spectacle that’s nothing short of awe-inspiring.

9.  Walk Lake Junaluska

A mere 15-minute drive from Maggie Valley unveils the tranquil beauty of Lake Junaluska. This scenic lake is renowned for the Lake Junaluska Conference Center and Retreat, occupying a sprawling 1,200-acre estate that graces the lake’s perimeter. While much of this land is private, a public access walking trail encircles the lake, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its serene surroundings.

If you’re in search of a peaceful retreat for your family, Lake Junaluska proves to be an excellent option. You have the opportunity to reserve a stay at the historic hotel nestled right at the water’s edge. Additionally, you can explore vacation rentals available on the property, offering various accommodations to suit your preferences. Your stay can also include delightful amenities like lake cruises and access to golf courses, enriching your experience amid this idyllic setting.

10. Blue Ridge Parkway

Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains area wouldn’t be complete without immersing yourself in the sheer beauty of the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway. This renowned scenic road extends an impressive 469 miles, and while a full drive along its entirety takes around 12-13 hours, even brief excursions onto select sections of the parkway promise unforgettable experiences.

At Milepost 455.7, you’ll find the exit leading to Maggie Valley, ensuring convenient access to this charming town nestled in the mountains.

Venturing along the parkway offers a road trip like no other, inviting you to spend multiple days indulging in leisurely drives, invigorating hikes, and the serenity of camping amidst nature’s splendor.

As you embark on your journey, keep an eye out for remarkable points of interest, such as Mount Pisgah, Waterrock Knob, Linville Falls, Mount Mitchell, and Grandfather Mountain. Numerous opportunities for scenic stopovers await, treating you to some of the most awe-inspiring views that Western North Carolina has to offer.

Best Time to Visit in Maggie Valley

Maggie Valley, situated in the western part of North Carolina, offers different experiences depending on the time of year you visit. Here’s a seasonal breakdown to help you determine the best time to visit Maggie Valley:

Spring (April – June):

Advantages: The valley starts to come alive with blooming flowers, making it a beautiful time for sightseeing. The weather is mild, and outdoor activities like hiking and biking are popular.

Considerations: Early spring might still have some chilly days, so pack layers.

Summer (July – August):

Advantages: The weather is warm, and it’s the peak time for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Local festivals and events often take place during these months.

Considerations: It’s the peak tourist season, so expect more visitors and possibly higher accommodation prices. Afternoon rain showers are also common.

Fall (September – November):

Advantages: Arguably the best time to visit if you’re a fan of fall foliage. The autumn colors in Maggie Valley and the surrounding areas, especially along the Blue Ridge Parkway, are spectacular. The temperatures are cooler and more comfortable for outdoor activities.

Considerations: Early November might start seeing frosty conditions, so be prepared for colder nights.

Winter (December – March):

Advantages: If you enjoy winter sports, the Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley offers skiing and snowboarding. The snow-covered landscapes can also be stunningly beautiful.

Considerations: The weather can be quite cold with the possibility of snowfall, which could affect travel plans. Some attractions might be closed or have reduced hours.

The best time to visit Maggie Valley really depends on your personal preferences. If you’re a fan of winter sports, winter might be ideal. If you love watching the leaves change colors, fall would be perfect. Summer and spring offer their own unique experiences as well. Whenever you choose to go, Maggie Valley is sure to offer a memorable experience.

Best Foods in Maggie Valley

Maggie Valley, North Carolina, offers a variety of dining options with a focus on Southern and Appalachian cuisine. Here are some of the best foods and dishes you should try when visiting Maggie Valley:

North Carolina Barbecue: North Carolina is famous for its barbecue, and you’ll find both Eastern and Western styles in the region. Eastern-style barbecue features a vinegar-based sauce, while Western-style uses a tomato-based sauce. Try pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, or barbecue chicken.

Biscuits and Gravy: A Southern classic, biscuits, and gravy consist of soft, flaky biscuits smothered in creamy sausage gravy. It’s a hearty and comforting breakfast option.

Fried Catfish: Maggie Valley is surrounded by freshwater streams and rivers, making it a great place to enjoy fresh fried catfish. It’s often served with hushpuppies, coleslaw, and tartar sauce.

Local Craft Beer: North Carolina has a thriving craft beer scene. Sample some local brews from breweries in and around Maggie Valley. Many restaurants and pubs offer a selection of craft beers on tap.

Fried Chicken: Southern-style fried chicken is a must-try. Look for restaurants or diners that serve crispy fried chicken with all the fixings, like mashed potatoes, collard greens, and biscuits.

Country Ham: North Carolina is known for its salt-cured country ham. It’s often served with red-eye gravy and biscuits for breakfast.

Fried Green Tomatoes: A Southern delicacy, fried green tomatoes are sliced green tomatoes coated in cornmeal and fried until crispy. They’re typically served with a dipping sauce.

Collard Greens: These leafy greens are slow-cooked with bacon or ham hock for a flavorful side dish. They’re often seasoned with vinegar or hot sauce.

Apple Butter: The region is known for its apples, and apple butter is a popular condiment. Try it on biscuits or toast for a sweet and tangy treat.

Homemade Pies: Maggie Valley is known for its homemade pies, especially apple and berry pies. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in a slice of freshly baked pie from a local bakery.

Local Trout: The region’s streams are teeming with trout, so consider trying a dish that features this fresh catch, such as pan-fried trout or trout almondine.

Boiled Peanuts: A unique Southern snack, boiled peanuts are soft, salty, and slightly addictive. Look for roadside stands or markets that sell them.

Maggie Valley offers a blend of traditional Southern and Appalachian flavors, making it a great destination for exploring regional cuisine. Be sure to check out local restaurants and diners to savor these delicious dishes.

Conclusion 

Maggie Valley, North Carolina, offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, Southern charm, and Appalachian culture. Whether you’re drawn to the outdoor adventures of the Great Smoky Mountains, the mouthwatering Southern cuisine, or the cozy mountain accommodations, Maggie Valley has something to offer every traveler. The best time to visit depends on your interests, with each season bringing its own unique experiences.

From exploring the scenic byways and hiking trails to indulging in regional dishes and relaxing in rustic cabins, Maggie Valley invites visitors to embrace the spirit of the mountains. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a taste of authentic Appalachian culture, Maggie Valley is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for the beauty of Western North Carolina.