Hands-On Learning in Cherokee!
The Oconauftee Visitor Center
If you are traveling through The Great Smoky Mountains, do yourself a favor and stop by the Oconauftee Visitor Center. This cute little visitor center is full service, and “green”. (Read all about the “green” features here!)
The beautiful visitor center, and clean restrooms aren’t the only perks of stopping here on your way through the Great Smoky Mountains. This visitor center for also be a destination for an educational experience. In my opinion, meaningful learning experiences are crucial for children to thrive in school. The Oconauftee visitor center was such a highlight of our North Carolina vacation, because of the face-to-face experience with history.
Things to Do at the Visitor Center
Outside of the visitor center, you can take a short walk to an open-air museum featuring a barn and other buildings that have been taken from the mountains and preserved for guests to see. The museam is set up to give guests an idea of how people would have lived 100 years ago in the mountains.
In addition to the village, there are indoor exhibits featuring images, artifacts and other information life in the Great Smoky Mountains. My girls enjoyed seeing how butter was churned. There is also a 20-minute informational video and a paved walking trail to enjoy.
The visitor center is open every day (except Christmas) at 8:00 a.m., and the closing time varies between 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. depending on the time of year. You can find hours and contact information on this website.
In addition to the educational component this particular visitor provides, there are stunning views of the mountains and if you are driving through early in the morning you might catch a glimpse at some Elk grazing in the field.
We loved all the stunning mountain views and couldn’t resist a family photo or two. Before you leave, make sure you pop into the visitor center and get a stamp for your national parks passport.
The Street Address
1194 Newfound Gap Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719
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