Image of Soco Falls add to your list of things to do in Maggie Valley NC

15+ Fun Things To Do In Maggie Valley NC 2023

Looking for Fun Things to do in Maggie Valley NC?

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In the Western North Carolina mountains, you will find unique small towns, interesting attractions, and all kinds of history. Maggie Valley is one of those small towns.

Located in Haywood County, Maggie Valley is just 45 minutes from Asheville, so it makes for the perfect getaway or day trip. There are so many fun things to do in Maggie Valley NC.

Maggie Valley dates back to the early 1900s and is known for being the hometown of the infamous moonshiner, Popcorn Sutton. Today, the town brings nature lovers with its access to enchanting waterfalls, scenic hikes, mountain views, and ski areas.

Maggie Valley itself has a captivating downtown with shops, restaurants, and museums. But that’s not all! Maggie Valley is full of fun surprises, so take a look at all Maggie Valley has to offer.  

Things to do in Maggie Valley NC

There is no lack of wonder and excitement in Maggie Valley. From museums to theme parks to breathtaking hikes, there are many things to do in Maggie Valley NC. 

1. Wheels Through Time Museum 

With many fascinating exhibits, displays of rare American motorcycles, memorabilia, and American automobiles, the Wheels Through Time Museum brings a wide array of visitors to Maggie Valley. You will never see anything like what they have here at the museum in the mountains.

Motorcycle lovers and those curious about American automobile history will love this museum. It’s a great place to bring the family on a cold or rainy day. 

*Open seasonally starting April 6, 2023. 

Address: 62 Vintage Lane Maggie Valley, North Carolina 28751

Image of a Corvette in the Wheels Through Time
holowac CC BY 2.0

2. Stompin’ Ground

Put your dancing shoes on for a trip to Stompin’ Ground! This self-proclaimed “Cloggin’ Capital of the World” is the Appalachian mountains’ favorite dance hall. The large stadium seats 900 people where you can watch from above, or join in the fun on the dance floor.

Live bands fuel the night, as couples dressed in frilly skirts and country garb gather together. You’ll have a great time! Come enjoy square dancing, clogging, and line dancing here.  

*Open seasonally from April-October 

Address: 3116 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

Dancing Shoes

3. Maggie Valley Puzzle Rooms

If you are looking for something new to try on a rainy day, Maggie Valley Puzzle Room might be precisely what you are looking for. The Puzzle Room is a place of 5 themed escape rooms, ranging in all different challenge levels.

Fun for the whole family, it is a great way to work together and use teamwork to solve the puzzles and make it out. Maggie Valley Puzzle Room is open year-round and the perfect way to spend a cold, snowy, or rainy day.  

Address: 20 Kyles Way, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

Egyptian which is an escape room theme.

4. Soco Falls

Soco Falls is an extremely beautiful, and unique waterfall right in Maggie Valley. It is a magical place with two main waterfalls, and other much smaller waterfalls that often drip down the sides.

It is just a 5 min short walk to get to the observation deck to see the 120-foot falls. It is not advised to swim in this area, though the path is a great place to walk around, enjoy the double waterfall, and take in the sights.

Image of Soco Falls add to your list of things to do in Maggie Valley NC

5. Visit Soco Craft & Tower

The Soco craft store is the base of the Soco Tower which reaches 9 stories up into the air for one of the most photographed views in the Smokies. For just 50 cents you are allowed to walk up the stairs to reach the top and take in the panoramic views. 

After the hike up, you can visit the Soco craft store which is full of souvenirs, gadgets, trinkets, and other small gifts. This is a must see if you are in the area. 

Address: 6638 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

View from Soco Craft & Tower
jared422_80 CC BY 2.0

6. Black Balsam Knob Trail

Black Balsam Knob Trail is a popular hiking trail in the Black Balsam area in the Pisgah National Forest. The trail starts right off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 420, making it very accessible. 

You have two options when hiking this trail. You can either hike two miles to the top and head back in the direction you came, or you can continue the loop for another 3 miles (5 miles total).

The hike is considered moderate for the rapid elevation change, however, the views are unlike any other and worth the hike. The top is a great place to hang out for a bit and have a picnic. 

View along Black Balsam Knob Trail

7. Deep Creek Loop Trail

This trail brings lots of foot traffic because the trail is complete with forests, bridges, and waterfalls. Deep Creek is also a popular swimming and tubing area in the summer. There are many different offshoots of trails in this area, however, the main trail is a 4.6-mile loop.

The hike is moderate, with slight elevation gain and some rock scrambling, but it is an excellent hike to do all year round. There are three waterfalls along the trail, so bring your camera and a bathing suit. 

View from Deep Creek Trail

8. Parham Memorial Park

In the center of Maggie Valley, Parham Memorial Park serves as a great resting place, or a fine place to stop and have a picnic.

The park isn’t large, but it has a dozen picnic tables right next to the creek, and public bathrooms. It’s a nice place to go fishing or take a small walk. Dogs are welcome.

Address: 1861 State Rd 1307, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

9. Tube World

Residents of Maggie Valley do not let the snow stop them from getting out and having fun. Tube World is just four miles from Cataloochee Ski Area.

At Tube World, you’ll find 12 professionally groomed and maintained tubing lanes. Let your inner child out, and have fun with the whole family.   

Address: 4821 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

Snow Tubing is one of the fun things to do in Maggie Valley NC

10. Mingo Falls

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has many attractions and beautiful sights. Mingo Falls is one of the waterfalls inside the park. This 120-foot waterfall is one of the taller, and what many consider to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina.

The Cherokee people who lived on this land considered the falls to be a sacred place. 

The hike to get to the falls is short, only about a quarter of a mile, however, it involves climbing 160 steps to reach the top for the perfect view of the falls. It is well worth the climb, and an incredible sight to see.

Image of Mingo Falls

Day Trips from Maggie Valley NC

Maggie Valley serves as a center point for lots of other attractions and things to do in the same area. There are plenty of things to see all within a short distance from the town that can all make for the perfect day trip. 

11. Lake Junaluska

Only 15 minutes down the road from Maggie Valley is Lake Junaluska. The lake is popular for the Lake Junaluska conference center and retreat that sits on 1200 acres bordering the lake. While this land is private, there is a public access walking trail that loops around the lake. 

If you are looking for a quiet retreat center for the family, this is a great place to look into. You can book a stay at the historic hotel that sits right at the water’s edges, and you can also look into vacation rentals that are on the property. Lake cruises and golf courses are just some of the many accommodations that come with a stay.  

Address: 91 North Lakeshore Drive Lake Junaluska, NC 28745

Image of Lake Junaluska

12. Cataloochee Ski Area

One of the most popular winter attractions is the Cataloochee Ski Area. Only a short 10-minute drive from Maggie Valley, Cataloochee Ski is popular amongst families and those looking for a more relaxed ski experience.

The mountain stands 5,400 feet tall, and there are 5 ski lanes available to ski. 3 chair lifts can bring you to the top, and there are also 2 carpet lifts. Snowboarders are welcome here and might enjoy the Cat Cage, a fully equipped terrain park. 

Whether you are looking for a laid-back ski day, or you’re looking for ski lessons for the kids, there is no better way to spend a snowy winter day than riding down the mountain. 

Address: 1080 Ski Lodge Road Maggie Valley, NC 28751

Maggie Valley NC Snow Skiing

13. Cataloochee Elk Watching

All the locals in the Cataloochee Valley know and love the wild elk that gather and roam here. It is this special section in the southeastern part of the Great Smoky Mountain national park that elk have made their home.

During the 80s and 90s, the elk population was rapidly declining and dying off, so 52 elk were released into this area in 2001 in hopes that they would grow and thrive, and they certainly did! 

Simply driving around this area will allow you to witness the elk. They roam without cages or fences, so please view them respectfully and safely. Early morning and late evening are typically the best times to see the elk.

Spring is when the calves, or baby elk, are born and travel with the herd. One of the best places to see the elk are at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and the Cataloochee Divide Trail.  

Oconaluftee Visitor Center Address: 1194 Newfound Gap Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719

Elk Viewing in Cataloochee Valley is one of the very popular things to do in Maggie Valley NC

14. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the entire country. It is rich in natural diversity, mountain peaks, and wildlife. Many suggest spending at least a few days exploring and camping in the park, however, you can easily enjoy a day hike as well. 

There are over 150 official trails in the 500,000 acres that make up the park. Some must-do trails include The Chimney Tops Trail, Clingmans Dome (highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park), Roaring Fork Motor Trail, Cades Cove Loop, Grotto Falls, and Baskin Creek Falls. 

Image of Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls

15. Blue Ridge Parkway

You can’t travel in The Great Smoky Mountains area without spending some time on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway is a long and famous road that stretches for 469 miles and takes 12-13 hours to drive in its entirety but simply driving short sections of it is wholly worthwhile.

Milepost 455.7 is the exit for Maggie Valley, making the town easily accessible from the road. 

You can easily spend multiple days driving, hiking, and camping along the parkway. It makes for a truly wonderful and unique road trip experience.

Some things to look out for along the parkway include Mount Pisgah, Waterrock Knob, Linville Falls, Mount Mitchell, and Grandfather Mountain.  You’ll find many areas to stop for some of the best views in Western NC. 

Linn Cove Viaduct along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Not sure where to stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Enjoy this Scenic Blue Ridge Parkway Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour HERE

Maggie Valley Shopping

Though the town is small, there is a quaint downtown strip with a few shops and trinket stores. While you are in the area, it is worth it to walk around and see what there is to offer. You may learn something new about the town, or find something you like.

👜 Maggie Valley Rock Shop 

Maggie Valley Rock Shop or, Blue Earth Traders, is Maggie Valley’s rock shop and gem mine. Here you can search around the shop for beautiful gems, fossils, jewelry, crystals, and more. 

They have a large selection, and affordable prices, but you can’t leave without trying your hand at the gem mine. You pay for the bucket, then you are free to see what you can find. Rubies and Sapphires are commonly found along with other local gems. 

Address: 3894 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

👜 Maggie Mountaineer Crafts

You can’t visit Maggie Valley without stopping by Maggie Mountaineer Crafts. It is one of the oldest shops in the valley, open since 1950, and has the best selection of valley items. You can find things like knives, moccasins, homemade fudge, clothing, jams, jewelry, and lots more. 

Out front of the shop, you’ll see an old truck and a larger-than-life bear display, which everyone takes pictures with. While you are visiting this area you must stop by, take a picture, and grab a souvenir. 

Address: 2394 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

👜 Cabbage Rose 

For all kinds of handmade goods, luxury items, and unique gift ideas, you will want to stop at Cabbage Rose. Cabbage Rose has been open since 1982 and has been pleasing customers with their fascinating products ever since. 

Popular items include their bath and body products, jewelry, clothing, and home decor. This shop has it all with interesting items and a very friendly staff. You will find your visit to Cabbage Rose both fulfilling and entertaining. 

Address: 3388-A, 3388 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

👜 Jelly Bellies Mountain Gift 

If you have a sweet tooth, this is the shop for you! Jelly Bellies is a one-stop candy shop with all the delicious treats and candy you can think of.

They have 365 different types of candies including classic favorites like Clove Gum, Jelly Belly, and BB Bats. They also have exciting flavors of fudge that you will not be able to stay away from. 

Address: 3477 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

Image of Jelly Beans

Restaurants in Maggie Valley NC

The restaurants in Maggie Valley are just what you might think when you think of a small, close-knit mountain town. The restaurants in Maggie Valley are warm, wholesome, family-owned, and serve classic homemade meals. Following are some of the locals’ favorites. 

☑️ Pops’ Biscuits, Burgers, and BBQ

For breakfast and lunch, visitors and locals come to Pops’. Pops’ brings classic Southern-style home cooking with an old-time diner atmosphere. The food is perfect and reasonably priced. Pop himself is often found bussing tables and greeting customers. 

If you are in Maggie Valley, you must stop here at least once for some delicious biscuits and gravy, or homemade hash. 

Address: 3253 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

☑️ Carver’s Maggie Valley Restaurant 

Another one of the oldest shops in Maggie Valley is Carvers Restaurant, open since 1952. Carver’s seems to hold the town together with their group holiday dinners, and warming breakfasts. Delicious, and welcoming, you will love your experience at this restaurant. 

Address: 2804 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

☑️ BearWaters Brewing Company

Opened in 2019, BearWaters Brewing Company has brought delicious flavors to Haywood County ever since. Located by the creek and in the mountains, the atmosphere doesn’t get any better than that.

You can enjoy any of their award-winning brews on their beautiful outdoor patio or inside their large open-concept restaurant. They also have a menu with small plates, flatbreads, and salads. 

BearWaters is a great way to spend the afternoon with friends and family. The location is gorgeous, and you will surely love the drinks. 

Address: 4352 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

☑️ J Arthurs Restaurant 

In a mountain lodge setting, with wooden walls, large ceilings, and big windows overlooking the mountains, this is a place to come and enjoy excellent seafood and Southern dinners. For over 30 years, J Arthurs has gifted people with warm service, a cozy environment, and warm, mouthwatering meals. 

Address: 2843 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

☑️ Joey’s Pancake House

Ready for a great breakfast, make sure to stop by for some creative pancakes and comfort food at Joey’s Pancake house, which is a circa-1966 daytime diner.  Fan favorites include the hash brown casserole, biscuits and gravy, and of course the pancakes while you are here.  Be prepared for a wait.

Address: 4309 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751

Places to Stay in Maggie Valley NC

Since Maggie Valley is a mountain vacation destination, this means there must be some beautiful and authentic lodges and cabin rentals to enjoy in the area. These are a few of visitors’ favorites. 

✅ Maggie Mountain Vacations

Through Maggie Mountain Vacations, you have over 40 gorgeous cabins to choose from. Whether you are looking for a ski rental home near Cataloochee, you want a beautiful vacation rental that fits the whole family, or you are looking for something rustic, and unique for a romantic getaway, you can pick anything that best fits your needs. 

✅ Jonathan Creek Inn and Villas

Jonathan Creek Inn is the perfect small-town, charming mountain hotel that you are looking for. There are a handful of clean, and comfortable rooms some of which have creekside scenic views. There is an indoor pool on-site, and many restaurants right nearby. 

The hotel has affordable prices and a warm, friendly staff that will make your stay enjoyable.  


Festivals in Maggie Valley

Maggie Valley Festival Grounds might be some of the most beautiful festival grounds with the Great Smoky Mountains as the backdrop. The festival grounds bring a large array of visitors with the many different special events they have had over the years. 

Many of these festivals have made quite the name for themselves over the years, and continue to thrive year after year. Here are a few of those festivals that have become staples in the community. 

✔️ Hillbilly Jam

For two days in July, the Hillbilly Jam brings loads of entertainment, bluegrass music, and shows to the area. Each year a large variety of music rings out to the mountains including bluegrass, country, and rock n roll bands. 

This year the popular Moonshiners will be joining in the fun along with the many distillers and breweries that attend the festival. This will be an event for the whole family and you can spend the weekend relaxing, playing games and having fun. 

Dates/Times: July 21-22, 2023 from 10 am to 10 pm 

Close up of someone playing the guitar

✔️ Thunder in the Smokies Motorcycle Rally

The oldest and largest rally in the Great Smoky Mountains takes place on three separate weekends throughout the year. It is one of the largest bike rallies in the Smoky Mountains featuring bike tours, prize-winning bike games, and bike shows. 

Each weekend includes food trucks, and live music. This is an event you won’t want to miss! 

Dates/Times: May 5-7, 2023, June 30-July 2, 2023, September 8-10, 2023 

✔️ Maggie Valley Arts and Crafts Festival

For three weekends during the summer and fall, the festival grounds hold Maggie Valley’s largest gathering of artisans and crafters to sell their handmade items. Crafters from all over the state come to share their beautiful goods. 

You’ll find all kinds of things like pottery, paintings, photography, handmade clothing, soaps, and seasonal items. Food trucks will also be parked. 

Dates/Times: July 8-9 2023, September 2-3 2023, October 21-22, 2023 

Image of Pottery

✔️ South Eastern Mini Truck Nationals

For the past 28 years, Maggie Valley has been hosting the national mini truck festival. Usually, for a weekend in April, those who love trucks, truckin’, food, and games gather for fun at the Maggie Valley fairgrounds.

There are VIP parties, prize competitions, food trucks, drinks, auctions, and more.

Dates/Times: April 21-23, 2023

✔️ Smoky Mountain Bluegrass Festival 

Bluegrass has made its home in the Appalachian mountains. To showcase the people’s appreciation and love for the old fiddle and banjo tunes, the annual Smoky Mountain Bluegrass Festival has been taking place since the 1980s. 

For one day the festival includes the annual fundraiser, raffles, music vendors, and of course, award-winning bluegrass musicians playing live all day long.

As always there is local food and drink available. This is the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon with the family and enjoy some old mountain music.

Dates/Times: October 28, 2023 

Man playing a banjo

Final Thoughts

For decades, Maggie Valley has been a perfect place for people to come and explore the mountains. The wonderful thing about Maggie Valley is that it feels like life almost slows down once you’re there.

There are so many fun things to do in Maggie Valley NC. Through places like the antique shop, the Soco Tower, or the motorcycle museum, you can learn so much about the history of the area along with the people who have lived here for so long.

You can’t beat a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, or the Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy all that nature has to offer. 

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