15 Best Things to Do in Cullowhee, NC

Cullowhee, NC
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If you're looking for a fun and exciting place to visit, you should check out Cullowhee, North Carolina.

This small village has a lot to offer tourists and newcomers alike.

There are many things to do in Cullowhee, including hiking, fishing, and exploring the local museums.

You can also spend time by the lake or chase the sunrise or sunset.

No matter what you choose to do, you're sure to have a great time in this charming little town.

Here are the best things to do in Cullowhee, NC:

Check Out the Judaculla Rock

Daytime view of the Judaculla Rock
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Cullowhee has a rich culture and history that you can explore at the Judaculla Rock.

You can find this rock in a sacred place for the Cherokee tribe.

It's also a popular tourist attraction.

The Judaculla Rock is known for its petroglyph carvings that depict Cullowhee's rich history at a glance.

Each design symbolizes important events and stories in Cullowhee more than a millennium ago.

Closeup details of the Judaculla Rock
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The Cherokee Indians were the original settlers in what is now Cullowhee, NC.

They also etched the 1,500 carvings on the Judaculla Rock.

The carvings and etchings on this rock provide an exciting glimpse into the past.

If you're interested in Native American culture, this is a place you'll want to go in Cullowhee, NC.

Ride Horses at the Arrowmont Stables

Cullowhee offers many outdoor activities, and horseback riding is at the top of the to-do list.

If you're looking for a place to ride horses, you should check out Arrowmont Stables.

This 200-acre horse farm offers trails, lessons, and boarding for horses.

You can also find horse-related items at the gift shop, including art, saddles, and more.

If you're looking for an outdoor activity in Cullowhee, this place offers slightly different from the rest.

So, check out the Arrowmont Stables.

Relax on a Yacht at the Lake Glenville Scenic Waterfall Cruises

Who would've thought a little town like Cullowhee could offer a luxurious cruise experience on a serene lake?

The Lake Glenville Scenic Waterfall Cruises provides just that!

If you're looking for a relaxing way to spend your day in Cullowhee, the Lake Glenville Scenic Waterfall Cruises give you what you need.

Operating since 1978, this family-owned and operated business provides a variety of cruises on the breathtaking Lake Glenville.

The company makes the cruise experience accessible by offering a variety of boats, including luxury yachts and pontoon boats.

You can also go on a public cruise or take a private cruise for you and your friends.

Have a Picnic at the East LaPorte River Access Park

The great outdoors is the best place to create lasting fun moments under the sun while enjoying good food with the people you love.

The East LaPorte River Access Park is an excellent option for that experience.

This riverside park offers beautiful views of the great East LaPorte river and is the perfect place for a peaceful afternoon picnic with friends and family.

The park has a variety of amenities, including grills, pavilions, and restrooms.

You can also find a variety of fishing spots at the park, making it the perfect place to spend a day in nature.

If you're looking for a picturesque spot to have a picnic in Cullowhee, check out the East LaPorte River Access Park.

Beat the Heat at the Pines Recreation Area

When you visit Cullowhee during the summer, you might notice that the heat can get pretty intense.

If you're looking for a place to cool off, the Pines Recreation Area is the perfect spot.

This recreation area is perfect for a day trip.

The Pines Recreation Area has several amenities, including picnic tables, grills, hiking trails, and a playground.

The highlight of the recreation area, however, is the calm and pristine Lake Glenville.

This reservoir is the perfect place to take a dip on a hot day.

You can also go canoeing, fishing, or kayaking.

If  you're looking for a place to beat the heat and enjoy some time in nature, check out the Pines Recreation Area.

Visit the Western Carolina University

Balsam residence hall in Western Carolina University
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If you're looking for a bit of education and entertainment while on vacation, you should check out Western Carolina University.

Located at the heart of Cullowhee, WCU is more than just a school - it's also a cultural center for the town.

Founded in 1889, WCU is one of the oldest universities in North Carolina.

It's also one of the most diverse, with students coming from all over the world.

In addition, Western Carolina University offers a variety of educational opportunities, including art exhibits, musical performances, and more.

Besides being a premier institution for learning and research, Western Carolina University is also a breathtaking campus.

Towering mountains surround the area and act as a backdrop, making the WCU campus a sight to behold.

Alumni tower in Western Carolina University
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WCU is also home to many outdoor activities, as evident by its well-known Trail System.

The Western Carolina University Trail System is one of the most extensive in the southeast United States and offers something for everyone.

With over 30 miles of trails, you can hike, bike, run, and explore Cullowhee's natural beauty.

If you also want to learn about the region's rich Appalachian history, check out the Mountain Heritage Center.

Located inside WCU, the Mountain Heritage Center is one of the downtown tourist spots in Cullowhee.

Visit Western Carolina University when you can!

Central plaza in Western Carolina University
Bryan Pollard / Shutterstock.com

Pick Fruits at Thomas Berry Farm

Cullowhee is a great place to get fresh, local produce.

The Thomas Berry Farm is one of the best places to get fruits and vegetables in Cullowhee.

The Thomas Berry Farm is a family-owned and operated farm that has grown fresh produce for over 40 years.

The farm offers a variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples, strawberries, tomatoes, and more.

You can also pick your fruits and vegetables at the Thomas Berry Farm.

This is a great activity to do with kids or if you're looking for a fun outdoor activity.

See a Movie at Quin Theater

Do you want to catch a movie while in Cullowhee? If so, head to Quin Theater in nearby Sylva, NC. This historic theater has been in business since 1978 and offers a variety of movies, from new releases to classics.

Located at  10 E Sylva shopping Circle in Sylva, NC, the Quin Theater is a great place to go for a night out. The theater also has a concession stand, so you can buy snacks or drinks to enjoy during the movie.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Check Out the American Museum of the House Cat

Are you a cat lover?

If yes, the American Museum of the House Cat should be a top destination for you!

As the name indicates, this museum is dedicated to the history and culture of house cats.

The American Museum of the House Cat serves as a haven where you can feast your eyes on various artworks of house cats.

It also has a library that contains a treasure trove of materials about cats, including books, magazines, and articles.

The museum has a wide variety of exhibits, including art, literature, and even technology related to house cats.

There are also interactive displays that allow visitors to learn more about these beloved pets.

You can find the American Museum of the House Cat in Sylva, North Carolina, 14 minutes from Cullowhee.

Go on a Water Adventure at the Tuckaseegee Outfitters

The outskirts of Cullowhee also have some fantastic adventures for you!

For instance, you can go to Whittier, North Carolina, a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

You can also find Tuckaseegee Outfitters there, 18 minutes from Cullowhee.

This family-owned and operated business provides a variety of outdoor adventures, including whitewater rafting, kayaking, fishing, and more.

Tuckaseegee Outfitters is one of the few outfitters that offer trips down the iconic Tuckaseegee River.

With its calm waters and beautiful scenery, this river is perfect for a relaxing day of kayaking or rafting.

You can choose between solo or guided adventures to make the most out of your three-hour stay.

Explore the river through kayaks, experience the rapids on a raft, or fish for trout in the pristine waters of the Tuckaseegee River.

Tuckaseegee Outfitters is a testament to the outdoor opportunities that Cullowhee and its surrounding areas offer.

Solve Puzzles at 828 Escape Room

If you're looking for a fun, indoor activity to do near Cullowhee, make sure to check out 828 Escape Room.

This family-owned and operated business offer various puzzles and challenges for you to solve in a limited amount of time.

You can find the 828 Escape Room in Sylva, North Carolina, 14 minutes from Cullowhee.

The 828 Escape Room is perfect for team-building exercises, date nights, or just a fun night out with friends or family.

Your team has only 60 minutes to gather clues to solve the puzzles and mysteries in this escape room.

With various themes to choose from, 828 Escape Room should give you the perfect adventure.

Visit the Old Cardinal Gem Mine

Franklin, North Carolina, is known as the "Gem Capital of the World."

If you're looking for a fun, educational activity in the area, visit the Old Cardinal Gem Mine.

You can find it after a 30-minute drive from Cullowhee.

The Old Cardinal Gem Mine is a family-owned and operated business that offers gem mining tours.

During these tours, you'll learn about the history of gem mining in the area and look for gems in a sluice.

The Old Cardinal Gem Mine is an excellent activity for kids or adults.

It also has other amenities, including a gift shop, picnic area, and playground.

The gift shop, in particular, is a great place to buy souvenirs or gifts for friends and family.

Visit the Smoky Mountain Railway Museum

The Smoky Mountain Railway Museum is a great place to learn about the history of railroading in the area.

You can find it in Bryson City, North Carolina, 33 minutes from Cullowhee.

The Smoky Mountain Railway Museum offers a variety of exhibits, including a model train display, historic photos, and more.

The museum also offers rides on a real, working train.

The train ride is a great way to see the scenery of the Smoky Mountains.

If you're looking for a fun and exciting train adventure just outside Cullowhee, check out the Smoky Mountain Railway Museum.

Unwind at Fusions Spa and Wellness

End your Cullowhee trip on a high note by relaxing and unwinding at Fusions Spa and Wellness.

Located in Sylva, North Carolina, Fusions Spa and Wellness is 12 minutes from Cullowhee.

This full-service spa offers various services, such as massages, facials, and more.

You can also take advantage of the spa's amenities, which include a sauna, steam room, and hot tub.

Join yoga and Pilates classes if you're up for some wellness exercise.

After days of exploring the best things to do in Cullowhee, you deserve to treat yourself to a day of relaxation.

If you're looking for a place to unwind and rejuvenate yourself, check out Fusions Spa and Wellness.

Unwind at the Bear Lake Reserve

Scenic view of Bear Lake Reserve
Jill Lang / Shutterstock.com

If you're looking for a place to get away from it all, the Bear Lake Reserve is the perfect spot.

You can find this 8,000-acre nature reserve on the outskirts of Cullowhee in Tuckasegee, North Carolina.

It's a 22-minute drive from Cullowhee, which offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

The Bear Lake Reserve has several hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous.

You can also enjoy fishing, bird watching, and more at this reserve.

Enjoy peace and relaxation when you head over to the Bear Lake Reserve.

It’s the perfect place to unwind with family after a long week at work.

Dock at Bear Lake Reserve
Jill Lang / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

Cullowhee is a charming little town that offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

With its pristine lakes, rolling hills, and beautiful forests, Cullowhee is the perfect place to experience nature.

If you love the outdoors and are looking for a place to explore, Cullowhee is the prime destination.

Add it to your travel bucket list and experience everything the village offers.

Book your trip today!

You might find more things to do in Cullowhee, NC, when you arrive.