15 Best Things to Do in Murphy, NC

15 Best Things to Do in Murphy, NC

Patrick Jennings / shutterstock.com

Located in the Cherokee county of North Carolina, Murphy is a destination with a rich cultural history.

If you always dreamed of escaping to the mountains and spending some time away from the busy city life, Murphy is probably the place for you to be.

With a population of 1627 people, this beautiful small town tucked away in the mountains will provide you a calm and relaxing ambiance.

You can even catch picturesque landscapes, meet interesting people, eat and drink and know about the local history.

Moreover, this mountain town is easily accessible. Knoxville is the nearest airport to the town, located 50 miles away.

Have you already booked your tickets or are you still waiting for something? Whatever step you might be in, read on to find out all the exciting things that you can do once you reach Murphy!

Take the Murphy River Walk

You can take the 4-mile Greenway trail or book yourself a canoe trip.

The Murphy river is the central and the most vital part of the town.

Plus, the beauty of the trail is bound to mesmerize you.

It is a very famous trail, widely known both locally and nationally, so expect a crowd when you visit.

It is also suitable for all skill levels, thus making it easier for families with children.

Dogs are allowed to take the trail as long as they are kept on a leash all the time.

Another plus point is that you have ample parking spaces.

The paved section of the trail is situated towards the North of the river, specifically in Konehete Park and is perfect for strollers and wheelchairs.

Stay at the Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel
Warren LeMay from Cincinnati, OH, United States, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Who doesn’t love to try out their luck at a casino? If you are someone who loves how casinos work, look, smell and sound, you have to visit this casino.

You can even rent a room here. Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River provides visitors with the option of choosing from more than 1000 slot machines.

If you are a sports enthusiast, there is something for you as well.

The Book, a recent addition to the casino, allows one to bet on sports matches.

Other than that, there are ample dining options for the guests.

Starting from Starbucks to more sophisticated family restaurants, one can find everything they might want.

The drive up to the property is easy with a beautiful view.

Visit the Cherokee National History Museum

Located at 101 S. Muskogee Avenue in the Cherokee National Capitol building, the National Museum is the chief landmark of the town. So, try not to leave this out of your itinerary.

Restored recently, this new museum reopened for public visitations in 2019.

This place has a rich collection of art related to the history and tribal heritage of the place.

Since the Cherokee Nation is the largest tribe in America, the museum is an important part of their lives and a contributor to the area’s economy.

You can contact them in advance to book one of their tours.

They also conduct interactive workshops and classes for a more interactive experience.

Take a day trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Diego Trabucco / Shutterstock.com

The national park is located at a distance of 16 miles from Murphy and a 30 minutes drive through beautiful and serene sights can lead you to the location.

This is the most visited National Park in America.

Dense forests cover the area which lies on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee.

The area is famous for its rich diversity in terms of flora and fauna. The park has been a Black Bear protection site for a long time.

The Great Smoky Mountains provide camping opportunities of different kinds. It is also a wonderful learning opportunity for children.

The association also conducts research and publishes regularly.

A bookstore is also present on the premises which sells important and informative books for travelers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Take the Apalachia Lake Tour

The lake is situated in Cherokee County on the west of Murphy.

It is one of the most important and famous lakes in the country.

Running for about 9.8 miles, its shoreline extends to a massive distance of 31 miles.

The area is perfect for a day amidst nature. It is suitable for all sorts of family activities, like enjoying a picnic, camping, fishing and the like.

Chartered boat tours are also available which are accompanied by the captain.

If you want to relax and soak yourself in all sorts of natural activities, this is the place to be.

Take a look at the site’s itinerary and pick from a range of activities like waterfall hiking, swimming, tubing, and other exotic activities listed out on their seasonal guide.

Engage in a biblical experience in the unique Fields of the Wood nature park

This beautiful park is situated along the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

It is an outdoor park with a biblical theme. The park has a total area of 200 acres and has beautiful mountains, streams, valleys and wooded areas.

The fascinating part however, is the man-made installations that get their inspiration from the Bible.

Apart from the Baptism pool and the Arise and Shine marker, one of the most famous parts of this nature park is the Ten Commandments Mountain.

This installation of the ten commandments in stone is the signature attraction of the park and you don’t want to miss it.

If you want to take back souvenirs, there is a gift shop and a cafe inside the premises.

Visit the Hiwassee Dam

Hiwassee Dam
George Dukin / Shutterstock.com

Dams can be wonderful places to observe and learn.

It might seem to be a different kind of addition to your to-visit list but the Hiwassee Dam is one of the important dams in this part of the country and apart from having a fun time, there is also much to learn from its rich historical past.

Built off the Hiwassee river way back in the 1930s to control flooding of the area, this dam earned a place in the National Register of historic places recently, in the year 2017.

A walk around the dam complex can be very informative and fun, especially if you are traveling with children.

A day at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Bob Pool / Shutterstock.com

If you are looking for an adventure with a dash of history in it, this should be on your list. Do you remember the famous Hollywood production ‘Fugitive’? Who doesn’t? Yes, it was shot in this very place.

The facility has a 53 miles track, 25 bridges and two tunnels.

A ride will take you around these tunnels, river gorges and valleys, all amidst the grandeur of the neighboring mountains.

The departure takes you to Bryson City. You can choose a 3.5 hours trip or extend it up to a day which will involve every fascinating bit that this Railroad has to offer.

You also go with their elaborate dining menu or opt for one of their boxed lunches: classic American food.

Visit the Charter of Freedom Monument

This monument is located at Woodfin Street, Asheville.

An essential part of your vacation at Murphy should be a visit to this place which holds the monument of the Charter of Freedom.

It is a grand display of the one true example of the collective American identity, the constitution.

Inaugurated in 2015, this monument has become an important place for both the citizens of America and international tourists who visit Murphy.

Apart from the granite display of the most important political document of the country, it also has honorable mentions of the three North Carolina Representatives which are displayed separately.

Drive down to the Bald River falls

Take a day trip to explore the wilderness of this fine county.

Located at a distance of 60 miles from Murphy, this river fall is one of the most visited places in the area.

The fall is 90 feet tall and easily accessible by the Tellico river road.

You can get a mesmerizing view of the falls from the comfort of your car itself if you are at the bridge across the river.

In winters, the fall freezes which takes away most of the amazing view.

So, to enjoy the beauty and elegance of the place, it is advised that you visit during the summer.

There are several swimming spots around the fall as well. Parking is limited so plan your visit accordingly.

Take your kids to the Two Crows Farm

The farm, which lies on the Southwest corner of North Carolina is home to 43 alpacas, a llama, farm dogs and cats.

This is the best place for your kids. The Two Crows farm, owned by the Ham family, is a beautiful place where your children can interact with the lovely animals and learn how life on such a farm works.

You can consult them beforehand and book a tour. You can learn all about livestock raising, growing one’s own food and processing yarn at this place.

If you want to experience country life or know about rural lifestyles then this can be an enriching experience.

Have a hearty meal at Murphy’s Chophouse

All travel and no food makes a trip a dull exercise.

So, let’s check out some of the best eateries Murphy has to offer.

Located at 130 Valley River Avenue, Murphy’s Chophouse is a restaurant that you cannot afford to miss once you’re in there.

They have an outdoor seating option in case you want to enjoy the view.

They also have ample parking spaces which make it all the more comfortable.

The place is owned by Chef James Reaux, a world-renowned cook who has specially designed a wonderful menu.

Other than that, their signature cocktails are just what you need after a day of touring the area.

They also have a private dining option but you have to make a reservation in advance to avail that.

The famous dishes from this restaurant include crab cakes and filet mignon.

Out of the many cocktails they serve, trying out Murphy’s Mule made with bourbon and ginger ale, is also a must.

Go wine tasting at the Nottely River Valley Vineyard

Established in 2008, this family-owned vineyard specializes in traditional wine-making.

The owners believe that the best way to get the best quality wine is to stay away from modern mass manufacturing processes.

The place has separate Tasting rooms that are open on Fridays and Saturdays during the season.

You can go around and get a taste of their exquisite wine collection.

In case you can’t make it during these two days, you can contact them and book an exclusive appointment with them as well.

Once you visit, you also learn a lot about the way the vineyard functions and the importance of a good environment for the cultivation of superior quality grapes.

Spend a laid back afternoon at the Valley River Brewery and Eatery

This is a one-stop solution to all your pangs. If you are looking for locally brewed fine beer, this is the place.

The Valley River Brewery provides customers with 16 different options.

You can try a flight of 4 kinds for $6 only. They also have a range of appetizers, soups and salads.

Try out their Soft pretzel served with a unique accompaniment, Beer cheese.

Their wood-fired pizzas are always the talk of the town.

Pair your beer with a pizza with your choice of toppings and enjoy.

Go on a shopping spree

What better way to end your trip with a visit to the local gift shops and mountain decor boutiques?

However, the one shop that you cannot miss is Marketplace Antiques.

They have a wide collection of everything that you can think of.

In fact, you can spend a whole day in the store, browsing through the collection and getting to know the history behind each piece, curated carefully by the owners.

The best thing about this place is that it is well-organized and you need not spend extra time looking for what you need.

North Carolina’s Murphy is best suited for all kinds of trips, be it with your family, friends, couples or solo.

The community is friendly and hospitable. The history of the Cherokee tribe is fascinating and the assortment of experiences that the area provides is limitless.

Book a trip right now and enjoy.