15 Best Things to Do in Robbinsville, NC

Robbinsville, NC
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Robbinsville is nestled on the foothills of the majestic Smoky Mountains in North Carolina's Graham County.

This charming rural town is plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities for those who want to visit this place.

Robbinsville is the epitome of a small-town charm surrounded by stunning natural sceneries, a warm community, and top-notch outdoor adventure.

For those who yearn to shake off stress, you will enjoy Robbinsville's peaceful environment away from the city's hustle and bustle.

Despite its size, Robbinsville once had the spotlight for being the set of numerous Hollywood films, such as The Fugitive of Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones in 1993.

In 1994 and 2015, Robbinsville was featured in the films Nell and A Walk in the Woods, respectively.

One of the main reasons Robbinsville became the set of numerous Hollywood films is its natural beauty and peaceful ambiance.

So, read this travel post to find out the best things to do in Robbinsville, NC, and nearby places.

Wander through the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest

Creek running through the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
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To start your outdoor adventure in Robbinsville, check out the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.

This famous outdoor attraction also happens to be the top-notch hiking destination in the region.

Huge roots at Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
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Since it's a stone's throw away from Robbinsville, it would be excellent to explore and wander through this picturesque forest to see its natural beauty.

At the same time, enjoy various outdoor activities like hiking, nature photography, sightseeing, and many more.

Waterfall at Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
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Historically, the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest was named after Robbinsville's famous writer, known for her poem titled "Trees."

Today, this memorial forest serves as one of the most excellent hiking destinations and natural areas in Robbinsville and Graham County.

Watch Top-Notch Live Performances at the Stecoah Valley Center

One of the most excellent activities you'll enjoy upon arriving in Robbinsville is watching shows at the Stecoah Valley Center.

This famous art center in Robbinsville substantially contributes to the Appalachian Mountain Heritage's preservation.

It features year-round shows from workshops, art festivals, musical performances, stage plays, and programs for everyone, highlighting the local heritage and culture.

In addition, the Stecoah Valley Center not just entertains and enhances the art scene of Robbinsville.

It also features a beautiful art gallery named the Stecoah Valley Artisans Gallery.

This art gallery offers visitors a unique chance to purchase local artworks from the finest artists in Graham County and Robbinsville, particularly Cherokee Indian artists.

Discover the Local Flora and Fauna at the Nantahala National Forest

Scenic view of a waterfall at Nantahala National Forest
Ken Lund from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This vast national forest is nestled in the valleys and mountains of Southwestern Carolina.

It is one of the most extensive national forests in North Carolina, spanning over 531,148 acres with an elevation of 5,800 feet above sea level.

The Nantahala National Forest is an exciting outdoor destination you shouldn't miss visiting while in Robbinsville.

It features more than just pristine forested areas; but also the picturesque Nantahala Gorge.

While visiting the Nantahala National Forest, you'll be guaranteed to enjoy hiking through more than 600 miles of trails, which are also perfect for horseback riding and mountain biking.

Discover Ancient Forests at the Slickrock Wilderness Area

Robbinsville is surrounded by forests and other natural areas worthy of exploring.

One of them is the Slickrock Wilderness Area which is home to some of the nation's most ancient old-growth virgin forests.

This natural area features a 12-mile loop hike wherein you can traverse and discover the ancient virgin forests.

The Slickrock Wilderness Area also features a challenging trail that takes you 3,700-feet ascension.

After the tiring climb, you'll be rewarded with a scenic view atop.

Suppose you're searching for more outdoor adventure in Robbinsville, head to Slickrock Wilderness Area.

Enjoy the Picturesque View at the Cherohala Skyway

Autumn trees at Cherohala Skyway
Jill Lang / Shutterstock.com

For the best view of the Smoky Mountains and surrounding natural areas, head to the Cherohala Skyway.

A drive to this thoroughfare treats you to the sweeping mountainside view and the horizon from a distance.

Cherohala Skyway is one of North America's Top 10 Motorcycle Ride Destinations.

Don't forget to list this in your itinerary in Robbinsville, as you'll enjoy watching the vast and unobstructed scenery while driving.

Top view of Cherohala Skyway
Brian Stansberry, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At the same time, you can check out its hiking trails and beautiful waterfalls in the surrounding areas.

The entire skyway spans 43 miles from connecting Robbinsville to Tennessee's Tellico Plains and other parts of North Carolina.

Whether you're passing through the Cherohala Skyway for a scenic ride or for its outdoor activities, this place in Robbinsville is something you shouldn't miss to visit when you're in town.

Relax at the Graham County Park

Those not in the mood to go on an adventure can head to Graham County Park for a relaxing, fun-filled activity with your family or travel crew.

This community park in Robbinsville is situated along Moose Branch Road.

It is an excellent place to bring your family, especially kids, and let them play with the park's children's playground.

At the same time, you can lay out your favorite picnic blanket and appreciate the laid-back vibes of Robbinsville.

In addition, Graham County Park is a stone's throw away from shops, restaurants, and other attractions in Robbinsville, making it a convenient attraction in town.

Traverse the Famous Tail of the Dragon

Scenic view from Tail of the Dragon
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Another famous and scenic thoroughfare in Robbinsville worth checking is the Tail of the Dragon or Highway 129.

The Tail of the Dragon is well-known for its twisty-curvy and tail-like road passing through two famous places in North Carolina; the Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains.

Like the Cherohala Skyway, this thoroughfare is also a famous car and motorcycle destination in the nation.

Curvy road along the Tail of the Dragon
William Klos from Mason, US, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Tail of the Dragon has over 318 curves making it a bit challenging to drive, especially for newbie drivers.

Thus, be extra careful and slow down when traversing these curves.

Nonetheless, you'll be mesmerized by the scenic views of the ridges, vistas, and mountain ranges throughout your journey there.

Appreciate the Heritage of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians

Robbinsville is also home to a significant group of Cherokee Indians that showcases the unique and colorful cultural heritage of its tribe.

Their community is adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains, wherein they have a reservation of over 57,000 acres named Qualla Boundary.

They have their own autonomous court system and ways of governing themselves, making it fascinating to discover.

They have various activities, such as the Cherokee Bonfire and "Unto These Hills," for locals and visitors who want to learn about their colorful heritage.

Suppose you're deeply fascinated about the Native Americans' culture and heritage while in Robbinsville, you can check out the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.

Step Back in Time at the Graham County Courthouse

Facade of Graham County Courthouse
Warren LeMay from Cincinnati, OH, United States, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

In downtown Robbinsville, you'll quickly notice the beautiful orange-brick architecture of the Graham County Courthouse.

This courthouse along North Main Street is not just an important government building in town but also holds a significant historical value in Graham County.

Visiting the Graham County Courthouse is a unique historical experience wherein you'll learn some of the most fascinating backstories of Graham County and Robbinsville.

In addition, you'll surely love to take photos or pose at the Graham County Courthouse because of its beautiful Classical Revival structure.

This courthouse has been standing since 1942 and remains an important government building in the entire county today.

Pay Tribute to the Junaluska Memorial and Medicine Trail

This memorial in Robbinsville is a unique attraction worth visiting for a bit of a historical side trip in town.

The Junaluska Memorial and Medicine Trail was put up to pay tribute or perhaps honor a Cherokee leader named Junaluska, who was a significant figure in the 1800s.

The memorial is where Junaluska and his family's final resting place.

Visiting there, you'll see various Cherokee artifacts and artworks.

At the same time, you can traverse the famous Medicinal Plant trail, which offers visitors like you a fascinating backstory about the area.

The trail served as the Cherokee Indians' site to harvest medicine and food back in the day.

Experience Whitewater Rafting at the Cheoah River

Small falls at Cheoah River
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For a thrilling experience during your visit to Robbinsville, try the whitewater rafting activity at the Cheoah River.

This river flowing through Robbinsville is one of the most excellent places for whitewater rafting in the southeast region of the United States.

It is home to numerous rapids and steep falls, making it an exciting riverway to have whitewater rafting.

Narrow wooden swinging bridge over Cheoah River
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The Cheoah River makes its way between the southern part of North Carolina.

It ends in two intense and steep 3.2-kilometers of whitewater before it reaches Lake Calderwood.

Robbinsville has numerous whitewater rafting guided tours that you can hook up with, such as the Endless River Adventures in the neighboring city of Bryson.

Beautiful view of Cheoah River
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Taste the Delightful Wehrloom Honey

This local one-stop shop for all honey products is a must-visit place in Robbinsville.

The Wehrloom Honey along Willie Colvin Road is famous for its honey products from bees who thrive in the Appalachian Mountains.

Suppose you're looking for something delectable to bring back home with you after visiting Robbinsville; Wehrloom Honey has dozens of products made from honey.

Although it's a small family-owned business, this shop in Robbinsville is considered one of the best places to buy top-notch natural honey.

They are well-known to have a bee farm containing over 30 million bees that are delicately taken care of.

Aside from shopping for honey products, you can have a fun-filled tour at their bee farm and honey-making plant to complete your experience visiting there.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Picturesque view of a train moving amidst fresh green plants at Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Bob Pool / Shutterstock.com

A 36-minute drive east of Robbinsville takes you to the neighboring city of Bryson, where you'll find the spectacular Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

This famous attraction lets you hop on a vintage passenger train, taking you through the scenic countryside of North Carolina's western portion and various destinations.

It is a spectacular experience in Bryson City that you shouldn't miss when you visit Robbinsville.

Steam engine at Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
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Along the journey through the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, you will pass through picturesque landscapes of the Smoky Mountains and several tourist destinations.

To add more excitement, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has regular events and activities aboard the train where you and your loved ones can join.

Explore the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Mesmerizing sunrise at Great Smoky Mountain National Park
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Your visit to Robbinsville won't be complete without going out and exploring one of America's most visited national parks, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

This fantastic outdoor experience takes you to one of the most scenic places in North Carolina.

Waterfall at Great Smoky Mountain National Park
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You can enjoy hiking, camping, picnicking, biking, wildlife viewing, or nature photography through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park's natural sceneries.

This national park, established in 1926, comprises a series of ridges and the virtually endless forested area bordering North Carolina and Tennessee.

A cabin standing amidst the greenery at Great Smoky Mountain National Park
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In addition, this national park has rich and diverse flora and fauna, along with over a hundred historical buildings and sites that you can explore.

This famous park is a 26-minute drive north of Robbinsville.

Camp at the Famous Lake Santeetlah

Kayaking in Lake Santeetlah
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A 14-minute drive north of Robbinsville takes you to the gorgeous Lake Santeetlah.

This famous lake in North Carolina is also a top-notch outdoor destination.

To experience Lake Santeetlah's offerings, you can set up camp at the Cheoah Point Recreation Area.

A young woman wakeboarding in Lake Santeetlah
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During your stay at this famous campsite in Lake Santeetlah, you can also engage in various outdoor activities.

You and your travel crew will indeed enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, and picnicking along the shores of this famous North Carolina lake.

Aerial view of Lake Santeetlah
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To further explore this massive lake north of Robbinsville, you can rent pontoon boats, kayaks, or ski boats at the Santeetlah Marina.

Furthermore, this lake is an angler's haven for being abundant in various fish species such as bream, crappie, bluegill, bass, lake trout, and walleye.

Final Thoughts

Robbinsville's laid-back vibes, pristine forests, and natural areas make it a haven for outdoor adventurers.

The best way to explore this town in North Carolina is by going outdoors.

Wear your hiking boots and bring out your adventurous spirit in exploring Robbinsville's mountains, forests, streams, and lakes.

To make your visit extra convenient in town, don't forget to bookmark this travel post about the best things to do in Robbinsville, North Carolina, as your handy itinerary.