Whether it be by kayak, canoe, raft, or tube, you’ll find yourself transported to a place where worries simply drift away. Oconaluftee Islands Park is a central hub for water lovers. From a cooling, relaxing wade with the little ones to picnics full of laughter, the Islands Park even includes stories around a bonfire night.

Cherokee is for the birds.

This area is host to over 200 species of birds and six trails listed in the North Carolina Birding Trails Guide, making it one of the best bird-watching sites in the Southeast. So, if you haven’t seen a rose-breasted grosbeak in a while…keep your fingers crossed; you might also catch a glimpse of a black bear or two—real or made of fiberglass.