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Your guide to Maggie Valley
Welcome to Maggie Valley
Tucked into North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains, this laid-back resort town’s claims to fame are its highly desirable location, small-town charm, and frequent festivals, which include car and motorcycle rallies, live bluegrass shows, and clogging extravaganzas. Highlights in the old-timey downtown include Wheels Through Time, a fascinating rare car and motorcycle museum, along with plenty of craft shops, tasty restaurants, and moonshine distilleries.
The town is great, but it’s the out-of-town attractions of Southern Appalachia that draw travelers into using Maggie Valley as a base: Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the country’s most popular park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway scenic drive is a classic, particularly in the fall when the leaves are changing. In wintertime, visitors hit the powder-covered slopes at the nearby Cataloochee Ski Area and Tube World for some of the region’s best skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Maggie Valley?
Maggie Valley experiences four distinct seasons. The wintertime is pretty cold, and snow, sleet, and freezing rain sometimes make driving a challenge. Springtime brings bright green foliage and milder temperatures, but the region has been known to see snowfall as late as May, so you’ll still need to layer up. Summer days are warm (and therefore highly desirable for travelers), but the fall is the most popular season to stay in one of the area’s cabins, with Technicolor leaves, abundant fresh produce, and lots of festivals. Note that certain businesses and attractions close in colder months: For example, Wheels Through Time is only open from April to November, and Stompin’ Ground (an Appalachian-style Saturday night dance event) stretches from April to October.
What are the top things to do in Maggie Valley?
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Straddling the North Carolina-Tennessee border, these 520,976 acres of mountains and forestland are a national park, International Biosphere Reserve, and UNESCO World Heritage Site all in one. The Smokies are beloved for hikes and scenic drives through old-growth forests, thundering waterfalls, and peaks that soar to more than 6,000 feet. The Appalachian Trail passes through the park, which is home to more than 100,000 species of plant and animal, including black bears.
Early settlers to this region overhunted elk, and all were gone by the late 1700s. But in 2001, the National Park Service reintroduced the large creatures to what is now Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The most common time to spot them is around sunrise and sunset, and they often hang out just outside of Maggie Valley in Cataloochee Valley.
Cataloochee Ski Area
The first ski area in North Carolina is still one of the best. Its automatic snow-blowing system regularly blankets the mountain’s 18 trails in powder, and three chairlifts are in operation from November to March. The resort offers rentals, skiing and snowboarding instruction, and snow tubing runs.