Nestled in the valley of The Great Smoky Mountains, the sleepy little town of Maggie Valley is a wonderful combination of two things: breathtaking backdrops offering a host of exhilarating activities to embark on- such as camping, biking, hiking, rafting, golfing, and horseback-riding—and quiet, romantic, and relaxing weekends away with your loved ones all cozied up together in an authentic log cabin feeling the comforts of home sweet home. There is also no shortage of shopping and culinary adventures in this friendly North Carolina favorite, making it a particularly popular destination among travelers of all ages.
Seniors planning a trip to Maggie Valley have come to the right place! Here are the ten best activities for seniors to do in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
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Though many people choose to stay in Maggie Valley, this Appalachian town is also a popular place for people staying nearby to visit for the day. Here’s a list of other pretty and popular destinations near Maggie Valley:
Asheville, NC - Browse Asheville Rentals!
Gatlinburg, TN – Browse Gatlinburg Rentals!
Knoxville, TN - Browse Knoxville Rentals!
Pigeon Forge, TN - Browse Pigeon Forge Rentals!
What to do in Maggie Valley: Top 10 Activities for Seniors
1. Listening To Tunes at: Maggie Valley Opry House
Featuring bluegrass and mountain music for all to enjoy, this home of banjo legend Raymond Fairchild is open nightly (May through October) and is the perfect place to sing along with the uncanny vocal harmonies of Josh Crowe and his son, Quentin, or to tap your toes along with the lightning-fast guitar and banjo strummings of Fairchild's son, Zane.
The hangar-like building in a parking lot beside a motel is a local favorite that was opened nearly a decade ago by Crowe and Fairchild themselves, and is the spot to hang out at for music lovers of all ages, especially those who stay fiercely loyal to their Appalachian roots.
2. Shopping at: Cabbage Rose
There may be no mega-malls in this small town, but there are plenty of one-of-a-kind, locally owned shops and boutiques in the midst of all those glorious mountains. Visit local artisans in some of the area's finest art and pottery shops, especially Cabbage Rose, which offers an eclectic mix of brand names ranging from Vera Bradley to Marie Osmond. Maggie Mountaineer Crafts even offers a wide selection of local goods like jams, jellies, and moccasins. There’s much to splurge on in Maggie Valley, so get ready to do some major shopping!
3. Stomping It Out at: Stompin' Ground
Looking to get that groove on? Why not head on over to this local hotspot for mountain music and dancing? It’s a truly unique venue slash performing arts company offering preshow lessons to the public even before the action gets going, as well as one-of-a-kind Appalachian-style music and all the best sorts of traditional dancing. Square dance, line dance, two-step, or clog it out with your sweetie along to lively country bluegrass and gospel music. Sounds like the dream!
4. Fishing, Camping, & Romancing at: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
This world-renowned park offers every sort of outdoorsy activity one could possibly think of—not to mention a vivid array of plants and wildlife to stare at. It’s also a central location for fishing and is home to some of the best trout waters in western North Carolina. There are more than plenty of tiny, laurel-shrouded headwaters harboring native brook trout, or freestone mountain streams populated with brook, brown and rainbow trout. You’ll likely even catch a nice mix of smallmouth and largemouth bass, bream and trout in the insect-rich tail waters or ever-flowing spring creeks.
Plus, there’s other fun things around to enjoy as well, such as riding against the winds of time on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, which offers guests with scenic train journeys across fertile valleys, into tunnels, and through river gorges—all within a spectacularly vibrant region filled with an array of ever changing vegetation and landscapes. It’s the perfect place for you and that honey to experience the romance and mystique of an era gone by.
5. Picnicking at: Blue Ridge Parkway
Offering outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities, it’s one of the most visited sections of the National Park System--- a popular tourist attraction that’s abundant with hiking trails, campsites, interpretative exhibits, as well as some of the best picnic spots around. Feel, see, and savor the beauty of nature amongst some of the world’s most diverse display of flora and fauna, as well as the best scenic views of old farmsteads, split-rail fences, mountain meadows, and endless vistas you won’t be able to find anyplace else—all while munching on a tasty PB&J and some carrot sticks. It’s proper picnicking at its best.
6. Unleashing That Inner Child at: Ghost Town in The Sky
Sure, it’s a theme park, but don fret, because this Wild West-themed amusement land has something fun for all ages. Located in the mountains of western North Carolina atop Buck Mountains, it’s one of America's most unique family theme parks, featuring a mile-high roller coaster, crafts, food, staged gunfights, live music and shows, and lots more fantastic activities to enjoy. Step way back into the Wild West for some timeless, family-style adventure within a beautiful mountain setting offering breathtaking hilltop views. Playtime awaits!
7. Dining at: Snappy’s Italian Restaurant or Joey's Pancake House
You cannot visit Maggie Valley without checking out its more-than-friendly local restaurants, such as the popular Snappy's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, where you'll find tasty traditional Italian-American fare at a fraction of the cost of other places. No matter what you’re looking for—from traditional baked ziti to zesty cannelloni Florentine-- Snappy's will serve it piping hot with a big smile. Be sure to try their infamous Alfredo dishes, as well as handcrafted pizzas and Stromboli that are perfect for nights in with the family.
And, if you're looking to snag a hearty mountain breakfast the morning after, there’s no going wrong with Joey's Pancake House, where you can grab a stack of their famous homemade hotcakes, or opt instead for made-to-order eggs and a side of Joey's signature hash brown casserole. Yum.
8. Cruising at: Wheels Through Time Transportation Museum
When it comes to American motorcycles, there's no collection like the one at this transportation museum anywhere else in the world. Specializing in motorcycles, it’s sure to bring an adrenaline rush to any sort of speed junkie or two-wheel fan, housing over three hundred of America's rarest and most historic classic motorcycles-- with over twenty four marquees on display, including the likes of Harley-Davidson, Indian, Excelsior, Crocker, Henderson, and so much more. There are also tons of other motor-related exhibits, ranging from board track racers, hill climbing, and original paint machines, to American Dirt Track racing, choppers and boppers, and a second floor gallery displaying The Coke Machine, a Harley chopper customized into a visual tribute to its owner's favorite beverage. It’s even home to the world's most mysterious motorcycle -- the 1916 Traub – as well as the infamous Leapin' Leena, which was built in 1950 with an off-center front wheel that turned it into a bucking bronco! Other artifacts displayed include an airplane built by a seventeen-year-old, and a supersonic-looking car-of-the-future designed by a retired GM engineer -- both powered by motorcycle engines.
Still, it needs to be said that much of the museum's allure is simply its location in Maggie Valley, which just so happens to be the heart of any motorcycle-riding region. With its array of winding roads and mountain vistas. it’s the ultimate place to indulge that inner-roadie of yours. So cruise on over to this dramatically lit, 38,000-square-foot vintage auto heaven today.
9. Skiing at: Cataloochee Ski Area
Visit this snowboarding and skiing favorite to experience the glory of the wintry season, as well as the best southern hospitality on the slopes. For generations of snow-loving families, Cataloochee has been a cold-weather tradition, and with good reason too. It’s a snow-laden playground nestled deep within the Great Smoky Mountains with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. Ride on up in that chairlift and prepare to have a blast. There’s never been anything more rewarding than this winter sport hotspot.
10. Getting Down at: Diamond K Dance Ranch
Another local place to get down and dirty would be this local hotspot featuring live “Classic” and “Top 40” country music – all year round. There’s also free line dance lessons available Saturday evenings followed up by the unique musical renderings of their in house Full House Band. Kick up your heels and line-dance the night away at western North Carolina's "largest country western night club." Plus, you’re likely to find some of the best free Bluegrass tunes around.
More about Maggie Valley, NC:
Maggie Valley's residents take great pride in maintaining their Appalachian mountain culture, all while preserving the region's ecological resources. What could be better?
Travelers of all sorts will find a variety of shops featuring handmade crafts to peruse through, as well as a number of delightful restaurants specializing in good old Southern cooking and fine dining. What’s more is that weather is consistently mild year-round, with only moderate seasonal changes, which makes it all the more better to visit-- anytime. With so much natural beauty and so many things to do, adventure and action awaits in Maggie Valley!
This article was written by Pamela Chan.