Nestled in the heart of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Lake Junaluska, named for Mount Junaluska, offers vacationers breathtaking mountain views and exceptional water excursions. If you want to relax while vacationing in Haywood County with the family, tap into the easygoing culture of this popular area that is rich with history and water fun. Spend your days paddling down the river, hiking the mountains, or even taking a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take a leisurely walk around the lake, or embark on an educational experience with a trip to the World Methodist Council Museum. Book a stay at an unforgettable Lake Junaluska vacation rental today. Whether your kids are looking for action or seeking to learn something new, Lake Junaluska delivers with these nine activities and many more.

1. Take a Boat Tour

See the beauty Lake Junaluska has to offer by embarking on a boat tour with the entire family. Between May and September each year, you can “Ride the Cherokee” with a relaxing ride on the Cherokee IV and a tour guide. Simply purchase tickets in advance at Junaluska Gifts & Grounds and plan for a day on the water.

2. Tour the World Methodist Council Museum

Learn more about the beginnings of the Methodist Church when touring the World Methodist Council Museum, located within minutes from your vacation rental on Lake Junaluska. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays, this museum boasts an expansive collection of artifacts to teach your kids more about how the Wesleyan movement gained popularity in spiritual circles.

3. Take a Leisurely Walk on the Lake Junaluska Walking Trail

If the kids are getting antsy, help them release some energy with a family walk on the Lake Junaluska walking trail at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. This 2.3-mile trail circles the lake and offers a stunning view of the mountains. Snap some photos above the dam or on the Turbeville Footbridge. The trail features historic buildings along the way and you can even obtain a trail guide with historical information about the sights and the area from the visitor’s center at the retreat center.

Find the perfect Lake Junaluska vacation rental on is the world's #1 vacation rental search engine with over 10 million properties!

4. Take a Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway

After relaxing in your vacation rental, set out for a drive to see the scenic mountain region surrounding Lake Junaluska. The Blue Ridge Parkway will get you there, offering 20,000 square miles of winding roads that lead to the highest spot of the Appalachian mountain range. Drive the pathway until you reach the observation balcony that leaves you and the kids in awe. As a special treat, take the drive when the leaves are in full bloom.

5. Hike the Smoky Mountains

Give your kids an opportunity of a lifetime to see black bears and salamanders when hiking the smoky mountains. Within minutes from your vacation rental, you can head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and begin exploring what nature has to offer. Hike through trails with wildflowers, see the preserved log cabins within the park, and tour the grist mills to entertain the kids. The ancient mountains boast culture and history even your little ones can appreciate.

6. Roll Through Another Time

Excite the motorcycle enthusiast in your family with a visit to the Wheels Through Time Museum. Featuring a collection of vintage motorcycles, this museum offers more than just wheels. Your kids can walk through the museum to see marques on display and more than 300 classic motorcycles. Conveniently located near Blue Ridge Parkway and your vacation rental, an afternoon traveling through time may be just what you need on a rainy day.

7. Plan a Fishing Adventure

If your family is in the mood for a serene day on the lake, opt to spend the day fishing. Lake Junaluska is a popular spot to break out your rod and reel to try to catch bass, perch, trout, bluegill, and brim. Just make sure you acquire a North Carolina fishing license for all of your fishing enthusiasts.

8. Kayak and Paddle Down the River

Enjoy the warm temperatures from Memorial Day to Labor Day with a day of paddling down the river on a kayak. Access points are located within minutes from vacation rentals, and you can easily rent a paddle boat, kayak, canoe, or paddle board from the Lake Junaluska Rec Hut. Boat rentals are available, too. If you want to stay closer to your vacation rental, check out the outdoor pool at the Lake Junaluska Aquatic Center for a refreshing swim with the kids.

9. Spend a Day on the Course

Make golfing a family event when prepping your kids for a day of 18 holes at the Lake Junaluska Golf Course. This challenging course boasts several blind shots for the experienced golfer and a fun time for golfers of all skill and age levels. Enjoy a few practice sessions with a golf trainer or try your skills at the driving range before heading out to the course. The 5,034-yard course gives you the platform to make memories and the dining facilities and cafe give you a chance to take a break with the kids. If your little ones are tapped into technology, the golf course’s cafe offers free wireless internet access.

Ready to go? Check out these amazing Lake Junaluska vacation rentals on