Asheville, North Carolina is nestled on the edge of the gorgeous Nantahala National Forest. If you’re looking for a relaxing, peaceful destination to unwind, book a stay at a Maggie Valley vacation rental. This quaint village boasts plenty of small-town attractions that attract visitors from across the country. When you rent a vacation rental in Maggie Valley, you’re within proximity of historical sites, beautiful vistas, and fun shopping centers. Take a look at the most popular things to do in and around Maggie Valley.

1. Tour the Valley

The first item on most visitors’ to-do lists, after settling into their vacation rentals in Maggie Valley and maybe taking a nap, is to get out and enjoy the natural grandeur of the town’s surroundings. Contact Cataloochee Valley Tours for an unforgettable nature hike. Your guide will take you deep into the unspoiled wilderness to spot some elk and, if you’re “lucky,” maybe a few bears as well.

2. Gaze in Awe at Soco Falls

After your hike, pile the kids into the car to take a ride down the turnpike toward one of Maggie Valley’s great natural jackpots: Soco Falls. This unique double waterfall tumbles and plays over the Great Smoky Mountains’ native hard stones to produce an almost mythical spectacle of flow and form. Remember that nature is not necessarily ADA-compliant, and so it’s a good idea to contact the Park Service before you go if anybody in your party needs help with the steep hike down to the falls’ basin. On your way back up, stop at Organic Beans Coffee, have a cup, and talk excitedly about how amazing it all was.

3. Have a Drink

“Unaged corn whiskey” is code for “moonshine made last week,” and it’s one of the delicacies North Carolina is famous for. Near your vacation rental in Maggie Valley, the Elevated Mountain Distilling Company keeps the local tradition alive with a fully modern facility, daily tours, and — if you brought your ID — samples of authentic mountain popskull for the over-21’s in your group.

4. Ride Through History

One of the most popular attractions in Maggie Valley is the local Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum. Here, the staff have lovingly restored and displayed one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of vintage motorcycles for public display. The museum keeps an irregular schedule, so call ahead before you go. Once you’re there, you can spend hours drifting from the Triumphs to the Harleys, and then more Harleys, followed by some Harleys, all gleaming with chrome and looking like they’re ready to hit the open road for an adventure.

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5. Learn About the Pottery-Making Process

Up Highway 19 from Maggie Valley, just off of exit 20, Different Drummer Pottery offers visitors a unique look behind the curtain of an authentic artisan’s shop. The store’s owner specializes in glazed, wheel-thrown pottery, and he keeps the workshop open for guests who are curious about the process he’s been a master of since 1980. One of the best things about an afternoon visit here is that you can buy a beautiful piece of ceramic that you watched as it came into being.

6. Browse Rustic Crafts

Maggie Mountain Crafts is the kind of log cabin shop you expect to find up a wooded mountain and deep in a national forest. It has a pair of carved wooden bears out front, welcoming visitors, and a plethora of country goods inside. Stop by to pick up locally sourced honey, molasses, moccasins for those chilly mountain mornings, and authentic Native American goods that make great souvenirs of your trip.

7. Get Tubular

If you’re staying in your warm vacation rental in Maggie Valley in the winter, be sure you schedule a day at Tube World with the kids. This fun local attraction boasts soft, kid-friendly slopes and lots of inflatable tubes the little ones will love riding. The free carpet lift gently hoists kids and their tubes back up to the top for as many repeat runs as they have the energy for.

8. Take in a Show

You wouldn’t expect such a small, old-fashioned town as Maggie Valley to boast an 800-seat amphitheater, but Eaglenest is just that, and there’s always something to see there. Steering toward family-friendly fare, the venue hosts regular country, bluegrass, and western music festivals, as well as comedy shows and the occasional variety act. If you’re in town for a business retreat, this site also rents space for seminars and corporate events.

9. Go Fish

Fishing is a lot of fun, but most sites make it hard to enjoy dropping a line on the spur of the moment, thanks to permit regulations and the need to pack your own gear. Soco Gap Trout Ponds solves these problems by maintaining several ponds on private land, where no permits are needed, and you can pick up the bait and tackle minutes after you park in the generous lot. This is a great way to get kids into fishing, if only because the ponds are so fully stocked you’re almost guaranteed to bring home a few keepers that you can cook up for dinner at your vacation rental.

10. Enjoy a Mountain-Scale Meal

Swing by the Moonshine Grille at Smoky Falls Lodge for lunch or dinner, and get as much local atmosphere as you can handle in one sitting. With huge, mountain-man-sized portions and an almost steampunk-level dedication to brass and steam boilers as decor, this updated, fully-modern restaurant manages to capture the look and feel of an old mountain camp from Maggie Valley’s early days.

11. Hit the Links

Golf courses are hard to build in the mountains, if only because grass takes a certain climate to thrive, but Maggie Valley Carpet Golf has solved the problem by laying synthetic lawns and inviting the whole family to come and enjoy putt-putt golf together. With multiple courses of increasing variety and challenge level, there’s something here for every member of the family to enjoy.

12. Prepare for Christmas at Carpet Rose

For most of the year, Carpet Rose is a fine, perfectly normal local gift shop. In autumn, however, as the Christmas season approaches, the store comes alive with decorations, supplies, gifts, and pretty much everything you need to turn your Maggie Valley vacation rental into a blazing tribute to the best holiday ever.

13. Pull Together a New Wardrobe

Clothes-shopping may not be the first item on a tourist’s itinerary, but visitors to Maggie Valley all have to make the pilgrimage to Seven Silver Seas to at least browse the quirky, whimsical collections they keep on the rack. The shop, which does business out of a converted house front, has something for everyone: light summer clothes, warm winter wear, and plenty of darling sterling silver charms, bracelets, earrings, and other assorted bangles, baubles, and dongles.

14. Get Stompin’ at Stompin’ Grounds

If you’ve ever wished you could have attended a real barn dance, but you didn’t grow up on a farm and you never learned how square dancing works, Stompin’ Grounds is ready to take you in and show you the path to righteousness. This fun family club is the real deal: a sawdust joint where country, bluegrass, and no-kidding square dance callers play for hours every night. A few rules before you visit: Bow to your partner, promenade and bow again; swing her high, swing her low, then do-si-do in through the door.

15. Plan an Escape Together

Resting on the porch with a hot toddy is relaxing, but sooner or later everybody needs a little intellectual stimulation. Maggie Valley Puzzle Rooms offers just that, with themed puzzle rooms you, your teenage kids, and your adult friends have to work together to escape. Search for clues to solve the mystery that unlocks each room, and see if you can beat the timer to win a coveted spot on the public leaderboards.

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