Oconaluftee is North Carolina’s main gateway to the Smokies . Adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center is the Mountain Farm Museum (828/497-1900, sunrise–sunset, free), a village of original log structures collected from throughout the park. A highlight is seeing a log home built of American Chestnut, before the Chestnut blight.
About half a mile north of the Farm Museum is the Mingus Mill (mid-March–mid-November daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m., plus Thanksgiving weekend, free), a water-powered gristmill that still operates. Here you can watch as corn is ground into cornmeal.
About three miles north of Oconaluftee is Smokemont. Once a lumber company town, Smokemont is now a recreation area with hiking trails, a picnic area, and a campground.
Located near Bryson City, North Carolina, Deep Creek is a recreation area noted for its waterfalls. It is also the location of the Deep Creek and Indian Creek Trails, both of which allow mountain bikes.
A North Carolina attraction of special note is the Blue Ridge Parkway, a two-lane scenic blacktop highway that traverses Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests before heading north into Virginia.