Since the days long ago when Maggie Mae Setzer lived here and became the namesake of Maggie Valley, this little piece of paradise just outside the Asheville metro area has been a draw for everyone from nature lovers to those looking for a dose of small-town charm.
Between the many nearby mountain vistas and the easy jaunt back to the city, this town has a good mix of the options people want, from the ability to go to a big festival one day to the chance to commune with nature in a quiet part of the valley the next.
With the Great Smoky Mountains National Park so close by and the chance to drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains enjoying the scenery, it’s no surprise that outdoor pursuits are a huge part of Maggie Valley’s draw – but not the only ones by any stretch!
Here are some of the things you have to check out when you plan a trip here, as well as others to consider as you customize your visit to your own unique preferences.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).
Maggie Valley Attractions
For a small town, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll fill up your itinerary here. While there are absolutely great secluded spots where you can commit to a week of relaxing, going for easy hikes, and cooking in your rental, most people who visit Maggie Valley end up finding some adventures in the nearby mountains to really get to know the natural beauty of this unique area. If you’re looking for things to do in Maggie Valley, here are a few of our favorite activities and attractions!
1. Find Fresh Powder at Cataloochee Ski Area
When it comes to skiing and snowboarding, the Appalachian Mountains have more opportunities than you might think – even if you’ve previously headed out to Colorado to hit the slopes, you’ve got to try the options here in the Maggie Valley area.
This was the first ski area established in North Carolina back in 1961, and you don’t have to restrict yourself to skiing and snowboarding: if you’re more into snow tubing, that is another option for getting out and enjoying the winter weather!
Location: 1080 Ski Lodge Road, Maggie Valley.
2. Enjoy Summer Outdoor Sports
Outdoor sports in Maggie Valley and the surrounding areas are truly varied. If you prefer a more refined experience, try golf at the Maggie Valley Club, or get into the water at Lake Junaluska or the Oconaluftee River for paddling or tubing.
The nearby national parks and national forests make it possible to get out and enjoy the bounty of the local wildlife and plants while also experiencing zipline parks, hiking trails, or intense mountain biking adventures.
3. Visit the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum
Whether you’re an aficionado of motorcycles or simply enjoy a beautifully engineered machine, Wheels Through Time is a great way to learn more. There are more than 300 rare motorcycles on display, as well as photos, memorabilia, and exhibits to help you understand the role that motorcycles have played throughout history. This is a great option for your history buff companion or for any group that loves an unusual museum!
Location: 62 Vintage Lane, Maggie Valley.
Maggie Valley Events
1. Maggie Valley Festival Grounds
One of the cornerstones of Maggie Valley is the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds – most months have at least two and sometimes more major festivals and gatherings here. From gatherings of fly fishers and Jeep aficionados to events for motorcyclists and the 4th of July, checking the festival grounds is a must before planning your trip if you’d like to do some choice people-watching and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Location: 3374 Soco Road, Maggie Valley.
2. Maggie Valley Summer Arts & Crafts Festival
Three times a year, this free gathering at the festival grounds brings a huge crowd of interested shoppers to enjoy the arts and crafts of local vendors all in one place – though some vendors come from all over the Southeast!
There are all kinds of media represented, from textiles and pottery to jewelry and paintings, and you’re sure to find some kind of treasure you didn’t even know existed to admire as you enjoy the festive atmosphere.
3. Smoky Mountains Bluegrass Festival
This fun and beautiful festival brings together award-winning bands that play bluegrass as well as lots of vendors of music supplies and related merchandise. The festival may be music-centric, but there are also artists, playgrounds, festival food and drink, and lots more. Enjoying well-known bluegrass bands all day is the name of the game!
Maggie Valley Restaurants
When you finish hiking in the nearby mountains, bring your prodigious appetite to one of the many popular Maggie Valley restaurants that cater to both locals and visitors with both humble and elevated cuisine.
1. Harvest Moon Crepes
A special gem of this area, Harvest Moon Crepes is a mobile food truck selling crepes and coffee at locations like the Stonebridge RV Resort, the Haywood Farmer’s Market, and the Candy Corn Market at the Haywood County Fairgrounds.
This food truck is worth checking out due to the breadth of the crepes available, from a Monte Cristo to a California Turkey Club crepe, as well as the incredible dessert crepes available, like a Nutella crepe or a Banana Caramel Cream crepe (yum!). Alongside a menu of coffee drinks and hot chocolates, you’ll be able to get the special treat or tasty lunch you’ve been looking for while in Maggie Valley.
2. Maggie Valley Sandwich Shop
The culmination of the hard work of Terry and Ginny Howard, the mom-and-pop deli Maggie Valley Sandwich Shop has become a community hub for fun events as well as excellent eats – they call themselves “A Small Bistro With Big Flavor.”
Whether you take your meal to go and find a beautiful spot on the parkway to eat it or stay on-site to eat, the centerpiece of the menu is the gourmet pressed sandwich, with fillings and bread toasted together for crispiness and to hold them all together. They also feature flatbread pizzas and salads to suit a wide variety of tastes.
Location: 2914 Soco Road, Maggie Valley.
3. Frankie’s Italian Trattoria
While there are tasty Italian restaurants in most towns in the United States (we sure love our spaghetti!), finding a restaurant created and run by a highly-skilled Italian chef is a special treat. The Perrone family legacy in both Italy and in US restaurants has culminated in Frankie’s Italian Trattoria, a sweet spot between a pizzeria’s casual style and a ristorante’s formality.
Now, that legacy lives on in a flavorful menu full of favorites: from the classic antipasti menu featuring calamari and caprese to the pasta and fagioli soup and the Pugliesi salad (a hearty mix that includes olives, garbanzo beans, gorgonzola cheese, and a red wine vinaigrette).
Then feast on everything from sandwiches and pizza to house-favorite pasta and meat dishes. Don’t forget the option for an incredibly juicy steak, and round it out with a look at the extensive wine list. With more than 50 years in the business, they’ve figured out how to bring the absolute best ingredients together for a great night out with family and friends.
Location: 1037 Soco Road, Maggie Valley.
Maggie Valley Shopping
Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for a family member or a home decor item that will perfectly tie a room together, check out the stores in Maggie Valley as part of a relaxing afternoon of shopping.
1. Jelly Bellies
When a family is on a vacation, stumbling across an ice cream shop or candy store is cause for celebration. So imagine if both are rolled into one and feature a little souvenir shop too!
Few kids will be able to resist the bulk candy section or the namesake of the store, the varied Jelly Belly options – you can make your own mix with just the flavors you actually like! There are also lots of flavors of ice cream and treats like milkshakes.
Reviewers comment on the cute decor and seating section, the long-standing good customer service, and the very reasonable prices, given that their main market is the visitors to Maggie Valley.
Location: 3477 Soco Road, Maggie Valley.
2. Maggie Mountaineer Crafts
Decorated with a funny antique truck scene out front and a huge statue of a bear, Maggie Mountaineer Crafts is a great place to pick up items for your friends and family who prefer homemade over store-bought (even though you’re technically getting it at a store).
From fudge to handsewn moccasins to artisanal pocket knives, this shop offers items that you’ll be proud to own. High-quality soaps and bath-and-body products, local hot sauce, adorable toy gifts, and locally-made jewelry are all on display to help you find the right fit.
NC-made preserves, jams, and barbecue sauce will add a special flavor to any dish you use them to accent, and clothing is also available if you want to take home a souvenir you can wear.
Location: 2394 Soco Road, Maggie Valley.
3. Chris and Friends Antiques and Uniques
When it comes to finding a treasure for a good price, shopping secondhand is often the way to go. Finding a great antique store in Maggie Valley like Chris and Friends Antiques and Uniques lets you dive into the past for an item that has withstood the test of time but can’t be bought by the dozen today – something unique but also truly timeless.
Reviewers mention the authenticity and variety of the antiques on display and the fact that the owner is very knowledgeable and can talk about the items he sells. They also mention that the prices are fair, the inventory offers something different every time you stop in, and lots of items that will bring back memories of the good old days!
Location: 2759 Soco Road, Maggie Valley.