An Antique Plow Sits In Front Of An Old Barn
June 27, 2022

If you are planning to go to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, consider stopping at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. There are many things to explore inside the visitor center and outside on the grounds. Here are 3 reasons to visit the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

1. Mountain Farm Museum

Mountain Farm Museum building with fence

Are you interested in seeing a collection of historic log buildings in the Smoky Mountains? You can see this and more at Mountain Farm Museum, an open air museum in the Smoky Mountains. The buildings include a house, barn, applehouse, springhouse, and smokehouse where you can walk around the grounds. One thing to mention is the buildings were not originally located at the site but were moved to this location from areas in the Smoky Mountains. Most of the buildings were moved in the 1950s. There is a working blacksmith shop so visitors can witness how people lived 100 years ago. At the museum, you can also see historic agriculture and gardening practices.The museum is FREE to tour! Be sure to check out the Oconaluftee Visitor Center right next door. You might even get a chance to spot the Elk roaming around in the field surrounding the center.

2. Museum Inside Oconaluftee Visitor Center

The Oconaluftee Visitor Center is a state-of-the-art facility featuring an interpretive museum of the area’s history. The museum walks you through the history of Native Americans and early European Settlers in the Smokies as well as the history of the establishment of the park. The staff at the visitor center are experts on the topics and are happy to provide you with any information you may need. This museum is very much different from the one you will find at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. While the Sugarlands Visitor Center Museum focuses more on nature of the Smoky Mountains, the Oconaluftee Visitor Center highlights cultural history of the Smoky Mountains. Once you enter, you can experience exhibits such as Voices of the Smokies exhibit, Moonshine exhibit, Creation of the Park exhibit, Farming exhibit, Civilian Conservation Corps exhibit, Logging exhibit, and Cherokee culture exhibit.

3. Visitor Center Book and Gift Shop

NC TN Mountain View

After you tour the Mountain Farm Museum and museum inside Oconaluftee Visitor Center, be sure to check out the book and gift shop. It is so much more than a bookstore! The shop focuses heavily on publications on the Great Smoky Mountains history and plenty of maps available for the park as well as hiking trails. You can also find souvenirs like jackets, hats, t-shirts, plushies, Appalachian music, childrens’ books and games, and traditional mountain foods! Pick up a gift for yourself or purchase some gifts for your family and friends.

You just learned 3 reasons to visit the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Great Smoky Mountains National Park! This state-of-the-art facility is prepared to educate you on the Great Smoky Mountains cultural history. Be sure to learn more about all of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitor Centers! We hope to see you soon in the Smokies!