Located in the western part of the state, the charming town of Murphy may appear small at first glance. However, it boasts a vibrant community with a strong sense of togetherness. Murphy, North Carolina, is perfect for anyone seeking a road trip adventure with its warm and welcoming landscape, locally-owned boutiques, antique stores, breathtaking waterfalls, and various river activities. Conveniently situated two hours from Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta, a visit to Murphy should be on your radar.
What to See in Murphy, North Carolina
Hiking in this area offers an array of options, with two renowned mountain ranges to explore and the picturesque landscape of the Nantahala National Forest, boasting numerous trails. Nature lovers will find solace here in North Carolina.
There are three enchanting lakes (Hiwassee, Apalachia, and Cherokee) in the vicinity offering popular and abundant activities like boating, swimming, inner-tube floating, water skiing, fishing, whitewater rafting, and kayaking. For a unique lodging experience, camping near these pristine lakes is a splendid alternative.
A cool attraction in Murphy is the Salty Dog Gem Mine at Wagon Master Ranch Resort, where visitors can indulge in gem digging and gold panning. Chartering boats, playing mini-golf, skeet shooting, wagon rides, and letting the little ones enjoy Power Wheels dune buggies are among the fun opportunities available.
Explore the charming shops in downtown Murphy, where you can indulge in a little retail therapy. Stroll through Marketplace Antiques, browse through the delightful selection of books at Curiosity Shop Bookstore, or find something special for your little one at Simply Sweet Baby Boutique.
Don’t miss the scented body products and exquisite jewelry at Serenity Mountain.
If you have an artistic side, consider taking an art class or observing skilled artisans at work in MAC, the Murphy Art Center. For an authentic local experience, stop by Hanging Dog General Store, a beloved spot known for its dipped candles, nostalgic candies, and delectable ice cream treats.
Fields of the Wood
Murphy offers two unique attractions: Fields of the Wood and the John C. Campbell Folk School.
Fields of the Wood is a captivating nature park that draws inspiration from the Holy Bible. Its remarkable rock formations and artistic displays vividly portray God’s word. This free attraction appeals to people of all denominations, offering beauty and enjoyment.
John C. Campbell Folk School
The John C. Campbell Folk School is an esteemed institution providing hands-on learning experiences for almost 100 years. With over 800 year-round classes, ranging from art and music to gardening, dance, crafts, photography, and writing, there is something for everyone.
The school’s commitment to offering a comprehensive curriculum ensures students receive a well-rounded education in their chosen disciplines.
Where to Eat in Murphy
Are you craving Mexican cuisine? Monte Alban Restaurante Mexicano is the place to go for a satisfying lunch. For those seeking “overstuffed sandwiches” that have received rave reviews, head over to Red Brick Deli 2, the town’s top-rated restaurant, according to TripAdvisor.
And when it comes to dinner, The Parson’s Pub is an excellent choice. With an extensive beer menu and a selection of German favorites like Bangers & Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, and Corned Beef and Cabbage, you’ll indulge in a truly unforgettable dining experience.
You will find comfortable and clean accommodations at the Stonebrook Lodge (free Wi-Fi and breakfast) and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Murphy (with a lovely indoor pool). If casino action interests you, check out Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River (Caesar’s property), with 1,000+ slot machines and 70 table games. Harrah’s also has a food court, several restaurants, and rooms for under $100 per night.
Add some romance to your mountain visit at Angels Landing Inn, a 115-year-old Victorian home turned bed and breakfast in 2002. It offers a gourmet breakfast, fresh flowers in each room, vintage clawfoot tubs, and turn-down service, to name a few enticing amenities.
A Real North Carolina Gem
Between the beauty of the Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains, local attractions, acute town square, lakes, and scenic vistas, you will find Murphy, North Carolina, a great weekend getaway no matter what time of year you visit.
For more to do in the area, check out these posts:
**This is an article I wrote for Charleston Home and Living Magazine in the past.