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Murphy, North Carolina sits just over the Georgia border, in the rolling Appalachian Mountains. The diverse terrain means many outdoor adventures await, from waterfalls to river hikes. Find one-of-a-kind souvenirs at vintage shops, chow down on seriously good sandwiches and seafood, and just take in the foliage dense scenery, accented by sparkling water. Murphy has the right amount of civilization and nature for a perfect getaway. These are the best things to do in Murphy, North Carolina.
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Traverse the Murphy River Walk
Murphy is equipped with peaceful walking trails along its two sparkling rivers. Beginning in Konehete Park, the short, easy path hugs the Valley River, until the waters merge into the Hiwassee. Pieces of the past, from Native American heritage to old railroads, add an intriguing factor to your daily trot. Dogs are welcome to roam the path with you—just be sure to keep a “leave no trace” mentality, to preserve this lovely amenity.
Sip Wine at Nottely River Valley Vineyards
A simple tasting room and scenic porch to sip a glass of onsite cultivated Rose, Riesling or strawberry wine—sounds like an awesome way to spend a day in the mountains. Nottely River Valley Vineyards sweep across the gently rolling hills and the folks there provide generous tastings of their unique and impeccably prepared varietals. If you are looking for something specific to Nottely, give the chocolate wine a try, which is a smooth blend of dark notes and cherries.
Love on Alpacas at Two Crows Farm
There’s more than one farm in Murphy, but Two Crows is one of the best. What makes this place so majestic? Fluffy soft alpacas with whom you can interact with. You’ll learn a lot about these quirky creatures during a couple of hours browsing the grounds while being treated to delicious cookies and coffee. Can’t get enough of their silky softness? You can stop by the gift shop for items made from sheared alpaca coats.
Visit Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino
How does a taste of Vegas in the North Carolina mountains sound? The experience at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino is a bit quieter and more kid-friendly. Stay in one of the cozy rooms and enjoy hours of slot machine and table game fun. Food options are rather versatile, and one can enjoy a Starbucks Frappuccino or Kung Pao Chicken from Panda Express. Sure, it’s not the over the top glitzy casino you’d find on the strip, but that’s actually quite refreshing.
Picnic by the Dam
While visiting a dam might not sound crazy exciting—unless you’ve been to the Hoover—visiting this engineering marvel in Hiawassee can be both scenic and educational. Signage details how it all works and the views of both the concrete mammoth and milky blue lake are absolutely noteworthy. Families like to gather a picnic and just enjoy the sky-high views.
Explore the Art Scene
You’ll find many art galleries within Murphy, from the Celebrate Life Gallery to the Valley River Arts Gallery, visitors can get a taste of the local art scene and the talented minds who fuel it. Take home a priceless painting, piece of jewelry or striking photography piece, just to name a few.
Go Antique Shopping
Flea markets are abundant in Murphy, with trinkets and treasures awaiting new homes. Marketplace Antiques is filled with various booths brimming with unique finds that will transport you back to yesteryear. Find that diamond in the rough piece of furniture that’s just waiting for a fresh coat of stain, complete your vintage china selection, show the kids what toys were like way back in the day. All these little oldie shops add serious charm to this town.
Marvel at Fire Creek Falls
Fire Creek Falls resides on the outskirts of town, and it is worth a short trek to the stunning cascades. When it’s warmer, folks float the base waters in big inner tubes, kind of like they do along the river in Helen, Georgia. It’s an undeniably gorgeous place to take the time to visit. While one should be careful around the flowing water and slippery rocks, it’s a perfect place to have a picnic or just disconnect.
Spend the Day at the Apalachia Lake
Visitors have access to beautiful waters, which is another spot to disconnect from the world. More of a scenic destination, there are still barbecue grills, pavilions and plenty of fishing nooks for avid anglers or beginners. Families can even take a boat ride with Appalachia Lake Tours. So if you are looking for a peaceful place to spend the afternoon, this is it. Visit during the fall if possible, as the changing leaves astound with vibrant colors of orange, fiery red and golden yellow.
Eat Giant Sandwiches at Red Brick Deli
Murphy is no stranger to a great restaurant—from barbecue to bistros, it’s not difficult to find a locally delicious establishment to chow down. Red Brick Deli may seem simple enough, but their meaty sandwiches, creamy dreamy potato salad and indulgent brownies, which can be topped with decadent ingredients seal the shop’s spot as a top-rated restaurant in Murphy. The Key Lime pie rivals many in the Florida Keys.
Grab Seafood at The Chowder House
Since we’ve already got you drooling, we will drop one more “must try” in Murphy. The Chowder House is famed for none other than their hot, homemade clam chowder. Other complementary dishes include mouthwatering fish tacos and irresistible coconut cake. Seafood is the word though, with a broad selection of ocean favorites from coconut shrimp to fish n chips.