One of the longest running outdoor dramas in the United States, Unto These Hills, is a definite must-see for those visiting Asheville or the surrounding areas. Beautiful music, oftentimes heart wrenching history, and a glimpse into the cultural landscape of the area’s native inhabitants combine into a visually spectacular display in a lovely outdoor setting. Cherokee, North Carolina is much more than a casino and this is one of the hidden gems that most visiting Asheville pass over. Lucky for you, I headed out to Cherokee to make sure it lived up to expectations and I wasn’t let down one bit.
Let’s talk setting. If you have to drive a good 45 minutes west of Asheville, the scenery better be gorgeous, even on the highway. Lush greenery, rolling hills, and quaint towns dot the landscape. The drive feels almost like you’re traveling back into a simpler time and the journey is leisurely and navigation is completely stress free.
Cherokee has a healthy tourist population and it shows in the well-maintained and easy-to-read road signs. I would suggest getting there early just so you can explore the area and acquaint yourself with the many shops and cultural sights in and around the amphitheater. There are enough attractions to make a day of it, so plan to explore.
This is an experience that begins later in the day, with the pre-show beginning at 7:30 and lasting somewhere around 9 or 10 o’clock at night. As such, it can get chilly if you go in late spring or early fall so bring a light jacket with you to make sure you stay cozy in this outdoor space. You can either pay to park right next to the theater or use the free parking with shuttle from the Cherokee History Museum right down the road. Paid parking is a closer walk and it allows you to leave immediately after the performance but don’t fret, it is fairly inexpensive.
The difference between VIP tickets and regular seating tickets is only seven dollars so I would spring for VIP tickets. This includes a backstage pass and little souvenirs that you don’t have to spring extra for. This is especially cool if you have kids because they get to meet some of the actors before the show and see a bit of the behind-the-scenes that can make the drama that follows more interesting for them. At 30 bucks, it’s hard to pass up as well.
The drama itself, as I said, is visually spectacular. I’ve seen both the older version and the new version of the play and both were quite good. The newer version is more historically accurate but that doesn’t mean it’s boring in the least bit. I was enraptured from start to finish and have to give the performance an A+ all the way around. I’d definitely recommend it.
If you’re looking for a theatrical experience mixed with music, history, and an outdoor setting all in one, this is the attraction you’re looking for. Since the show runs from May to August, you have all summer to check it out. So grab a ticket and head over to Cherokee.
Unto These Hills Show
Theatre: 688 Drama Road, Cherokee, NC
Ticketing: 564 Tsali Blvd., Cherokee, NC
Unto These Hills Show
688 Drama Road, Cherokee, NC