town in and county seat of Cherokee County, North Carolina. United States

Murphy is a town in western North Carolina, located in Cherokee County.

Get in edit

Map of Murphy

Murphy is roughly centrally located between Chattanooga, Tennessee and Asheville, North Carolina on US Hwy 64, which turns south and east at Murphy and goes through Hayesville on its way to Franklin and places east. Proceeding east along Hwy 19/74 takes your through Andrews, the Nantahala Gorge, and on to Asheville.

It sounds complicated, but it isn't. The four-lane highway running east and west through Murphy takes you from Chattanooga to Asheville (or vice-versa) with no turns. It's just the numbers on the road that change.

Murphy is also located about 100 miles or so from Knoxville, Tennessee; Greenville, South Carolina; and Atlanta, Georgia. Travel to these towns is a bit more complicated because of the lack of highways.

The roads in and out of Murphy are generally well-maintained and are of good quality. In the winter, it may take a few hours or a day to clear the roads for travel after a snow-storm, but it rarely takes much longer.

There is a small airport near Andrews, North Carolina (about 15 miles) that is being expanded to handle commuter jets and is perfectly suited to smaller private planes.

It still has a small town feel, but the town is quickly growing with a large casino going into the county.

Get around edit

You will need a car or truck to get around Murphy.

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In the fall, you will enjoy seeing mile after mile of spectacular autumn leaves and Murphy is a popular destination for leaf watchers.

On Hwy 294, west of Murphy, you can see the Fields of the Wood, which has one of the largest Ten Commandments in the world.

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Not to Miss:

Murphy hosts a huge flea-market in Downtown Murphy (500 Hiwassee Street) every Tuesday which starts early and ends a little after noon. It is a completely unique experience and shouldn't be missed if you love eclectic southern flea-markets.

There is also a Farmers Market every Saturday which starts at 10AM and ends before 2PM.

Fishing, Boating, Swimming:

There are many rivers and lakes in the area that are popular for boating, swimming and fishing. Try Lake Hiwassee at Hanging Dog Recreation Area, about ten minutes away. You can obtain a fishing license online at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for about $10 per person. For a nice relaxing, family-friendly day on the cheap, take a trip to the Blue Hole at the Ocoee Whitewater Center‎.


West of Murphy is the Ocoee River, a great whitewater rafting, kayaking, and canoeing destination for many people. It was the home of the watersports competitions during the Atlanta Olympics.

East of Murphy is the Nantahala River, another great river for rafting, kayaking and canoeing. It is easier than the Ocoee River and there are stretches where you can relax and enjoy the scenery and the friends making the trip with you. You'll encounter some whitewater -- just enough to make it exciting. This is an outstanding trip for whitewater beginners and families.


For families and those who would like a nice easy walk, try the Murphy River Walk[dead link], a 2-mile trail (4-mile round trip) that surrounds the town's center.

For the hiker, there are many trails that surround Murphy, and more famous trails such as Deep Creek are only about an hour away. Other hikes in the Smokies are a bit farther away, anywhere from 2 to 3 hours.

Native American and Folk Heritage:

About 15 miles south of Murphy is the world-famous John C. Campbell Folk School, an American version of the Danish folkehojskole, where people learn American traditional arts and crafts, including blacksmithing, ceramics, cooking, jewelry, dance and music. The Folk School has a Fall Festival the first weekend in October every year and thousands of people come to purchase arts and crafts and listen to the music. This is a great way to buy those hard-to-find gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas. Go to their website and request a free printed catalog.

Murphy is about an hour from popular tourist destinations such as Cherokee, NC, home of the Cherokee Indians, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which sits on the Tennessee/North Carolina border.

Buy edit

Handmade arts and crafts abound in our area. There are several popular stores in and around town that offer arts, crafts, fine art, and antiques.

Eat edit

  • Shoebooties Cafe, Peachtree Street in the heart of downtown. One of the most popular places to eat.
  • The Longhouse Restaurant and Bar, located at the Cherokee Hills Golf and Country Club is a popular place to eat, especially for golfers.
  • Brothers, located on Andrews Road Murphy next door to Big Lots. Wonderful service and food.

Drink edit

  • The Daily Grind Coffee House, Valley River Avenue (Downtown Murphy). Offers specialty coffee drinks, wine, wi-fi, internet, snacks and sweets.

Sleep edit

ERA Carolina Mountain Homes has a full time property manager who can find you the perfect cabin get-a-way.

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Routes through Murphy
AshevilleAndrews  N   S  BlairsvilleAtlanta
ChattanoogaOcoee  W   E  FranklinHendersonville
ChattanoogaOcoee  W   E  AndrewsAsheville
KnoxvilleAndrews  N   S  BlairsvilleGainesville

This city travel guide to Murphy is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.