14 Most Fun Things To Do In Marshall, North Carolina

Marshall is a small town located in the picturesque Appalachian Mountains. It was established in 1803, with deep roots, intertwining with tales of pioneers and the rhythmic flow of the French Broad River.

Marshall, NC, lies along the banks of the meandering French Broad River. Its geographical coordinates in Madison County are approximately 35.7970° N latitude and 82.6836° W longitude, offering a serene and scenic haven for visitors.

For the liveliest fun things to do in Marshall,  NC, aim for a visit between May and October when the sun’s vibes make outdoor adventures and festivals pop! 

Spring blooms and fall foliage add extra flavor. Avoid the winter chill from December to February unless you’re into cozy scenes and less bustling streets. 

This charming town gained fame not only for its quaint, historic architecture but also for its lively community spirit. 

With colorful storefronts lining Main Street and a backdrop of rolling hills, Marshall beckons visitors to step into a bygone era.

Tourists flock to Marshall for its artistic flair and cultural festivals, where local talents shine like stars on a clear mountain night. 

From lively bluegrass performances to quirky art galleries, Marshall is a haven for creative souls seeking inspiration in the heart of Appalachia.

Beyond the arts, Marshall’s claim to fame extends to outdoor enthusiasts, drawn to the town’s proximity to the Appalachian Trail and its prime location for water activities on the French Broad River. 

So, if you’re yearning for a taste of small-town allure wrapped in the embrace of majestic mountains, Marshall, NC, is your ticket to an authentic Appalachian experience.

1) Marshall High Studios

Marshall High Studios was founded in 1929 and has a rich history as a prominent film and television production facility. 

Marshall High Studios

Originally constructed as a film studio, it played a pivotal role in the golden age of Hollywood that hosted iconic productions. 

The studio witnessed the evolution of entertainment that contributed to numerous acclaimed films and TV shows. 

At Marshall High Studios, the facilities are as cool as a polar bear in sunglasses! Imagine state-of-the-art soundstages where movie magic comes alive – so massive, you might mistake them for the Grand Canyon of creativity! 

The amenities? Oh, they’re like a buffet for your filmmaking dreams – top-notch equipment, editing suites that are the VIP lounges for your imagination, and a plush green room; you’ll feel like a superstar in a velvet cloud.

But wait, there are more fun things to do in Marshall, NC! Are you looking for a break from the spotlight? Take a chill pill in the funkier lounge areas than a disco ball. 

For your caffeine fix, they’ve got coffee stations that brew joy stronger than a triple espresso. And when hunger strikes, their on-site grub hub will satisfy your taste buds with flavors that dance like a conga line.

Marshall High Studios hosts regular events – from film screenings to themed parties, a carnival of excitement. Grab a camera from their equipment rental and shoot your mini-masterpiece. 

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, Marshall High Studios is the ultimate playground where creativity swings high, and the fun never takes a curtain call!


115 Blannahassett Island Road, Marshall, NC 28753, United States

2) Madison County Arts Council

The Madison County Arts Council, established in 1979 in Madison County, North Carolina, has played a vital role in fostering creativity and cultural enrichment. 

Madison County Arts Council

Committed to promoting diverse artistic expressions, the council has organized numerous events, exhibitions, and workshops.

The gallery showcases exhibitions featuring local talent, while the workshop space hosts hands-on sessions, igniting creativity in a cool atmosphere. 

The performance venue vibes with live music, theatrical gigs, and poetry slams adding a dash of excitement.

Amenities at this art haven include a laid-back lounge for mingling, where you can grab a cup of java and chat with fellow art enthusiasts. 

They’ve got free Wi-Fi, making it a prime spot for creative minds to connect and share ideas. The council’s resource library is a treasure trove of inspiration, offering books and references to fuel your artistic journey.

When you’re not soaking up the artsy vibes, best things to do in Marshall, NC, and activities abound nearby. Explore the quirky local shops, eat at the eclectic eateries, or stroll the scenic parks. 

Madison County Arts Council is more than just a place for art – it’s a happening hub where creativity meets community, ensuring a rad time for all who step through its doors!


90 S Main St, Marshall, NC 28753, United States

3) Zuma Coffee

Zuma Coffee, established in 1996, began as a small coffee shop in Marshall. Over the years, Zuma Coffee expanded its reach, gaining popularity for its artisanal coffee blends and commitment to quality. 

Zuma Coffee

Embracing a philosophy of sustainability, the company sourced ethically traded beans and supported local communities. 

Zuma Coffee, a cozy haven for caffeine enthusiasts, boasts state-of-the-art things to do in Marshall, NC, including stylish lounges and free Wi-Fi zones, creating a hip ambiance for work or play. 

The amenities blend retro charm and modern convenience, with plush seating and quirky decor that sets the stage for a groovy coffee experience.

Coffee lovers can savor many brews, from velvety lattes to bold espressos, handcrafted by skilled baristas who whip up liquid art. 

The menu also flaunts delectable treats, like artisanal pastries and avocado toast, elevating the Zuma Coffee vibe.

Engage in board games or grab a book from the funky shelves, turning your visit into a playful escape. Zuma Coffee hosts regular events like open mic nights and latte art competitions.

Whether you are seeking a laid-back hangout spot to unleash your artistic side or just a cup of joe with flair, Zuma Coffee merges vintage charm with contemporary cool. Every visit is a flavorful journey through coffee, culture, and community.


7 N Main St, Marshall, NC 28753, United States

4) Blannahassett Island

Blennerhassett Island was established in 1805 by an Irish aristocrat, Harman Blennerhassett, and his wife, Margaret. He built an opulent mansion on the island, becoming a social hub. 

Blannahassett Island

Their association with Aaron Burr, former Vice President, led to accusations of treason during the Burr conspiracy in 1806. 

The mansion was destroyed by fire in 1811, and the island changed hands multiple times. Today, it is a tourist attraction with reconstructed structures offering a glimpse into its storied past, blending elements of luxury, scandal, and political intrigue.

Stroll through lush gardens, where flowers do a dance, and time takes a chance to slow down. Do you fancy a boat ride? Hop on the sternwheeler for a river adventure, waves giggling at your delight.

For more relaxing things to do in Marshall, NC, spread a blanket, munch on treats, and use nature as your dining companion. 

Fishing fanatics, grab your gear; the river’s whispering tales of big catches—birdwatchers, the island’s a symphony of tweets, a feathered fiesta in the sky.

For the kiddos, treasure hunts await—imagine pirate dreams and hidden gems. Capture the magic in photos; the island’s backdrop is a masterpiece in every frame. And don’t forget Fido; the island welcomes wagging tails and joyful barks.

Come nightfall, enjoy a tranquil campfire, stories dancing in the flames, and marshmallows roasting for a sweet night’s end!


Blannahassett Is, Marshall, NC 28753, United States 

5) Sweet Monkey Cafe

Sweet Monkey Cafe, founded in 1998, began as a quaint coffee shop in the small town of Marshall. It is known for its warm atmosphere and quality brews.

Sweet Monkey Cafe

Over the years, the cafe expanded its menu to include a variety of pastries and light meals, attracting a diverse clientele. 

Sweet Monkey Cafe is not just your ordinary hangout spot; it has cool vibes and awesome amenities. With comfy couches, free Wi-Fi, and groovy tunes, it’s the perfect spot to kick back and chill. 

The coffee is top-notch, giving your taste buds a wild adventure. But hold on tight because there’s more! Grab a board game and challenge your pals – it’s all fun and games here. 

And guess what? The walls burst with local art, turning your coffee break into an art escapade. Step into the courtyard for exciting things to do in Marshall, NC, where the greenery vibes match your good mood. 

Munch on mouth-watering pastries that are happiness in a bite. Do you want to ignite your inner artist? Join one of their spontaneous paint nights.

Sweet Monkey Cafe isn’t just a place; it’s an experience. So, swing by for good times, great coffee, and a dash of eccentricity that makes every visit a memorable escapade!


133 S Main St #105, Marshall, NC 28753, United States

6) Marshall Handmade Market

The Marshall Handmade Market originated in Marshall, a quaint town known for its artistic community. It was established in 2010 as a grassroots initiative to showcase local artisans and their handmade crafts. 

Marshall Handmade Market

Over the years, it has become a vibrant cultural event, attracting artists from the region and beyond. The market provides a platform for diverse talents, including handmade jewelry, textiles, and unique artworks. 

The Marshall Handmade Market offers a groovy space for artisans and shoppers. With exciting vibes, the venue boasts crafty workshops where you can unleash your inner artist or learn a new skill. 

Chill out in the cozy lounge areas scattered around, perfect for catching up with friends or getting lost in a good book.

Check out the food trucks serving various delicious bites, satisfying every taste bud craving. The market goes beyond shopping; it’s a hub of creativity, featuring live music gigs that’ll make you want to dance and showcase local talents.

Take advantage of the interactive installations and quirky photo booths, adding an extra layer of best things to do in Marshall, NC, to your visit. Kids can join in the excitement with special play zones and activities designed just for them.

The Marshall Handmade Market is a haven of artsy wonders, tasty treats, and good vibes. Creativity meets the community in this place for a truly unique and enjoyable experience.


115 Blannahassett Island, Marshall, North Carolina 28753, United 

7) Smoky Mountain Trail Rides

Smoky Mountain Trail Rides, established in the picturesque Smoky Mountains, has a rich history rooted in offering scenic horseback adventures. 

Smoky Mountain Trail Rides

Over the years, they have cultivated a reputation for guided trail rides that showcase the breathtaking beauty of the Smokies. 

Their horses are well-trained, and the guides are knowledgeable, ensuring a safe and enjoyable exploration of the region’s diverse landscapes. 

Smoky Mountain Trail Rides is a beloved destination for those seeking an authentic connection with nature while embracing the equestrian spirit in the heart of the stunning Smoky Mountains.

The facilities boast top-notch equipment and friendly staff, making your adventure smooth and unforgettable.

Unleash your inner cowboy or cowgirl with their guided trail rides, which are suitable for riders of all levels. Everyone, from beginners to seasoned pros, can enjoy the scenic beauty on horseback. 

The amenities include comfy saddles and well-maintained trails, ensuring a delightful journey through nature’s wonders.

But the top things to do in Marshall, NC, don’t stop there! After a day in the saddle, relax at the on-site picnic area. 

Grab some snacks and share stories of your trailblazing escapades with fellow riders. Want more? Check out their petting zoo, a perfect spot for animal lovers, young and old.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a laid-back nature enthusiast, Smoky Mountain Trail Rides offers a unique blend of excitement and tranquility, making it the go-to destination for a hoof-stomping good time in the heart of the Smokies!


1959 Walnut Creek Road, Marshall, NC 28753, United States

8) Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides, established in the late 1980s, has a rich history of providing horseback riding experiences in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. 

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Over the years, Sandy Bottom Trail Rides has become a staple in outdoor recreation, offering guided horseback tours through scenic trails, catering to riders of all levels. 

Saddle up at Sandy Bottom Trail Rides and dive into a world of fun Western things to do in Marshall, NC! 

This down-home haven boasts top-notch facilities, including cozy cabins for a rustic retreat and a lively barn where you can meet your equine adventure buddy.

Feast your eyes on the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains as you embark on guided horseback tours – a delightful must for nature lovers. 

Trails cater to riders of all levels, ensuring everyone can hop on the saddle and soak in the spectacular scenery.

After your ride, unwind by the crackling campfire, swapping stories and roasting marshmallows under the star-studded sky. 

For thrill-seekers, even a zipline adventure will have you soaring through the treetops with adrenaline-pumping joy.

Families, don’t fret – Sandy Bottom is a haven for kiddos, too! The petting zoo lets youngsters get up close and personal with furry friends, creating memories that’ll last a lifetime. 

With fishing ponds, gem mining, and picnicking spots, there’s no shortage of quirky delights at Sandy Bottom Trail Rides. Come for the horses, stay for the smiles!


1459 State Road 1125, Marshall, NC 28753, United States

9) USA Raft Adventure Resort

USA Raft Adventure Resort, established in the early 1990s, has a rich history rooted in the stunning Appalachian Mountains of Erwin. 

USA Raft Adventure Resort

Originally a small rafting outfit, it quickly evolved into a comprehensive adventure resort, offering thrilling rafting experiences on the Nolichucky River and diverse outdoor activities like zip-lining, camping, and hiking. 

USA Raft Adventure Resort is a playground of thrills and chills! From cozy cabins with mountain views to campgrounds for starry nights, you’ll find the perfect spot to lay your adventure-loving head.

For adrenaline lovers, the Nolichucky River is your liquid roller coaster – rafting here is a wild ride! 

Zip-lining through the lush canopy is an aerial dance with nature. And take advantage of the mesmerizing hikes, where every step is a scenic postcard.

But wait, there’s more! Kick back in the riverside hammocks, share stories around the bonfire, and embrace the friendly competition at the volleyball courts. 

It’s not just about wild water – they’ve got laid-back, best things to do in Marshall, NC, covered, too!

The adventure doesn’t stop when the sun sets. Enjoy stargazing or gather around for live music. The on-site restaurant serves up hearty meals to refuel your explorer spirit. 

Whether you seek heart-pounding thrills or serene relaxation, USA Raft Adventure Resort is where your wild dreams meet comfort, and laughter echoes through the mountains!


2 Jones Branch Road, Erwin, TN 37650, United States

10) French Broad River Park

French Broad River Park, located in North Carolina, was inhabited by indigenous peoples. The area witnessed European exploration in the 18th century, and in the 19th century, it became a hub for industry, with mills harnessing the river’s power. 

French Broad River Park

Over time, the land transitioned into a park, reflecting Marshall’s commitment to green spaces. The park’s establishment in the early 2000s marked a turning point as it evolved into a recreational haven. 

With sprawling green spaces, it’s perfect for picnics and chill sessions. Get those muscles moving on the walking trails, or kick it up a notch on the sports fields – soccer, anyone? 

The playground is a blast for the little ones, while the riverfront spells tranquility for those seeking a serene vibe.

Picnic tables are scattered, ideal for a feast with friends or a solo snack attack. Tennis and basketball courts are also ready for some slam-dunk action. 

And there’s even a dog park, so your furry pals can join the fun things to do in Marshall, NC!

The park also hosts events and festivals, bringing a festive vibe. Fishing enthusiasts, grab your gear – the river invites you for a relaxing angling experience. 

So whether you’re into a leisurely day out, a sports extravaganza, or a family fiesta, French Broad River Park has a mix of facilities and fun activities to keep the good times rolling!


12 Good Adventures Lane, Marshall, NC 28753, United States

11) Eagle Feather Organic Farm

Eagle Feather Organic Farm, established in 1995, began as a small family venture in sustainable agriculture. Over the years, it grew into a community-supported agriculture hub, fostering local connections and promoting healthy living. 

Eagle Feather Organic Farm

At Eagle Feather Organic Farm, walk through lush fields, enjoying top-notch facilities like picnic spots and chill-out zones. 

Dive into their crystal-clear community pool, where organic vibes meet refreshing waters. Take a swing at their groovy mini-golf course, surrounded by the sweet scent of blooming flowers.

Get your hands dirty in their interactive farming workshops, where you’ll dig into the secrets of growing your organic wonders. 

Unleash your inner chef in the communal kitchen, stocked with fresh farm-to-table delights. Join their eco-friendly yoga sessions, finding zen amidst nature’s symphony.

For little adventurers, their funky playground is the spot to climb, slide, and let your imaginations soar. Grab a basket and head to the vibrant farmers’ market, where locally grown treasures await. 

As the sun sets, gather around the bonfire pit for s’mores, stories, and unique things to do in Marshall, NC. 

Eagle Feather Organic Farm is more than a farm—it’s a kaleidoscope of nature, fun, and community, inviting you to embrace the groovy spirit of sustainable living!


300 Indigo Bunting Lane, Marshall, NC 28753, United States

12) Nantahala Outdoor Center

The Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) is a renowned outdoor recreation destination in North Carolina, USA, that was founded in 1972. 

Nantahala Outdoor Center

The NOC offers a variety of activities, including whitewater rafting, zip-lining, and hiking. 

Over the years, the NOC has become a premier destination for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts, impacting the outdoor recreation industry.

The NOC offers world-class whitewater rafting, where you’ll navigate wild rapids like a river ninja. Zip-lining through the lush treetops is an absolute thrill – you’ll feel like a superhero soaring through the canopy. 

Hiking trails around the center cater to nature lovers, providing a serene escape into the great outdoors.

For those seeking a laid-back vibe and relaxing things to do in Marshall, NC, the NOC has cozy cabins nestled in the woods, offering a perfect blend of comfort and rustic charm. 

After a day of adrenaline-pumping activities, relax by the campfire, swapping stories with fellow adventurers. The center’s on-site restaurants serve delicious grub, fueling you for the next round of excitement.

From riverside relaxation to heart-pounding thrills, the Nantahala Outdoor Center is your one-stop shop for adventure, fun, and making memories that will last a lifetime.


13077 U.S. 19, Bryson City, NC 28713, United States

13) Penland & Sons Department Store

Penland & Sons Department Store, founded in 1892, has a rich history spanning over a century. Beginning as a small dry goods store in rural North Carolina, it gradually expanded its offerings and locations, becoming a prominent retail chain. 

Penland & Sons Department Store

The department store remains a fixture in the retail landscape, embodying a legacy of resilience, adaptability, and customer satisfaction.

Penland & Sons Department Store is the place to be! With aisles as long as a giraffe’s neck, you’ll find treasures galore. Groovy amenities include a snack zone, where munching meets its match, and a selfie corner to capture your shopping swagger. 

But wait, there are more best things to do in Marshall, NC! Their tech-savvy arcade corner is a pixel paradise for gamers of all ages. For the kiddos, there is a whimsical play area with rainbow slides and toy wonders.

Are you hungry for more? Their in-house café serves sips and bites that’ll tickle your taste buds. Surprise events pop up like confetti, from flash mobs to impromptu dance-offs.

Penland & Sons – where shopping isn’t just a task; it’s a fun-filled adventure! So, lace up those shopping shoes and disco your way through the aisles of delight!


50 South Main Street, Marshall, NC 28753, United States

14) Blue Heron Whitewater

Blue Heron Whitewater, established in the early 1980s, has a rich history of providing thrilling whitewater rafting experiences. 

Blue Heron Whitewater

Over the years, they expanded their services, introducing kayak instruction and team-building programs. 

Blue Heron Whitewater boasts top-notch facilities, featuring fun gear stations where thrill-seekers grab vibrant life jackets and rad helmets. 

The riverside chill zone offers cool vibes, with hammocks for relaxation and tunes playing on vintage speakers. The Basecamp Café serves up groovy snacks and organic brews for post-adventure hangouts.

Amenities include changing rooms with colorful graffiti art, ensuring everyone leaves looking as cool as they feel. The outdoor showers provide a refreshing blast – nature’s version of a cool-down disco. 

For those who dig souvenirs, the gift shop rocks, offering tie-dye tees and retro river gear.

As for family-friendly things to do in Marshall, NC, Blue Heron hosts wacky rafting Olympics, where paddlers showcase their skills in quirky challenges. 

Moonlit float trips add a touch of magic to the experience, navigating the river under the stars. Sunset bonfires by the water create the ultimate chill atmosphere for sharing tales of conquering the rapids. 

With yoga sessions on riverbanks and impromptu dance-offs, Blue Heron Whitewater is not just a thrill ride – it’s a full adventure playground with funky flair!


35 Little Pine Road, Marshall, NC 28753, United States

Best Hotels To Stay In Marshall, NC

  • The Marshall House
  • Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast
  • The Paw Paw House
  • Marshall House Inn
  • Sweet Biscuit Inn
  • The Marshall Cottage