Headed to Asheville, NC but also want to spend some time in some of the surrounding small towns? We recommend visiting Brevard, NC! It’s only 34 miles (45 minutes) from Asheville to Brevard. There’s everything from cool hikes and trails to breweries to shopping and more. Keep reading to see our top picks for the best things to do in Brevard, NC, aka the ‘Land of Waterfalls.’
Best Trails Near Brevard, NC
Getting outdoors and going for a hike is always one of our favorite things to do. And when it comes to Western North Carolina there are tons of options for doing just that. We’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best trails near Brevard, NC. You’ll also find a few of our favorite waterfalls near Brevard, NC as well.
Art Loeb Trailhead | Davidson River Campground Access Road
The Art Loeb Trail is one of the best hiking trails near Brevard. It’s free, open year-round, super scenic and at 30.1 miles long, the Art Loeb Trail has enough distance to satisfy most people’s thirst for hiking. Interestingly enough the southern trailhead of the Art Loeb Trail is located in Brevard. You can pick it up near the Davidson River Campground and hike as much or as little as you like.
Looking Glass Falls | US 276, 5 miles past the entrance to Pisgah National Forest
One must-see in Brevard is Looking Glass Falls, pictured above. This waterfall is one of the best in the western North Carolina area. It drops 60 feet and makes for a great Instagram photo all-year-round. Plus, it’s one of the easiest waterfalls near Brevard to get to. You can pull off of Route 276, park along the road, walk down the stone steps towards the falls, and see Looking Glass Falls in just a few minutes.
Moore Cove Falls
You want to see one of the prettiest waterfalls in the Brevard, NC area? Then you must check out Moore Cove Falls. It’s dainty, magical, and fairly easy to get to. The hike, one way, is a .7 walk in the woods. Bring your camera for this one. It’s a beauty.
Bracken Preserve | 186 Pinnacle Road
The City of Brevard owns this cool 395 acre nature preserve. It’s been open to the public since 2012. And in it, you’ll find a couple of awesome hiking and mountain biking trails. The newest trail, Pinnacle Trail, was completed in 2019. Camping and night-use is permitted with the city’s approval. Part of Bracken Preserve buts up against Pisgah National Forest so there’s the possibility for linking up with what feels like limitless miles on foot or on bike. Check out this map of Bracken Preserve for more information.
DuPont State Forest | 89 Buck Forest Road, Cedar Mountain
One of coolest natural areas near Brevard is DuPont State Forest. It’s open year-round from 5am to 10pm. You’ll find waterfalls, lakes, and tons of places to hike, ride your bike, go horseback riding, and just enjoy being out in nature. Hunting is also allowed in some places in this state forest. Be sure to get a permit from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission if you plan on hunting. If you’re not a hunter but you plan on stepping outside of the safety zones, be sure to dress in bright colors. Note: though there are tons of daytime activities to enjoy, there aren’t any campgrounds at DuPont State Forest. Fires are also prohibited. Thanks for leaving no trace!
Best Breweries in Brevard, NC
If you’re looking for a fun place to grab a craft beer or two, you’re in luck because there are several great breweries in Brevard, NC. There’s also a couple of cool places to get a beer. Be sure to check out the Shopping in Brevard section below because there’s two cool bike shops that also serve up beer.
Brevard Brewing Company | 63 East Main Street
As you might have guessed based on their name, the Brevard Brewing Company is located in downtown Brevard. Their space is down to earth and the bartenders are friendly. It’s a great spot to visit post-waterfall hike. You can pull up to the bar for a beer (they specialize in lagers) or get a six pack to go. Bonus: Dogs and beers are welcome out back in their alley. While they don’t make food at the restaurant, you are welcome to bring outside food into the taproom.
Ecusta Brewing | 49 Pisgah Highway #3
This is another great brewery to visit near Brevard. Though it’s not located downtown, it’s still in a great spot. It’s across the street from the bike shop The Hub and it’s a two minute drive to the Art Loeb Trailhead. If you’re thirsting for a beer post-hike or post-ride, head on over to Ecusta. hey’ve got a fun space with a few dartboards, lots of tables, and a nice outdoor space. Their First Descent IPA is one of our favorite beers in the WNC area.
Oskar Blues | 342 Mountain Industrial Drive
One of the first craft beers I ever had was Dale’s Pale Ale. Even 12 years later I still think it’s still a great beer. In fact, my heart skips a beat when I see the blue and red can on shelves. You can get this beer and many of their others on tap at their brewery in Brevard. The outdoor space is large and in non-covid times they almost always have events. Until then, if you’re looking for a great space to do a socially distant hangout, check out Oskar Blues.
Best Places to Go Shopping in Brevard, NC
Want to know where to go shopping in Brevard, NC? Keep reading to see some of our favorite spots to pick up a cool gift or memento from your stay. Note: We’ve listed a two bike shops in this section because we think they’re great local businesses to shop but you could also put them in another category: Best places to get a drink in Brevard. Why? They both have a cool bar in them.
Crystal Mountain Gem Mine | 31 South Broad Street
Another really fun thing to do in Brevard, NC is to go mining for gems. The store is a great spot for kids. You can buy a box of rocks and then step up to the little gem mining stations they have set up along the wall of the shop and see what you find. Whatever you find, you get to keep! Be sure to check their website as they currently (summer 2020) have some coupons online for discounted buckets. Military personnel also receive
The Underground Salvage Co. | 228 West French Broad Street
Want to know where to go shopping in Brevard, NC? One of the top places to visit is The Underground Salvage Company. This huge warehouse has everything from vinyl records to old magazines, vintage clothing, architectural salvage, live edge slabs, and even unique building supplies like porcelain doorknobs and tools. They’ve also got a second floor full of old doors and windows. We recently found the perfect screen door for our tiny house here!
Squatch Bikes and Brews | 170 King Street #1
Rentals, bike service, bike gear, local info about trails and places to ride. What more could you ask for? Beer, you say? Heck, Squatch Bikes and Brews, as the name suggests, has that, too! The staff is down to earth and easy to talk with whether you’re a new rider or someone who’s been riding for years. Looking for a couple of local to Brevard mountain bike trail rides? Check out the trail section on their site!
The Hub and Pisgah Tavern | 11 Mama’s Place Pisgah Forest
Calling all mountain bike riders and outdoor enthusiasts who also love to drink beer! The Hub and Pisgah Tavern is a great place to stop either pre or post-ride. They’ve got a great selection of gear and clothing. They also have a service center where you can get a tune-up for your wheels and a rental center where you can pick up a bike for the day. This is more than just a bike shop. It’s a place where the biking community gathers. Tourists, too. Bicycling magazine chose it as one of the top 100 bike shops in the country. Come see for yourself!
Other Fun Things to Do in Brevard, NC
Still didn’t see anything that suits you? Or maybe you’ve done all of the above? Here’s a few extra to keep you busy.
Look For a White Squirrel
Say what?! Yep, Brevard is home to a small population of white squirrels. The town has embraced them and each year actually celebrates them with a white squirrel festival! There’s music, food, all kinds of arts and crafts, a parade, and tons of white squirrel merchandise. The festival was canceled for 2020 due to Covid-19. Follow their facebook page to stay up to date with the event’s status.
Go Down Sliding Rock!
One of the most unique things to do in the Brevard area is go sliding down Sliding Rock. Eleven thousand gallons of water a minute flow over the rock known as Sliding Rock. It’s been shooting visitors and locals alike down into the pool for years. BYOBS: Bring your own bathing suit!
Grab a Cup of Coffee at Cup and Saucer | 36 East Main Street, A
This is a really cute (read: Instagram-my) coffee shop located in downtown Brevard. It’s a great spot to meet a friend, do a little work, or just people watch. They’ve got some excellent baked goods such as cookies, scones, and a quiche! You can’t go wrong with this spot which has been serving the town since the spring of 2018.
Brevard Visitor Center | 175 East Main Street
Still can’t figure out what to do or need another idea? Pop on in to the Visitor Center in Brevard and let a local help you decide. In addition to helpful volunteer staff, the visitor center also has a water bottle refill station, a bathroom, and free wifi. If you’re a camper van traveler or road tripper, you’ll appreciate the amenities they have here because they are clean and dog friendly!
Get a detailed map of DuPont State Forest before you go so you can plan out your adventure and make the most of your time.
Best Things to do in Brevard, NC Recap
There are a ton of fun things to do in Brevard, NC. Everything from outdoor activities to cool places to drink a beer to shopping and just exploring downtown makes Brevard a great spot for a day trip or even longer. Plus, with it’s close proximity to Asheville, it’s nearly impossible to run out of things to do. Have you been to this part of Western North Carolina? What’d you think?
Looking for another day trip near Asheville? Check out our stories on Black Mountain, Hendersonville, Marshall, and Weaverville.
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