Best Things To Do in Brevard, NC

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

people sitting outdoors at Oskar Blues in Brevard, NC.
The outdoor space at Oskar Blues in Brevard, NC is a great spot for a social distant hangout.

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

Shopping in Brevard, NC? Check out The Underground Salvage Company!

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

Squatch Bikes and Brews is one of the best places to go shopping in Brevard, NC for new bike gear.

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.

Check out the 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!

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?

Please leave a comment below and feel free to like, pin, and share with others.

Best Things to Do in Black Mountain, NC

Where is Black Mountain, you ask? Well, from downtown Asheville it’s only 16 miles away (or, depending on traffic, a 20-minute car ride.) As they say, location is everything. And it’s true! You can opt to stay in Black Mountain and access the city with just a short drive, or you can do the reverse and stay in Asheville, visiting Black Mountain for a quick day-trip. Either way, you can’t go wrong. There’s a bunch of things to do in this small town including shopping, outdoor activities, live music, etc. Keep reading to see our favorite places to go hiking near Black Mountain and much more.

Best Hikes near Black Mountain, NC

One of the best things to do in Black Mountain, NC is get outdoors! You’re in the mountains after all, so you might as well take advantage of them and go hiking, drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, see some sunsets, etc. Some of the best hikes near Black Mountain include the Graybeard Trail and Lookout Trail. And if you’re looking for something a little less intense, take a walk around the perimeter of nearby Lake Tomahawk.

Graybeard Trail | N35.65940, W82.29608

Use the coordinates N35.65940, W82.29608 to find the Graybeard Trailhead. This is easily one of the best hikes near Black Mountain, NC. From downtown Black Mountain it’s a little under 4 miles (about a 10 minute drive). The trail itself is an out and back hike. It’s just under 5 miles one way. Round trip is roughly 9.5 miles long. From the parking lot, your hike starts by crossing a wooden bridge and then steadily climbs. It’s a fairly strenuous hike and long enough that you should bring plenty of snacks and water. Though there are blue diamond blazes to follow, be sure to bring a map and compass. Do not rely on your cell phone GPS in this area. Also, be aware that you are on private property owned by the Montreat Conference Center. They allow individual hikers to use their land so please practice leave no trace principles and be a good steward of the land.

Walker’s Knob

Hike to Walker’s Knob for an incredible view, especially in the fall when the leaves start to change. It’s roughly 6.5 miles out and back along the Graybeard Trail to Walker’s Knob. We think this is one of the best hikes near Black Mountain, NC. (Actually, though, this hike is also technically located in Montreat, not Black Mountain). Once you reach the shelter, it’s only about a 5 minute hike to the overlook. Though technically it’s accessed by hiking the Graybeard Trail, we wanted to draw attention to this hike because it’s beautiful and you can get a great view without hiking the entire Graybeard Trail. Be careful out at the edge as there aren’t any fences and some of the drop offs are steep and dangerous.

Lookout Trail | 35.64269, -82.29094

Another one of our favorite and best hikes near Black Mountain is the Lookout Trail. It’s an easy trail and is also fairly short. The Lookout Trail is 1.4 miles long. It gets pretty busy, so go early and beat the crowds. The trail itself is steep in sections with some rock scrambling at the top. Use the coordinates above to locate the Lookout Trail trailhead and parking lot.

Catawba Falls | 3074 Catawba River Rd

Catawba Falls makes our list of the best hikes near Asheville. It also makes our list of the best things to do near Black Mountain because it’s even closer with Black Mountain as your jumping-off point. (Technically, though, it’s in Old Fort.) It’s one of the shorter and easier hiking trails in the area and it leads to one of the most stunning and beautiful waterfalls in all of Western North Carolina! Hop on over to our Best Hikes Near Asheville to learn more about this hike.

Best Outdoor Activities in Black Mountain, NC

Lake Tomahawk Park | 401 Laurel Circle Drive

Another one of the best things to do in Black Mountain is to pay a visit to Lake Tomahawk Park. The park itself is a little more than 16 acres while the lake itself is nearly 9 acres. This is a great place for a picnic, play tennis, throw a few horseshoes, play on the playground, or to take a walk. There’s a walking trail that goes around the lake. It’s flat and is only a half a mile long. You can even fish at this lake but you’ll need to get a North Carolina fishing license. Visit Wal Mart, Bass Pro Shop or the NC Wildlife website to obtain one. Oh and, last but not least, Lake Tomahawk Park is also a great place to see fall colors in western North Carolina. Aside from hiking, this is one of the best places to get into outdoor activities in Black Mountain.

Play golf at the Black Mountain Golf Course | 17 Ross Drive

The golf course in Black Mountain is open year round although it’s closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Check out their different rates (weekend, weekday, twilight, and senior) or purchase an annual or players pass. Black Mountain Golf Course’s claim to fame is their 17th hole which has a 747 yard Par 6! At one time it was the longest hole in the world. It’s a beautiful place to play and also has a grill on-site where you can grab a beer or a bite post-golf. If you like to golf, you’ll probably find this one of the best things to do in Black Mountain, NC.

Play disc golf at Owen High School | 99 Lake Eden Road

There’s a disc golf course at Owen High School in Black Mountain. (Disc golf is also known as frisbee golf.) The course isn’t open during school hours or when there is an event but otherwise, you can go and play for free. If you’re looking for something outside and free to do near Black Mountain, NC, check the course out!

Breweries and Bars in Black Mountain

a mural on the wall of Black Mountain Brewing of Roberta Flack, painted by artist Scott Nurkin.
Black Mountain Brewing is a great spot to grab a beer and snag a cool Instagram photo. Mural of Roberta Flack by Scott Nurkin. Flack was born in Black Mountain in 1937.

Nearby Asheville, NC is home to dozens of breweries but the ones in Black Mountain are worth checking out as well! For a small town, there are a surprising number of places to get a drink.

Black Mountain Brewing | 131 NC – 9

In 2017, Black Mountain Brewing flung open it’s doors and started pouring tasty craft beers. They currently offer six taps and rotate various beers in and out. They almost always have a standard lager or IPA on tap. But they also offer things like Bacon Pancakes Imperial Stout and a Lorelei Tropical Hazy IPA. Not sure what to try? Get a flight and try any four beers. Last, but not least, their patio is friendly to well-behaved dogs and they offer crowlers to-go.

Pisgah Brewing | 150 Eastside Drive

Pisgah Brewing isn’t in downtown Black Mountain but it’s close. And it’s a great place to grab a beer and or see a live show on their Outdoor Stage. We love their Pisgah Pale Ale and their Greybeard IPA. They have food trucks at the brewery five nights a week (Wednesday – Sunday). Dogs and children are welcome until 8pm. Heads up that Pisgah Brewing is a cash-only site. They do, however, have two ATM’s on the property. Covid-19 update: The taproom is currently closed. They do have cold beer to go at their drive-thru (Saturdays from 12 – 5).

Lookout Brewing | 103 South Ridgeway Avenue

This small-batch brewery in Black Mountain is a great spot for trying new beers. Lookout Mountain regularly has IPA’s and lagers on tap but they also brew up creative beers such as a Raspberry Wit and a Pineapple New England Ale. Non-beer drinkers can partake in Ginger’s Revenge Ginger Beer, Urban Orchard’s Cider, and Shanti Elixir’s Jun. Want to do something physical and then head to the brewery? Meet up at Vertical Runner on Wednesdays and Sundays for a group run (all paces are welcome) and then head on over to Lookout Mountain for a beer.

Oak and Grist Distilling Company | 1556 Grovestone Road

One of the best kept secrets, though quickly not becoming a secret anymore, is Oak and Grist Distillery. It’s located on the outskirts of Black Mountain but conveniently off of US-40. William and his team make whiskey and gin. Their tasting room is open during Covid-19 but tours are currently on halt. This is definitely a unique place to check out when visiting Black Mountain because they make all of their spirits from scratch and use local and regional ingredients to make their drinks.

Black Mountain Ciderworks and Meadery | 104 Eastside Drive, Unit 307

Black Mountain Cider and Mead is all about dry ciders and sessionable meads. It’s the perfect spot in Black Mountain to slake your thirst and try something other than beer. Their ciders are never filtered, pasteurized, or puffed up with additional sweeteners. It’s the real deal. Their meads are a little less sweet (which we love) than many of the meads we have tried. Covid has impacted the number of people allowed in their tasting room but it is open. You can also order drinks to-go and pick up a few growlers. Know before you go: The tasting room is closed Monday-Wednesday!

Art Galleries and Museums in Black Mountain

You probably won’t be surprised to find out that Black Mountain is home to several art galleries. Though there are plenty of places in Asheville to check out local artists and makers, you won’t want to pass up the opportunity to see what the creatives in Black Mountain are up to. Be sure to check out the Black Mountain Center of the Arts, Red House Studios and Gallery, Seven Sisters Gallery, and Mountain Nest Gallery.

We also recommend stopping in to visit the Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center. It’s located in an old red-brick firehouse and has a ton of information about Buncombe County. Admission is by donation, which is suggested at $5.00. Pre Covid-19 you could take a self-guided tour but as for now you’ll have to wait until things open back up.

Places to Shop in Black Mountain

a photo of the shoe display wall inside Vertical Runner in Black Mountain, NC.
Vertical Runner has a great number of road and trail running shoes including our favorites, Hoka One One’s.

Vertical Runner Black Mountain | 106 West State Street

We’re five-days-a-week runners so we are thrilled to share that there is a locally-owned and operated specialty running store in Black Mountain. They have a great selection of running gear, shoes, hydration vests, sports bras, socks, etc. They also have trucker hats and t-shirts bearing their Black Mountain logo on them. The staff is both friendly and knowledgable. Stop if in you want to get properly fitted for a new pair of running shoes, want to learn about some great routes in the area, or find out about a local race or group run. Note: Every Wednesday at 6pm a group of runners meets at the shop for a run around town. Afterwards, everyone heads over to Lookout Mountain Brewing for a beer. If you’re looking for things to do in Black Mountain, we can’t recommend this one enough!

Sassafras on Sutton | 108 Sutton Avenue

This is your one-stop place to shop in Black Mountain for books, puzzles, games, brainteasers, and more in Black Mountain. It’s a great place to pick up a gift for yourself as someone else. Look for some of their locally made crafts and candles. Covid has impacted their coffee and snack bar but in non-Covid times you can grab an espresso and one of their baked goods.

Take a Hike Mountain Outfitters | 100 Sutton Avenue

The next time you’re ready to add something to your gear collection, head on over to Take a Hike Mountain Outfitters. This small, locally-owned business has some of the best brand names in the outdoor gear and apparel industry such as Patagonia, Eno Hammocks, The North Face, and more. They also have some cool Black Mountain gear in case you want a t-shirt or hat with something on it that reps the local area. Lastly, if you want some hiking advice or tips on where to go other than the trails we’ve listed above, head on over there and talk to some of their staff. They’ve almost always got a good tip or suggestion for getting you out into the woods.

Common Housefly | 104 West State Street

This shop is your go-to place for all things kitchen and cooking related. They’ve got locally made goods up near the front and an entire assortment of culinary items such as drinkware, coffee grinders, cutlery, produce bags and storage solutions. If you’re shopping for a gift and can’t decide, no worries, they’ve also got gift cards you can pick up.

Shirtmandude Co. | 103 Cherry Street

a photo of a bigfoot standing in a doorway in downtown Black Mountain wearing a t-shirt and sailors cap and sunglasses.
What’s one of the best things to do in Black Mountain? Find Bigfoot.

“Funny shirts for weird people.” Sound like you or someone you know? Then head on over to Shirtmandude. They’ve got an assortment of random things to help you showcase your ‘true self.’ T-shirt topics range from sports, funny, vintage, to stoner, literary, gamer, and offensive. You’ll know you’re there when you spot Bigfoot in the doorway.

Live Music in Black Mountain

White Horse | 105 Montreat Road

Black Mountain might be a small mountain town in Western North Carolina but that hasn’t stopped it from having an awesome venue, White Horse, for live music. White Horse thinks of itself as a listening room and it does have that kind of intimate vibe to it. It’s a laid back space that serves soda, beer and wine by friendly staff. They don’t sell food though so eat before you come! Many of the musicians are local including Abby the Spoon Lady. Check out their online event calendar to see who’s playing next. Note: Due to Covid-19 all shows and events are being held online.

Black Mountain Center for the Arts | 225 West State Street

We mentioned the Black Mountain Center for the Arts above in the art galleries and museum section of this post. However, did you know it’s also a great place to see live music in Black Mountain? Yep, check out their events page to learn more! Bonus: there’s a great mural by Brushcan Murals on the side of the building if you’re looking for a cool photo op.

Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley are travel writers, photographers, and the authors of Authentic Asheville.

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