Black Mountain, hailed as one of “America’s Prettiest Small Towns,” stands as the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Located just 25 minutes from Asheville, Black Mountain boasts a vibrant downtown brimming with things to do.
From art galleries to cozy eateries, downtown Black Mountain offers an enchanting and easily walkable experience, teeming with artistic expression, and crafts. At an elevation of 2,405 feet, it also has an abundance of exhilarating outdoor activities, such as awe-inspiring hikes and thrilling mountain biking trails. There are so many things to do in Black Mountain; it’s hard to believe more people don’t visit. Let’s dig into the best attractions.
About Black Mountain
Taking its name from the majestic mountain range that looms over the town, Black Mountain evolved into a sanctuary for pioneers in the realms of art, painting, music, poetry, and architectural design during the mid-20th century.
It was once the home of Black Mountain College, a highly respected and pioneering experimental art institution in the United States. Today, it continues to flourish as an artist’s haven, housing numerous galleries that proudly exhibit some of the finest examples of Southern Appalachian arts and crafts.
Best Things to Do in Black Mountain
1. Savor the Smoothest Spirits in Town at Oak and Grist Distilling Company
- Address: 1556 Grovestone Rd, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Thursday: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Friday &
Saturday: 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Situated on Grovestone Road, this distillery is a class above with its simple yet unique distillation process. They brew, ferment, distill, and age their whiskeys, using locally sourced ingredients and traditionally learned techniques, which sets them apart as the only grain-to-glass distillers in Black Mountain. With the owner’s Scottish heritage adding a distinctive touch, they offer a contemporary spin on traditional Appalachian spirits.
Visitors should not miss the chance to savor their renowned Genever-Inspired Gin, as well as their oak-infused and silky American and Single Malt Whiskies. The dedication to quality is evident in every taste.
2. elevate Your Artistic Skills at Black Mountain Center for The Arts
- Address: 225 W State St, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: For ticket information, click here.
Black Mountain Center for the Arts is the manifestation of the community’s artistic aspirations.The residents came together to preserve the historic Black Mountain City Hall, transforming it into the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, with the vision of bringing art to the people and people to the art.
This multifaceted center serves as an art gallery, art studio, venue for theatrical performances and concerts, dance studio, clay studio, and visual arts studio.
Anyone with a passion for art in any form should dedicate a day to exploring the offerings at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts. Additionally, the center provides a diverse range of classes, including singing and dance lessons, among others.
3. Join the Town for an Evening of Elegance at ReHappening
If you are in the mood to dress up elegantly, have a lavish dinner, enjoy whimsical performances, and browse top-notch art, then mark your calendar for April in Black Mountain for the ReHappening.
This event serves as a fundraiser for the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center and unfolds on the picturesque grounds of the historic Black Mountain College Campus by Lake Eden, promising an enchanting and unforgettable evening.
4. Climb to the Top of Chimney Rock
- Address: 431 Main St, Chimney Rock (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:30 am -5:30 pm
One of the most popular things to do at Black Mountain is to plan a day at Chimney Rock State Park. A 30 minute drive from the town will take you to the dramatic mountain scenery with the centerpiece being the 535-million-year-old, 315-foot-tall freestanding rock formation.
To reach the summit, you can choose to climb the stairway or opt for a hike along one of the numerous trails. Activities at the park cater to a wide range of interests, including biking, hiking, rock climbing, riverside camping, picnicking, engaging with interpretive exhibits, and shopping for souvenirs in the gift shop.
You can even see even the highest waterfall in the state here. Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet, is one of the most famous waterfalls in North Carolina, as it was featured in “The Last of the Mohicans.”
5. Look for Handcrafted Treasures at Seven Sisters Gallery
- Address: 119 Broadway Ave, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am -6:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Located on Broadway Avenue, Seven Sisters Gallery is an undisputed treasure trove for connoisseurs of handmade crafts. The moment you step inside, you’ll be blown away by the sheer variety of art pieces at your fingertips.
Ranging from pottery and jewelry to glasswork and textiles, every item in the gallery is a testament to meticulous craftsmanship. The gallery proudly showcases the creations of nearly 300 local artists, upholding this legacy for the past four decades.
6. Brunch at Louise’s Kitchen
- Address: 115 Black Mountain Ave, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Saturday: 7:30 am – 2:00 pm, Sunday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Louise’s Kitchen is the quintessential breakfast and brunch spot in Black Mountain, offering a delightful blend of nostalgia and international flavors. Established on a historic estate dating back to 1904, you can savor their meals indoors, on their meticulously maintained lawn, or beneath the covered porch.
Breakfast at Louise’s Kitchen sets the perfect tone for your day ahead. Beyond its distinctive ambiance, the cuisine served at this establishment is nothing short of exceptional. They generously serve breakfast dishes all day, accompanied by a selection of lunch entrees.
Guests sing praises for their blueberry waffles, cinnamon rolls, and chocolate chip pancakes. That said, it’s nearly impossible to make a wrong choice at Louise’s Kitchen, as every dish is bursting with flavors and guaranteed to leave you fully satisfied.
7. Explore the World of Performing Arts at White Horse Black Mountain
- Address: 105 Montreat Rd, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday: 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm, Tuesday – Thursday: 6:30 pm – 12:00 am, Saturday & Sunday: 7:00 pm – 12:00 am
- Cost of Admission: Per event ticket prices, check here.
For a family-friendly outing that caters to both the young and the young at heart, venture to the epicenter of arts and music in town—White Horse Black Mountain. Situated in the heart of the historic town, this renowned performance and event venue offers an array of refined entertainment options, including puppetry, theater, live music, and captivating storytelling. It also offers engaging workshops, community gatherings, and film screenings.
With a consistently packed schedule of events, be sure to check out their calendar before your visit.
8. Immerse in the Past at Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center
- Address: 223 W State St, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: Free – Donations Appreciated
Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center has played a primary role in safeguarding the rich history of Buncombe County. It has been actively sharing this heritage with both locals and visitors since its establishment in 1989.
Housed within the town’s 1921 Fire House, the museum comprises both a temporary and a permanent exhibit. The temporary exhibit focuses on a specific historical event, while the permanent exhibition on the second floor is a comprehensive tribute to the history of the Swannanoa Valley.
9. Watch the Sunset at Lake Tomahawk
- Address: Black Mountain, NC (GPS)
One of the best things to do in Black Mountain, is enjoy a tranquil day by the lake. With its shimmering surface, set against a backdrop of majestic mountains and adorned with vibrant trees, Lake Tomahawk offers the quintessential picture-perfect landscape that will leave a mark in your memory.
A visit to Lake Tomahawk provides a chance to relax in the lakeside park, where you can stroll along the pathways, taking in the breathtaking scenery. You can also enjoy activities like boating, fishing from the pier, or simply indulging in a classic picnic on this beautiful lake.
10. Dance Along to the Live Music at Sourwood Festival
- Address: 201 E State St, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Saturday – Sunday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Every year, the Black Mountain community eagerly anticipates the Sourwood Festival during the second week of August. It’s one event that defines the Black Mountain experience and cannot be missed.
This festival is a true delight for families, offering an array of attractions such as face-painting, an impressive selection of over 200 food stalls, a lively music tent, thrilling bouncy rides, creative arts and crafts stations, an enticing array of artisan products, live music performances, and plenty of opportunities for dancing.
A hit with kids and adults is the honey and bee demonstrations, a nod to the festival’s namesake, the sourwood tree flowers that envelop the picturesque mountain town and contribute to exceptional honey production.
It’s worth mentioning that the event is exceptionally popular and sells out quickly, so make sure you register early.
11. Unwind with Friends at Pisgah Brewing
- Address: 2948 US-70, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Thursday: 4:00 pm -9:00 pm, Friday & Saturday: 2:00 pm -6:00pm,
Sunday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The canned and draft beer available at Pisgah Brewing is a cut above the rest, making it a top-tier brewery in Black Mountain.
Complementing their exceptional beer selection is the inviting and relaxed atmosphere with live music, picnic tables, blankets, a spacious lawn seating area, and the option to bring your own food—a perfect combination to win hearts.
12. Unplug at Catawba Falls
- Address: 3074 Catawba River Rd, Old Fort (GPS)
The name and fame of Catawba Falls is known all over North Carolina. No one goes to Black Mountain and misses a 15-minute drive to these falls. To reach the falls is a 2.5-mile easy-to-moderate hike that will take you through a tranquil, moss-covered forest valley. As you continue, the path will lead you to a 100-foot cascade of rushing water, which is not just a single waterfall but a series of captivating cascades.
For dog owners, it’s worth noting that this trail is dog-friendly, allowing you to bring along your leashed furry friend to share in the natural beauty.
13. Find Timeless Treasures at Mountain Nest Gallery
- Address: 133 Cherry St, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday- Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00 pm
Mountain Nest Gallery bears a striking resemblance to the little shops often found in fantasy books, where magical journeys begin.
The rustic accents and cottage-style decor, brimming with a diverse array of art and handicrafts, lend an enchanting and almost otherworldly charm to this gallery.
Located downtown, Mountain Nest proudly features the handcrafted creations of over 100 artists from Western North Carolina, offering a glimpse into the artistic essence of this region. Expect to discover an array of treasures, including silver mirrors, charms, pendants, handwoven scarves, metal sculptures, and blown glass.
14. Discover Hidden Wonders at Blue Ridge Parkway
The incredibly popular Blue Ridge Parkway is a convenient distance away from Black Mountain. The parkway has so much to offer that for millions of visitors, it is the destination, and Black Mountain is merely a stop.
At first glance, the Blue Ridge Parkway may appear as just a scenic motorway, but a closer look reveals it to be an under-the-radar treasure trove, concealing some of nature’s most exquisite gems.
The Appalachian region is renowned for its rich biodiversity, and this parkway offers a glimpse into the region’s flora and fauna. In addition to its vegetation, its climate, wildlife, and geography are just as diverse.
Once you set on an adventure within the parkway, you’ll find pristine swimming holes, the highest mountain peak in the eastern United States, the continent’s oldest river, the stunning Whitewater Falls, and the deepest gorge east of Grand Canyon, among other breathtaking wonders.
15. Groove Under the Stars at Park Rhythms Summer Concert Series
Every August, a palpable sense of anticipation fills the air, as the news of the annual Park Rhythms Summer Concert Series breaks out. This series comprises eight outdoor concerts held during the summer months at Veterans Park on Veterans Park Drive.
The concerts are free of cost, each featuring two performances complemented by a food truck.
The entire concert series creates an immaculate vibe of carefree summer days, listening to music, dancing beneath the open sky, and munching on your favorite snacks.
16. Go For a Stroll in Downtown Black Mountain
- Address: Black Mountain, NC (GPS)
There are a lot of things to do in the quaint and historic town of Black Mountain, but amidst all the options, don’t overlook the simple pleasure of strolling through its downtown area and immersing yourself in the everyday vibrancy of this art and coffee-loving mountain community.
Downtown Black Mountain is all about little cafés with al-fresco dining, craft breweries, rocking chairs decorated by local artists, year-round celebrations, festivities, cute boutiques, eclectic restaurants, hidden speakeasies, and a flourishing art scene.
17. Find Fresh, Flavorful, and Sustainable Products at Black Mountain Tailgate Market
- Address: 130 Montreat Rd, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Saturday: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Who can resist the lure and the authentic flavors of locally grown, sustainable produce, artisanal cheese, organic eggs, herbs, handcrafted products, and more?
Black Mountain Tailgate Farmers Market offers a unique opportunity for locals and visitors to find all the local farmers and artisans in one place. The seasonal community event takes place from May through November along Montreat Road and is a top-class event to bring family and friends along.
The event, which allows customers to purchase directly from local vendors, has been carrying on the legacy of Mary Soyenova and Renate Rikker since 1994. What began as a single table of local produce and just five customers has blossomed into the impressive and vibrant market it is today.
18. Experience Nostalgia at Town Hardware & General Store
- Address: 103 W State St, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9:00 am- 6:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
While it may not seem like one of the best things to do in Black Mountain, the Town Hardware and General Store is an independent red-brick shop in downtown Black Mountain, and is a unique place. What makes this shop so special is that it has been in business since the 1920s, and therefore has that old-world aura that tells stories of the town’s heritage.
And while you’re exploring this historic shop, you’ll find out that it houses more than hardware. The store’s venerable age and accumulated wisdom are evident in its unique and sometimes elusive collection, containing items you might have believed were discontinued decades ago.
19. Find Your Next Great Read at Sassafras on Sutton
- Address: 108 Sutton Ave, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am -6:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm -5:00 pm
Bibliophiles and storytellers gather around because a visit to Sassafras on Sutton is one thing you don’t want to miss, at any cost.This swoon-worthy bookstore/coffee bar is the stuff of dreams. The enormous two-story structure offers a delightful collection of timeless classics and the latest literary releases.
You’d also find book-themed merch, plushies, board games, and so much more. On the second floor, you’ll discover the source of that delectable coffee aroma, where you can spend hours browsing books, cuddling the plushies, reading your favorite book, and keeping that caffeine close by.
20. Indulge in the Finest Coffee Experience at The Dripolator Coffeehouse
- Address: 221 W State St, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 6:30 am – 6:00 pm
If coffee is your fuel, then drinking a cuppa at the Dripolator Coffeehouse is an absolute must. It’s a widely acknowledged fact that they serve the finest coffee in town, and every visitor should experience it at least once during their stay.
They source high-quality green coffee beans, which are carefully roasted using a Diedrich roaster until they achieve the perfect flavor profile. Alongside their flavorful coffee, you’ll find an array of delightful pastries, coffee frappes, and fresh smoothies. The café itself exudes charm and provides an ideal spot for a rejuvenating coffee break.
21. Find the Extraordinary at The Curiosity Shoppe
- Address: 118 Cherry St, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday -Saturday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday: 11 00 am – 4:00 pm
If you are a slave to your curiosity, then this shop on Cherry Street is just what you’ve been searching for. The Curiosity Shoppe is brimming with vintage treasures, including antique furniture, jewelry, pottery, toys, and many more handcrafted products. Additionally, the shop strongly emphasizes sustainability, offering a plethora of recycled, upcycled, redesigned and repurposed objects.
If you are a collector of unique and rare finds, the store also offers state-wide shipping, ensuring you can bring one of these treasures home.
22. Plan a Day of Unforgettable Golfing at Black Mountain Golf Course
- Address: 15 Ross Dr, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
One of the absolute must-do activities in Black Mountain is to indulge in a round of golf at Black Mountain Golf Course. Even if you’re a complete novice to the sport, you simply can’t pass up the opportunity to play on mountainous terrain.
Situated at the base of the majestic Black Mountain Range, Black Mountain Golf Course boasts an impressive 18-hole layout, enveloped by lush greens, rolling hills, and breathtaking mountains. Additionally, a dining establishment is on the course, offering delectable meals and refreshing beverages.
The course stays open year-round and is especially popular amongst golfing enthusiasts, largely thanks to its famous 747-yard, par six hole 17.
23. Stop by Old Depot Arts and Crafts
- Address: 207 Sutton Ave, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00 am -5:00 pm
Tucked away on a backstreet of the downtown strip, adjacent to the railroad tracks, lies a charming establishment known as Old Depot Arts and Crafts. Its name, ‘Old,’ is a testament to its century-old presence in the community. This unique gift shop serves as a tribute to the mountain community, showcasing and selling handcrafted items created in the distinctive artistic style synonymous with the region.
What sets it apart? All the artists generously volunteer to display their handcrafted creations in the shop, and the proceeds are used to support various art programs throughout the town.
24. Experience the Blend of Genres at Lake Eden Arts Festival
- Address: 19 Eagle St Suite 120, Asheville (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday – Thursday:12:00 pm -6:00 pm, Friday: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm,
Saturday: 12:00 am – 8:00 pm
Every year, the Black Mountain Community becomes alive with LEAF, the Lake Eden Arts Festival. This renowned event is the cornerstone of the town’s vibrant art scene, its acclaim and popularity resonating throughout every musical corner of North Carolina.
As the proud host of the state’s grandest musical gathering, the town gears up to welcome thousands of visitors annually. The festival’s venue is the hallowed grounds of the old Historic Black Mountain College, and the festival continues for three glorious days that unite an eclectic array of traditional musical genres.
From African beats to Cajun rhythms, from Blues to Bluegrass, from Latin melodies to Celtic tunes, and even Appalachian harmonies, the festival’s four stages reverberate with a rich tapestry of musical styles.
Beyond the performances, the attendees can explore a jam tent, poetry readings, a healing arts showcase, and an invigorating African drum circle.
25. Journey to the Heart of Cuban Cuisines at Cousins Cuban Café
- Address: 108 Broadway Ave, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 9:00 am -3:00 pm
Located along Broadway Avenue, Cousins Cuban Café is the brainchild of Cuban cousins who didn’t want to rob their town of authentic Cuban flavors. This café serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch with dishes that pay homage to their Floridan and Cuban roots.
Their Cuban dishes are genuinely authentic, and we highly recommend trying their Abuela’s Breakfast, Havan Wrap, and Cubano Bowls to savor the true essence of Cuban cuisine.
26. Witness Nature’s Artistry with Art in Bloom
- Address: 225 W State St, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Art in Bloom is this mesmerizing flower exhibit held at Black Mountain Center for the Arts every year. The proceeds from the tickets go into supporting the local artists and creating better opportunities for them.
The festivals span over a month, beginning with an exhibit of selected pieces by regional artists, which hints at the flower arrangement for the main event. The exhibit then changes into a preview party for the upcoming weeks. Preceding the main event, there are activities such as the Gallery tour, garden tour, and opening reception.
To wrap it all together, the event closes with a free-for-all exhibit called the Art from the Garden. Attending this prestigious festival offers quite an experience to all those who admire beauty and creativity in its many forms.
27. Discover the Serenity of Nature at DuPont State Recreational Forest
- Address: Staton Rd, Cedar Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 5:00 am – 10:00 pm
All the 10,000 acres of DuPont State Forest are a utopia for nature enthusiasts with its many waterfalls and 86 miles of trails that welcome equestrians, hikers, bird watchers, and bicyclists. Licensed anglers and hunters too will find this mesmerizing wilderness right up their alley.
Each of these enchanting trails unveils a different scenic route, leading you past wooden bridges, creeks, green meadows, the rugged mountain base, and always a mesmerizing waterfall.
Whether you’re a novice or an experienced adventurer, you’ll find trails suited to your skill level, with some offering a gentle introduction, others providing moderate challenges, and a few that are notably demanding.
A handy tip for hikers: When approaching a blind corner, make sure to announce your presence to the oncoming bicyclists or horseback riders with a hello. Given the prevalence of wildlife in these surroundings, it’s a precaution worth taking to avoid any mishaps.
28. Discover Your Inner Strength with the Black Mountain Marathon and Mount Mitchell Challenge
For those who take pride in their physical fitness, the Black Mountain Marathon and Mount Mitchell Challenge in February is an event you shouldn’t miss.
The challenge includes a 40-mile race from the town to the peak of Mount Mitchell and back. At 6,684 feet, this mountain is the tallest in the Eastern United States, making it a true test of endurance and strength. Only the most physically fit runners dare to take on this formidable challenge.
If you are someone who never shies away from a challenge, then you’d love to be a part of the marathon that is known for being one of the toughest races in the USA. Make sure to prepare months in advance for this grueling challenge.
29. Get into the Holiday Spirit at Holly Jolly
Black Mountain is one of the best Christmas destinations in North Carolina. A town that celebrates art, music, and food throughout the year, couldn’t resist hosting an extravagant year-end celebration.
Each December, Black Mountain’s streets come alive during the late evenings, teeming with food vendors, outdoor live performances, marching bands, and enthusiastic members of the Montreat College Cheer and Dance Team.
The festivities kick off on the first Friday of December, with Santa Claus gracing the town square on Saturday, followed by the Christmas Parade and an array of additional entertainment during the coming weeks.
30. C.W. Moose Trading Company
- Address: 111 W State St, Black Mountain (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sunday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Black Mountain truly lives up to its reputation as ‘the little town that rocks.’ Once you’ve experienced this place, you’ll find it hard to leave without some keepsakes that will forever connect you to this charming mountain town that knows how to celebrate.
Make a stop at the town’s unofficial souvenir emporium, the C.W. Moose Trading Company. Here, you’ll find mountain-themed apparel, plushies, coffee mugs, and an abundance of other delightful treasures to take home.
EXPLORE THE AREA
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- 20 Blue Ridge Parkway Drive Stops You Have to Make
Plan For Your Trip to the South!
- We like to use VRBO when searching for vacation apartment rentals and Booking.com when searching for hotels.
- See our favorite cooler for the road!
- Get Around: We suggest renting a car for traveling the Carolinas. Check Prices on RentalCars.com
- Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always Allbirds.
- Check out our favorite North Carolina Souvenir!
- Fly For Free: Turn your spending into airline miles and points with travel credit cards (that’s what we do!). See our favorite travel credit cards.