Hendersonville is a hidden gem in North Carolina with so many things to do. It’s a quaint and accessible hamlet with surrounding scenery. Hendersonville provides stunning to explore with the Blue Ridge Mountains all around. There’s a relaxed ambiance and a friendly community here, ideal for a relaxing respite from reality.
Hendersonville has a rich history and a lovely local culture, from wineries to museums to orchards. It’s a heavenly haven for fine fares and kitschy quirk. Get to know this tiny mountain town and all its charms with these favorite things to do in Hendersonville.
The Best Things To Do In Hendersonville
The Cheers! Trail
Hendersonville is home to an amazing array of North Carolina breweries, cideries, and wineries. This is not a town you will go thirsty in. In total there are 23 stops on this self-guided, beverage-based adventure, each one uniquely delicious. The breweries include Sierra Nevada, a large-scale industrial operation making some of the finest and hoppiest craft creations around.
Within the North Carolina wineries is the Point Lookout Vineyards, offering stunning views over the Blue Ridge Mountains along with award winning varietals. Appalachian Ridge Artisan Cider makes mouthwatering hard ciders from traditional Hendersonville apples in a European style all set in a restored 1940s barn.
- Address: 100 Sierra Nevada Way Mills River,NC28732 ( GPS )
- Hours: Friday – Saturday : 10:00 am -10:00 pm
Historic Downtown Hendersonville
In the heart of Hendersonville lies the quaint Main Street and strolling down it is one of the most romantic things to do in North Carolina. Full of charming cafes, eateries, shops, and galleries, a stroll down this laid-back lane dotted with seasonal flowers and trees is sure to delight. The storefronts are set in historic buildings that have been restored, adding to its allure. Pick up a tasty treat at Kilwins, an adorable chocolate factory.
The Book and Bee Cafe and Tea is an English style literary lounge serving up fancy afternoon tea or a carefully curated cup of joe. Mike’s on Main Street has a retro ambiance with ‘50s style decor and serves up everyone’s favorite old fashioned foods. Jane Asher Antiques offers all kinds of vintage finds for browsing or buying. For refined home goods, Vessel has a variety of fabulous furnishings available.
- Address: The Book and Bee Cafe and Tea -795 Mountain Road Hendersonville, NC 28791 ( GPS )
- Hours: Tuesday – Saturday : 10:00 am- 3:00 pm, Sunday-Monday : Closed
Mineral and Lapidary Museum
This museum is an engaging educational institution of the area. It explores earth sciences, such as geology and paleontology, in a way that’s both exciting and enjoyable. Henderson County has one of the country’s most diverse mineral deposits. They have everything from polished gemstones to rare minerals to a locally renowned metortie.
Be sure to check out the dark room exhibit to see displays of actual glowing specimens. There are many fossils to discover as well, including a T-rex skull, a Wooly Mammoth leg, and a Mastodon tusk. Embrace the beauty of the world beneath your feet at this one-of-a-kind museum.
- Address: 400 N Main St, Hendersonville, NC 28792 ( GPS )
- Hours: Open Monday-Friday 1pm-5pm and Saturday 10am-5pm (Winter Hours: open Wednesday – Saturday).
- Cost of Admission: Free
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
One of the best things to do in Hendersonville is visit the Carl Sandburg home. Carl Sandberg, known as the Poet of the People, is a significant literary figure. Touring his 267-acre home is a stunning experience for all. His extensive library lining the walls of every room is an inspirational collection of impressive titles.
The furnishings are modest and untouched from his time living and writing there. There are several scenic hiking trails to traverse the local landscape of the estate. He also raised goats and ran a dairy farm on the property, and you can visit the barn while you’re there.
- Address: 81 Carl Sandburg Lane Flat Rock , NC 28731 ( GPS )
- Hours: Monday – Sunday : 9:00 – 5:00 pm
The Curb Market
The Curb Market is a local tradition that dates all the way back to 1924. It started with just a handful of farmers from the surrounding areas who wanted to sell some of their surplus produce to people who lived in the city. It’s expanded greatly over decades and now is a bustling hub of hand-made goods loved by locals and tourists alike. They have fresh flowers, fruits, vegetables, and meats from the region.
You’ll also find mountain arts and crafts, homemade treats, toys, preserves, stationery, and more, always with a fun surprise in store. It’s a special farmers’ market as all sellers must be a resident of the town and all items sold must be locally grown or hand-made.
It’s open several days a week but can change depending on the season, so be sure to check the schedule before you go. It’s a great way to support local and independent businesses while in Hendersonville.
- Address: 221 N Church St, Hendersonville, NC 28792 ( GPS )
- Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday – 8:00 am -2:00 pm, Closed: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
Enjoy the Apple Orchards
Hendersonville is affectionately known as Apple Alley. It’s home to a variety of farms and orchards that are full of fun outdoor activities for everyone. Grandad’s Apples N Such boasts a large cornfield maze. Pick some apples, feed some farm animals, and find some freshly made bites at the bakery.
Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard hits all the highlights, like giant sunflowers for insta-worthy photo ops and apple cider donuts. Sky Top Orchard offers the unique thrill of a bamboo forest and the old time classic, tractor rides. The Justus Orchard is family owned and has been operating in the area for over 100 years. Immerse yourself in the backcountry nature of North Carolina and soak up all the spectacular scenery from this iconic farm.
- Address: Grandad’s Apples N Such – 2951 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792, ( GPS )
- Hours: Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday – 9:00 am -5:00 pmGrandad’s Apples N Such
Dupont State Recreation Forest
Dupont State Recreation Forest is most well known for being featured in the classic films the Hunger Games and the Last of the Mohicans. However, its true allure lies in the 10,000 acres of lakes, rivers, North Carolina waterfalls, vistas, and verdant forests and fields. Native flora and fauna thrive in this protected area of local landscape, so be sure to keep your eyes out for natural wonders and wildlife.
We recommend the seven-mile hike to see Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, High Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls to really get the whole experience. Of course, you can always just trek part of this journey and still see several captivating cascades. This is one of the best things to do in Hendersonville to bask in the beauty of North Carolina.
Enjoy the Restaurants
Postero serves up fine dining fares in a chic yet casual atmosphere. The plates are elevated takes on American classics. Start with the Pork Belly Bites or Duck Fat Fries. If you’re feeling adventurous try the Frogs Legs of Buloigi. The Grown Up Grilled Cheese and Big Ass Bowl of Mussels really do deliver as advertised. They have handcrafted cocktails, locally craft beers, and an international wine list as well.
Never Blue is a special eatery in Hendersonville. It cooks up culinary creations from around the world, and everything has an added touch of whimsy. The space is vibrant and fun, right down to the tile mosaic bar. Many plates are served tapas style, so it’s a great place to gather and share with loved ones.
Everything is sourced locally for a farm-to-table feast. Each dish is divine from the Duck Wontons to the Ribeye Quesadilla to the Lamb Kofta.
- Address: 401 N. Main Street Hendersonville, NC 28792 ( GPS )
- Hours: Thursday-Saturday -11:30- 2:30, Dinner : Tuesday – Thursday 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. , Friday and Saturday : 5:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Jump Off Rock
With an elevation of over 3,000 feet, Jump Off Rock offers some of the best views around. Winding paths provide easy access from the city of these sweeping panoramas overlooking everything. There are several short trails traversing the hillside, but none will take more than about 30 minutes to get to the lookout.
There are several information points along the way to learn a bit more about the history of the area as you hike. You can see both the Blue Ridge and Pisgah Mountains and lush rolling pastures from the peak. It’s the perfect place to soak up the scenery of Hendersonville, especially during the sunset.
Appalachian Pinball Museum
Take a trip back in time to the heyday of arcade games at this unique and funky museum. Inside there are 35 vintage pinball machines and 25 video games. You’ll find all the old school favorites for pinball such as KISS, Star Wars, Elvira, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The classic video games are also accounted for of course, with Pac Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug all in attendance. For a small flat fee, you can stay and play for as long as you like. They even sell adult beverages like local craft beers. It’s a blast from the past and the perfect way to indulge in a bit of nostalgia in Hendersonville.
- Address: 538 North Main Street Hendersonville, North Carolina 28792 ( GPS )
- Hours: Sunday- Monday :1:00 pm -6:00 pm, Thursday, Thursday-Saturday: 2:00pm-9:00 pm , Closed: Wednesday
Enjoy the Festivals
There’s plenty of festive spirit to go around in Hendersonville. As such they host many festivals throughout the year, and you may just want to plan your visit accordingly. In the fall you’ll find the North Carolina Apple Festival taking place, though not as any ordinary event might on the city streets. It’s spread out over the many orchards in the area, and includes vendors, games, and rides at each location along with the usual fun fares and activities.
Art on Main is in the fall as well. Fine artists from all over gather to display their works in all kinds of mediums, from painting to photography to sculpture. It’s a beautiful creative celebration of craft, whether you’re browsing or buying.
The Garden Jubilee Festival is a town and country affair held in the spring where nurseries and garden centers around town sell hard to find flora and beloved blooms. Vendors sell any and all things related to gardens including arts and crafts, foods, soaps, and outdoor furniture.
Bullington Gardens is a public space full of wonder and whimsy. A short trail meanders through ornate displays of local and exotic blooms over 12 acres. Wander into the lush landscape with such delights as the Fairy Garden, Pollinator Garden, and Dahlia Daze.
Bullington Gardens focuses their aim on horticultural practices and their impact, making sure to educate and connect adults and children to the importance and beauty of nature. It’s an interactive hand-on space that celebrates science. They host many community outreach programs, like workshops, events, and camps.
Address: 95 Upper Red Oak Trail Hendersonville NC 28792 ( GPS )
Hours: Monday – Saturday. 9am-4pm.
The Historic Johnson Farm
This is a preserved late 19th century tobacco farm and after an early 20th century tourist retreat. Today it offers several nature trails and tours of the historic buildings of the era, which includes an estate, a cottage, a blacksmith shop, a boarding house, a bar and more. The bricks used were hand-made out of mud from the French Broad River. It was the first brick home in the county built in 1874.
The Historic Johnson Farm spans over 15 acres of gorgeous wilderness. There’s a self-guided audio tour as well as a guided tour to take you through the fascinating history of the area. There are many astounding antiques furnishing the home as well. It’s been designated a North Carolina Cultural Treasure, and we really must agree.
- Address: 3346 Haywood Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28791, ( GPS )
- Hours: Monday – Friday : 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: Adult: $10, Students, Seniors (65+), and Military: $8, Preshoolers: Free
The Western North Carolina Air Museum
The Western North Carolina Air Museum honors aviation and is a great stop for any flight or history buffs. It’s set in two expansive hangers and is home to an impressive collection of airplanes that have been significant throughout time. They also display models, memorabilia, and vintage photographs of pilots, planes, engines, and flight manuals.
There are volunteer pilots on deck at all times to answer any questions, which is such a cool resource to have as you make your way through the renowned artifacts of aviation. They aim to preserve and promote the North Carolina heritage of flight and the golden age of aircrafts. It’s really a living history center for planes and people who love them.
Address: 1340 E Gilbert St, Hendersonville, NC 28792, ( GPS )
Hours: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Cost of Admission: Free
French Broad River
This winding waterway is the most scenic setting in Hendersonville for outdoor adventure and water sports. It’s a natural playground for canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and tubing. There are plenty of outfitters to rent equipment if you didn’t pack your own.
Try Lazy Otter Outfitters or Headwater Outfitters to help you plan any kind of excursion you want. Get out there and paddle the day away as you flow leisurely around the Blue Ridge Mountains.
If you’re enjoying the wilderness after the sun sets, keep your eyes out for the elusive Blue Ghost Fireflies. Unlike normal fireflies which flash yellow, this special species has a continuous glow that appears blue and green. There are various local folklore tales about them, such as they are the ghosts of soldiers from the Civil War, hence their ominous name. Witnessing their ethereal existence is a rare and magical moment.