The Great Smoky Mountains host a small town full of big adventure. Brevard, North Carolina, lies just southwest of Asheville. As if national forests and mountainous landscapes aren’t enough to get the heart pumping, more than 250 waterfalls surround the town, which is just steps away from the Blue Ridge Parkway and has a hip nightlife and thriving outdoor music scene. Let’s see some of the best ways to spend your time in Brevard.
About Brevard, North Carolina
Outdoor adventures abound near Brevard, North Carolina. As the entrance to the Pisgah National Forest, the town is a mecca for mountain bicyclists who take advantage of more than 200 miles of trails. Rock climbing, hiking, and fishing also attract visitors to this small mountain town near Asheville. And its proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway makes Brevard the perfect stop for good food, libations, and relaxation.
What Is Brevard Known For?
Brevard is home to many unique white squirrels. Townspeople have a theory that the squirrels showed up suspiciously after a carnival truck overturned near the city limits years ago. But rodents aside, the community sits near more than 250 waterfalls. Many of these are accessible from the road, so an afternoon drive can turn into a waterfall sight-seeing tour.
9 Best Things to Do in Brevard, South Carolina
You’ll find plenty to do in Brevard. Here are nine of our favorites.
1. See 250 Waterfalls
Within a 20-mile circumference around Brevard, travelers can explore falls of varying heights and beauty. Don’t miss a trip slip-sliding down Sliding Rock Falls or walking behind the water at Looking Glass Falls. See three for the price of one at Mill Shoals, where an iconic old mill overlooks its namesake and French Broad Falls. It’s a short hike to the third, Bird Rock Falls. Many of the 250 waterfalls in the area are easily found and have handicapped accessibility.
2. Mine for Gems
Grab a bucket of dirt at the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine in downtown Brevard. With a 58-foot-long indoor water flume, you can have hours of fun sifting for rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, and you get to keep whatever you find. You can even add geodes and mineral specimens to your collection in the rock and fossil shop.
3. Go Fly Fishing
With so many mountain rivers, there’s no limit on the places to fly fish. Hire a local outfitter to take you to that hidden honey hole, or head out on your own in the national or state forests nearby. Just make sure you bring home the catch of the day.
4. Go on an Apiary Tour
For amazing organic honey created by bees freely roaming the forests of the Smoky Mountains, grab a treat from Killer Bees Honey. These buzzers exclusively gather nectar from a three-mile radius, so you know where your honey is coming from. Tour the mountainside property and wear a bee suit for an official meet-and-greet with the Queen Bee herself. Then enjoy a honey tasting, and shop for honey soaps, salves, balms, and candles.
5. Take a Hike
Head to the Davis River Campground just outside town to take on the challenging 30-mile Art Loeb Trail. This strenuous hike ends at the Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp. Along the way, hikers will discover diverse landscapes, stunning vistas, and a variety of flora and fauna. Several sections of the trail can be used as day hikes if you’re not up to a four- or five-day trek.
6. Stop by the Farmers’ Market
Get your hands on fresh fruits and vegetables straight from farm to table at Brevard’s Farmers’ Market. This Saturday morning event offers flowers, homemade foods, and meals in the historic downtown district. Depending on the season, it’s open from 9 a.m. to noon and features up to 70 vendors.
7. Visit a Local Brewery
Grab a local brew at any of four breweries in Brevard. With German beers, pale ales, stouts, and local fare like “Straight Outta King Street,” each tavern has its own flair. From outdoor street seats to indoor music venues, the microbreweries within the city limits feed into Brevard’s lively small-town atmosphere.
8. Take a Bike Tour
With more than 200 miles of bike trails, Brevard, North Carolina, has become one of the best places in the nation for mountain biking. Take a guided tour with one of the sports shops in town, or head out on your own on any of five legendary trail rides that will have you craving more singletrack time.
Each covers a different skill level, with loops that connect to more (or less) challenging terrain. Pedal the White Squirrel Stage, Big Rock/Cedar Rock/Burnt Mountain Trail, Cove Creek Loop, the Ridgeline Trail, or Sycamore Cove.
9. Go on the Unofficial ‘Hunger Games’ Tour
If you’re a fan of the “Hunger Games” books and movies, you’ll be thrilled to discover that the region around Brevard was the backdrop for much of each film. Hunger Games Unofficial Fan Tours will take you on an excursion to the Henry River Mill Village and the Dupont State Recreational Forest, where many scenes were filmed. You’ll receive shuttle service to and from the sites, with a tour of specific locations from the movies.
Brevard, North Carolina, is on the cusp of discovery. It sits in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains with all the attractions of small-town life wrapped up in a shiny, adventurous package. Why don’t you discover it on your next trip to western North Carolina?