Small mountain towns near asheville nc – small mountain towns near asheville nc
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When most people visit western North Carolina they are headed to Asheville or Boone — one of the larger towns on that side of the state. But what about the small towns near Asheville? There are so many quaint towns near Asheville that deserve to be explored! Each one of them offers a great jumping off spot for outdoor adventures.
Need a place to stay while you explore the area? Here are the best places to stay in the North Carolina mountains! Disclaimer: This post ma y contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this link, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for keeping Stuck On The Go going! This is absolutely one of my favorite small towns near Asheville. Black Mountain is in the shadows of the Seven Sisters mountain range.
Get ice cream at The Hop — locally made!! The Black Mountain restaurants are second to none. We stay here often and I usually choose to eat in town instead of driving into Asheville. Make sure to swing by Black Mountain Brewing and Lookout Brewing for great beer and a chill atmosphere. Nearby at Montreat College there are some great hiking opportunities like Lookout Mountain.
There are so many fun things to do in Black Mountain that you can easily spend a few days in town. Home to the Nantahala Outdoor Center!
There are two restaurants and an Outfitters Store here as well. You can get any outdoor equipment that you may need. There is plenty to do here to occupy an entire day but head into the town of Bryson City as well. They also have a train museum! This cute little mountain town is full of surprises. This little town is only a few minutes north of Asheville on I and the perfect place to grab lunch and explore for an afternoon.
Highway intersects I here and you can follow it north into the Linville Gorge Wilderness. I highly recommend both. Sierra Nevada is a destination in itself. You can tour the brewery, eat at their on-site restaurant, or shop in their retail store. At Burning Blush, the interior is open with high ceilings and long picnic tables are set up for plenty of seating. Friendly doggos are welcome. They also typically have a food truck in the back patio. This is a great jumping off point if you want to explore the DuPont State Forest area.
There are tons of hiking opportunities here. This charming lake town is most commonly known as a retreat for Methodist churches.
Anyone can enjoy the beautiful scenery though. There are also boat tours that are offered at the lake. There is also a golf course by the lake if you like to play golf. If you are looking for an active lake day then head here. Sylva is another small town near Asheville that has a picturesque downtown area. They have weekly concerts in the summer called Concerts on the Creek! Dangerous, I know.
The Tuckasegee River also offers whitewater for the adventurous type. I will be the first to admit that I have not explored Hendersonville nearly enough. Downtown Hendersonville is actually pretty lively and they have lots of events going on especially on weekends. There are lots of shops, restaurants, and breweries here as well. But did you know that there are also some great local wineries in the area? Another great one is Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards.
Hendersonville is also known for all the apple orchards surrounding it! It has its own bakery and is very kid friendly. This little town is close to the corner where the borders of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia meet. Lots of great shopping, incredible restaurants, and an upscale downtown area.
If you can swing it make sure to stay at the Old Edwards Inn and Spa. The town of Cashiers is only 10 miles from Highlands. There are lots of boutiques along the highway but you may need to do some investigating to find them. Whiteside Brewing is a popular spot to grab a drink and hang out. There are also multiple events and concerts held here throughout the year.
Tyler and I thought it was fantastic. You really can soak in the hot springs in Hot Springs, NC. You can stay at a primitive tent site, an RV site, or they have cabins and vacation rentals. While you are here soak in one of their famous mineral baths. Another great spot nearby is at Max Patch. Take a picnic and enjoy the sunset here. Another town close to some great hikes!
Burnsville is close to Mount Mitchell — the tallest peak east of the Mississippi. Another cool attraction is the Bare Dark Sky Observatory where you can look through one of the largest telescopes available to the public. Located right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Little Switzerland offers amazing mountain views in a little resort community.
If you want to stay a while then book a room at the Little Switzerland Inn. Emerald Gem Mine is also near Little Switzerland. The Switzerland Inn Chalet Restaurant is a full service restaurant with gorgeous views. Rutherfordton is an up and coming town in western North Carolina with adorable places to stay and plenty of options for local food. They even have lots of international cuisine options!
There are lots of trails that pass through town and plenty of parks. Of course, they have all the usual lake activities — boat tours, kayaks, canoes, SUP. There is a beach — Lake Lure Beach — where you can lay out in the sun. A unique attraction here is the flowering bridge. Flowers are planted all along this pedestrian bridge. You can have plenty of adventures off the lake as well.
Chimney Rock and Lake Lure are right beside each other. This is a hopping little tourist spot. Just outside the state park there is a row of stores along the street where you could spend an hour or two shopping.
Burntshirt Vineyard also has a second location here with an incredible bistro. I recommend heading to the park and spending the morning hiking then stopping by the winery and brewery. Beware there is a charge to enter the park. Like my content? Join me on Facebook , Instagram , Twitter , or Pinterest!
I even have a Facebook Group. There are plenty of specialty shops and boutiques downtown as well as restaurants, breweries, and bottle shops. When I think of Morganton, I think of a gateway to incredible hiking. They have a great buffet! Another town that is heavily influenced by local artists! Main street downtown has lots of quirky shops and incredible places to eat. There are also plenty of events on the weekends in this small town.
Make sure to check out the local brewery, Boojum Brewing too. This tiny town has a thriving downtown and visitors flock here in the summer. At Appalachian Driving Experience you can rent a Porsche sports car and take it for a spin. Learn about the history of the Cherokee tribe at the Cherokee Historical Museum.
Shop for locally made soaps and other body care products at Blue Moon Elise. The secret has quickly gotten out about Brevard. There is so much to do here for outdoor enthusiasts and this college town will have you falling in love the first time you visit.
– Small mountain towns near asheville nc – small mountain towns near asheville nc
Shops, boutiques, galleries and restaurants center around the Village Green with outdoor sculpture, walking paths and gardens. Find a sophisticated arts and music scene. Stroll this picturesque historic “town” in the city of Asheville near the entrance to Biltmore Estate.
Find tree lined streets with trendy, mostly local boutiques, galleries, breweries and restaurants in buildings and cottages built by the Vanderbilts. This tiny summer retreat along the Blue Ridge Parkway is known for its charming architecture, historic inns, gem mining, winding motorcycle drives and amazing book store.
Near Spruce Pine. Located about 60 miles east of Asheville, Morganton’s charming downtown centers around the stately historic courthouse. Shop, eat and taste local brews at three breweries. In September, don’t miss the big Morganton Festival. Home to an impressive arts community, with galleries and an arts center downtown. Also boasts a big equestrian community, with many horse-related events, including a Steeplechase each spring.
The amazing Tryon International Equestrian Center attracts horse lovers and riders from all over the world. Near Saluda. This beautiful lake town near the Great Smoky Mountains is home to trails, boat tours, golf, gardens and a big variety of lodging options, including lakefront hotels and cabin rentals for a Methodist church retreat. Located in the foothills in wine and horse country, this tiny town population has a quaint historic downtown with a park and mountain views, scenic drive, wineries and Tryon Equestrian Center.
Home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee, NC offers a variety of ways to experience the cultural heritage and long history of the tribe. Watch “Unto These Hills. Picturesque Main Street has many local shops, restaurants, galleries, brewery, museums and favorite O. Taylor toy store. This is the Land of the Waterfalls with hiking, biking and famous Sliding Rock. The tiny village population has a busy downtown at the entrance to popular Chimney Rock Park.
Behind the shops and restuarants, the Rocky Broad Riverwalk takes you along the cascading river with places for a picnic. Take a step back in time in this authentic tourist town that has kept the charm of the 60s and 70s. This longtime mountain resort town has kept much of its local charm with vintage motels and plenty of gift shops with arts and crafts.
Tour Wheels Through Time collection of classic cars and motorcycles. Ski at Cataloochee. Festivals include Hillbilly Jam and Elk Fest. This quaint and very historic village is located three miles south of Hendersonville.
This town is known as the “Gem Capital of the World. This pristine, scenic mountain lake is surrounded by a community with many things to do – located near Brevard. Take a lake cruise at Greystone Inn, be a beekeeper for a day, stay at a wellness retreat and see Toxaway Falls. While it’s part of the city, West Asheville has its own vibe and busy Haywood Road lined with restored buildings filled a big variety of restaurants, bars, breweries, and funky shops.
For the most upscale shopping in the mountains, head to downtown Highlands. It’s a popular area for affluent travelers, many with a summer home in the area. This is one of the highest towns east of the Mississippi River, with an elevation at 4, feet.
Nearby are many beautiful waterfalls, including the roadside Dry Falls. This quaint town is just a mile from the busy I We especially love exploring the shops along Cherry Street. And don’t forget the Swannanoa Valley Museum. Find an impressive selection of restaurants for a tiny town.
Nearby Montreat is worth a quick sidetrip. Located in Madison County, this college town has a quaint downtown of historic buildings and homes. Enjoy many educational and cultural opportunities at the university, including stage plays, art exhibits, the national clogging champions.
Founded on the traditions of 19th century Waldensian settlers from Italy. Some working artists have set up shop in the River Arts District. Drive a little, walk a little to visit studios and galleries. Find an amazing variety of art and see how the artists create it. It’s just a few miles from downtown Asheville and Biltmore Estate. Nestled in a valley surrounded by the highest peaks in eastern America, including Mt.
Mitchell, Burnsville’s small downtown is dominated by the Town Square with towering trees. The Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair transforms the streets into a festival for craft and art lovers.
Explore one of the oldest towns in Western North Carolina, with historic antebellum homes and a downtown filled with shops, restaurants and one of the best children’s museums in the state. And it’s the site of the first minted gold coins in the USA! This tiny town in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains has a famous school, church fresco, historic buildings with gallery and weaving museum, plus much more.
Near Spruce Pine and Banner Elk. Located at the base of Roan Mountain and the mile-high scenic drive, this town has several galleries and studios.
Home to the Rhododendron Festival. Penland School of Crafts is nearby. Their small downtown area is filled with restaurants, galleries and interesting local shops. And it’s only 10 minutes from both downtown Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Twice a year, they host the big Weaverville Art Safari with dozens of artists opening their studios to visitors. The largest downtown in western North Carolina outside of Asheville is filled with historic buildings and updated streetscapes with flowers and art. Find many spots for outdoor dining and a big variety of quality shops and galleries along a six-block stretch of Main Street.
Stroll down Marion’s Main Street lined with historic buildings, churches and the courthouse. It sits at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains near popular attractions like Mt. Hendersonville sits south of Asheville, and Asheville to Hendersonville is only about a minute drive. This is one of the up-and-coming cities that rivals AVL in culture and fun. There is so much to do in Hendersonville , and you might just catch a festival or special event.
If you enjoy hitting the trails, we recommend starting your morning chasing those waterfalls at DuPont State Forest in Cedar Mountain — which is about 20 minutes away from Hendersonville. If it is fall, though, head straight to the Hendersonville apple orchards for cider, corn mazes, farm animals, and bamboo forests. Or, wine and beer hop. Paul Mountain Vineyards, and Point Lookout.
Like Asheville, Hendersonville has hopping breweries , including D9, Guidon, and Oklawaha which has gluten-reduced beers too. One of the most beautiful towns near Asheville, Black Mountain is our go-to for a nearby lake, local coffee, and mouthwatering craft cocktails. This town sits slightly east of AVL. For food in Black Mountain , Trailhead is a local favorite.
Berliner Kindler serves up delicious German cuisine, and Cousins Cuba Cafe is outstanding for breakfast and lunch. Grab a coffee at Dripolator, and ice cream — with vegan options — at The Hop.
This is one of the best Smoky Mountain cities near Asheville, especially if you enjoy trains and catching beautiful fall foliage drives. Asheville to Bryson City is about a 1-hour and minute drive and is well worth it for hiking, Fontana Lake, and the charming downtown area.
Start on the Road to Nowhere — Lakeview Drive — which is stunning in the fall. Unfortunately, the Road to Nowhere represents a broken promise to residents during the war and was never completed. Today, the Road to Nowhere offers scenic overlooks of Fontana Lake and ends at hiking trails and an eerie and echo-filled tunnel.
Iron Wok serves giant bowls of steaming pho, and Nantahala Brewing and Mountain Layers feature hoppy local brews. Or, ride the steam train throughout the year for lunch or as part of their special wine adventure. Outdoor enthusiasts head to Bryson City for white-water rafting, ziplining, and of course, hiking the Great Smoky Mountains and Nantahala National Forest. One of the closest cities to Asheville, Weaverville is just slightly north of the city and only a 10 to minute drive.
In fact, if you are coming from Downtown Asheville, take Merrimon Ave all the way there. Read more about what to do in Weaverville. Are you hoping to explore more of the best lake day trips from Asheville? And, where can you find a bridge filled with vibrant blooms while getting your Dirty Dancing on? Lake Lure has so much to offer and is one of the best towns around Asheville if you are craving that lake and cabin lifestyle. Spy herbs, flowers, and furry critters as butterflies and birds sail past you.
Chatty volunteers are always planting, weeding, and designing new creative garden spaces. Then, walk Morse Park for beautiful views of the lake. If it is summer, hang out at Lake Lure Beach or rent a boat. NC is home to tons of great filming locations.
Baby carried that watermelon here and look back to many dancing scenes. We cannot leave out those quirky small towns near Asheville, and in , Hot Springs registered about inhabitants. Asheville to Hot Springs is just under a minute drive, and Hot Springs promises to live up to its namesake. Along with the resort and spa, enjoy basic camping cabins, tent sites, and full RV hookups, which is perfect since Hot Springs is one access point for the infamous Appalachian Trail.
Find the sweetest library too. Nearby, continue along the Appalachian Trail at Max Patch. Also within Arden, head to Lake Julian for another popular recreational lake.
Enjoy horseshoe pits and a playground. Rent paddle boats or play disc golf. Arden has some of the most kid-friendly activities around Asheville , too, including Launch Trampoline Park and Lakeview Putt and Play.
Asheville to Arden is about a minute drive. When considering relocating to Asheville , many people look at homes in Arden as it is largely residential.
For more cities near Asheville, Fletcher is similar to Arden and has one of our favorite wineries , Souther Williams. What is one of the best cities near Asheville for waterfalls? In the summer, visitors and locals flock to Sliding Rock to slide down the foot, natural waterfall slide into a chilly pool of water. Looking Glass Falls is a popular roadside waterfall that freezes in the winter, and Daniel Ridge promises challenging mountain biking trails.
After a day of Asheville hiking , head to Downtown Brevard for food and beer. Brevard has fun brewery options , too, like Ecusta and Oskar Blues. Brevard One of the best small towns near Asheville — well, technically a village with a population under 3, people as of — Flat Rock is home to history, apples, and hiking.
Asheville to Flat Rock is about a minute drive, and Flat Rock and Hendersonville pair well together while you are in the area.
Flat Rock Playhouse showcases musicals, concerts, and plays. Cherokee is home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which is one of three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. The Reservation, also known as the Qualla Boundary, holds 57, acres of land. On your way into the Smokies, climb the steps to stunning Mingo Falls , and pop into the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to get your bearings. While not the largest tourist destination, Mills River is a popular place to live and is most well-known for its cidery and breweries.
Sierra Nevada has a massive brewing facility in nearby Fletcher, which you can tour. We like to drop in here with hungry airport guests and try all of their beer while gorging on duck fries. Just down the road, Bold Rock is equally famous as one of the best cideries and has the most unique cider flavors.
Across the street, find Mills River Brewing — a more local brewery with camping vibes and food. Another one of the famous villages and small towns near Asheville, Chimney Rock lands on every Asheville bucket list of the best things to do.
Chimney Rock State Park is home to a million-year-old monolith that sits 2, feet above sea level. Visitors may hike or take an elevator to the rocks.
Hickory Nut Falls is an easier waterfall hike, and Chimney Rock — as a whole — is a family-friendly hiking spot.
21 Small Towns Near Asheville, NC to Add to Your Bucket List – Stuck on the Go.12 of the Best Small Mountain Towns around Asheville – Sourwood Inn
Read more about what to do in Weaverville.