THings to do on your time off

Your time off is a chance for you to relax, reenergize, and explore the area around us. There is so much to do in Western North Carolina, from great places to eat to amazing views on the Parkway and everything in between. Here are just a few of the things you can do on your time off.

If you find things that aren’t on this list and think we should include it let Lia know!

Places to Eat
  • Sunrise Cafe– great spot for Breakfast and Brunch where you get a lot of bang for your buck
  • Casa Mexicana– super yummy taqueria with pretty big portion sizes
  • Sora– great spot for japanese and sushi. If you go with a group I highly recommend splitting the sushi boat!
  • Morning Social– Holy cow I love this place! Great brunch food and prices really aren’t that bad as you usually get a lot of food, and great food at that. The only downside is the coffee is meh and they don’t serve any espresso, lattes, or anything like that.
  • Pescado’s– kind of like a local Chipotle where you build your own burrito. You get a fair amount of food for what you pay for. Lots of good salsas and toppings!
  • Love Eat Thai– Thai place downtown. Good food, prices are comparable to most other places
  • Waffle House– a staple of the American South East experience!
  • El Ranchero– decent Mexican food with affordable prices around Downtown Brevard
  • Bracken Mountain Bakery– Baked goods are wicked yummy, good coffee, decent prices. I highly recommend getting some breakfast here and bopping around downtown to see what there is to see. 
  • New China– good Chinese takeout by Brevard College. No indoor seating.
  • Maya’s– another decent Mexican place smack in the middle of downtown Brevard
  • Fuji Yama– A google review says “No-nonsense Japanese restaurant supplying heaping plates of hibachi & teriyaki fare”
  • 185 King Street– All sorts of things to do here! Good food! Good Drinks! Trivia! Local Concerts! Karaoke! Check out their website to see what they have going on.
  • Oskar Blues– good brewery with a decent food truck, but not a lot of veggie/gluten free options. OB also does a lot to support Eagle’s Nest. Also a reliable place to see some live music
  • Ecusta Brewery– another decent brewery that has a great little window called Gordingos where you can get tacos, nachos, burrito bowls, etc. Check the hours of Gordingos before you go. They also have a rotation of food trucks that hang out there, my favorite of which is Smash NC (a smash burger food truck) You can follow them on Instagram to see where they will be. 
  • The Hub and Pisgah Tavern– This bike shop is combined with a bar. I’ve never been here myself but I hear it’s a good spot that people frequent. It’s another spot where there are decent food trucks that come and go. Check out their website to see what food trucks will be at the hub when you plan on going. Typically, you can expect to spend a bit more at any food truck.
  • Food Matters– yummy spot for fresh sandwiches and other foods. More of a Whole Foods vibe
  • Dolly’s– an ice cream place I’m sure many of you will come to love if you already haven’t. Located just outside the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, this spot offers all the standard ice cream flavors as well as a flavor for every summer camp in the area (and there’s A LOT of summer camps here). They also offer tubing on the Davidson River.
Things to Do
  • Tarheel Lanes– our local bowling alley. Comes with everything you would expect out of a bowling alley in Western NC!
  • OP Taylor’s– our local toy store that can be found downtown. This is a spot where you can have fun without even spending money. The Lego room is a beast in and of itself. 
  • Transylvania County Library– great spot to relax and get lost in a book. Library card fees are $30 for non-residents, but it’s cheaper than buying a bunch of books brand new.
  • Highland Books– located in downtown, this quaint bookstore is a nice space if you want some quiet alone time.
  • Co-Ed Cinema – A classic single screen theater right in the middle of downtown Brevard.
Places to Eat
  • White Duck– crazy taco place with all sorts of options that you probably wouldn’t have thought of (Butter Chicken Tacos for example). Also locations in Asheville (Downtown, River Arts District, and Skyland area)
  • Hendough– all sorts of yummy stuff. Chicken. Donuts. Biscuits. Good for Breakfast or Lunch.
  • Campfire Grill– Uhm actually, this place is in Flat Rock, but close enough. It’s camp themed and is a place to get BBQ, burgers, and brews (and some good fried chicken)
  • 305 Lounge & Eatery  – good food and live music
  • Black Bear Coffee Co. – good for breakfast or lunch
Things to Do
  • Mast General – has all kinds out outdoor clothes and gear, also has barrels of candy.
  • Apple Quest – a fun scavenger hunt for brass apples if you’re in the mood to stroll and explore downtown Hendersonville.
  • Bearfootin Art Walk – another fun thing to do while exploring downtown Hendersonville, be on the lookout for colorful bears all around downtown.
  • Mini Golf – who doesn’t love a little mini golf?
Places to Eat
  • Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack– great chicken, especially if you like things on the spicy side. You can expect country style food like mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, fried foods, etc. Not very many veggie/gluten free options here. Locations in Arden and W Asheville
  • Farm Burger– grass fed beef burgers with a somewhat decent selection of veggie options
  • Mamacita’s– another Chiptole style taqueria. They have a lot of cool and unique specials that you don’t see at most other places
  • 12 Bones – a great place to get barbeque, ribs, and all kinds of sides
  • Home Ground – a good spot for breakfast or lunch, right by the French Broad River in West Asheville
Places to Go
  • Sky Lanes– another fun bowling alley, maybe a little nicer than Tarheel Lanes
  • Check out what concerts may be going on at The Orange Peel, Rabbit Rabbit, Salvage Station or other fun venues (there’s lots). 
  • Asheville Art Museum– always something interesting on display. Tickets are $15 if you pay online beforehand. They allow walk-ins, but they may be more expensive
  • Malaprop’s Bookstore– another bookstore to hang out at. This one has a cafe!
  • Dobra Tea– a japanese style tea room. Sit down and relax with a warm mug!
  • The Goodwill Bins– This Goodwill outlet is a thrifter’s paradise. You can spend hours sifting through the bins searching for your next favorite fashion piece. Beware though, people in Asheville take thrifting seriously and it gets picked over pretty quickly. There are also several Goodwills and countless thrift stores dispersed all across Asheville, Brevard, and Hendersonville
  • There are many Escape Rooms you can test your luck at: Fox N Otter and Breakout are pretty good
  • Loads of great movie theaters in the area. Some have reclining chairs. Some have 4K Imax. Some have bars and serve pizzas. Pick your own poison.

Outdoor Spots

For any of these places it helps to have a physical map of where you’re going, and maybe someone who has been there before. Apps like AllTrails and Gaia aren’t fully reliable in the area yet.

Pisgah National Forrest
  • John Rock– a strenuous hike, mostly uphill, that will reward you with some of the best views in the area. Go park at the fish hatchery and follow the map that will take you to John Rock. I don’t recommend camping here as most campsites around this trail are littered with dead falls (dead limbs that look like they’re going to fall off the tree)
  • Looking Glass Falls– a popular swimming hole, but beware of crowds. The waterfall is awesome but parking at times can be nearly impossible. Not much of a hike with this one.
  • Looking Glass Rock– another strenuous hike that is mostly uphill. Honestly, this hike is for those who want a challenge and is probably a 3-4 hour round trip. View is really great and very worth it. Across the street from the trailhead is Green Hole (for swimming)
  • Sliding Rock– if you work at Eagle’s Nest, you have to go to Sliding Rock at some point. This place is essentially a natural waterslide. If you go during the day you have to pay a fee, but if you go early in the morning before 8 AM, you can slide for free. Great place to take the kids!
  • Whaleback– a classic swimming destination. You can jump off the rock and into water, but be sure to  jump into the water in “chair position.” If you don’t know what this is, ask a lifeguard. To get here,  go to the parking area of Cove Creek Campground. There is a thin trail that goes into the woods of that parking area and takes you to the waterfall. 
  • Moore Cove Falls– just after Looking Glass you can find the trailhead to Moore Cove Falls. Parking is a bit tricky here as the lot is small. It’s a moderate hike to get there, nothing too crazy, but definitely not a brief, flat walk.
Dupont State Forest
  • High Falls– one of the more popular spots in Dupont. It’s not too long of a walk and it’s an awesome view. Maps and signage along the trail are easy to follow. Beware going here on days off as you might run into campers (or any swimming holes for that matter). You can check what trips are out that day so you don’t run into anyone
  • Triple Falls– Keep walking past High Falls and you’ll find Triple Falls. This is another classic swimming hole to go to
  • Fawn Lake– Probably my favorite place to swim. Very chill vibes. The water is never too cold but always refreshing. This place is becoming more popular, so you may run into a crowd, but I still think it’s still not as popular as some of the other swimming holes in the area. To get there, go to the access area parking lot. From the parking lot, walk up the path, bearing left. Continue straight on the large path and you’ll find it
Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Black Balsam– amazing spot for camping and a morning sunrise hike
  • Graveyard Fields– fun trails with a nice waterfall
  • Skinny Dip Falls– a bit of a longer hike and longer drive, but this place offers a fun swimming hole and even a rock you can jump into the water from. (Be sure to jump into the water in “chair position.” If you don’t know what this is, ask a lifeguard.)

Tubing Spots

  • Green River Cove Tubing– This is the most popular tubing spot by far. It’s a 2-4 hour tubing experience and last I checked it costs about $10-15 per adult depending how long of a ride you choose. It’s a fun time, but don’t do this one if you are pressed for time.
  • Brevard Tubing– This one is pretty new and I’ve never used it before, but it goes along the Davidson River that winds through Brevard.
  • Zen Tubing– This is another one I’ve never used, but if you want to do some tubing along the French Broad River rather than the Davidson or the Green, you can do this one