Tryon (like its neighboring town Saluda offers a lot of things to do for such a small town (population 1,700). It's home to an impressive arts community with impressive galleries downtown and a big equestrian community with many horse-related events, including a Steeplechase. If you enjoy waterfalls, Pearson Falls is a must-see.
Like Saluda, Tryon is a "railroad town" that grew quickly in the late 1800s as tourists flocked to the area to enjoy the mountain views and good climate. Many artists, writers and crafters chose to stay for a while, including the stage actor William Gillette, most famous for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. This mix of locals, artists and retirees continues today, creating a vibrant, active community.
The local equestrian community began with the help of Carter Brown, who organized the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club and the first Blockhouse Steeplechase in the 1940s. The local event calendar today is filled with equestrian events – including the spring running of the Steeplechase, and nearly year-round horse shows at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center.
Downtown Tryon has a nice selection shops, art galleries and restaurants along Trade Street. Catch a movie at the tiny Tryon Theater or a performance at the Tryon Fine Arts Center. Many of the historic buildings on Trade Street were in place by 1900.
Upstairs Artspace is a nonprofit contemporary art gallery in downtown Tryon with two and three-dimensional art and craft by leading artists of the Southeast, and particularly, the Carolinas. Their art is sometimes edgy and experimental, often avant-garde and always collectible. The exhibitions change every two months and are typically developed around a theme.
Art Trek Tryon is an annual open studios event in early May. It begins with a gallery show at the Upstairs Artspace. Between 30 and 40 of the area's most prominent artists open their studios for this weekend to the public. There is a map and brochure available at the gallery, as well as many area businesses, that will allow you to visit the studios you would like to see.
Tryon Fine Arts Center (TFAC) has been a focus for entertainment and the arts since 1969. View outstanding performances or learn a new art or craft. Affiliates include: Children’s Theater Festival, Foothills Music Club, Tryon Arts and Crafts, Tryon Concert Association, Tryon Little Theater, and Tryon Painters and Sculptors. Workshops and classes are offered in a variety of interests and skill levels. Browse the craft store and the Heritage Gallery that showcases the history of native mountain arts and crafts in the Tryon area.
Noah’s Ark Book Attic has an impressive selection of rare and antiquarian books as well as many recent scholarly works.
Terra on Trade has everything outdoors for hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, stand up paddling, stand up paddleboard, kayak and bike rentals, casual and technical clothing and shoes, 75 S Trade St