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This tiny mountain town (population around 109 people) offers an authentic trip back in time, making it one of the coolest small towns in the NC mountains. With its "western town" look, most of the buildings date to the 20s and 30s when the town quickly became a favorite tourist spot after the opening of the mountaintop attraction. You won't find chain stores, restaurants or hotels here. Many of the locally-owned businesses have been around for decades.

Chimney Rock Village

Located in the valley beneath its namesake granite monolith at Chimney Rock State Park, Main Street is packed with a variety of shops, restaurants, ice cream stands, gem mining, old time photo studio and vintage motels. While walking through the town, don't forget to look up at the amazing views of the mountainsides of the Hickory Nut Gorge that tower on each side. Also, walk the boardwalk behind the main street shops along the Rocky Broad River that flows into neighboring Lake Lure.

Chimney Rock NC Concert

Find events and live music many times throughout the year at The Gathering Place (pic), located on a plateau above the town with spectacular view of Chimney Rock mountain.

Steve Gale, Chimney Rock

For the most unique gifts and quirky items on the street, stop by Gale's Shop (418 Main Street), a fixture since 1947. Steve Gale grew up in the store that his parents opened. His wit and great sense of humor is reflected in many of the items you'll see. Many of the items you'll probably never see again!

Bubba O'Leary's General Store (385 Main Street) is favorite browsing stop with a big variety of top notch home goods, souvenirs, collectibles, jams and leading brands of outdoor clothing.

At Doug Bowman Galleries (188 Main Street), find handcrafted rustic home décor from the Appalachian Mountains on Fridays & Saturdays.

Hickory Nut Falls

Look up from the village at the cliffs of the gorge and Hickory Nut Falls. You can hike to the base of the 404-foot waterfall inside Chimney Rock Park. Another great hike (free access) is the Rumbling Bald Trail about 2 miles from the center of the village.

Rocky Broad River, Chimney Rock

The Rocky Broad Riverwalk behind the shops on Main Street follows the river with bridges and plenty of rocks to climb. Several restaurants have outdoor dining by the river, including the Old Rock Cafe, operated by Chimney Rock Park.

See our other favorite mountain small towns. And read more about Hickory Nut Gorge.

Directions: Chimney Rock is located 25 miles from downtown Asheville. Follow I-240 East to Exit #9, Highway 74A East to Bat Cave. Take 74A & Highway 64 to Chimney Rock Village. It's 17 miles east of Hendersonville via U.S. Highway 64. Continue a few miles to Lake Lure.

Chimney Rock Places to Stay

Lake Lure & Rutherford County Guide

Order a free copy of the award-winning travel guide to the Rutherford County foothills that includes Lake Lure, Chimney Rock, Rutherfordton, Forest City and much more!

Rutherford County Campgrounds

See the Top 10 places to camp in the Lake Lure, Chimney Rock and Forest City areas in the foothills, including RV and motorcoach resorts. Find a big variety of campground amenities with many… read more

The Esmeralda Inn, Chimney Rock

This historic inn and restaurant is nestled in the shadows of Chimney Rock State Park. The rustic inn offers luxuries of a five star hotel with the charm of a B&B. Enjoy breakfast each morning… read more

Village Events


Lots of fun in Chimney Rock Village with a pancake breakfast, Cow Pie Bingo, recycled garden art contest, llamas strutting their stuff in a Main Street parade, a grilled dinner and a special… read more

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