Downtown Hendersonville has the second largest downtown in western North Carolina (Asheville is the biggest) with many things to do, see and taste. Beautiful Main Street serpentines around planter boxes and lush landscaping. With more than 100 shops and 25 restaurants, it is a delight to explore the big variety of locally-owned, high-quality stores, and galleries. And see their famous painted bears!
The Cheers! Trail Passport is your guide to each of Hendersonville's tasting rooms, where you'll experience the award-winning beverages Henderson County has to offer. The Passport can be purchased for $10 at the Hendersonville Visitor Center (201 S. Main Street).
Burntshirt Vineyard is one stop on the Cheers! Trail
Hendersonville's downtown is part of the Main Street Program, the National Trust for Historic Preservation's program to revitalize the nation's central business districts through historic preservation, attention to design, thoughtful recruitment of businesses, and promotion. And it shows!
Since most businesses are along a six-block section of Main Street and its intersecting streets, it's easy to explore. Mast General Store (527 North Main) is always a favorite stop. On the other end, stop at the Visitor Center (201 South Main) for plenty of information about things to do. Don't stress out trying to get one of the free parking spots on Main Street since there's much more parking on the parallel streets one block away.
Inside the Courthouse is the interesting Henderson County Heritage Museum (1 Historic Courthouse Square), open Wednesday-Sunday. Admission is free, so it's definitely a must-stop. Be sure to break for some sweets at the old-fashioned McFarlan Bakery, a fixture there since 1930. The Curb Farmer's Market has been going strong since 1924, with its selection of baked goods, handmade crafts, jams, etc. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Main Street Stops:
- Appalachian Pinball Museum (538 N. Main St.): Everyone is a kid again at Appalachian Pinball Museum, where $12 allows you to play all day. The museum features more than 70 games, including pinball classics as well arcade and video games. The oldest pinball machine dates to 1946. Enjoy soda, snacks or a beer while you play.
- Mineral & Lapidary Museum (400 North Main): Another great stop is the Mineral & Lapidary Museum. See exhibits from North Carolina, replicas of world-famous diamonds, English minerals, Indian artifacts, a dinosaur egg nest, fossils, fluorescent minerals, gems, and faceted minerals. The museum's specialty is Geodes, which are sold, cracked, and/or displayed. Admission is free and it's open Monday-Saturday.
- Hands-On Children's Museum (318 North Main): This children's museum offers an affordable, educational, and fun way to spend the day with your children, grandchildren, and students ages 1-10.
- Team ECCO Aquarium & Shark Lab (511 N. Main St.): NC's first inland aquarium is home to nearly 300 fish, invertebrates, reptiles, and salamanders. This place makes learning fun, teaching kids (and adults) about marine life and the importance of conservation. Don't miss the live shark and ray feeding daily at 1:15 PM.
- The Center for Art & Entertainment (125 S. Main Street): This busy destination for theatre and the arts, also has a bookstore and coffee shop. Their professional theatre includes Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre.
Just outside of downtown Hendersonville is a famous angel. Author Thomas Wolfe’s first novel was Look Homeward, Angel. In the book, there are constant references to an angel statue carved from Italian marble. This is the angel Wolfe placed in American literature. Thomas Wolfe’s father, W.O. Wolfe, sold the statue to the Johnson family to mark the family plot in Oakdale Cemetery. The angel is holding a lily in her left hand and extending her right hand upward. Oakdale Cemetery is located on US Highway 64 West, just a short distance from downtown.
Mezzaluna Brick Oven & Tap House (226 North Main St.)
- Southern Appalachian Brewery: Specializes in making small batches of craft beer, including their German Pilsen, Belgian Blonde Ale, and Copperhead Amber Ale. (822 Locust)
- Oklawaha Brewing Company: Formerly known as Sanctuary Brewing Co., this nano-brewery and taproom is dedicated to making small-batch, high-quality artisanal ales. Features classic styles like hop-forward IPAs, fruited sours, and classic German styles. (147 First Avenue East)
- Dryfalls Brewery: This industrial-chic taproom just south of downtown serves beers created by a father-son brewing team! Sample from their varied menu and check out the food truck parked out front. (425 Kanuga Road)
- Guidon Brewing: This friendly brewhouse offers a variety of beer styles including stout, porter, pale ale, IPA, and more. Enjoy the casual atmosphere in the main bar and loft area, back deck, or check out the dart room if you're feeling competitive! (415 8th Ave. E.)
- Triskelion Brewing: Drawing its name from a Greek word meaning “three legs,” this brewery stays in touch with the past, present, and future of brewing. They offer traditional farmhouse ales, lagers, fruit beers, and sour ales. They also have live music and weekly themed trivia. (340 7th Avenue East)
- D9 Brewing: The Lake Norman-based brewery opened its Main Street taproom in Hendersonville in April. The space features an indoor-outdoor bar. The brewery is known for its sour beers and beers brewed with unexpected ingredients. In addition to D9 flagships, the Hendersonville brewery will brew and serve beers exclusive to its location. (425 N. Main St.)
The Brandy Bar (504 7th Ave East) features 43 brandies from across the world and is believed to be the only bar in North Carolina to focus exclusively on brandy. Located in the Historic Seventh Avenue District, they are open Wednesday 4-9 PM, Thursday-Saturday, 4-10 PM.
This is apple country! In late summer and fall (August through early November), visit many orchards and take home a big variety of apples, pumpkins, and more! Don't miss the NC Apple Festival on Labor Day weekend to kick off the apple season at many orchards! Fresh apples, pumpkins, cider, produce, baked goods, jellies, honey, and other items may be purchased at the various roadside apple markets or produce stands located throughout Henderson County. Some orchards allow you to pick your own apples. Many are located along US Highway 64 East toward Chimney Rock. Also, see our main Apple Orchard Guide.
Jump Off Rock: This drive-to scenic overlook provides a panoramic view of rolling pastures, the Blue Ridge, and Pisgah mountain ranges. Jump Off Rock is located just 5 miles from downtown (4433 Laurel Park Hwy, Laurel Park, NC). The park is open daily, from sunrise to sunset. No admission charge. Read more.
Downtown Hendersonville Street Festivals
- Garden Jubilee Festival: Spectacular three-day festival held on Memorial Day weekend. The ideal festival for passionate gardeners searching for the perfect plants, unique lawn and garden accessories, and arts and crafts with 200 vendors. Speak with the experts at clinics and gather tips. Read more.
- NC Apple Festival: This four-day celebration on Labor Day Weekend honors the North Carolina Apple! See our 2021 Apple Festival Guide.
- July 4th: Parade and fireworks at dark.
- Art on Main: Buy from juried fine artists with paintings, clay, metal, wood, fiber, jewelry, glass, and more Sept 24-25, 2021. The main event is Sat & Sun, 10 AM-5 PM
- Fiesta Hendersonville: (Postponed until 2022) Experience the best of 20 Latin American countries with their people, music, art, food, and culture. Free admission. Read more.
- Home for the Holidays: Many events from Thanksgiving through New Year's including live performances, downtown lights, a parade and shopping specials. Read more.