Saluda, NC, Cool Mountain Small Town

Saluda, NC

Saluda, a tiny town of 700 residents, boasts an picturesque Main Street packed with an impressive selection of longtime restaurants, shops, and galleries surrounded in beautiful scenery. It's been a popular mountain tourist town since the late 1800s and definitely one of our favorite towns to explore. Nearby is Pearson's Falls and the Green River Gorge.

Saluda NC

Just 35 miles from downtown Asheville, the one-street downtown hasn’t changed much since it was founded in 1878. Most buildings on Main Street were added to the National Register of Historic places.

Saluda Depot

Saluda came about when the Spartanburg and Asheville Railroad arrived, at the crest of the Saluda Grade, the steepest mainline standard-gauge track in the eastern United States. Businesses moved in, summer homes were built and tourists from South Carolina filled local boarding houses to escape the hot summers. Saluda developed the reputation of a cool mountain resort town that offered health benefits to those who came. See a Saluda Grade Diorama in the Depot, open Thursday-Sunday afternoons.

Saluda, NC

Pace's General Store is worth the visit. This old-fashioned hardware and general store was founded in 1899 was featured on Our Vanishing Americana. Inside you will find everything from Pointer overalls, jams and jellies of every variety, garden items, hardware and much more.

Thompson's Store, Saluda

Just down the street since 1892 is Thompson's Store and Ward's Grill. They have a great deli, the perfect place to pick up a picnic to take to Pearson's Falls!

Saluda Grade Cafe, NC

Restaurants include The Purple Onion with an emphasis on the Mediterranean's simple, healthful cuisine and a focus on freshness, with live music and outdoor dining. The Saluda Grade Cafe menu encompasses a large number of options, ranging from steaks to seafood. Green River BBQ is another delicious casual choice. A short drive from downtown is the more upscale Newman's Restaurant inside the historic Orchard Inn, serving dinner Thursday-Saturday and Sunday brunch by reservation only. 

Saluda_Heartwood_Gallery

This is an arts town! Browse many galleries. A must-browse is Heartwood Gallery, featuring 100% American craft for 30+ years in Saluda! And don't miss the highly recommended Saluda Arts Festival each May.  

Pearson Falls
Pearson's Falls

The Green River Gorge offers a big variety of outdoor adventures, including inflatable kayak trips down the whitewater, stand up paddleboard rental, tubing, fishing, camping and even waterfall rappelling. Read more.

Nearby, check out the amazing Tryon International Equestrian Center and the Tryon Foothills Wine Country.

See more of our Coolest NC Mountain Small Towns - including nearby Tryon and Hendersonville.

Lodging & Things to DO

Orchard Inn
This historic inn is an elegant mountaintop retreat with peaceful views and graceful porches for relaxation. Stay in a B&B room or cottage. And dine at their romantic Newman’s restaurant for a delicious farm-to-table dinner and Sunday brunch. Listed on the National Historic Register. 9 rooms, 5 cottages, $150-$315, pet... read more
Inns in Tryon
B&Bs & Inns: Tryon, Saluda & Columbus
Find a great vareity of historic B&Bs and inns in the towns of Tryon, Saluda and Columbus, the First Peak of the Blue Ridge. Includes award-winning Pine Crest Inn and Orchard Inn with exquisite dining.
Cabin Rental Polk County
Cabin & Cottage Rentals: Tryon, Saluda & Columbus
Find a log cabin, condo or cottage vacation rentals by ponds or with mountain views in the First Peak of the Blue Ridge - many options near the Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Green River Tubing
Green River Tubing
Rent a tube and set sail for a lazy day on the beautiful Green River near Saluda. Choose from three to six mile float trips. It's great for beginner kayakers too. Tubing companies provide transportation.
Green River Adventures
Green River Adventures
Enjoy unforgettable outdoor experiences with world class guides and customer service. With their roots based in kayak instruction, they now offer guided Green River trips on class 1-4 whitewater, waterfall rappelling, fly-fishing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Green River Zip Line
The Gorge
Start your zipline adventure perched on the rim of the famous Green River Gorge, then soar from tree tops. Descend 1,100 feet in elevation through 125 acres of old growth and protected forest. Overlook 14,000 acres of wilderness via 11 ziplines, a sky-bridge and 3 huge rappels.
Tryon
Tryon
Tryon is home to an impressive arts community with galleries downtown and a big equestrian community with many horse-related events, including a Steeplechase each spring. Enjoy year-round horse shows at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center and the Tryon International Equestrian Center attracts horse lovers and riders from all over.
Pearson's Falls
Pearson's Falls
This 90-foot waterfall is privately owned by a garden club and requires a small admission fee. Located between Saluda and Tryon, it's a must if you are driving on I-26 to/from South Carolina. Ten miles away is the roadside Shunkawauken Falls.
Tryon Foothills Wine Country, NC
Tryon Foothills Wine Country
Visit five wineries in the prime isothermal wine growing area in the beautiful foothills near Columbus and Tryon: Parker-Binns Vineyard, Overmountain Vineyards, Russian Chapel Hills Winery, Mountain Brook Vineyard and Green Creek Winery. It's an easy 45-mile drive from Asheville via I-26 East (near SC line).
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Tryon International Equestrian Center
Watch horse jumping competitions with the best riders in the country at this amazing new world-class equestrian resort south of Asheville. Free admission to many events.

Area Events & Festivals

Saluda Arts Festival
Saluda Arts Festival
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Outstanding festival with 100% handpicked regional artists along Saluda's historic Main Street. See a big diversity of art media and enjoy music representing Americana, blues, folk and contemporary. Watch artist demonstrations. Free. 10 AM-4 PM.
Coon Dog Day
Coon Dog Day Festival
Saturday, July 8, 2017
A celebration for dogs and their people with great food, live music, parade, crafts, street dance, and more in Saluda. Live stage music began at 9 AM and continues all day until the end of the street dance at 10 PM.
Steeplechase
Block House Steeplechase
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Usher in spring with picnics, sundresses, elegant hats, tailgating, and the sounds & sights of thoroughbreds thundering past in Tryon, at the longest running steeplechase in North Carolina. The National Steeplechase Association sanctions four of the races.
The rugged Green River Gorge is located near Saluda, about 38 miles southeast of Asheville. Find old-growth forests, steep ravines and some great whitewater fun as the river... read more
We love exploring our cool small towns nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, filled with historic buildings with a mix of longtime family operated stores and restaurants,... read more
Sample wines at one of these 15 area wineries in the North Carolina mountains and foothills near Asheville! Create your own winery tour for a fun afternoon. Talk to the winemakers and stroll through... read more
Just 25 miles south of downtown Asheville is one of the country's top apple growing areas - and you can visit the orchards and farms for free! North Carolina is the 7th largest apple-producing state... read more
Flat Rock Playhouse is officially designated The State Theatre of North Carolina. It's located in the quaint village of Flat Rock (next door to the... read more