Tryon, NC, Things to Do

Tryon, NC

Tryon offers a lot of things to do for such a small town (population 1,700). It's home to an impressive arts community with several galleries downtown and a big equestrian community with many horse-related events, including a Steeplechase. Horse lovers from around the world are now coming to the new Tryon Equestrian Center, about 13 miles east of downtown. If you enjoy waterfalls, Pearson's Falls is a must-see.

Like neighboring 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.

Downtown Tryon NC

Downtown Tryon has a nice selection shops, art galleries and restaurants along Trade Street. Find a great selection of antique and vintage shops, along with several longtime book collectors and independent bookstores. About a mile south of downtown on US 176, find The Old Mill Market Square (151 Southern Mercerizing Rd) with more than 80,000 square feet of antiques and more from 90 vendors, open Friday-Monday. 

Tryon NC

Catch a movie at the tiny Tryon Theater or a performance at the Tryon Fine Arts Center. Next door, the Upstairs Artspace (49 South Trade Street) is a nonprofit contemporary art gallery with two and three-dimensional art and craft by leading artists of the Carolinas and Southeast. Many of the historic buildings on Trade Street were built before 1900.

Tryon Fine Arts Center (34 Melrose Avenue) has been a focus for entertainment and the arts since 1969. See outstanding performances or learn a new art or craft. 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.

Tryon, NC

Nina Simone Plaza in downtown Tryon is a tribute to Eunice Kathleen Waymon, born in Tryon 1933. She grew up to become Nina Simone, who introduced the world to a unique musical infusion of pop, gospel, classical, jazz, folk and ballads, that she called "Black Classical Music." Her voice and music were instrumental in the American Civil Rights Movement.

Tryon NC Clock Tower

Watch the ball drop first in Tryon on New Year’s Eve! Their Tryon Midnight celebration runs 7-10 PM with a ball drop at 10 PM and a DJ playing dance tunes by the clock tower. Children’s activities. 

Horse Country
Morris the Horse, a well loved landmark standing on the corner of Trade and Pacolet Streets, has proudly represented Tryon since 1928. He is both a symbol of the community's love of horses and a replica of an era gone by when wooden toy horses just like him were made in Tryon and shipped to destinations all over the country. While there are no horseback riding stables, you can watch plenty of horse shows and races. Block House Steeplechase in ushers in spring with picnics, sundresses, elegant hats, tailgating and racing thoroughbred horses. The new and massive Tryon Equestrian Center opened in 2015 has weekly races much of the year and will expand greatly during the next few years. (More info below.)

Places to Stay & See

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.
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.
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.
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
Shunkawauken Falls
Shunkawauken Falls
This 150-foot waterfall cascades down a mountainside beside the road, so you enjoy it from your car as you drive by! It's located near Columbus, about 10 miles from Pearson's 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).

Top Events

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.

Tryon Equestrian Center
Tryon International Equestrian Center is part of the new $100 million Tryon Resort that will attracts visitors from around the world. It hosts a variety of equestrian competitions, as well as several restaurants. Visitors are welcomed any day of the year and most events are free to watch. Their Grand Prix is held on many Saturday nights. Read more

Wineries
Visit the "Tryon Foothills Wine Country" with five wineries nearby. Read more!

See more of our Coolest NC Mountain Small Towns.

Pearson's Falls is a gorgeous 90-foot tall waterfall that cascades down a staircase of rock. It is accessed via a 1/4-mile easy hiking trail that follows the brook with several picnic tables along... read more
Shunkawauken Falls is a roadside 150-foot tall waterfall just outside Columbus (near Tryon and ... read more
Whether you're a first-timer or experienced horseperson, horseback riding is a great way to enjoy the spectacular scenery in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Great... read more
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
Unwind at the picturesque vineyards in the Tryon Foothills Wine Country near Columbus and... read more