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!
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.
The Christmas season brings many lights and events in November and December. Read about Home for the Holidays.
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.
Another great stop is the Mineral & Lapidary Museum (400 North Main). 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) offers an affordable, educational, and fun way to spend the day with your children, grandchildren, and students ages 1-10.
The Center for Art & Entertainment (125 S. Main Street) is a busy destination for theatre and the arts, plus 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.
- 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)
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-Saturday 4-12 PM.
Check out Hendersonville's Cheese Trail for the ultimate tasting experience including breweries, wineries, cideries, and meadery!
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! Download Hendersonville's Crest of the Blue Ridge Orchard Trail brochure for a list of orchards in the area. 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, sunrise to sunset. No admission charge. Read more.
At Historic Johnson Farm, tour the farmhouse and building from the early 1900s, located a few miles outside of Hendersonville. Read more.
Downtown Hendersonville Street Festivals
- Garden Jubilee Festival: Spectacular two-day festival, held on Saturday and Sunday of 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.
- Apple Festival: This four-day celebration on Labor Day Weekend honors the North Carolina Apple! See our 2020 Apple Festival Guide.
- Art on Main: This now virtual event brings LIVE stream artists' demos, interviews, and musical performances from 40 artists to your living room! Buy from juried fine artists with paintings, clay, metal, wood, fiber, jewelry, glass, and more. Virtual showrooms will be available on both days, 1-4 PM. The main event is Sat & Sun, 11 AM-6 PM
- Home for the Holidays: Many events from Thanksgiving through New Year's including ice skating, many lights, and carriage rides. Read more.