A forest bird never wants a cage.Henrik Ibsen
Being a small town doesn’t mean you can’t offer some of the finest charms Western North Carolina has to offer. Just ask the 7,800 residents of Brevard, the seat of Transylvania County. The town has distinguished itself as an epicenter for nearby outdoor adventures, education, art, and music.
Whether you’re vacationing or stay-cationing, this mountain town offers residents and visitors alike many opportunities to Live Abundantly in WNC. Here’s a quick itinerary for a charming weekend in scenic Brevard, NC.
Friday Evening in Brevard, NC
Check “Inn” for the Weekend
Several Brevard inns combine the best of history and modernity. In fact, at least a couple trace back their history as far as the mid-nineteenth century. The Inn at Brevard has offered accommodations on Main Street since 1885. Today, it attracts art connoisseurs to its magnificent art collection on display, spanning the Renaissance era to present day. And just a few minutes outside of the town center, Key Falls Inn offers all the romance of a 1860s-era Victorian home on 30 acres of picturesque landscape. The beautifully landscaped grounds even feature a waterfall and creek that flow into the French Broad River, which borders one side of the property.
Belly up to the Counter at Rocky’s
Want options for dinner? It’s a rare town that can boast of an equal number of barbecue joints and Asian restaurants—and just as many ice cream parlors. But Brevard is a rare place, indeed. Rocky’s Grill and Soda Shop has been a hub of classic Americana since 1942. They still serve all your favorites, from flat-top burgers and hot dogs to famous milkshakes, malts, and egg creams. Best of all, it’s a great spot to start your explorations of downtown. After you eat, wander through to the connected shops. D.D. Bullwinkel’s offers the Southern charm of an old-fashioned general store served with a twist. Moose Tracks carries a wide variety of casual and stylish footwear, as well as some great travel gear.
Scout out Some Local Art
There’s plenty to enjoy in the heart of Brevard. The town is a vibrant and walkable hub of independent shops, boutiques, pubs, and eateries. And it features a diverse selection of local art! Put on a pair of comfortable shoes and enjoy a fun evening exploring downtown Brevard’s art galleries. Number 7 Arts on W Main Street is a fine arts and crafts cooperative that can’t be missed. Check out their featured works by 25+ local artists in a wide variety of mediums.
More local arts are highlighted on the Scenic 276 South Fine Art & Craft Corridor, a 13-mile stretch of state road that showcases numerous galleries and studios.
Saturday in Brevard, NC
Greet the New Day at Sunrise Cafe
There are some great bakeries in Brevard, but for a hearty breakfast, we recommend Sunrise Cafe. Since day one, they’ve offered breakfast and lunch options designed to satisfy any craving. Their bagels and breakfast sandwiches are chock full of yummy fillings, like smoked salmon or jalapeno cheddar. Or for a sweet and savory combo, try the mini pancakes with bacon or sausage. If you’re feeling feisty, enjoy the home fries breakfast nachos or the Southwest Bean Nachos, Sunrise Cafe’s version of huevos ranchero.
Slide through “The Land of Waterfalls”
Transylvania County can justly claim to be “The Land of Waterfalls,” as some 250 waterfalls exist in the county. Some are relatively small and gentle. Others take big, breathtaking plunges into mountain pools. Looking Glass Falls, for example, drops 60 feet amid a stunning crop of boulders and is one of the most-photographed waterfalls in the country. The nearby and wildly popular Sliding Rock is a natural waterslide! Thousands of visitors slide down its long, slick surface into a six-foot-deep pool at the bottom. These two are easily accessed from parking areas, but many more waterfalls can be discovered just a short hike away.
Rehydrate at a Local Brewery
After all that playing in the water, you’re bound to be thirsty! Head back downhill to one of Brevard’s hometown breweries. Brevard Brewing Company is a family-owned business on Main Street, specializing in handcrafted lagers. In 2012, they were the first brewery to open in Transylvania County. Just outside of town, Colorado-based Oskar Blues’ East Coast facility is one of the largest beer producers in the region. Check out their calendar for regular music and community events. Several other breweries now call Brevard home, including UpCountry Brewing, Ecusta Brewing, and Noblebräu Brewing.
Grab a Square Meal at the Square Root
You would be remiss to visit Brevard without sitting down at the Square Root. There’s a reason why locals have voted it the best lunch and dinner restaurant in town for 11 consecutive years! Tucked into a quiet alley downtown, the Square Root is as well known for its ambiance as it is for its food. Enjoy your dinner with something from their well-rounded wine, draft beer, or cocktail menus. From local trout with crawfish stuffing to traditional chicken marsala, the menu includes options for anyone who enjoys delicious, fresh food at reasonable prices.
Move to the Music
The international summer institute and festival at the Brevard Music Center has hosted noted performers for more than 75 years. Its signature event is the annual Brevard Music Festival, which spans seven summer weeks and features more than 80 different acts. Local music aficionados also take in shows at Brevard College‘s Paul Porter Center for the Performing Arts.
Located adjacent to downtown, the small liberal arts school was founded in 1934 and contributes to the town’s special character. Grab your music festival tickets now, because events start next week!
Sunday in Brevard, NC
Let Marco Entice You
What is a Sunday morning on vacation without brunch? Locals consider Marco Trattoria to be one of the best Italian-inspired lunch and dinner restaurants in town. Conveniently located on Main Street, the family-owned restaurant features Italian-inspired dishes with a creative twist. But they also serve a great weekend brunch with Bloody Mary or mimosa drink specials. Enjoy dishes like the brioche French toast with blueberry syrup. Or drool over their gluten-free Provencal-style shrimp and grits, flambéed with brandy. Whatever you choose, it is sure to delight.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Remarkably, more than half of the land in Transylvania County is publicly owned and protected. This includes 88,000 acres of Pisgah National Forest, the 10,000-acre DuPont State Park, and the 7,600-acre Georges State Park. Together, these lands offer myriad opportunities for biking, camping, climbing, hiking, horseback riding, paddling, and sightseeing.
The headwaters of the French Broad River, one of the oldest rivers in the world, are located near Brevard. A few miles west of town, master guides at Headwaters Outfitters help residents and visitors alike take advantage of all the river has to offer. It’s a hot spot for tubing, canoeing, kayaking, and fly fishing. Nearby, the Davidson River, another renowned trout-fishing destination, flows through the Pisgah National Forest. Find the gear you need, and get into nature to make your outdoor dreams come true.
Stay in Touch with Your Inner Child
You can’t spend a weekend in Brevard without at least poking your nose into O.P. Taylor’s toy store. It’s more than 6,000 square feet of hands-on fun and excitement! From dolls and marbles to board games, puzzles, and Lego kits, it’s no wonder that it’s the number one toy store in the South! We double dare you to leave without blowing the rest of your budget.
Plan Your Next Weekend Trip to Brevard, NC
Brevard has more treats than can be experienced in one weekend. Plan your next weekend trip for March, when Brevard College hosts the world-touring BANFF Mountain Film Festival, a big-screen celebration of films and documentaries about life and sports in the wild.
In June, Brevard pays tribute to its rare concentration of signature furry creatures with the White Squirrel Weekend. This year’s festival features curated promotions, brunch specials, tons of mountain music, and artist demonstrations.
Each summer, Brevard’s Main Street becomes a prime place to cut a rug. On Tuesday nights through July and August, Old Time Street Dances are held to a soundtrack of live bluegrass. Not sure how to square dance? Don’t worry—free instruction is available for newcomers.
In September, the Mountain Song Festival brings the best in acoustic music to town. From bluegrass, newgrass, old time, folk, jazz, and traditional mountain music to the many branches that stem from it, the festival is designed to further encourage music in our everyday lives.
Spend Every Weekend in Brevard, NC
Brevard, NC is a great place to fill your belly and your soul. The town has distinguished itself as an epicenter for outdoor adventures, small businesses, education, art, and music. Tucked along the edge of the Pisgah National Forest, Brevard is a hotspot for eclectic in-town living and big mountain views. Downtown is a vibrant and walkable hub of independent shops, boutiques, galleries, pubs, and eateries. And Brevard is rich in year-round events and festivals.
Does that sound like the perfect lifestyle for you? Find your dream home in Brevard now!