12 Best Things To Do In Hendersonville, North Carolina

things to do in hendersonville north carolina
Contributing Writer
| 4 min read

If there is a city that takes pride in their traditions and values its history, is Hendersonville. Located 15 miles (24.1 km) north of the North-South Carolina border, it is known as the “City of Four Seasons” and welcomes visitors, with interesting places and activities, all year long. This mountain town has a vibrant cultural life that matches the beauty of its natural areas, the perfect combination for an unforgettable stay. From historic museums and sites to fantastic outdoor recreation activities, Hendersonville invites you to stay in a city that has something for everyone.

Planning a trip here soon? Be sure to check out pet-friendly cabins and Airbnb vacation rentals for your accommodation needs.

1. Step into the world of railroads at the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Apple Valley Model Railroad Club on Saturday, February 25, 2017

Founded in 1984, the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club features a beautiful display of model trains and railroad artifacts – a delightful scene for kids and kids at heart! It also houses replicas of railroad towns found on the state’s western side. From Asheville’s roundhouse to the beautiful Hendersonville, the miniature scenes allow guests to step into the world of railroads and learn how this developed at the turn of the 20th century.

Apart from the miniature displays, various locomotives, and equipment are also found on site. Visitors can also watch informative railroad videos on the widescreen or witness multiple engineer-operated lines courses through several rooms of the museum.

Apple Valley Model Railroad Club

Address: 650 Maple St, Hendersonville, NC 28792, United States

Website: Apple Valley Model Railroad Club

Opening hours: Wed: 1pm - 3pm; Sat: 10am - 2pm

Price: Free

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2. Relax and unwind at Patton Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Cool off at the Patton Pool, now open daily, Monday-Friday from 6am - 8pm, Saturday from 8am - 8pm and Sunday from 12 -...

Posted by Visit Hendersonville, NC on Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Located near downtown Hendersonville, Patton Park is the place to visit for outdoor relaxation and recreation. The site offers expansive green spaces and walking trails, not to mention a pond where cute ducks reside. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy athletic courts, playing fields, and even a skate park. While the little kids play around the grassy terrain with the family pet, adults can relax in the gazebos or pavilions. Picnic areas are available for fun bonding moments as well.

Also found on site is a seasonal outdoor pool operated by the Hendersonville Family YMCA. The general admission is 5 USD, with discounts for seniors and kids.

Patton Park

Address: 114 E Clairmont Drive, Hendersonville, NC 28791

Opening hours: 7am - 11pm (daily)

Price: Free

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3. Grandad’s Apples & Such

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

With an average income of 22 million dollars per year, apples are one of the most important agricultural crops grown in Henderson County. One of the most popular orchards in the region is Grandad’s Apples & Such, which is great for a group outing. This 80 acre (32 hectare) family farm is 10 minutes away from Hendersonville’s downtown and offers quality products that you can take from their selected bins or harvest yourself. There is also a bakery, with delicious products such as apple cider doughnuts or apple ice cream. Yummy!

Grandad’s Apples & Such

Address: 2951 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC

Website: Grandad’s Apples & Such

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4. Henderson County Heritage Museum

Henderson County, NC 1905 Courthouse
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Todd McDougal used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A visit to the Henderson County Heritage Museum is a chance to go back and learn about the people who contributed to the foundation of Henderson County. It is located in a 1905 county courthouse, in the heart of the Main Street Historic District. Their various exhibits, free of charge, include wonderful pieces about the Civil War, the coming of the railroad, and many other interesting subjects.

Henderson County Heritage Museum

Address: 1 Historic Courthouse Sq #4, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Website: Henderson County Heritage Museum

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5. Team ECCO Ocean Center & Aquarium

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

All photos were done courtesy of B Collins Photo And Patrick Sullivan photos I just wanted to share some pics...

Posted by Aquarium & Shark Lab by Team ECCO on Friday, July 16, 2021

As the only public aquarium in Western North Carolina, Team ECCO Ocean Center & Aquarium’s mission focuses on providing interactive programs and activities, so that children and adults in the Hendersonville community can experience the ocean. With that spirit, they house 24 exhibits, where visitors can view and learn about different species, like turtles, tropical coral reef fish, and invertebrates. They also have an ongoing shark study, and the staff is happy to answer questions during public hours.

Team ECCO Ocean Center & Aquarium

Address: 511 N. Main St, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Website: Team ECCO Ocean Center & Aquarium

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6. Carl Sandburg Home

Carl Sandburg's Home
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jim Bowen used under CC BY 2.0

Considered the voice of the American people of this generation and awarded three Pulitzer Prizes, Carl Sandburg was a poet, writer, and editor, who left a great impact. You can participate in the guided tours of the house he lived in and learn about his life and work. The home is now a National Historic Site and is located in an area considered a National Park, with many hikes and natural sights to enjoy, for free. The house has a 5 USD fee for adults.

Carl Sandburg Home

Address: 81 Carl Sandburg Lane, Flat Rock, NC 28731

Website: Carl Sandburg Home

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7. Chimney Rock Park

Chimney Rock and the USA flag
Source: Photo by user daveynin used under CC BY 2.0

A 45-minute drive away, on Highway 64, will take you to Chimney Rock Park, home of the best of the North Carolina mountains. The park has one of the state’s highest waterfalls, dramatic views, and a signature 315 foot (96 meter) spire, overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure, among many points of interest. It is the perfect scenario for climbing or hiking, and visitors can also stop by the Animal Discovery Den, to learn about the wildlife that lives in the area. Tickets can be purchased on entry, but you can also buy them online, prior to your visit.

Chimney Rock Park

Address: 431 Main St, Chimney Rock, NC 28720

Website: Chimney Rock Park

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8. Jump Off Rock

Jumping Off Rock
Source: Photo by Flickr user Donald Lee Pardue used under CC BY 2.0

This scenic overlook is the scene of a Cherokee legend and a cool spot to get a fabulous panoramic mountain view. Located in Laurel Park, a primarily residential area, it is found at the top of Echo Mountain and has hiking trails that vary in difficulty. It is often used as a venue for concerts and different events and serves as a great choice for an outdoor adventure. Don’t miss it!

Jump Off Rock

Address: Laurel Park Hwy, Hendersonville, NC 28739

Website: Jump Off Rock

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9. The Western North Carolina Air Museum

Unidentified planes
Source: Photo by Flickr user Government & Heri... used under CC BY 2.0

Dedicated to promoting general aviation and to preserving the Carolinas’ rich flying heritage, the Western North Carolina Air Museum is something that all visitors like. Known as the “First Air Museum in the First in Flight State”, the museum was founded in 1989 and houses award-winning restored and replica antique and vintage airplanes. Though admission is free, donations on their website are welcomed.

The Western North Carolina Air Museum

Address: 1340 Gilbert St., Hendersonville, NC 28793

Website: The Western North Carolina Air Museum

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10. Elijah Mountain Gem Mine

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Elijah Mountain Gem Mine on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Located two and a half miles (4 km) west of downtown Hendersonville, Elijah Mountain Gem Mine is a place that kids and adults adore. Here, you can step into the shoes of a prospector from the 1800’s and participate in the mining of real gemstones. You can keep your findings, that can include rubies, sapphires and emeralds. They offer family discounts and have a lovely gift shop, so you can add items to the ones you have already found.

Elijah Mountain Gem Mine

Address: 2120 Brevard Road, Hendersonville, NC 28739

Website: Elijah Mountain Gem Mine

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11. Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

There is no better way to enjoy the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains than with a glass of wine. Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards is a family owned winery, that has produced one of the best North Carolina wines from 14 varieties of grapes, for more than nine generations. You can visit their tasting room and try the Riesling blends, red cabernets, and chardonnays, while you marvel at the surroundings.

Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards

Address: 588 Chestnut Gap Road, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Website: Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards

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12. Mineral and Lapidary Museum

Items on display at the Mineral and Lapidary Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mx. Granger used under CC0

With a free admission and a collection that features the natural beauty of minerals, gems, and fossils, the Mineral and Lapidary Museum welcomes visitors who wish to discover the world beneath their feet. Since the state of North Carolina has one of the nation’s most diverse mineral deposits, you will be able to see many minerals from the region, including the exhibit on the Hendersonville meteorite. The most popular items are the casting of a tyrannosaurus rex skull, a mastodon tusk and teeth, and a wooly mammoth leg bone. This is an interesting activity for the whole family.

Mineral and Lapidary Museum

Address: 400 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Website: Mineral and Lapidary Museum

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Hendersonville awaits

This mountain community is waiting for you to check out their stunning natural scenery and to go back in time, with its rich history. Embrace the North Carolinian culture and get ready for a trip you will never forget. If you’re still not sure where to stay, there are more cabins and hotels available nearby.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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When she is not backpacking round the globe, Emilia Lugo works as a Digital Content Specialist in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She considers herself a museum geek and loves destinations that can take...Read more

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