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.
1. Grandad’s Apples & Such
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
2. Henderson County Heritage Museum
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
3. Team ECCO Ocean Center & Aquarium
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
4. Carl Sandburg Home
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
5. Chimney Rock Park
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
6. Jump Off Rock
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
7. The Western North Carolina Air Museum
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
8. Elijah Mountain Gem Mine
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
9. Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards
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
10. Mineral and Lapidary Museum
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
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.
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