Flat Rock is a village famous for its forested landscapes, surrounding mountains, and winding byways. This village has rich history, as well as traditional and natural beauty. Due to its proximity to Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina, this is a popular weekend destination amongst nature lovers. The state theatre of North Carolina, Flat Rock Playhouse, is also located here. Read on to learn about the best things to do in and around Flat Rock!
1. The Flat Rock Playhouse
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
In 1937, a group of struggling actors under the direction of Robroy Farquhar organized themselves as Vagabond Players. What started then as a few weeks of summer performances is currently a nine month season of plays including popular musicals, comedies, dramas, and theatre. The Flat Rock Playhouse was created in 1952, by these Vagabond Players and it was officially designated The State Theatre of North Carolina General Assembly in 1961. On your trip to the town, ensure you check out which show is running in the playhouse, purchase a ticket (group bookings are discounted) and be smitten by the amazing performances.
The Flat Rock Playhouse
Address: 2661 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock, NC 28731, USA
Website: The Flat Rock Playhouse
2. Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Carl Sandburg needs no introduction. This historic 264 acre (106 hectare) site was the home of the Pulitzer prize winning poet and writer, Carl Sandburg. He lived here from 1945 to 1967 (until he died). Apart from the residence, this sprawling site includes a goat farm, sheds, rolling pastures, mountainside woods, 5 miles (8 kms) of hiking trails varying in length and difficulty, two lakes, several ponds, various gardens, and an apple orchard. His wife, Lilian, raised her three breeds of dairy goats on this property, which the government still maintains. So, you must visit the dairy barn housing Connemara Farms’ goat herd. The national park here has an amphitheater where Sandburg’s rutabaga stories and broadway play excerpts are presented live from mid-June until mid-August. Also during the summer, you can attend various 30 min ranger programs conducted here on topics from bird walks to cheese making.
This is one site you mustn’t miss when visiting Flat Rock and explore the lifestyle of the Sandburgs, which has been displayed very well in the residence.
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Address: 1928 Little River Rd., Flat Rock, NC 28731
3. DuPont State Forest
DuPont Forest is located in an upland plateau of the Little River Valley amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains and is spread across a vast expanse of 10,473 acres (4,238 hectare). The forest serves as a recreational area with clearly marked mountain biking trails, hiking trails, horseback riding, swimming, wading ,and kayaking. There are four lakes and six waterfalls in the area, three of these waterfalls are within a one mile radius. Some scenes from the box office hit The Hunger Games (2012) were also shot here.
DuPont State Forest
Address: Staton Road, Cedar Mountain, NC 28718
Website: DuPont State Forest
4. Blue Ridge Parkway Asheville
If you are in the mood for some long drive to enjoy the summer sunshine, head on to the Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy 469 miles (755 km) of scenic natural beauty, the rugged Blue Ridge Mountains, deep gorging valleys, waterfalls, and hikes. You don’t need to drive the entire route in a day, there’s something or the other to see at every mile post, so even if you cover a couple of miles, you will be in for a natural treat. Prior to planning your drive, ensure you check for road closures. A portion of the parkway closes during the winter and some sections may be closed for repair and maintenance at different times of the year. The drive from North Carolina to Virginia is a long, slow, and serene drive which spans across various National Parks, pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian highlands, and much more. The route also traverses through Shenandoah National Park on its northern end and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on its southern end.
Blue Ridge Parkway Asheville
Address: Via I-26, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville, NC
Website: Blue Ridge Parkway Asheville
5. Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
The Pisgah National Forest is adorned with some of the highest mountains in the eastern United States, numerous cascading waterfalls of all sizes, whitewater rivers, hundreds of miles of trails, and dense hardwood forested slopes. Spread across 500,000 acres (202,342.8 hectares), this forest comprises of sections of the southern Appalachian Mountains, including parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Balsam Mountains. The highest summit elevation in the area is of the Black Balsam Knob at 6,214 feet (1,894 m). This is a beautiful recreational area famous for various hiking, biking, rock climbing trails and backpacking, fishing, and mountain biking activities.
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
Address: 1600 Pisgah Highway, Nebo, NC 28761, USA
6. Sky Top Orchard
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Started as early as the 60s, the Sky Top Orchard is obviously full of apple trees of all varieties but is more than a simple orchard. This family run commercial business offers “pick-your-own-apple” day tours, fun activities, and field trips here for families and kids mostly during the fall. There are picnic tables and shelters laid out on the mountain top so that while you are enjoying the seasonal fruit delicacies by their farm, you can bask in the sun, enjoy the autumn breeze, walk along the trail in the bamboo forest, and have fun on hayrides. They have an apple house and pumpkin house for kids to explore more about farming and processing produce. Make sure you try their cider, donuts, and jams. You can also shop for some souvenirs for your friends and family. In the recent years, this place has become a locals favorite for weddings!
Sky Top Orchard
Address: Pinnacle Mountain Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731
Website: Sky Top Orchard
7. Jump Off Rock
Accessible all throughout the year, with spectacular views and panoramic photo opportunities during all four seasons of the year, Jump Off Rock in Laurel Park is a heaven. On a clear day you’ll have a view of the Blue Ridge, Mount Pisgah, and towns from Flat Rock to Asheville. On a sunny day, hike up on any of the three trails – easy, medium, or hard – based on your fitness levels and the time you can spare. Jump Off Rock is a pleasant place to just sit in the park, read a book, capture the beautiful scenery, or maybe write about or paint the natural beauty around you.
Jump Off Rock
Address: Laurel Park Highway, Hendersonville, NC 28739
Website: Jump Off Rock
Come alive amidst nature
Away from the madness of the city, leaving behind the dull daily routine, Flat Rock Village is in the lap of nature. If you love hiking, biking, or even photographing nature, this must be your next weekend getaway.
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