Your 12-hour guide to Black Mountain, N.C.


The Dripolator in Black Mountain | Photo by @the_traveling_pike

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Because the fun doesn’t have to stop when summer ends – we headed east to the picturesque town of Black Mountain to create an itinerary that gives you the inside scoop to plan your next staycation.

We asked you to shout out your favorites businesses, food, drink, and activities in Black Mountain, and used your personal recs to build out this list. Have a suggestion for something not yet on here? Add it in the comments below.

But first…

  • Population: 8,150 (as of 2017)
  • Distance from downtown Asheville: 21 minutes
  • DYK: The name “Black Mountain” comes from the balsams that grow in the area and create the dark color on the mountains. The town celebrated turning 125 years young last year.

And for all you arts lovers...Black Mountain College was founded at Lake Eden in 1933 by John A. Rice + a group of experimental artists + thinkers. Check out the history of this avant-garde, revolutionary school here. Since then, the area has been recognized as a destination for artists.

☕️ Good morning, sunshine

8 a.m.

Break your fast (or settle in for a longer brunch) at one of these spots.

Blue Ridge Biscuit Company, 601 W. State St.
Because you’ll need to tuck in a hearty breakfast before you take on the day. We’d go ahead and get one of the house specialties – like the Grey Beard, featuring fried chicken + fried green tomatoes – named after local sights.

Dripolator Coffeehouse, 221 W. State St.

Put a little more coffee on top of your coffee – the extra jolt of energy will help you take on your mountain hike. Or, stay a while with a book in this airy, relaxed spot.

Dynamite Roasting Company, 3198 US-70
Reader @andrewwhomrich says “@dynamitecoffeebar has the best roasted coffee.”

Four Sisters Bakery, 136 N. Dougherty St.

“Best bakery in Black Mountain is Four Sisters, hands down.” – Devin C.

Louise’s Kitchen, 115 Black Mountain Ave.

Beloved brunch + lunch spot. Our readers recommend the mimosas.

Plan the rest of your day, from hikes + shopping to happy hour, dinner, and live music, by clicking the button below.

🌄 Hit the trails

10 a.m.

Pack your water bottle, because we’re heading straight up for the best views. There are tons of hiking + biking options in nearby Montreat, so take your pick when it comes to length and level of difficulty. If you need any gear, stop by Take A Hike Outfitters (100 Sutton Ave.) first.

Greybeard Trail, Montreat, N.C. | 8.9 miles, moderate, dogs allowed (must be leashed)
With four miles of ascent, waterfalls, views + shelters for overnight stays.

Kitsuma Peak Trail, Old Fort., N.C. | 9.9 miles, intermediate/difficult, dogs allowed (must be leashed)

A single-track destination for mountain bikers. Reader Devin C. says, “Most fun is biking Kitsuma trail down the mountain!”

Lookout Trail, Montreat, N.C. | 1.1 mile, moderate with difficult sections, dogs allowed (must be leashed)
Ends below the summit of Lookout Mountain; great views of Seven Sisters and Montreat. 603 feet of elevation gain are packed into this short hike. @andrewwhomrich recommends “Lookout Mountain...a great hike in nearby Montreat, and taking walks around Lake Tomahawk generates all the feels.

Old US 70 Mountain Bike Trail | 3.9 miles point to point, moderate, dogs allowed (must be leashed)
This former highway leads to views of the surrounding mountains. Reader Emily Cortez says, “Old 70 highway is a cool greenway for cycling and walking. Beautiful views. The train still runs through so you can see it at certain close angles.” – Emily C.

🥙 Tuck in a lunch

1 p.m.

Because you’re probably hungry after all that hiking. Here are a few of our favorites:

Artisan Gourmet Market, 2 E. Market St.
Grab light fare + espresso from their deli case and cafe, and stock up on your specialty grocery items while you’re there. Also serves breakfast.

Fresh Wood Fired Pizza, 100 South Ridgeway Ave.
Specialty pies baked in a wood-fired oven.

Foothills Butcher Bar, 107 Black Mountain Ave.
Casual atmosphere serving up burgers, hot dogs, tallow fries + more from the smokehouse, as well as weekend brunch.

Veranda Cafe, 119 Cherry St.
This classic lunch spot offers grilled and fresh sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups + more with a Southern vibe. Reader @zibzer5 says, “Veranda for lunch!”

🛍 Step out on the town

2 p.m.

Walkable, historic downtown Black Mountain is filled with quaint shops + galleries where you can while away a few hours.

Black Mountain Yarn Shop, 104 E. State St.
Stock up on all the supplies you’ll need to make the perfect handmade holiday gifts, and stick around for a class.

Mellie Mac’s Garden Shack, 304 W. State St.
Grab plants + accessories from the gorgeous garden, and tuck in a bite to eat or a glass of wine if you’re so inclined.

Mountain Nest, 133 Cherry St.

“Must stop is Mountain Nest, local artists’ gallery” – @mertens4570

Red House Studios, 310 W. State St.
Check out the studios and gallery space, as well as the workshops they offer, all organized by the Swannanoa Valley Fine Arts League.

Sassafras on Sutton, 108 Sutton Ave.
“Sassafras on Sutton…best bookstore ever” – @nonniemiller

Seven Sisters Gallery, 117 Cherry St.
Long-running craft gallery with ceramics, glasswork, photography, fine art + more.

Sunset Farms Designs, 104 Broadway Ave.
Locally-made gifts and apparel.

Swannanoa Valley Museum & History Center, 223 W. State St. |
Learn all about the history of Buncombe County + the Swannanoa Valley. Bonus: They also lead seasonal haunted house tours. Reader @acheskysmith recommends this “great stop on a day trip to learn about the history of the valley and town!” – @acheskysmith

🍻 It’s 5 o’clock somewhere

5 p.m.

So raise your glass at these local watering holes.

BAD Craft, 128 Cherry St.
Art, beer, and dessert at @badcraft828” – @cristinalhall

Black Mountain Brewing, 131 Broadway Ave.
Local beers on tap.

Lookout Brewing, 103 S. Ridgeway Ave. #1

Small-batch brewery with beers to go.

Miltons Black Mountain, 308 W. State St.
Fine dining and craft cocktail spot in the Monte Vista Boutique Hotel. Emily C. writes, “The Milton inside the Monte Vista is my favorite bar for nice cocktails!”

Oak and Grist Distillery, 1556 Grovestone Rd.
@oakandgrist is a cool small distillery with good gin/whiskey and free tours/tastings.” – @andrewwhomrich

Pisgah Brewing,150 Eastside Dr.
Check their events schedule and stick around for a show.

Town Pump Tavern, 135 Cherry St
Also has live music. “@townpumptavern OG bar downtown that was featured in scenes from 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” – @becominglachesis

🥘 Dinnertime

7 p.m.

Explore dining options in this small town’s worldly food scene.

My Father’s Pizza, 110 Cherry St.
Family-friendly, casual pizzeria with great pies.

Native Kitchen and Social Pub, 204 Whitson Ave., Swannanoa
It’s technically in Swannanoa, but this spacious gastropub is perfect if you’re on your way back to town.

North Fork Kitchen, 122 Cherry St.
“@northforkkitchen is the best restaurant out there. It’s run by two amazing gals!” – @jacobwalas

Phil’s Bar-B-Que Pit, 701 NC-9
“Phil’s is the best BBQ.” – @andrewwhomrich

Que Sera, 101 Black Mountain Ave.

Locally-sourced fare, plus an oyster bar.

Sake Sushi, 6 E. Market St.

“Sake has great hibachi/sushi” – @andrewwhomrich

Thai Basil, 227 W. State St.

Thai curries, stir-frys + other classics.

🎶 Find your beat

Catch some live music at the White Horse, or head back to Pisgah Brewing or Town Pump, to finish off your day.

9 p.m.

White Horse Black Mountain, 105 Montreat Rd.

“Listen to live music at White Horse Black Mountain” – @diane.c.lauer


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