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.
- 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
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.
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.
“Best bakery in Black Mountain is Four Sisters, hands down.” – Devin C.
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
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.
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
Because you’re probably hungry after all that hiking. Here are a few of our favorites:
🛍 Step out on the town
Walkable, historic downtown Black Mountain is filled with quaint shops + galleries where you can while away a few hours.
“Must stop is Mountain Nest, local artists’ gallery” – @mertens4570
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
So raise your glass at these local watering holes.
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!”
Explore dining options in this small town’s worldly food scene.
Locally-sourced fare, plus an oyster bar.
“Sake has great hibachi/sushi” – @andrewwhomrich
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.
“Listen to live music at White Horse Black Mountain” – @diane.c.lauer