Your 12-hour guide to Hendersonville

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Sanctuary Brewing

After our guide to Hendersonville’s first Restaurant Week was a top post last week, we knew you wanted more about our friendly neighbor to the south.

So we went ahead + put together a guide for you about how to spend a perfect day in Hendo. After you read, let us know what other local cities you want to see a 24-guide on. 

But first… 

🏘Population: 13,840 (as of 2016)

📍Distance from downtown Asheville: 26 miles (30 minutes)

❓DYK: An marble angel statue in the historic Oakdale Cemetery inspired Thomas Wolfe’s Asheville-centric first novel, Look Homeward Angel (published in 1922).
🚘 Downtown is really centered around Main St., which has plenty of free parking, and is dog-friendly. From the top to bottom, Main St. is about 2 miles. 

P.S. most of downtown is closed on Sundays, and some stores are only open on weekdays. Friday is really the sweet spot to get the best of both worlds. 

After our guide to Hendersonville’s first Restaurant Week was a top post last week, we knew you wanted more about our friendly neighbor to the south.

So we went ahead + put together a guide for you about how to spend a perfect day in Hendo. After you read, let us know what other local cities you want to see a 24-guide on. 

Good morning, sunshine

8 a.m.

Start your day with a coffee from Independent Bean (346 7th Ave., open Tuesday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.), a single-origin craft coffee roaster in the 7th Ave. District.

The Independent Bean doesn’t have wifi, so settle into the art of conversation over a pourover coffee. 

9 a.m.

Head two doors down from Independent Bean to Underground Baking Company (325 7th Ave., open Wednesday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.).

Owned by the same couple that started the cafe, Underground is alll about the bread.

Grab a spinach, artichoke + cheese soft pretzel or a focaccia pizza and take a loaf of freshly-baked bread to go.

Underground Baking

10 or 11 a.m. (because there’s no need to rush)

Spend some time exploring the shops of historic Main St. Stock up on home goods + gifts at Homestead (110 N. Main St.), grow your gemstone + rock collection at Vessel (234 N. Main St.) + add to your wardrobe at Moon on Main (329 & 330 N. Main St.).

Take plenty of time to wander through Woodlands Gallery (419 N. Main St.), which has eclectic home furnishings, art, items for the garden, jewelry + more (much of it locally made). Be sure to check out their vault. Pro- tip: Check out their vintage letter napkins, which are printed with love letters from authors like Lord Byron + Voltaire.

Then, walk the .9 mile to the Oriole Mill (701 Oriole Dr., open only Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.), an upscale textile and fabric mill originally built in the 1950s + refurbished in 2006. Their retail store features sumptuous fabrics made right on the premises.

Woodlands Gallery

You look hungry

Lunchtime

Locals love Dandelion (127 5th Ave. W., open from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday – Friday), a light-filled cafe with tons of daily specials which also offers job training in restaurant or retail services to survivors of violence.

The menu changes frequently, but if the kale salad is on it, just get it.

Another go-to spot: Mountain Deli (343 Main St., open Monday – Saturday until 4 p.m. and Sunday until 3 p.m.) offers up generous portions of classic hot + cold deli sandwiches, plus a few inventions of their own.

We especially love the Cuban and the Reuben sandwiches. Or go all in and try a special. Do get the potato salad.

Mountain Deli

Keep exploring

Afternoon

Are the kids with you? Take them to Hands On! Children’s Museum (318 N. Main St., open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed Sunday + Monday). The interactive museum has a giant Light Bright, a puppet theatre, and a “Rigamajig,” a large-scale construction kit. (We totally won’t judge if you don’t have kids and still go, btw.)

Then hit the Mineral & Lapidary Museum (400 N. Main St., open Monday – Friday from 1 – 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.). On display: a meteorite that landed in Hendersonville, fluorescent minerals + fossils, including a casting of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull. DYK: North Carolina has one of the country’s most diverse mineral deposits?

After all of that learning, walk to the Appalachian Pinball Museum (538 N. Main St., closed Tuesday, open until 6 or 9 p.m. every other night) and try your luck at some classic games. It’s owned by the same people that run the Asheville Pinball Museum and has around 50 games with themes like Game of Thrones, the Harlem Globetrotters, and KISS (the band).

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere

Happy hour

Wander back to the 7th Ave. District to drink a craft beer at the town’s first brewery, Southern Appalachian Brewery (822 Locust St.), which is about to celebrate its 7th birthday (lucky 7, anyone?).

It’s has a patio perfect for gathering on warm days. Or visit Sanctuary Brewing (147 1st Ave. E.), where you can drink a beer in support of the brewery’s mission of animal advocacy. They host Yoga with Pets on Saturdays at 10 a.m. ($5). Both often have live music. Since Hendersonville is in the heart of apple country, though, a cider might be just the ticket. You can grab one at Flat Rock Cider Works (305 N. Main St.)

Southern Appalachian Brewery

Get Dressed Up

Dinner

Put on something a little fancy and head to Postero (401 N. Main St., closed Sunday + Monday, reservations recommended). Go-to dishes: Benton’s Bacon Mussels, BBQ Mac and Cheese, and Carolina Catfish and Grits. Or try one of Hendo’s OG fine dining establishments, West First Wood-Fired Pizza (101B First Ave. W., closed Sunday), where you can sit in the main room by the open kitchen and the pizza oven, or eat tucked away on the second floor. We love the pizza, but the house-made pasta isn’t bad either.

Nightcap

Whether you ate at Postero or West First, you’re only a few steps away from The Poe House (105 1st Ave. W), a wine bar right under the building that houses West First. Catch some live music, and on Tuesdays get a glass of champagne for $5. Because you’re savvy like that. 

If you decide to stay the night (and make it a true 24 hours), several boutique inns + B&Bs are a stone’s throw from Main St. A new hotel is also planned for the old Grey Hosiery Mill. It will have 57 rooms + a 2,000 sq. ft. meeting space.

There’s a lot to do in Hendersonville, so tell us: Did we miss one of your favorite spots? Let us know in the comments, or find us over on social media (Facebook, Instagram + Twitter).