This small mountain town, about 15 miles east of Asheville, has it all: tradition, nature, trails, arts and crafts and music, lots of it. It’s also peaceful and tranquil, two reasons why its motto is “the front porch of Western North Carolina.”
There is some logic to it. From here you can see it all: Black Mountain looks out on the nearby Swannanoa Valley and the Blue Ridge mountains. There are lots of outdoor possibilities — if you can be persuaded to get out of town.
The music scene is vibrant in many genres. The Lake Eden Art Festival in October and May spotlights mountain music and other musical genres and folk arts. For a town with less than 8,000 people, there are an amazing number of music venues. The White Horse Black Mountain (formerly a Chevy dealership) is a 4,400-square-foot facility, where you can hear everything from Celtic music and bluegrass to jazz and classical.
The Pisgah Brewing Company offers lots of North Carolina beers on tap and local music. And in August, you’ll want to check out the popular Sourwood Festival. Also, stop by Song of the Wood, where owner/craftsman Jerry Read Smith makes dulcimers and other string instruments used in mountain music.
Red Rocker Inn, which serves dinner nightly, is also a recommended bed and breakfast. Veranda Cafe & Gifts is good for breakfast, brunch and lunch and for families with children.
Visit the Swannanoa Valley Museum for local history where you’ll learn tidbits like: the Dripolator Coffee House next door was a funeral parlor whose side window was used for drive-by viewings.
Drop into Town Hardware and General Store, dating to 1928, which really does have everything.