When you come to Brevard, head straight for Brevard College and the downtown district. The road when you get off Interstate 26 at Exit 40 is deceptively unappealing with its lineup of fast food restaurants, chain pharmacies and supermarkets and smaller versions of the Big Box stores. But keep on trucking the 20 miles until you make it to the heart of Brevard. That will give you the real taste of Brevard and the sense of why you opted to spend a bit of time here.
Brevard College is a throwback to the 1950s. It has less than a thousand students, is loosely affiliated with the Methodist Church and is probably one of the most clean-cut campuses in the United States. It is renowned for its music, wilderness and exercise science programs and because Brevard is not a place to go if you are looking for wild and crazy, neither are the kids who study here.
Main Street is truly a Main Street. There is the Coed Cinema, with a single screen and where the last showing of any film is generally between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m, although on special occasions there may be a weekend showing at 9 p.m. But it’s fun to go into a theater that is not a multiplex. You can stop at Big Mike’s for pizza that is about as good as you can get on the streets of New York city or Rocky’s Grill and Soda Shop, a Brevard landmark. During the day visit the world’s best toy store, O.P. Taylor’s or the White Squirrel gift shop or stop in at any one of the many art galleries or craft stores.
For your morning fix of coffee and wifi access, try Quotations, where if you are in the mood for breakfast or brunch, the specialty is stuffed blueberry French toast. Twin Dragons on the outskirts of town on the Asheville Highway is one of the best Chinese buffets anywhere. For a casual but elegant dining experience in a building that once housed Brevard’s newspaper, try the Square Root restaurant on the Times Arcade. Or try the Quarry Restaurant and Piano Bar on South Gaston Street, for a similar kind of dining experience.
Visit the art galleries and craft stores that populate downtown Brevard, and if you are there at the end of the month, there is an art walk every Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Get to know the Heart of Brevard. You’ll enjoy it.