Surrounded by Pisgah National Forest and minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Hendersonville beckons travelers looking to disconnect from daily worries and reconnect with each other and the natural world. Just south of busy Asheville, the vibrant mountain town of Hendersonville delivers its own blend of arts and culture, outdoor adventure, and creative craft beverage producers.
Cover photo: Triple Falls at DuPont Forest, Photo by Bill Russ
Start the day with a relaxing paddle along the French Broad River, one of the oldest in the world. Lazy Otter Outfitters rents all the gear necessary to tube, kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard. This section of the French Broad remains largely untouched by development, so paddlers enjoy wildlife and vegetation along the banks.
Stop by The Baker’s Box and grab a freshly made sandwich, wrap, or salad to go. Enjoy a picnic lunch at DuPont State Recreational Forest. A short hike leads to Hooker Falls, or take a longer trek up to Triple and High falls.
The Henderson is located just off Main Street in the middle of the business district. The bed-and-breakfast inn, built in 1919, has 17 rooms that blend historical charm with modern amenities. Co-owner and executive chef Michael Gilligan prepares daily gourmet breakfasts and a small-plates menu for dinner at Harvey’s, the inn’s restaurant.
Bucket List: Swing by the Visitor Center for a Cheers! Trail Passport, which guides you to 23 tasting rooms serving wine, beer, cider, and mead.
Get an early start at North River Farms where DB bar D Outfitters leads half-day (and full-day) guided trout fishing trips on the 1,450-acre farm along the north fork of Mills River. Rainbow, brook, and brown trout are plentiful in the catch-and-release waters. Afterward, enjoy a streamside lunch.
The new Riveter gym combines an extensive climbing facility and bike park under one roof. With more than 16,000 square feet of climbing terrain, a multi-feature covered bike track, yoga studio, and fitness area, Riveter accommodates whatever exercise gets you moving.
Toast your trip at Hendersonville’s newest brewery, D9 Brewing Company. Located on Main Street, D9 is one of six downtown breweries. Walk two blocks to dinner at Shine. The well-appointed restaurant has an industrial-chic vibe with exposed beams and brick, and a rooftop patio with a view of the mountains. Everything is made in-house, down to ginger beer for Moscow mules and ketchup to go with duck-fat fries.