North Carolina Lifestyle

5 Day Trips to Take From Black Mountain

Black Mountain is situated just 20 minutes from Asheville, but that's not the only mountain community worth exploring. With so many mountain towns to eat, drink, and sightsee through in Western North Carolina, putting roots down in Black Mountain makes for a fun home base to enjoy all the amazing small businesses, makers, and artists that make our region so special. So, we've provided a short description of some of four of our favorite WNC day trips, and all of these locations are less than an hour's drive from Black Mountain!

1. Saluda, 48 miles / 49 minutes from Black Mountain

The tiny town of Saluda has a population of under 1,000 people and has retained that Main Street, tight-knit vibe since 1831 thanks in part to being home to North Carolina's oldest grocery store, Thompson's Store, which opened in 1890. Today's grocery store is flanked by ta few tasty restaurants like The Purple Onion, Green River Barbeque, and Whistle Stop Pizza. Be sure to stop at the tiny Green River Brew Depot for a local craft brew from one of their 14 rotating taps.

2. Lake Lure, 23 miles / 42 minutes from Black Mountain

Made famous by being the backdrop to the original Dirty Dancing movie. The lake community celebrates their claim to fame with their annual Dirty Dancing Festival every September (and yes, they host a "lake lift" competition! The rest of the year, Lake Lure makes the view from Chimney Rock extra special, and a water wonderland with boat, kayak, and SUP rentals available. Or, let someone else do the driving and join a scenic lake cruise.

3. Morganton, 41 miles / 43 minutes from Black Mountain

The local-ingredient-obsessed Fonta Flora Brewery has helped put Morganton on the map by gaining international recognition for their craft brews. But before Fonta Flora opened in their historic flatiron building, Root + Vine opened down the street--with an adorable courtyard--following a similar locally-sourced, scratch made philosophy. And one of North Carolina's best-known breweries, Catawba, also has a  production facility and taproom in Morganton. 

4. Hendersonville, 39 miles / 43 minutes from Black Mountain

Another adorable downtown resides in Hendersonville, dotted with inventive restaurants, craft breweries, bars, and coffee shops that would fit right in as part of Asheville's or a larger city's culinary landscape. Go to Never Blue to experience unique items like Lamb Kofta and Gypsy Cheese (poblano-smoked jalapeño pimento cheese dip) and plenty of Southern staples with a twist like shrimp and grits and butter biscuits and jams. Hendough Chicken & Biscuits and Umi are also amazing local eateries.

What is your favorite small mountain town in Western North Carolina? Let us know on our Facebook page

Top Content of the Month June 2018

Black Mountain North Carolina Mountains

Fall colors in Black Mountain, North Carolina (Photo by Southeast Discovery)

This year, we've made an effort to step up our digital presence, and it's been a lot of fun interacting more with folks, especially on Facebook and Instagram. It also shows us what content grabs our audience the most, and we're going to start doing a round-up style piece each month to showcase what content people have been loving the most. So whether it's a history piece about the area, insights on managing your finances, or information about an awesome mountain home, area, or activity, this is the most popular content for June 2018.

1. Blanket Town: The Rise and Fall of an American Mill Town

This piece provides a brief history of Swannanoa dating back to its 1776 roots when it was called Shawano or Shawnee by the Cherokee Indians. 

2. Spring in WNC!

A collection of photos showcasing the beauty to be found in Western North Carolina.

3. 6 Reasons to Live in Black Mountain, North Carolina

One local shares a roundup of six reasons why he loves living in Black Mountain, including its convenience to getting around Western North Carolina thanks to the town's proximity to I-40.

4. Sourwood Festival

When a festival has survived 41 years, you know they are doing something right! This year's festivities take place on August 11-12 and include a Sourwood Idol amateur singing contest.

5. Black Mountain Grants Endowment Fund Announces $91K in Grants

Roundup of recent grant projects in and around the Black Mountain and Swannanoa communities.

Have a topic you'd like us to cover in our July blog posts? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter

Black Mountain's Delightful Craft Beverage Scene

Cottonwood Properties at Pisgah Brewing fundraiser VegOut

The Cottonwood Properties team hanging out at VegOut, held at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain June 9.

It’s no secret that North Carolina is a major craft beer hub, with more than 260 craft breweries already opened and more opening every day. This makes it one of the beer powerhouses of the East Coast (Pennsylvania had 236 breweries accounted for at the end of 2017; New York had 214, with no other state coming in with more than 200). Of course, the competition gets stiffer when factoring in California (520) and Colorado (252). But the WNC region is also starting to take other craft beverage industries by storm, like hard cider, alcoholic ginger beer, and non-alcoholic crafted drinks like kombucha and craft sodas. Here’s where you can drink locally crafted suds and more in and around Black Mountain.

Black Mountain Ciderworks and Meadery

We love ciderist and mazeer Jessica Puzzo Bowman’s approach to cidermaking as she keeps it super-local. “We focus on what is local...and choose to appreciate how specific terroir of Henderson County shapes the complexities of our cider as a finished product,” she stated to Mountain Xpress. And she has a garden-to-glass approach as well, taking ingredients straight from her on-site garden to add to her ciders such as lavender, pineapple sage, and rosemary. Plus, Trips to Discover named Black Mountain Ciderworks one of their “6 Best Places to Go Cider Tasting in NC This Fall” last year (but we say go try their ciders anytime!).

Lookout Brewing

Lookout Brewing Company is a tiny brewery located across the street from some of the best pizza around at Fresh Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta. Last year, they expanded the taproom and production facility, but the laid-back, hang-for-awhile vibe hasn’t changed. They also employ interns from the A-B Tech brewing program, and often have live music on weekends. Read about their plans here in Black Mountain News.

Pisgah Brewing

Pisgah Brewing Company is the place to go for live music and craft beer in Black Mountain, and they certainly keep a jam-packed events calendar, like hosting the recent VegOut fundraiser for Bounty & Soul, which we were honored to help sponsor. They also host food trucks five days a week, have two stages, and even have a 9-hole disc golf course.

5 Reasons People Love Living in Western North Carolina

Cold Mountain North CarolinaNo doubt we could list hundreds, no, thousands of reasons we love living in North Carolina, and Western North Carolina specifically. But, we figured we’d let others do the talking, so we’ve rounded up 5 reasons people think living in WNC is awesome.

1. From’s “23 Reasons Why North Carolina Might Just Be the Best State Ever

“If you want to live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, the Tar Heel State doesn’t disappoint. The Appalachian, Blue Ridge, and Great Smoky Mountains all thread their way through the western part of the state, and it’s where you’ll find some of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi.”

2. From Only in Your State’s “Here are 20 Reasons Why Living in North Carolina is the Absolute Best

“You’ll never run out of delicious new restaurants to try. North Carolina’s food scene is consistently ranked as one of the best, and most progressive in the nation. We have tied with states like California on notable lists for “best restaurants” in the country.

3. From U.S. News & World Report

“For many residents, the primary draw is the area’s prime access to outdoor activities. The metro area is located a short drive from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which features opportunities for seeing wildlife and stunning vistas, and hiking miles of trails.”

4.  From “Life in Western North Carolina

With mountain living comes plenty of access to streams, lakes, and rivers throughout Western North Carolina...Or, keep it simple and head to one of the many swimming holes in the area, like Paradise Falls.”

5. From The New York Times’ “A Cultured Retreat in the Shadow of the Seven Sisters

“The half-million-acre Pisgah National Forest is adjacent to town and is known for some of the best hiking and mountain biking in the South, and stream like Curtis Creek make for excellent fishing. In addition to the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, galleries in town feature many local artists.”

Why do you live in Western North Carolina (or, why do you want to?). Share with us on Facebook!