A Full-Scale Mountain Getaway in Hendersonville, North Carolina

Four reasons Hendersonville should be your mountain destination of choice including great food, arts, film and views that are breathtaking.

You easily can spend an entire vacation enjoying the views offered by the North Carolina mountains. They never look the same twice, but they are always stunning.

From the early morning blues to the late afternoon greens, the colors of the expansive landscape will leave you awestruck. The little towns tucked away in those foothills will also catch your eye.

One such town is Hendersonville. Its charming downtown holds some whimsical amusements and other adventures are just down the road. Here are a few reasons you should try Hendersonville for your next trip to the North Carolina mountains. 

1. The art will delight your imagination.

Bears line the streets of downtown, but these aren’t the kind you need to be afraid of. Local artists paint statues of bears every year for a civic art project. The colorful creations delight the public year round, and then they are auctioned off so a new collection can take their place. People get very creative, and you can find yourself between a bear playing baseball and another enjoying a scoop of ice cream.

2. The restaurants will feed your soul.

Downtown Hendersonville is home to a variety of unique restaurants. Boring cuisine isn’t welcome here. From themes to fresh ingredients, each restaurant has its own personality. West First Wood Fired Pizza serves up an entire menu made from local, natural ingredients. They hand-make their pasta for flavorful dishes, and their pizzas are exclusive creations. After enjoying a filling meal, diners can head downstairs to The Poe House for a cozy seat, a good drink, and some live music.

3. The lake will make you dance.

A popular vacation spot just outside of Hendersonville is Lake Lure. Some "Dirty Dancing" fans might know it as Camp Kellerman. The iconic 1987 film about sheltered Baby meeting bad boy Johnny filmed several scenes in and around Lake Lure. The town isn’t very loud about the connection, but you can find a few landmarks if you know where to look. Enjoy a boat tour out to the spot of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey’s memorable lift scene in the lake. Take a quick peak into The 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa where the pick-pocketing scenes took place. The inn also housed the cast during filming. If you’re in Hendersonville in August, you may be lucky enough to catch Lake Lure’s Dirty Dancing festival. When you’re so close to pop culture history, you can’t miss it.

4. The mountains will test your willpower.

Between Hendersonville and Lake Lure is the well-known Chimney Rock State Park. The unrivaled views of the North Carolina mountains make it a tempting trip. And so does the elevator that will take you to the top without ever making you break a sweat. This mountain is worth a climb even without the elevator. Along the 31 flights of stairs that it takes to get to the top are several rest areas where you can check your progress with a look out over the valley. Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment when you make it to the top, except the view. Make the trip to Chimney Rock to add a little outdoor adventure to your mountain vacation.

There are spectacular views in Chimney Rock State Park in North Carolina.
The views found in Chimney Rock State Park are spectacular. (©G.W. Weber Photography)