Official site of Henderson County Tourism Development Authority

Hendersonville ~ Flat Rock ~ Laurel Park ~ Mills River ~ Fletcher ~ Etowah
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Visitors Information Center
800.828.4244
828.693.9708

 


Historic Downtown Hendersonville was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in March of 1988. It has become a vital part of the community’s economic and cultural growth. The serpentine street features planter boxes brimming with, benches, seasonal flowers and trees. Downtown boasts a wide array of shopping, antique stores, galleries, museums, an aquarium and a variety of restaurants. Downtown offers free Wi-Fi for everyone to enjoy. Click to take a virtual tour of Downtown

The historic district offers the visitor traditional southern hometown charm. Downtown hosts many activities including the NC Apple Festival held during Labor Day weekend, as well as, art shows, an antique show, car shows, and parades throughout the year. For additional information call the Main Street Program (828) 233-3216. www.downtownhendersonville.org              

 
 


DuPont State Recreational Forest
- The forested land was purchased by the State of North Carolina, after DuPont sold its industrial operation in 1996 and 1997; the surrounding land holdings became DuPont State Forest. The forest encompasses 10,268 acres in Henderson and Transylvania counties. It is situated in the Little River valley and includes waterfalls and 80 miles of roads and trails wandering through mountainous terrain. The forest is open to the public for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Fishing is allowed with a valid NC fishing license. Hunting is by special permit only, issued by a permit agent of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

Many scenes from the movie, The Hunger Games, were shot in Dupont State Recreational Forest. The Hunger Games were filmed entirely in North Carolina. It was directed by Gary Ross with Jennifer Lawrence in the role of Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, and Liam Hemsworth as Gale. The Hunger Games trilogy, which includes Catching Fire and Mockingjay, is a young-adult adventure science fiction series written by Suzanne Collins.

The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources manages the forest. For additional information call (828) 877-6527. High Falls parking lot, 1300 Staton Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC. GPS Coordinates: 35.18856,-82.632936  www.dupontforest.com

 
 


The Henderson County Heritage Museum
brings history alive as the story of Henderson County is told. The Museum is housed in the Historic Henderson County Courthouse on Main Street. It offers public displays, artifacts, lectures, collections, archives, libraries, demonstrations, and other similar exhibitions relating to the history, culture, heritage and story of the founding settlement and development of Henderson County. The museum celebrates veterans of all wars, and has an especially informative Civil War Display.  Current theme is the county’s Golden Age, which began with the coming of the train in 1879. Of special interest is an expansive diorama of the Saluda Grade, from Melrose to Hendersonville.

The Henderson County Heritage Museum hours are Wednesday - Saturday from 10am - 5pm and Sunday 1pm - 5pm. For more information call (828) 694-1619 www.hendersoncountymuseum.com

Historic Henderson County Courthouse - The Historic Henderson County Courthouse, (1905) was designed by Richard Sharp Smith, the supervising architect of Biltmore House. The Historic Henderson County Courthouse was built of brick in a neoclassical revival style featuring six Corinthian columns on the front and four columns for each of the two side porticoes. On July 15, 1905, the keys were presented to the commissioners by W. F. Edwards, the contractor. The focal point of the Courthouse is atop of the copper dome, a 6-foot statue of “Lady Justice.” The statue is the Greek goddess Themis (“The Greek Goddess of Divine Justice and Law”) who is without a blindfold, holding a sword in her right hand and scales in her left. It is believed to be only one of only three in the United States without a blindfold, statues of Themis/Justice are blindfolded to typify that Justice should be impartial. The Courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 10, 1979. www.hendersoncountync.org

 
 


The Mineral & Lapidary Museum of Henderson County was established in 1997, housing exhibits from North Carolina, the Smithsonian, English minerals, Indian artifacts, a specialty of a single mineral, fossils, fluorescent minerals and gems. A 260-lb. amethyst geode from Uruguay and replicas of World Famous Diamonds are featured displays. The Museum's specialty are Geodes, which are sold, cracked and/or displayed.

The museum is open Monday-Friday 1pm-5pm and Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission is free. The museum is located at 400 North Main Street, on the lower level of the Henderson County Genealogical & Historical Society building. For additional information call (828) 698-1977. www.mineralmuseum.org

Henderson County Genealogical & Historical Society library has extensive references on history and genealogy of North and South Carolina and surrounding states. Holdings include Henderson County deeds, estate records, early newspapers, early court minutes, maps, church and school histories, photographs, Bible records and family histories. Volunteers are available to assist reseachers. Society publications and other books on local history are available for sale. 400 North Main Street.   The Society is open Mon.-Fri. 10am-4pm, Sat. by appointment only. For additional information call (828) 693-1531.  www.hcghs.com

The McClintock Chime Clock is attached to the Old State Trust Co. building, now the Henderson County Genealogical & Historical Society, located on the corner of 4th and Main Street, this unique clock is about 65 years old. The clock was restored by the WNC Chapter of the National Association of Clock and Watch Collectors.  

 
 

Hands On! - A Child's Gallery - Hands On! is a children's museum located on Main Street in Hendersonville - it's the place where LEARNING comes into PLAY.  Hands On! provides educational exhibits that stimulate the imagination and motivate learning to children ages 1-10, along with their caregivers.  Hands On! is open Tuesday - Saturday 10am- 5pm with a $5 per person admission, ages 1-100.   Please check website or contact Hands On! for special holiday/summer hours.  318 N. Main Street, Hendersonville. For information call (828) 697-8333. www.handsonwnc.org

 
 
Team ECCO Ocean Center and Aquarium
- offers a public aquarium with 20+  displays showcasing eels, sting rays, sea horses, bamboo sharks and a touch tank.  Participate in creative ocean classes in the Ocean Learning Lab or as outreach.  Go wild with the unique travel programs that take you to the sea! . Aquarium hours are Wednesday through Saturday 1-5 pm., closed on Sunday and Monday.  Educational programs run daily on Tuesdays, Wednesday–Saturday 8:30am-1:00pm . Other times for special events by request.   Admission is $3.00 p/p for ages 4- 80 yrs and Wednesday special price for the young at heart (ages 60 – 80 yrs) .  Located at 511 North Main Street in Downtown Hendersonville.   For more information call 828-692-8386 or visit the web site for group rates and program options www.teamecco.org
 
 


The Henderson County Curb Marke
t
is a unique farmers market requiring sellers to be residents of Henderson County. All items sold at the market must be either hand-made or locally grown. The sellers are 3rd and 4th generation vendors offering a variety of goods such as: crafts, baked goods, jellies, plants, flowers, toys, and produce. The market has been in continuous operation since 1924. The Curb Market’s hours are 8am-2pm Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from April-December, and 8am-1pm Saturday January-March. The Curb Market hosts three annual events, two Ol' Timey Days, and the Ol' Timey Christmas Open House. The Curb Market is located on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Church Street. For additional information call (828) 692-8012. 221 N. Church St., Hendersonville. www.curbmarket.com

 
 


Author Thomas Wolfe’s first novel was Look Homeward, Angel
. In the book there are constant references to an angel statue carved from Italian marble. This is the angel Wolfe placed in American literature. Thomas Wolfe’s father, W.O. Wolfe, sold the statue to the Johnson family to mark the family plot in Oakdale Cemetery. The angel is holding a lily in her left hand and extending her right hand upward. Oakdale Cemetery is located on Hwy. 64 W., just a short distance from downtown. The statue is protected by a wrought iron fence, and there is a historical marker located on Highway 64 West.

 
 
wnc-air-museum The Western North Carolina Air Museum is the first air museum in the state of North Carolina known as the "first in flight" state. The museum features award winning restored and replica antique and vintage airplanes. The hours are (weather permitting) April-October Wednesday and Sunday from 12Noon-5pm, Saturday 10am-5pm; November-March Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 12Noon-5pm . There is no admission charge. The museum is located adjacent to the Hendersonville Airport, 1340 East Gilbert Street, Hendersonville. For additional information call (828) 698-2482 or (828) 696-9743. www.wncairmuseum.com
 
 


The Pisgah National Forest
has 501,691 acres stretching across the eastern edge of Western North Carolina's mountains. The Forest offers hiking trails, fishing, camping, picnic sites, and spectacular waterfalls. Some of Pisgah National Forest's attractions include Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, Pisgah Forest State Fish Hatchery, Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, The Cradle of Forestry and the North Mills River Recreational Area.

The North Mills River Recreational Area is located in Henderson County, just 13 miles from Downtown Hendersonville and offers picnic sites, campsites, river fishing & tubing. The forest offers hiking and mountain biking trails, several of which are near the campground. For additional information call (828) 877-3265 www.recreation.gov/camping/North_Mills_River_Nc/r/campground

 
 


Jump Off Rock is a scenic overlook which provides a panoramic view of rolling pastures, the Blue Ridge and Pisgah mountain ranges. Jump Off Rock also holds an Indian legend that has been passed down for many, many years. Over 300 years ago a young Cherokee Indian maiden received word that her young Indian Chief had been killed in battle, so she climbed to the edge of the rock and jumped off. Indian legend has it that on moonlit nights you can see the ghost of the maiden on Jump Off Rock. Jump Off is located about 5 miles from downtown at the end of Laurel Park Hwy. The park is open daily, sunrise to sunset. No admission charge.

 
 


Historic Johnson Farm
is a fine example of a late 19th and early 20th century farm & tourist retreat. The entire structure was handmade from bricks that were fired on site from French Broad River mud. The Johnson Farm was the home of a wealthy tobacco farmer, Oliver Moss. Over the years many outbuildings were constructed, including a tool shed/blacksmith shop, barn, boarding house, and a cottage. The Farm is open weekdays, guided tours available; adults $5, children $3, preschoolers free.  For additional information call (828) 891-6585 or go to the website for the daily schedule. Open Tuesday - Friday from September - May & Monday - Thursday from June - August. Tours are at 10:30 am, $5 for adults, $3 for students K-12, and preschoolers are free. The farm is located at 3346 Haywood Road, across from Rugby Middle School. Admission charged. www.hendersoncountypublicschoolsnc.org/johnson-farm

 
 


Holmes Educational State Forest
offers a series of well-marked trails, accented by exhibits and displays depicting ecology of a managed forest. Picnic sites with tables and a spacious picnic shelter (with grills) are also available. Holmes Educational State Forest is located about 8 1/2 miles from downtown Hendersonville. The forest is open Tuesday-Sunday from mid-March to late November. For additional information call (828) 692-0100. 1299 Crab Creek Road, Hendersonville. www.ncesf.org/HESF/home.htm

 
 


Historic Hendersonville Train Depot -
The first steam engine puffed up the Saluda Grade to the Hendersonville Depot in 1879. The steam engine needed a “help engine” attached to the rear of the train at Melrose for additional power to push the train up the Saluda Mountain Grade, the steepest main-line standard gauge railroad in the United States. The Carolina Special ran between Charleston, South Carolina and Cincinnati, Ohio from 1911 until 1968.

Today the restored historic Depot houses the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club. The HO scale railroad extends 100 feet along the length of the Depot and has over 2,000 feet of track and more than 250 switches and turnouts.   The layout is highly detailed and is prototypical of Hendersonville, Saluda, Asheville, and Western North Carolina.  Additional features of the Depot include many historical artifacts, a Southern Railway caboose that visitors can tour and a special children's exhibit where they can operate a Thomas the Tank train in a scenic layout.

The depot is open year round, Wednesdays 1:00pm-3:00pm & Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm. The Depot is located on Maple Street off of 7th Avenue East. Admission is free, donations appreciated. For additional information or special visit arrangements call (828) 890-8246. www.avmrc.com

 
 


Bullington Gardens
is a 12 acre, nonprofit horticultural education center offering programs, activities and workshops. Visitors are welcome to visit and stroll the grounds and enjoy the gardens which include a therapy garden, shade garden, butterfly garden, perennial borders, native woodland garden, pumpkin patch and herb garden. The grounds also include a half-mile nature trail through the wooded area of the gardens.

Throughout the year, Bullington hosts a variety of programs for school groups as well as a program for special needs high school students. Adult horticultural programs offered include basic gardening, landscape design, and others. Plant sales featuring a wide variety of perennials, herbs, shrubs and trees are held several times each year to support the educational programs.

It is a nonprofit horticultural education center offering programs, activities and workshops.  The Center features a public botanical garden with individual herb, butterfly, mountain habitat, and perennial border gardens. It is open to the public weekdays from 9am-4pm. Bullington Gardens is located on Upper Red Oak Trail off of Zeb Corn Road. For additional information call (828) 698-6104.  bullingtongardens.org

 
 


Hendersonville City Hall
was built in 1928, and contains many artifacts and historic items, including large statues of of the three Presidents from North Carolina, General Andrew Jackson, James Knox Polk and Andrew Johnson. The statue is actually the ceramic model used for making the molds to cast the bronze statue on display at Capital Square in Raleigh, NC. City Hall was renovated in 2003-04, the plaster model was taken apart and stored until the renovation was complete. Local sculptor James Spratt, reassembled the statue in the first floor lobby of City Hall. The wooden rails in front of the statue were the original rails from the City Hall courtroom.

Hendersonville City Hall was designed by well-known North Carolina architect Erle G. Stilwell. City Hall is located at 145 5th Avenue East. Hours of operation are Mon. - Fri. 8:00am - 4:00pm. For additional information call (828) 697-3000 www.cityofhendersonville.org

 
 
Mountain Farm & Home Museum
showcases antique farm equipment, antique steam engines, children's toys, paint grinders, looms, threshers, washing machines and a restored hand-pump gasoline dispenser. The Museum is located at 101 Brookside Camp Road. Hours of operation vary, call ahead for hours. For hours and information call (828) 697-8846. Admission is free. www.mfhmuseum.homestead.com
 

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