Hendersonville, N.C., located 22 miles south of Asheville in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, boasts a gentle climate, breathtaking views, rich culture and history, and lots of outdoor recreational attractions. The Cheers! Trail showcases 16 craft beverage producers, including Sierra Nevada, plus wineries and cideries in the area.
Chartered in 1847 as the county seat of Henderson County, Hendersonville (pop. 14,150) is traditionally known as “The City of Four Seasons.” Filled with historic buildings and vibrant streetscapes, Hendersonville’s downtown – the largest in Western N.C. outside of Asheville’s – offers many outdoor dining options, as well as unique shops and galleries, along Main Street. Hendersonville’s downtown is part of the Main Street Program, aimed at revitalizing central business districts across the country through historic preservation, attention to design, and thoughtful recruitment of businesses.
Hendersonville is optimally situated, with I-26 running through the east side of the city, and routes 25 and 74 running concurrently. The city is a 17-minute drive to the Asheville Regional Airport. High schools in the city and surrounding area include Hendersonville High School, West Henderson High School, North Henderson High School, and East Henderson High School.
Hendersonville Cultural and Outdoor Activities
The culturally rich area offers many options for an afternoon of entertainment. The Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County features giant geodes, minerals and dinosaur eggs; Hands On! Children’s museum boasts a fun, safe environment for learning; the Henderson County Heritage Museum, in the 1905 county courthouse downtown, features a gallery of regional Carolina history. North of Main Street is the Historic (1878) Johnson Farm, a summer retreat for tourists as early as the 1920s. The Western North Carolina Air Museum, featuring vintage airplanes, is near the small Hendersonville Airport.
Outdoor adventures abound as well: Five miles west of downtown Hendersonville in the town of Laurel Park is Jump Off Rock atop Jump Off Mountain. This overlook provides a panorama of the Pisgah and Blue Ridge Mountains. Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest, replete with hiking and biking trails, waterfalls and stunning scenery, sit less than 30 minutes away from Hendersonville.
Festival Fun in Hendersonville
The heart of apple country, Hendersonville hosts the extremely popular annual North Carolina Apple Festival, a four-day Labor Day weekend celebration that culminates in the Apple Parade. Main Street is home to other annual festivals and special activities throughout the year, including the Garden Jubilee Festival (Memorial Day weekend), the July 4th parade with free live music and fireworks, Fiesta Hendersonville (September) featuring the best of 20 Latin American countries’ music, art, food and culture; and Home for the Holidays, with many events from Thanksgiving through New Year's including ice skating, lights and carriage rides.
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