Steeped in history, the village of Flat Rock – 30 miles south of Asheville – offers scenic landscapes and breathtaking vistas. It is home to the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site as well as the Flat Rock Playhouse, the State Theatre of North Carolina. Quaint local shops, galleries and restaurants dot its picturesque downtown.
Established in the early 1800s, Flat Rock is named for the granite rock formations found throughout the area. In its early years, Flat Rock was popular as a summertime retreat; today, many of the still-standing homes built during that era are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Henderson County village has a population of around 3,500.
History, shopping and outdoor adventure
Flat Rock’s downtown is home to a variety of shops and galleries, featuring everything from Southern folk art to vintage wares and antiques to locally made clothing. The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site allows visitors to experience the residence of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and writer, as well as its goat farm, pastures, gardens and hiking trails. The nonprofit Flat Rock Playhouse is famed for its professional productions of musicals, dramas and comedies.
Outdoor adventures around Flat Rock abound as well: Five miles away 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, popular for their hiking and biking trails, waterfalls and stunning scenery, sit less than 30 minutes away from Flat Rock.
Array of activities in nearby Hendersonville
Just 4 miles from Flat Rock is the city of Hendersonville, offering an array of activities and destinations 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 learning experience; the Henderson County Heritage Museum, in the 1905 county courthouse downtown, features a gallery of regional Carolina history.
North of Hendersonville’s Main Street is the Historic (1878) Johnson Farm, a preserved 19th-century tobacco farm on 15 acres open for tours and events. The Western North Carolina Air Museum, featuring vintage airplanes, is near the small Hendersonville Airport. Hendersonville, which sits in the heart of apple country, hosts the popular North Carolina Apple Festival every year, a four-day Labor Day weekend celebration that culminates in the Apple Parade.
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