If you want to enjoy the full small-town experience, there’s perhaps nowhere better to go than Black Mountain, North Carolina. Set right along the foothills of the rolling mountains beyond, this quaint town promises to treat you to a memorable day of shopping, dining, and so much more. Time seems to simply slow down as you walk down each block, allowing you to savor the peaceful atmosphere at your leisure. Does that sound like just what you need in your life? Use this guide to explore all there’s to see, do, and experience during your visit.
History of Black Mountain
Long before it was founded in 1893, Black Mountain was better known by the name, “Grey Eagle.” The original inhabitants of the land, the Cherokee and Catawba tribes, named the area after an influential Cherokee Chief.
Although stories vary, the name was at least partially inspired by the rocky outcropping on the mountainside that resembles the chief looking over the land. You can still see the iconic outcropping for yourself by taking the iconic Rim Hike up the mountainside.
As settlers claimed the land, they decided to call the area, the “Town of Black Mountain” instead. The name change helped to establish the town as a trade hub, firmly cementing its location in the minds of travelers.
The town quickly flourished, starting from its rich downtown area running along West State Street. Quiet neighborhood blocks developed all around as well, which have a strong sense of community throughout. Major highways came later to give residents quick access to Asheville, Charlotte, and beyond.
Despite the advancements through the years, much of the downtown still retains its old-world charm. The population stays relatively low, too, with just under 8,000 people calling Black Mountain home to this day. So, it’s well worth taking a trip into the past with a quick day trip, although it’s even more fun to stay for the weekend.
If you’d like to stay at Black Mountain overnight, then you’ll need to choose between their many excellent accommodations, such as:
- Acorn Motel at 600 West State Street
- Apple Blossom Motel at 602 State Street
- Arbor House Bed and Breakfast at 207 Rhododendron Avenue
- Black Mountain Inn at 1186 Old Highway 70
- Hampton Inn by Hilton at 306 Black Mountain Avenue
- Red Rocker Inn at 136 North Dougherty Street
- The Monte Vista Boutique Hotel at 308 West State Street
If you prefer to wake up to birdsong in the mountain foothills, inquire about cabin rentals instead. You can usually find vacation accommodations with a call to Carolina Mornings, Cottonwood Properties, and GreyBeard Realty. Want to road trip in your RV instead? Stay overnight at the Asheville East KOA.
Great Places to Eat
Black Mountain is well-known for its home-cooked deliciousness on every corner. The eateries come together to take you on a whirlwind trip through the world of global cuisine, too. So, you cannot go wrong no matter what you pick.
Your top options include:
Black Mountain Bistro (203 East State Street)
Locally owned and operated through five generations, Black Mountain Bistro is the place to go for stick-to-your-ribs goodness to remember. Start your meal with Fried Green Tomatoes, and then move onto delightful dishes, like Shrimp & Grits, Blackberry Pork Chops, or the Grouper Rueben. Just be sure to save room for the Pineapple Coconut Cake, for sure.
La Guinguette (105 Richardson Boulevard)
Swing by La Guinguette to enjoy an exquisite mix of French and Argentinian cuisine served with a smile. From scratch-made French Onion Soup and Ratatouille Crepes to Cheese Tamales and Cuban Sandwiches, they simply have it all. Just don’t fill up too much or you’ll miss out on their handmade sweet crepes filled with fruit, chocolate, and so much more.
My Father’s Pizza (110 Cherry Street)
If you’d like hand-crafted pizza served on the double, jet on over to My Father’s Pizza. Using recipes passed down through the ages, they make all their dough, sauce, and even meatballs by hand each day. Then, they use their high-quality ingredients to bake up hand-tossed gourmet pizza, stromboli, hot oven subs, and pasta dishes galore.
Berliner Kindl German Restaurant (121 Broadway Street)
When you want classic German pub fare while dining in a quaint mountainside town, the Berliner Kindl German Restaurant is the way to go. They have all the fan favorites available each day, including Grilled Bratwursts, Schnitzel, Reubens, and German Style Meatballs. Whatever you get, be sure to grab a side of the German Potato Salad and Sauerkraut for an out of this world flavor experience.
If these restaurants sound good, you’ll want to sample all the eateries you can while visiting Black Mountain. Each one is seriously just as good as the last, making you want to try them all, and then come back to do it all over again.
Best Shops, Art Galleries, and Other Attractions
Although the food is good enough reason to stick around, Black Mountain actually has a wide variety of awesome things to do.
You can start by exploring all the old school shops around town, like:
- Europa Gifts
- Take a Hike Outfitters
- Seven Sisters Gallery
- Dancing Dragonfly
- Tyson Furniture Company
Take a stroll through the Town Hardware & General Store as well to go back in time just for a little bit.
After that, go to the art gallery at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts to see exhibits from talented local artists. Want to catch a show while you’re in town? Check their schedule for music and theater performances before heading out the door. You can find additional shows at the White Horse Black Mountain on Montreat Road.
Stop by the Swannanoa Valley Museum as well to explore the history and culture of the region. Don’t miss the chance to book a tour at the Oak & Grist Distilling Company. Then, go ahead and visit the Round Mountain Creamery Farm to round out your trip.
Plan Your Trip to Black Mountain, North Carolina
Now that you know what Black Mountain has to offer, it’s time to start planning your mountainside travels. If you’d like to work a festival trip into your visit, think about coming by in mid-August for the Sourwood Festival. If that doesn’t work for you, the LEAF festival runs twice a year as well. In the end, there’s really never a bad time to visit Black Mountain, North Carolina. So, start planning your trip for whenever you have a free moment.