I’m not sure why we selected Hendersonville to stay. We were on a trip around the North Carolina mountains and it was in the neighborhood of Asheville and Chimney Rock. It also had two wineries with good reviews nearby. It was probably the wineries that sealed the deal…
For a small town Hendersonville North Carolina hits it out of the park. Main Street is what every town should aspire to. The main business district is probably ten blocks long and each block has its own public space. Most include planters and outdoor tables and chairs. We’re not sure what the locals do in January but in the summer they dine alfresco along Main Street. This strip of town offers a number of highly rated restaurants, a couple of coffee shops, an excellent bakery and several attractions that include a shark aquarium and a mineral museum (this is mining country).
We’ve run across cities decorated with brightly painted statues in a number of places that have featured cows, horses and dolphins and they seem to add something to scene. Hendersonville has bears. Perhaps a couple of dozen spaced up and down Main to good effect.
Main Street also has its own Mast General Store and if you haven’t visited a Mast Store you are in for a treat. The Mast Store dates back to 1883 where it opened in the small community of Valle Crucis, which is now North Carolina’s first rural historic district. According to the owners traversing its creaking floorboards, you’ll find country gourmet foods, cast iron cookware, speckleware, old-fashioned toys, footwear for all walks of life, hardware, and even a pair of galluses, if you need them (and candy – lots of candy). For a number of reasons, most of them good, The Mast General Store has expanded throughout the Carolina mountains and is a tourist destination all in itself.
We spent the afternoon visiting two wineries, Burntshirt Vineyards and Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards both worthy of a little time. We really liked the dry rose at Burntshirt and took some home with us. Also Burntshirt has a cafe and tasting room in Chimney Rock about a little over an hours drive north.
After checking into our hotel we discovered that the town had a free rock n roll concert and Corvette show that evening down on Main Street (every Friday in summer) which ended up topping off a pretty good visit.
If you are looking for a recommendation on where to eat – this is the Blue Ridge Mountains and home to arguably some of the best barbeque anywhere. We had dinner at the Flat Rock Wood Room, which had an extensive menu and really good pulled pork. We also were recommended to Moe’s down on Main but truth is we’ve been pleased with North Carolina barbeque almost everywhere we’ve gone.
In the future if you find yourself poking around the Carolina mountains add Hendersonville to your itinerary – you won’t be disappointed.