04 Apr 2022
Offering something for everyone, discover your Brevard
By Mandy Murry
Photos by Karin Strickland
I love Brevard. Not just because it is home to the famous white squirrels, the community mascot, it is so much more than that. Brevard is quirky, cool, up and coming, and the gateway to Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest. Outdoor access to trails, streams, rivers, falls and more is only the beginning of the story that makes up this artistic mountain town. Food, live music and shopping all have their chapter. Woven together, Brevard is a hot spot for all the senses, felt when you are out in it, experiencing the abundance of its energy.
The vibe is chill and fun, and what better way to visit Brevard than to go with the flow. The rules of Brevard are simple, just be yourself, relax and have a good time. From bluegrass to classical and everything in between, your experience is always what you make it. This little town is not flashy and offers a welcome escape from everyday life. Have fun with it. Find your place to stay. If you seek experience, you may consider booking a room at The Sunset Motel- a little Palm Springs blended with mountain rejuvenation. If it's the mountain song you crave, keep it wild at Pilot Cove. Cozy up with the one you love at Bromfield Inn, a historic bed and breakfast within walking distance of downtown. Brevard truly offers something for everyone.
Music is a staple of this small community, providing big music around the area. The Brevard Music Center (BMC) is known for its summer music programming, education and events. This spring, the BMC hosts the award-winning Trio AYA (April 5), vocal ensemble Stile Antico (April 28) and virtuoso violinist Midori (May 12). Other BMC favorites to look for this summer include Bryan Sutton’s North Carolina Guitar Celebration, Blue Ridge Banjo Concert, and the 16th Annual Mountain Song Festival. For the local artist scene, check out 185 King Street. This music venue is hoppin' and also has a scheduled Raw Bar pop-up on April 16. Newcomer to the music scene, Cedar Mountain Outpost, also plays host to various local musicians. Follow @cedarmountiainoutpost and @185kingstreet on Instagram to stay up to date with events.
The famous White Squirrel Festival has a new name and a new date. White Squirrel Weekend will be a big celebration this year (June 3-5). Live music will be held Friday night on Main Street, with other music events taking place at local venues, including Bryan Sutton’s North Carolina Guitar Celebration at BMC (June 4). For details on White Squirrel Weekend, visit BrevardNC.org.
The great outdoors is intoxicating in this area of western North Carolina. Fly-fishing here is some of the best. Access to hiking, biking trails and waterfalls is at your fingertips. Look to Headwaters Outfitters and Davidson River Outfitters for your guided fly-fishing adventure and Chasing Epic for exclusive mountain bike trips and tours in Brevard. Outdoor gear and experiences are plentiful here.
To round it all out, Brevard's food scene is on point. Love Eat Thai and Quixote provide some international fare. Coffee spots, food trucks, breweries and staple downtown eateries draw locals back again and again. Every Saturday, April through August, downtown is buzzing during the Saturday stroll. (Free and open to everyone to enjoy a self-guided tour of shops, galleries and participating businesses featuring curated events and promotions.)
What does your Brevard look like? I've put together a list of to-dos based on the outing and experience you are seeking. Discover your Brevard.
For the Outdoor Enthusiast
Start your day with coffee and hot mini donuts from the Velvet Cup food truck.
Take a hike to John's Rock and enjoy the view from the rocky outcrop at the top of John's Rock. This 4.9-mile loop trail provides both intensity and meandering leisure, passing several streams, small waterfalls and bridges.
If you're feeling a bit more energetic, head out to Riveter, and seek your thrill at the bike park and indoor climbing gym. Also home to a great yoga studio and bar.
Enjoy an afternoon on tap at Cedar Mountain Outpost- a service station, live music venue, beer, brats and pizza kind of place. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily with 24/7 gas pumps; this is quickly becoming the refueling and recharge hot spot.
Shop DD Bullwinkel’s for all the latest outdoor gear. DD Bullwinkel’s is one of the best gear and outdoor shops in western North Carolina.
Tell tall tales of fishing stories at Headwaters Taproom. Tie flies, play darts and enjoy local craft beer.
Hike Corn Mill Shoals via Big Rock in DuPont State Recreational Forest and stop by Cedar Mountain Canteen to enjoy a pint in their beer garden.
For the Girls Only Outing
Own your day, taking in all things that speak to the soul- laughing and sharing with good friends.
Your morning should start with sparkling wine on tap from Morning Social, paired with an Eggs Benny or Avocado Toast. Morning Social opened in January 2022 and serves made from scratch breakfast/lunch Wednesday - Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Spend the day in downtown Brevard crooning over local artisan works and discovering the latest fashions. Shop Theophilus and Poplar & Ash, trendy and stylish boutiques. Discover hand-picked vintage clothing at Magnolia Vintage Co.- vintage is so hot right now! Visit Roost for awesome interior decor ideas and gifts. Gra•vy presents goods from local artisans and a portion of the sales help support the Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County.
Sip craft cocktails at The Blind Mule and share small bites for happy hour.
Taste house-made baked goods and coffee at Cup & Saucer. Shop the C&S mercantile for simple, locally made food items to take home with you.
Indulge in Italian at Vescovo for dinner.
Peruse the galleries; my favorites are Red Wolf Gallery and Lucy Clark Gallery & Studio.
Stop for tea or gifts at Spice it to a Tea.
For Date Night
Start your night off at the back bar in Cup & Saucer, Papa L.E.W.
Wine Down Wednesday at Wine Down on Main.
Hit up 185 King Street for live music and or good food.
Share authentic Mexican and International cuisines at Quixote downtown, or visit my favorite, Marco Trattoria for Italian in a romantic setting.
If you are looking to avoid the crowds, visit Broad Street Wines and share conversation and laughter with a glass from their wine on tap dispensers. Shhh… don’t tell anyone, let’s keep this secret spot magical.
For the Magnolia Home Connoisseur
Are you seeking furniture, decor or design ideas? Look no further than inspiration from the artists and entrepreneurs of Brevard.
Architectural salvage store, Underground Salvage Co., is a perfect place to discover old doors, tin ceiling tile and lumber.
Handsomely designed to draw in the male perspective's eye, Mantiques is dedicated to impeccable craftsmanship and antiques paired with sports, hunting, fishing, poker games and more.
Roost for home decor and accessories is a must-visit for your day shopping all things home.
3oak Handcrafted will build it if you can dream it. Also, shop artisanal decor and gifts, or grab a beer from the tap.
PLATT HOME for interior design and a selection of art pieces to complete a space in your home or office.
Dinner at Square Root. This restored historic building hidden down an alley in downtown Brevard offers an art deco bar and is a perfect place to share a meal after a day of antique-inspired design.
For the Family or Family of Friends
Pick up some BBQ at the drive-thru of Smoke On and take a drive to Looking Glass Falls. Have a picnic and explore nature. Or venture to Triple Falls in DuPont State.
Get milkshakes at Rocky's Grill & Soda Shop. Did you know Rocky's is also famous for its pimento cheese sandwiches?
Shop for the kids or grandkids at O.P. Taylor’s.
Visit Noblebräu Brewing for live music, outdoor sunshine and craft beer.
Have lunch at Jordan Street Cafe.
Visit Highland Books, offering an incredible collection of books for all ages.
Stop by Starfangled Press for unique, handcrafted stationery and gifts.
Oh, and one last thing - Have you seen a white squirrel? They are fascinating.