There’s something about driving up Black Mountain with its steep hairpin turns and beautiful mountain range that makes your breath catch every time.
At the top, you’re rewarded with majestic views and a quaint small town filled with shops, eateries and beer gardens.
Just a short drive from Asheville, this town of just 7,000 people is totally different from its sister city down the mountain. The small-town feel is palpable and yet the variety of eateries (German, Thai, Italian, French and Argentinian, to name a few) is impressive.
The Cherokees first settled Black Mountain more than 10,000 years ago, and the lure of adventure and rugged beauty attracted early settlers.
Drive up for the day while visiting Chimney Rock or Biltmore, or book at a night at a local bed and breakfast and explore Lake Tomahawk and Black Mountain’s extensive greenway system.
On the bike, hitch an easy ride down Point Lookout Trail—from Ridgecrest to Old Fort—a 3.6-mile coast that lets you take in the beauty of the Swannanoa Valley. Or pack your clubs and play a round of golf at Black Mountain Golf Course, the front 9 designed by the legendary Donald Ross. And the back 9? Look for hole 17, a par 6 that was at one time the longest hole in the world.
You’ll be ready for a watering hole after that.
Downtown Black Mountain is a quaint village with 40 or so shops and a dozen restaurants. Here are a few of our favorite pit stops:
135 Cherry Street
Opens daily at 3 p.m.
The Town Pump is a classic dive bar full of antiques, memorabilia and, yes, animal trophies on the wall.
Don’t be deceived by its appearance; this will be the most memorable bar you visit in 2016. They serve it all – $2 beers, whiskey and even a $5 mimosa on Sundays. Insider Tip: No plastic, cash-only bar. Check out the 45-star flag hanging on the wall and be ready to name the last five states to join the union – you will impress your friends.
Fresh Wood Fired
Pizza & Pasta
100 South Ridgeway Avenue
11 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily
Enjoy wood-fired, 13-inch single-serve pies like you’d find in Naples, Italy.
They offer gluten-free crust, pasta, salad dressings and desserts.
Insider Tip: Try our favorite pie: the MADONNA, a white pizza with a blend of Mozzarella, Fontina, Ricotta, Parmesan, garlic and herbs.
221 West State Street
6:45 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. daily
If you love coffee, don’t skip the Dripolator Coffeehouse. Fun, colorful and delicious, the owners buy the finest coffee beans available and roast them off-site at a Diedrich roaster for an amazing cup of Joe.
111 Cherry Street
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily
Bramblewood is a quaint, family-owned shop downtown, featuring unique gifts and local art.
Insider Tip: They have a great
selection of Christmas ornaments year-round.