downtown Brevard, NC soda shop

What to do in Brevard NC: 40+ Best Things To Do 2023

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What county is Brevard, NC in?

The city of Brevard is located in Transylvania County, North Carolina.  The population as of 2021 is 7,755.  Brevard is located near the entrance to the Pisgah National Forest and is a very popular place for tourism.  With a moderate climate, it attracts retirees to the area as well. 

There are many things to do in Brevard NC, in all seasons throughout the year. When you are considering what to do in Brevard NC, consider the temperatures. The average temperatures in the winter are in the highs 40s and lows in the 20s. The summer average is about 80s for the highs and 50s to 60s for the lows.

Brevard is located in a temperate rainforest and receives the most rainfall in NC, around 66 inches per year.  This contributes to why they have over 250 waterfalls. 

Brevard is a cute small town with lots of charm.  You’ll find lovely downtown shops, art galleries, an old-fashioned soda shop, a brewery, coffee shops, and bike shops.  In 2022, the US Capitol Christmas Tree was hand-picked from the Pisgah National Forest, harvested just outside of Transylvania County.  

What to do in Brevard NC?

You will find lots of outdoor activities nearby, and we have many things you can add to your list of what to do in Brevard, NC.  Transylvania County has so many waterfalls and many are easy to access.

Mountain Biking, fly fishing, hiking, rock climbing, water sports, and so much more!  Let’s break down the things you can do in Brevard NC. 

Hiking & Waterfalls in Brevard NC

How many waterfalls does Brevard, NC, have? LOTS!
Here is a breakdown of some you can explore!

Waterfalls in DuPont State Recreational Forest

💦 Hooker Falls
12-ft waterfall, it’s the fourth waterfall on the 3.3-mile section of the Little River.  Going upstream from Hooker Falls, you will come across the falls listed below.  To get to Hooker Falls, it’s a 0.8-mile hike out and back.  The trail is open year-round.  

Waterfalls near Brevard NC - Hooker Falls

💦 Triple Falls
The 120-ft waterfall is the third waterfall on the Little River.  It was featured in the movie Last of the Mohicans; it’s about a seven-minute walk from the Hooker Falls parking area. 

Waterfalls near Brevard NC Triple Falls

💦 High Falls
120-ft waterfall down an inclined plane of granite.  There is also a covered bridge that you can view here. High Falls is a fan favorite, and make sure you go to the base to take it all in.  The trail is steep.  You can take the trail from Hooker Falls to Triple Falls and end up at High Falls and explore them all in one day.  

Waterfalls near Brevard NC Covered Bridge at High Falls

💦 Grassy Creek Falls
Located about 2 miles downstream of Wintergreen Falls and not far from High Falls Covered Bridge. 

💦 Wintergreen Falls
20-ft waterfall on the upper Grassy Creek

💦 Bridal Veil Falls
This is the first of the falls on Little River and is very unique.  This was also featured in the Last of the Mohicans.  The falls first drop off an overhanging ledge, and the water sheets down a long and shallow incline plane of granite before heading into the pool below. It’s about 2.3 miles. 

Waterfalls near Brevard NC Bridal Veil Falls NC

Waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest

💦 Looking Glass Falls
This is a favorite in Western NC.  In the winter, the water freezes on the sides of the fall, and the sunlight glistens like a mirror or looking glass.  The falls are 60 feet tall and easy to access. Add this to your things to do in Brevard, NC, in winter.  

Waterfalls near Brevard NC Looking Glass Falls

💦 Moore Cove Falls
You can easily hike round trip 1.2 miles to the 50-ft falls. You can access it near the Blue Ridge Parkway and will exit near mile marker 411.  

Waterfalls near Brevard NC Moore Cove Falls

💦 Sliding Rock Falls
This is a very popular place; it’s a 60 ft natural water slide that ends up in an 8 ft deep pool of water that is VERY cold.  The area itself is open 365 days a year; I would recommend you come early if you are visiting in the peak months; parking fills up quickly, and you can try to avoid the crowds.  

Waterfalls near Brevard NC Sliding Rock

💦 Slick Rock Falls
A short hike round trip of about 1.8 miles, it’s kid-friendly as well. Hence the name, the rocks near the top of the falls are very slippery.  It’s about 30 feet high and best viewed after a good rain; in drier times, you might just see a trickle of water.  

Waterfalls near Brevard NC - Slick Rock Falls

💦 Cove Creek Falls
A moderately challenging, about 6-mile round-trip hike to the 50-ft falls.  

💦 Daniel Ridge Falls (Jackson Falls/ Tom’s Spring Falls)
Known by several names, this is a beautiful 150-ft waterfall but you want to come after a good rain.  Take a quick 1-mile direct round trip or a 5-mile where you can explore both the base and the top of the waterfall.  

💦 Cathey’s Creek Falls
It’s a beautiful 50-ft waterfall located next to a gravel forest road.  Parking is extremely limited.

💦 Log Hollow Falls
Easy 1-mile round-trip to view this 25-ft waterfall.  It’s a hidden gem!   

Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls nearby

💦 Graveyard Fields has three waterfalls: Upper Falls, Second Falls, and Yellowstone Falls.

Graveyard Fields one of the waterfalls

💦 Skinny Dip Falls
Trailhead is about 34 miles away from Brevard, 41 min drive 

Waterfalls near Brevard NC - Skinny Dip Falls

Highway 215

💦 Courthouse Falls (0.6-mile round-trip trail)
Under 23 miles away from Brevard, 38 min drive (need high clearance vehicle)

💦 Lemon Falls
Under 16 miles away from Brevard, 24 min drive

💦 Diamond Creek Falls
Under 12 miles away from Brevard, 20 min drive

💦 Mill Shoals Falls & French Broad Falls
Under 17 miles away from Brevard, 24 min drive  

Waterfalls near Brevard NC - Mill Shoals Falls

💦 Bird Rock Falls is located on private property at Living Ministry; they do allow public access.
Under 17 miles away from Brevard, 24 min drive

💦 Sunburst Falls
Under 31 miles away from Brevard, 47 min drive

💦 Little Bird Falls
It is under 32 miles away from Brevard, 50 min drive.  Close to Sunburst Falls. 


💦 Toxaway Falls
About a 16-mile drive from Brevard, 22 min drive

💦 Whitewater Falls
The highest waterfall in the Eastern US is known as the King of Waterfalls.  It plummets down 811 feet.  Trailhead is about 27 miles from Brevard, 38 min drive

Waterfalls near Brevard NC - Whitewater Falls

Gorges State Park

💦 Upper Bearwallow Falls
Trailhead near Gorges Park Visitor Center, about 20 miles from Brevard, 30 min drive

💦 Rainbow Falls & Turtleback Falls
Trailhead is about 21 miles from Brevard, 31 min drive

Waterfalls near Brevard NC - Rainbow Falls

Other Waterfalls

💦 Key Falls
50-ft waterfall on private property owned by the Key Falls Inn.  They do allow public access to the falls.  Located 4 miles away and is about a 7 min drive from Brevard. Please respect their property while visiting, just like you would any other trails/waterfalls you visit. 

More Hiking near Brevard NC

🚶‍♀️ Art Loeb Trail

The Art Loeb Trail is located near Brevard in the Pisgah National Forest.  The trail is 30.1 miles long and used for hiking.  It’s one of the more difficult hiking trails in the state of NC but also one of the most popular; the elevation gain is 8,257 ft. Along the trail, you will have many amazing views of the mountains as you follow the Davidson River valley. 

Climb up past the Blue Ridge Parkway and then descend Cold Mountain to the Daniel Boone Scout Camp.  Most hike this over 2-4 days, and you’ll find plenty of campsites along the way.  Or just pick a section of the trail and take a hike for a day.  You will come across the famous Mountains-to-Sea trail as well on portions of this trail.    

You will find parking at both trailheads at Davidson River and Daniel Boone; both provide limited parking.  For camping, no reservations are needed; they are first-come, first-serve. 

View fro Art Loeb Trail during sunrise

Some park at one spot and use the Pura Vida shuttle to drive them to the other end.  Also, there are warnings of yellow jackets along the trail in multiple areas near the shining gap.  Be prepared as well because you will be in bear country.  

🚶‍♀️ Bracken Preserve

This preserve is also known as Bracken Mountain.  It’s 395 acres owned by the City of Brevard; they opened it to the public back in 2012.  Bracken is adjacent to the Pisgah National Forest.  Here, you will find trails to enjoy, including the Pinnacle Trail. 

You will find about six miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking.  The trails connect Brevard Music Center and the City of Brevard to amazing views, waterfalls, and wildlife.  The Pinnacle Trail is a strenuous 7.2-mile loop that ascends 1,200 feet in elevation. As you climb from Southern Mountain to Burl Mountain, you’ll come across waterfalls along the way, including Renzulli Falls. 

Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail.  No horses or motorized travel is allowed. Do you love a challenge?  Take the White Squirrel Hiking Challenge; there are eight hikes, and Bracken Preserve is one of the locations for this challenge.

Complete all eight hikes and you will earn a White Squirrel Patch and some other fun perks from local businesses in Brevard.       

🚶‍♀️ Headwaters State Forest

Headwaters State Forest opened to the public in 2018 and is a 6,730-acre conservation project.  It’s located about 10 miles south of Brevard.  N.C Forest Service manages it with the help of the N.C Wildlife Resources Commission. 

It is open to public hunting as Game Land.  It’s open to hiking, hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing by foot travel.  Headwaters is home to many rare and endangered plants and animals, including the native brook trout and hellbender salamanders.  

It’s home to 20 waterfalls and more than 50 miles of high-quality trout streams and rare Appalachian mountain bogs. 

Sign for the foothills trail

Some popular things to note in Headwaters are East Fork Falls (an 18-ft waterfall and a pool below you can swim in), Foothills Trail (a 77-mile long trail), Bursted Rock (a strenuous 5.2-mile hike), Sassafras Mountain (if you are in the areas, make sure to check out the new observation tower), and Backcountry Recreation that is truly away from the crowds. Leashed dogs will be permitted. Please note there are no public restrooms here.    

🚶‍♀️ Davidson River Recreational Area

Here at Davidson River, you will find 144 campsites, both for tents and RVs (electric and nonelectric), and lots of outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy, including easy access to hiking trails, fishing spots, and waterfalls. 

It’s located in the Pisgah National Forest and is known for its camping and hiking trails.  You will find the Art Loeb Trail, North Slope Trail, and an easier 1.5-mile walking trail here. The Davidson River itself offers amazing trout fishing, plus tubing and swimming.  You will need to make reservations for camping at 

They do have restrooms with flush toilets, drinking water, and hot showers.  Sites are also mostly shaded and include a picnic table and campfire rings.  

Outdoor Activities near Brevard NC

🌲 Camping

We love to camp, and so many amazing options exist in this area!  Camping is available in the Pisgah National Forest. We also recommend checking out Hipcamp for some unique and often private camping opportunities; you can search for tent or RV camping.  If you are interested, click here and you will get $10 in Hipcamp credit for your first booking.  

🌲 Cycling

There are lots of bike shops in Brevard, NC, and many opportunities to enjoy the trails nearby.  In addition, you’ll find some big races each year in the area. 

One race is called the Pisgah Stage Race, a big five-day endurance mountain bike race each year through the Pisgah.  Check out their site for race information.

🌲 Horseback Riding

There are many trails in the NC mountains for Horseback Riding; check out the Year of the Trail NC for trails all over the state.  You will find horseback riding trails in the local DuPont State Forest and Pisgah Forest. 

Don’t have a horse?  Check out Pisgah Forest Stables and book a scenic tour up the mountain or even a waterfall.  

🌲 Climbing

You can find numerous climbing locations near Brevard, NC.  You can choose from rock climbing, rappelling, and bouldering. 

You can book a guided rock climbing tour with Pura Vida Adventures. They have programs that range from novice scramblers to experienced climbers. 

They travel to normal climbing locations: Looking Glass Rock, Cedar Rock, and Pilot Rock.  Helmets will be required.  

🌲 Fishing

Fly fishing in the mountains is very popular in the local streams and creeks.  You don’t need any experience and can book a fishing trip with a local guide.  You have several options for guides. Davidson River Outfitters, Headwaters Outfitters, and Pisgah Outdoors.  

🌲 Water Sports

Want to spend some time on the water?  From whitewater kayaking to lazy floats down the river, there is something for everyone! Book a private charter whitewater rafting with Pura Vida Adventures.  

Historic Sites near Brevard NC

🚶‍♀️ Silvermont Mansion and Park

Silvermont Mansion is located in downtown Brevard on 8 acres.  It’s a 33-room Colonial Revival mansion built in the early 1900s on the National Register of Historic Places.  They have the Woodland Garden, with native plants, fruits, and vegetables maintained by Master Gardeners. 

Also, they have public tennis courts, a basketball court, and a new playground; you can even stop and enjoy a picnic here.  They offer guided tours and classes.  The second-floor museum is open each week on Thursdays from 6 – 7:15 p.m. and on Fridays from 1 – 4 p.m. between March and the end of October.  

Address: 364 E. Main Street Brevard, NC 28712

🚶‍♀️ Transylvania Heritage Museum

Established in 2007, they are located in downtown Brevard.  The house where the museum is hosted was built in the 1890s by Thomas D. England.  Here at the museum, you can explore Appalachian Culture and how early settlers made their way into the mountains and made it their home. 

They have different exhibits for you to explore.  They do close from time to time to install their next exhibit, but normal business hours are Thursday – Saturday from noon – 4 p.m.  The museum also manages the Silvermont Museum listed above.  These are great things to do in Brevard NC, when it rains.

You can also take a guided walking tour, which is available on the second Saturday of each month between April and October. Each date has a different focus and tour.  You can check the schedule here. 

Address: 189 West Main Street in Brevard, North Carolina  

🚶‍♀️ The Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas

Here at the museum, they honor our nation’s veterans and help educate the public about the country’s military history and the contributions our servicemen and women have made. 

You will find exhibits divided into collections such as WWI, WWII, Korean, Vietnam, War on Terror, and a special exhibit.      

Open Tuesday – Saturday between 11 am – 3 pm

Address: 21 E Main St, Brevard, NC 28712

🚶‍♀️ Allison-Deaver House

Located nearby in the Pisgah Forest, you will find the Allison-Deaver House.  It was built in three parts; first, the private home was constructed as a three-room house built by Benjamin Allison around 1815. 

The family outgrew the home and sold it in 1840, purchased by William Deaver; he doubled its size with an addition on the north side.  It’s known to be the oldest standing frame home west of the Blue Ridge, and you can still observe working fireplaces and the original paneling.  In addition, early paint finishes, hardware, and original molding and trim. 

Unlike most homes in the area that were built into log cabins, this home was built into a two-story house. The property was added to the North Carolina Civil War Trails program in 2008.  The home was a scene of a murder when a group of “bushwackers” attacked the home and killed Wiliam Deaver in 1865.

The home was never connected to electricity or plumbing.  

You can visit the home year-round but they also have an annual Pioneer Day celebration in May, which also involves Civil War reenactments, weavers and quilters, and blacksmiths.

Friday – Saturday between 10 am – 4 pm
Sunday between 1 pm – 5 pm 

Address: 2753 Asheville Hwy Pisgah Forest, NC 28716

Places to Eat and Drink in Brevard NC

✅ Brevard Brewing Company

Laid-back, an arty microbrewery with a tasting room featuring housemade craft beers plus live music. This is just one of the many Brevard breweries available.  

✅ Rocky’s Grill & Soda Shop

Iconic American standby with a lunch counter serving sandwiches, milkshakes & other nostalgic bites. Stop here for places to eat in Brevard, NC.

downtown Brevard, NC soda shop
Rocky’s Grill & Soda Shop

✅ Oskar Blues Brewery Taproom

A popular brewpub features craft beers on tap, casual grub & a retail shop in an industrial interior.

✅ 185 King Street

Live Music Venue

✅ The Square Root

An international fare in a restored building with exposed brick, colorful paintings & an art deco bar.  They have been voted #1 restaurant for 13 years in a row for Brevard.   

✅ The Falls Landing

A mountainside seafood eatery with a seasonal menu of burgers, steaks & fish specialties.

✅ Big Mike’s

This is your place for pizza and wings.  

✅ Quotations Coffee Cafe

Come enjoy a cup of brew and some homemade pastries or desserts.  Also serves soups, salads, and sandwiches.  Vegan & gluten-free menu options too. 


Stop by for some great coffee and pastries.  They make their baked goods fresh in-house daily. Also, serve breakfast biscuits, sandwiches, salads, soups, and smoothies. 

✅ Bracken Mountain Bakery

Specializes in crusty European-style bread and pastries, and they are oh-so-good! They were named #7 out of 20 in Southern Living Magazine for the best bakeries in the South.  They use organic flour and many other organic ingredients. 

Made from scratch each morning right there on the premises.  We enjoyed the chocolate croissants and cheese danishes.  We will be back and next time, I need to try the scones!  

Shopping in Brevard NC

Outside of the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine Brevard, NC
Crystal Mountain Gem Mine

✅ Crystal Mountain Gem Mine

Come mine your very own gemstones and keep everything you find! Open seven days a week so you can add it to your fun things to do in Brevard, NC, today.  

✅ O P Taylor’s

If you love toys, this is your place!  They continue to be the #1 toy store in the south.  The original store is located in downtown Brevard.  

✅ White Squirrel Shoppe

You cannot leave Brevard without a white squirrel keepsake! Come find all sorts of treasures here.  

✅ Transylvania Farmers Market

Open every Saturday, even through the winter, in downtown Brevard.  Come find dozens of vendors selling local produce and goods.

✅ D.D. Bullwinkel’s Outdoors

If you need some outdoor clothing, gear, and equipment, this is your place! They also have local beer on tap in their Map Room.

✅ The Hub and Pisgah Tavern

A bike shop where you can shop, rent a bike, grab a beer, and get any gear you need!

✅ Squatch Bikes & Brews

Another local bike shop offers bikes for sale, bike service & repair, and rentals.   

Annual Events near Brevard NC

🎯 White Squirrel Festival

The festival takes place the first weekend in June in downtown Brevard.  They open with a parade and a 5k/10k race.  At the festival, you can enjoy live music, an outdoor beer garden, arts and crafts vendors, and a soap box derby called the Squirrel Box Derby.

🎯 Banff International Film Festival, Brevard College

The film festival happens every March at the Brevard College campus.  It will be at the Porter Center for Performing Arts.

🎯 Assault on the Carolinas, Bicycle Road Race

Date: Saturday, April 6, 2024
Time: 9 am start

Every April, the annual Assault on the Carolinas happens, and there are three different races: a 100K, 60K, and a 40K bike race.  It starts and ends in downtown Brevard.  The race will go through mountains and valleys and lots of winding roads.  Downtown, come enjoy live music and shop the local vendors as well. 

🎯 Fourth of July Celebration

Date: July 4th

Every 4th of July between 10 am and 5 pm, celebrate America in downtown Brevard.  The day kicks off with a 5k/10k foot race; enjoy live music, a classic car show, arts and crafts, a pet show, and a children’s bike parade. 

In the evening, fireworks will be at Brevard College at 9:30 p.m.  Come celebrate the red, white squirrel, and blue Independence Day.  

🎯 Brevard Music Center Festival and Events

The world-renowned Brevard Music Center opens its doors to the public each year.  The Music Center will host 80 concerts during the summer between June and August.  

🎯 Mountain Song Festival

Dates: TBD September 2024

Come together and enjoy the best acoustic music, including bluegrass, newgrass, old-time, folk, jazz, and traditional mountain music. This event helps fund the Cindy Platt Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County. 

Setting up for Halloween Festival in Downtown Brevard NC
Setting up for Halloween Festival in Downtown Brevard NC

🎯 Halloween Festival

Fun family event in downtown Brevard.  Each year you have lots of fun surprises, like one year there was a flash mob dancing to Micheal Jackson’s Thriller.  Lots of vendors, costume contests, bouncy houses, trick-or-treating, and more! 

🎯 Light Up the Night Holiday Stroll

Date: December TBD
Time: 4 pm – 8 pm 

Come over to downtown Brevard at twilight to watch the official tree lighting ceremony at dusk.  You can also enjoy live music, food trucks, shopping, and other festivities.  Enjoy Christmas carols, crafts, and a s’mores station, and shop at your favorite local shops.    

How hot does it get in Brevard NC?

The average temperature in the summer is about 72 degrees F.  The hottest temperature ever reached in Brevard was a record high of 97 degrees F, which occurred on June 19, 1984.

Does it snow in Brevard, NC?  

Yes, on average, they get just under 12 inches of snow per year.  

Why are white squirrels only in Brevard?

What is Brevard known for? One unique thing about Brevard is the white squirrels.  You’ll hear many theories on how they came to live there, including that they escaped a carnival truck that flipped over. 

Each year, they have a White Squirrel Festival, which takes place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday preceding Memorial Day.

What to do in Brevard NC is to see the white squirrels
White Squirrel of Brevard

How far is Brevard NC from Asheville NC?

Asheville NC to Brevard NC is about 35 miles and a 45 min drive 

Where is Brevard NC compared to the following:
Atlanta GA to Brevard NC is about 170 miles and takes 3 ½ hours to drive
Charlotte NC to Brevard NC is about 126 miles and just under a 2 ½ hour drive  
Gatlinburg TN to Brevard NC is about 105 miles and a 2 ½ hour drive
Knoxville TN to Brevard NC is about 140 miles and just under a 3 hr drive
Greenville SC to Brevard NC is about 50 miles and under a 1 ½ hr drive

Where to Stay in Brevard NC?

Unique Waterfall Home
Apartment near downtown
Beautiful views just minutes from downtown Brevard

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoy the information on Brevard; it’s such a cute down, and so much to do in the area.  Get out there and explore all the amazing waterfalls and hiking in the Brevard area

When you are wondering what to do next time you are in Brevard NC, keep this page in mind. We hope you enjoyed this list; there is something for everyone and even free things to do in Brevard, NC.

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