Brevard’s history dates back to the early 19th century when European settlers began to establish homes in the region. The city’s name pays homage to Ephraim Brevard, one of the key authors of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Over the years, Brevard has evolved into a charming mountain town with a strong sense of community and pride in its heritage.
Nestled in the lush Appalachian landscape, Brevard is surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest. With its close proximity to waterfalls, hiking trails, and outdoor recreational opportunities, Brevard is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
Let’s have a look together at the best 15 things to do in Brevard, NC:
1. Explore the breathtaking beauty of Pisgah National Forest
Nestled in the heart of Brevard, lies the enchanting Pisgah National Forest, a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Spanning over 500,000 acres, this pristine wilderness offers a captivating tapestry of lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and awe-inspiring mountain vistas.
Here you might be greeted by a diverse ecosystem, home to numerous plant and animal species, including the rare white squirrels that have become a symbol of Brevard.
Good to Know: Pisgah National Forest is steeped in history and was one of the first national forests established in the eastern United States. It holds remnants of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) projects from the 1930s, which contributed to the park’s development.
2. Visit the charming downtown area
Brevard’s charming downtown area exudes a warm and welcoming atmosphere, beckoning visitors to immerse themselves in its delightful blend of history, culture, and small-town charm.
The charming downtown is also home to a remarkable collection of outdoor murals that tell the stories of Brevard’s past and its natural wonders.
Good to Know: Brevard is often called the “Land of Waterfalls,” boasting over 250 cascades scattered throughout the region. Some of the most famous waterfalls, such as Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock, are easily accessible from the downtown area.
3. Attend a live performance or event at the historic Brevard Music Center
For music enthusiasts, a visit to the historic Brevard Music Center promises an unforgettable experience. Founded in 1936, the center has a rich musical legacy and continues to nurture exceptional talent and host world-class performances.
From classical concerts to contemporary shows, the Brevard Music Center’s calendar is filled with a diverse array of events that cater to a wide range of musical tastes.
4. Discover the Transylvania Heritage Museum
Nestled in the picturesque town of Brevard, Transylvania Heritage Museum invites you to uncover the fascinating history of the region. Housed in a beautifully restored courthouse, the museum showcases a captivating collection of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that chronicle Transylvania County’s rich heritage.
From its Native American roots to its transformation into a vibrant community, the museum offers an insightful journey into the area’s past.
5. Enjoy outdoor adventures like tubing or kayaking on the French Broad River
For those seeking exhilarating outdoor experiences, Brevard offers a myriad of activities along the meandering French Broad River.
Strap on your life jacket and embark on a tubing or kayaking adventure, floating gently down the river’s scenic stretches.
6. Explore the fascinating exhibits at the Cradle of Forestry in America Historic Site
Deep within the heart of Pisgah National Forest lies the Cradle of Forestry in America Historic Site, a testament to the conservation efforts that shaped the nation’s forests. As the birthplace of forest conservation in the United States, this site commemorates the work of Dr. Carl Schenck, a renowned forester who established the country’s first forestry school here in the late 19th century.
Engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and guided tours offer an in-depth exploration of forestry history and its enduring impact on the environment.
7. Take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway
A journey to Brevard wouldn’t be complete without a leisurely drive along the breathtaking Blue Ridge Parkway. Known for its awe-inspiring vistas, the parkway winds its way through the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering panoramic views of rolling hills and endless horizons.
As you travel the winding roads, don’t forget to stop at overlooks and take in the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds you.
8. Visit the Waterfalls of Transylvania County and experience the natural wonders of the area
Prepare to be enchanted by the mesmerizing waterfalls scattered throughout Transylvania County, North Carolina. Known as the “Land of Waterfalls,” this captivating region boasts more than 250 cascades, each offering its own unique charm.
From the majestic 411-foot drop of Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Rockies, to the tranquil beauty of Looking Glass Falls, a visit to these natural wonders promises an unforgettable experience in the lap of nature’s grandeur.
9. Experience the unique white squirrels that are native to the region at the White Squirrel Festival
Get ready for a one-of-a-kind celebration of local wildlife at the White Squirrel Festival in Brevard. Transylvania County is renowned for its population of rare white squirrels, a genetic variant of the Eastern gray squirrel.
The festival pays homage to these charming creatures with lively events, music, arts, and local crafts, creating a festive atmosphere that delights visitors of all ages.
10. Go birdwatching and wildlife spotting at the North Carolina Arboretum
For nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers, the North Carolina Arboretum is a haven of biodiversity waiting to be explored. Situated near Brevard, this botanical garden offers serene trails and lush landscapes, providing a perfect setting to spot a wide variety of native bird species and wildlife.
The arboretum’s tranquil surroundings provide an excellent opportunity to connect with nature’s inhabitants.
11. Attend the Brevard Music Festival, a delightful celebration of music and arts
Held annually in the summer, this esteemed event brings together renowned musicians and emerging talents from around the world. From classical masterpieces to contemporary compositions, the festival’s diverse repertoire caters to music lovers of all tastes.
Good to Know: The Brevard Music Festival offers a range of performances, including orchestral concerts, chamber music recitals, and opera productions, making it a cultural extravaganza not to be missed.
12. Relax at the beautiful Gorges State Park and enjoy its hiking trails and waterfalls
Escape to the natural oasis of Gorges State Park, a haven of tranquility and beauty in the heart of North Carolina. This breathtaking park invites you to unwind amidst lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque hiking trails.
From leisurely walks to challenging hikes, the park’s diverse trail system offers something for every adventurer. Be sure to witness the awe-inspiring Rainbow Falls and Turtleback Falls, where the glistening waters create a mesmerizing spectacle of nature’s wonders.
13. Taste local flavors at the Brevard Brewing Company
Quench your thirst for local culture at the Brevard Brewing Company, where craft beer meets community spirit. This lively brewery is a gathering place for locals and visitors alike, offering a warm ambiance and an array of handcrafted brews to savor.
Treat your taste buds to a flight of distinctive beers, each crafted with passion and care, and gain insights into the art of brewing during informative brewery tours.
14. Take a guided tour of the historic and mysterious Looking Glass Rock
Venture into the past and the enigmatic as you embark on a guided tour of the iconic Looking Glass Rock. This awe-inspiring rock formation, steeped in geological mysteries, has captivated generations with its allure.
Explore its fascinating history and geological significance, accompanied by knowledgeable guides who unravel the secrets of this natural wonder.
15. Enjoy stargazing and astronomy programs at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI)
Nestled in the Pisgah National Forest, this institute offers unparalleled stargazing experiences and astronomy programs that ignite a sense of wonder in visitors of all ages.
Gaze at distant constellations, planets, and celestial phenomena under the guidance of expert astronomers, making for an unforgettable and enlightening experience.