Top Things To Do In Black Mountain, NC To Fall Head Over Heels

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Uncover the best things to do in Black Mountain, North Carolina, including breweries, restaurants, shopping, and hikes. We visit this beautiful mountain town frequently as Asheville locals and hope you love the area as much as we do.

Things To Do In Black Mountain, NC Featured Image selfie with Christine and TomPin

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An easy Asheville day trip, Black Mountain is located 15 miles east of the city, just under a 25-minute drive. The small town promises a glittering lake enveloped in the gorgeous blue-green Blue Ridge Mountains. The historic and walkable downtown boasts sugary treats, craft beer, and unforgettable restaurants.

The Cherokee lived here and the region is best known for its Southern Appalachian arts and crafts scene; visit the Black Mountain College Museum & Art Center in Downtown Asheville to learn more, which is free to the public. So, should you visit Black Mountain? Absolutely! Keep reading to see all that you can do here.

9 Best Things To Do In Black Mountain

These are just a few ways to become intimate with the town and experience Western North Carolina like a local. Then, find a one-day Black Mountain itinerary for quick and easy planning.

Eat in a former gas station or family-owned business

The Black Mountain restaurant scene won’t disappoint. We celebrated Tom’s 40th Birthday here for the food alone. Devour German sausages at Berliner Kindl. Across the street, Cousins Cuban Cafe is a must for an authentic Cuban breakfast, brunch, and lunch. The Trailhead is a local favorite for burgers and brews. Eat great local meats with the entire family at Foothills Grange. Newer to the foodie scene, dine in a former gas station at The Pure and Proper. It has the most romantic ambiance and mouthwatering food perfect for date night.

Shop for souvenirs, local pottery, and new book releases

Do I need moose-doing-yoga pajama pants and screen-printed t-shirts with bears? Yes! Peruse Black Mountain’s walkable downtown area, casually dipping in and out of shops. My favorite stores in Black Mountain include:

  • C. W. Moose Trading Company – Find mountain-themed t-shirts and souvenirs. Think bear ornaments, llama plant holders, and fox coffee mugs. I own far too many T-shirts and pajamas from them.
  • Town Hardware & General Store – Buy some Kitty Piddle soda; every WNC town has a general store, selling everything from local literature – Ron Rash and Jan Karon – to shovels. You never know what you’ll find.
  • Sassafras On Sutton – This is a giant book, toy, and coffee shop oasis filled with lit t-shirts, rainbow plush owls, botanical LEGOs, totes, board games, and the best new book releases. It’s one of my favorite area bookshops.
  • Mountain Nest – Find local artists across the South. Even as I update this article, I’m drinking coffee from a mug I bought here made by Pottery Chick. Shop for jewelry, home decor, paintings, pottery, and more.

Stroll Lake Tomahawk with the geese

Lake Tomahawk in Black MountainPin

Strolling Lake Tomahawk is one of the most soul-fulfilling things to do in Black Mountain. See baby ducks and geese. Spy vibrant blooms and fall foliage-covered trees. Visitors and locals relax, play, fish with a valid license, boat (no motors), and enjoy the 16.3-acre park with the lake at its center. Around the park, find facilities, tennis courts, a children’s playground, and a .55-mile, flat and stroller-friendly perimeter trail with bridges. Hang out at the pavilion with picnic tables, and play horseshoes.

If you enjoy Lake Tomahawk, be sure to check out even more stunning lakes near Asheville along with Asheville’s top gardens and parks.

Grab a local craft beer or handcrafted cocktail

We are professionals at boozy Black Mountain things to do. Like Asheville, find a great brewery, cidery, and distillery scene. Start in Downtown Black Mountain with Lookout Brewing Company and Black Mountain Brewing. Both have indoor and outdoor covered and uncovered seating.

A short drive outside of the walkable downtown, find Pisgah Brewing with a large outdoor space. Or, head to Black Mountain Cider & Mead, located in an industrial warehouse area, which is great for a Celiac household like ours. We love the cherry and coffee flavors. Nearby Oak and Grist Distilling Company is our top pick. Start with a gin and whiskey tasting. They make the best and most unique handcrafted cocktails. Sit outside with friends and enjoy.

Area history: You’ll recognize Black Mountain Brewing by Nurkin’s Roberta Flack mural. Flack was born in Black Mountain in 1937. She is considered one of the greatest musicians of all time. Does “Killing Me Softly with His Song” sound familiar? This mural is a part of Nurkin’s series of portraits depicting 23 North Carolinian musicians.

Celebrate the area’s history with museums and music

For free things to do in Black Mountain, drop into the Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center to learn more about Buncombe County’s history through its exhibits and collections. We appreciated learning about the floods and Black Mountain’s role in WW2. Peer in an old jail cell, and spy a map of the surrounding mountain ranges. See a former hospital bed, chamber pot, and switchboard. Grab an indie-written history book, and ask the helpful staff questions. The museum sits in the former firehouse.

If you are walking toward Que Sera and close to Sasafrass on Sutton, you’ll also come across The Old Depot. Learn more about the railroad, check out the red caboose, and visit The Old Depot Gallery, which is also free.

Lastly, catch a performance at White Horse Black Mountain (*check their events page as they temporarily closed for renovations in March 2024).

Devour vegan donuts and perk up with coffee

For sweet things to do in Black Mountain, head to any of these delicious places for dessert or coffee:

Overnight at a Bed and Breakfast

Tom and Christine on porch swingPin

We like to park at Lake Tomahawk and walk Downtown Black Mountain. Along the way, pass beautiful B&Bs and neighborhoods with eye-popping architecture. Even though we live 25 minutes away, we staycation/overnight at a Bed & Breakfast (they’ve seen quite the turnover in recent years, though). A few places to check out include the Black Mountain Inn with an on-site garden and the Red Rocker Inn, a 1896 Victorian with a casual fine dining restaurant.

Hit the nearby trails

The Seven Sisters in Black MountainPin
The Seven Sisters

One of the most popular things to do near Black Mountain: hike! From Lake Tomahawk, spy Black Mountain’s The Seven Sisters. This mountain range spans about 3.5 miles and leads to Graybeard Mountain’s summit, which technically is not one of the “Sisters.” Around this area, find a series of trails. Graybeard Trail (written Greybeard on the park’s informational board) is a difficult 9-mile, full-day hike. We enjoy nearby Catawba Falls (reopening May 2024) about 20 minutes away in Old Fort. A popular Western North Carolina waterfall hike, trek 3 miles round trip to a cascading 100-foot waterfall.

More nearby Asheville hiking trails: Little Bearwallow Falls and Wildcat Rock are 30 minutes away in Gerton. Or, drive 40 minutes to enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway hikes like Craggy Gardens, Craggy Pinnacle, and Little Butt/Big Butt. You might also enjoy this popular Blue Ridge Parkway guided tour.

Road trip across Western North Carolina

Black Mountain makes for a great home base to explore Western North Carolina. For more things to do near Black Mountain, we recommend visiting WNC’s fun mountain towns and cities. Our top picks include:

  • Hendersonville for Southern restaurants, museums, breweries, wineries, and apple orchards; peruse our Hendersonville guide.
  • The Village of Flat Rock, immediately next to Hendersonville, for a gorgeous park, theater, and the Carl Sandburg home.
  • Lake Lure and Chimney Rock for the Flowering Bridge and Chimney Rock’s 535-million-year-old monolith.
  • Our Asheville home filled with attractions like Biltmore Estate, the Asheville Salt Cave, and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. Enjoy rooftop restaurants, museums, breweries, and James Beard award-winning restaurants.
  • Weaverville, next to Asheville, with quirky restaurants like Stoney Knob Cafe, a dog park serving drinks, and a Bob Ross Bar. Read our guide to exploring Weaverville.

One Day Black Mountain Itinerary

Get a quick snapshot to plan your day in Black Mountain:

Tom with donuts at Dough HousePin
Dough House donut run


  • Grab breakfast or brunch at Cousins Cuban Cafe, Dough House, Open Oven, or Louise’s Kitchen
  • Stroll Lake Tomahawk
  • If open, head to the Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center


  • Eat lunch downtown at Trailhead, My Father’s Pizza, Black Mountain Pizza, or Veranda Cafe
  • Dip in and out of shops, including Sassafras on Sutton for books
  • Grab a coffee at Dripolator
  • Gin and whiskey taste at Oak & Grist
Cocktails at Oak and Grist DistilleryPin
Oak & Grist Distillery
Tom with fish at the Bush FarmhousePin
Bush Farmhouse


  • Dinner at Berliner Kindl, Que Sera Restaurant, or Bush Farmhouse
  • Drinks at a craft brewery like Lookout Brewing Company or Black Mountain Brewing
  • Settle into a quaint Bed & Breakfast

What do you love to do in Black Mountain? Let us know in the comments.

Christine and Tom selfiePin

Christine Frascarelli

Christine (pronouns: she/her) is the owner and lead writer of Uncorked Asheville. After falling in love with those gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, Christine and her husband Tom decided to call Asheville, North Carolina home. When her pointy Italian nose isn’t stuck in a book, Christine is adopting all of the kitties, getting lost in the forest, and drinking an ESB. She has a BA in English and History from Smith College, her MLIS from USF-Tampa, and is a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar - Indonesia. Christine also owns The Uncorked Librarian LLC with books and movies to inspire travel.


  1. We have been vacationing in Black Mountain for the last 10 years or so. We fell in love with the quaintness and friendliness of the residents as well as the natural beauty of the surroundings. Since we live in Cary NC which is only a 3 hour or so drive, we go there several times a year. One day we would love to buy a house there 🤞

    1. We love Black Mountain for the same reasons. Even as Asheville residents (25 minutes away), we love staying overnight and waking up in town. We still have to visit Cary! I hope you get to buy that house one day. We love those gorgeous Black Mountain bungalows. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Been to Black Mountain in 2008 and brother it has changed and grown. After going back twice last year we fell in love with Lake Tomahawk so much that the wife and I bought a vacation house there with beautiful Mountain View’s from our back porch. At Montreat we met an older couple like us who told us not to wait to buy. We love to stroll through town, shop, eat and feel part of the community. Everyone is so friendly there! We did stay at Monte Vista Hotel it was nice and friendly beautiful at night but be sure you get one of their larger rooms. I understand it used to be a school and some of those rooms may have been for teachers.

    1. Yes, I’ve heard Black Mountain has really grown and changed. I was recently in Florida near one of our old neighborhoods, and even in the time since we’ve been gone, we barely recognized the place – with amazing (and a few not-so-amazing) improvements. We also love Black Mountain; it’s just stunning, and you are right, people are so friendly and kind. The restaurants are delicious. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful experience. We appreciate it and so do our readers.

  3. Enjoyed two days in Black Mountain last week, a much needed break from the Florida heat. Loved Black Mountain Bistro, top notch! Burgers at Trailhead were great too. Avoid Black Mountain Golf Course at all costs…goat pasture and the worst course we played in NC in years. It’s a muni with a reasonable layout but the poor condition is beyond words.

    1. The Trailhead is delicious. We love its casual vibes and agree with you on those burgers. Oh no; we are sorry to hear that you had a bad golfing experience.

  4. If you’re black, female, or indigenous, or in any way neurotypical, know your rights before you visit. The police department will only serve you if you are white male and straight. Montreat is at the end of highway 9 in Black Mountain, very near to where I live currently, and cars speed up and down this road 20 miles over the speed limit with no regard for the noise ordinance, environmental pollution, or the safety of residents and the police will do nothing to stop them unless of course as I mentioned the driver is black, female, or indigenous.

  5. A great place to visit is Trinity Pharms Hemp Company next to my father’s pizza. They are so friendly and educational in helping others with CBD and beyond. They are very great at listening to the needs of thier customers and find just the right product/s for them. They are knowledgeable beyond belief and the sweetest souls! I adore them! They deserve an article of thier own, really!

  6. I have lived here since middle school, late ’90s. I recommend looking up Monte Vista. It’s a historic hotel, in black mountain, that’s been recreated by new owner and has welcomed a great spot. Milton’s. History, amazing food and amazing people. They are all very helpful, great staff and. One of first things built here

    1. Thank you so much for the information and great recommendation. We will definitely check it out soon; we visit Black Mountain frequently and enjoy finding more and more wonderful places. There is so much to do in Black Mountain –we love it! I appreciate it!

  7. Hi Christine! I enjoyed your article about Black Mountain since we are considering staying there when we visit in May. How far is it exactly from downtown Asheville? I also appreciate your comments on restaurants that have gluten free options since I have an allergy to gluten! Would love more recommendations!

    1. Hey Diane,

      Thanks so much! We really love Black Mountain. Black Mountain is about a 25-minute drive from Asheville, give or take about 5 minutes.

      We have a list of gluten-free Asheville restaurants here: Asheville is truly the best place to eat if you have food intolerances or allergies. I hope this list helps, and have a wonderful visit.

  8. A little heavy on the beer scene. Many delicious restaurants and unique shops in town too. Liked the featuring of Lk. Tomahawk, it’s a beautiful spot. I did visit from Asheville on day and came back several times and did buy a vacation house. It’s a charming little town!

    1. Hey Adrienne, This is true — I’m a boozy blogger, but I will definitely update the article soon to reflect more shopping and restaurants for our readers; that’s a great and extremely valid point; I appreciate it. Since you have a vacation home in Black Mountain (congrats!! I’m a little jealous here), would you mind sharing your favorite stores and restaurants with me and our readers in a reply comment? I’d love to hear what you enjoy since you are more local in Black Mountain than I am. Plus, I want to go check them out. We are always looking for new spots. Thanks so much! Have a great weekend.

  9. Thank you for the article. Our son will be attending Montreat College, adjacent to Black Mountain, this fall. The town is attractive and very pleasant and I was really struck by the variety of restaurants in such a small town. You should do an article just on the distinctiveness of the restaurants in this small town. Ill give you 4 to start, Veranda (good variety) Cousins Cuban Cafe (as good as any great Cuban restaurant in Miami!) Black Mountain Bistro (great American bistro) and La Guingette (French/Argentinian)

    1. Hey Jose. Absolutely! I was thinking about doing a Black Mountain restaurant post once we get to know them all better. I love a good Cuban and Argentinian restaurant. Thank you so much for the fabulous suggestions and starting point. I hope your son has a wonderful college experience — and that college will be back to ‘normal’ this fall. If you have some fun Black Mountain experiences while you are visiting (or across WNC), please let me know what you loved (and didn’t enjoy as much). Have a great weekend.

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