Named one of Southern Living’s best mountain towns in the south, Black Mountain is full of charm and hospitality. Just 15 minutes east of Asheville, guests are immediately enamored by Black Mountain’s friendly demeanor, along with the picturesque backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Black Mountain’s safe and welcoming vibes, make this an excellent locale to spend your next vacation. With a population of around 8,000, it would be easy to overlook this hidden gem. However, despite its size, Black Mountain and the surrounding Swannanoa Valley are home to over 200 businesses, including numerous restaurants, summer camps, conference centers, colleges, and more. Visitors can stroll through Black Mountain’s beautiful Town Square and visit an authentic general store, various art galleries, local bakeries, coffeehouses, pubs, breweries, bookstores, and more.
Of course with Black Mountain being considered the “Front porch of the Blue Ridge Mountains" and all, the streets in town are lined with wooden rocking chairs to welcome visitors and make them feel at home.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Black Mountain offers guests endless options to pursue while they are in town. Being surrounded by breathtaking mountains means there’s no shortage of hiking and biking trails, scenic walks and greenways, lakes, and waterfalls to explore. Black Mountain is also a pet-friendly community, with many businesses opening their doors to guests and their furry friends, as well as Riverwalk Park, Black Mountain’s only dog park.
Lake Tomahawk Park
Lake Tomahawk Park provides visitors and residents alike a place to play, walk, swim, gather, commune, and relax. Park amenities include a picnic pavilion, fishing pier, playground, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, public swimming pool, walking trail, and The Lakeview Center, a 5,485 two-level event facility. With dramatic views of the Seven Sisters Mountain range, the walking trail is the most used amenity at Lake Tomahawk and the most scenic. A lap around the lake is approximately .55 miles and open every day of the year. The pavilion features ten picnic tables and one small charcoal grill for visitors to use. Fishing is also allowed at Lake Tomahawk, but you will need to have a valid North Carolina fishing license.
Black Mountain Center for the Arts
Black Mountain's renovated former town hall and jail, The Black Mountain Center for Arts was established in 2000 and serves as an artistic hub for the community. The Center is a draw for locals and visitors alike, offering a variety of services, classes, and programming. Take advantage of enjoying local concerts and theatre performances or enjoy a private lesson in the clay studio as a great compliment to any romantic date or family activity.
Black Mountain Golf Course
Established in 1929, the Black Mountain Golf Club, located at the foot of the beautiful Black Mountain range, is a par 71, 6,215-yard 18-hole course. At one point, this course held the record for the longest hole in the world at 747 yards (par 6, 17th hole). The course is located within minutes of downtown Black Mountain and 15 minutes from Asheville. Golfers can take a break at the Tap-In Grill.
Black Mountain Escape Room
Located in the heart of downtown Black Mountain, Black Mountain Escape immerses players in an exciting story and creative set design. For those new to the world of escape rooms, it's essentially a hands-on game in which players must solve a series of puzzles and riddles within a given timeframe to escape from a set location. Perfect for birthday celebrations, bachelorette and bachelor parties, family reunions, or a night out with friends, there are 3 experiences to choose from that range from beginner to advanced.
Black Mountain Food + Drink
Black Mountain’s proximity to Asheville has lent a hand in establishing Black Mountain’s dining scene, as well. There’s a wide variety of delicious casual and fine dining restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, breakfast, and brunch spots. Check out our extensive list of dining options in Black Mountain.
In addition to delicious dining, Black Mountain is also home to a few breweries, a distillery, and a cidery/meadery! Lookout Brewery is located steps away from the Greybeard Rentals office and has been around since 2013 experimenting with small-batch beers and providing a relaxing
environment to sit down with some friends to sip a new beer. Black Mountain Brewing is the town's newest brewery and serves up everything from Black Mountain Dan's Honey Cream Ale to the Black Mountain Stout with aromas of coffee. They also have a permanent food truck that serves up yummy BBQ if you get hungry. Pisgah Brewing, just outside of downtown, is known for its IPAs, Ales, and Lagers, and their Blueberry Wheat is a fan favorite. During the colder winter months, they have an indoor tasting room to enjoy, and during the warmer months, their outdoor taproom/event space opens. This is a family-friendly and dog-friendly brewery, but keep in mind that dogs are not allowed at ticketed events.
Black Mountain Cider & Mead crafts dry cider and session mead from local apples and honey in an old furniture factory in Black Mountain. Visit their taproom to sample their small batches and gluten-free drink options. Located in the same industrial area as Black Mountain Cider and Mead, you’ll find one of the Southeast’s few 100% grain-to-glass distilleries, Oak & Grist Distilling Company. Their small-batch whiskey and gin capture the unique flavors of the region and celebrate Appalachian farmers, producers, and artisans. If it is your first visit, start with a tasting followed by a specialty cocktail. Their expansive outdoor area offers plenty of seating and beautiful mountain views, and they host numerous events and classes throughout the year. If shopping and drinking are your forte, be sure to browse outdoor gear and sip on a delicious brew at the WNC Outdoor Collective.
The White Horse is a relaxed performance venue located in downtown Black Mountain and features a wide variety of musical talent with everything from classically trained musicians to folk to bluegrass to Irish jam sessions. Established in 2020, Silverados brings legendary artists to the Swannanoa Valley at a festival-style venue where everyone has a great view of their large 3,000-capacity outdoor stage. Music acts vary across different genres including Rock, Country, Hip-Hop, and more. They're also open nightly with local musicians, karaoke, and open mic, so you can enjoy the music while playing a round of pool or shooting darts with your favorite adult beverage in hand.
Hiking and Mountain Biking
Black Mountain is located next to the prime wilderness area of Montreat. Montreat contains a huge network of hiking and biking trails with varying degrees of difficulty and beautiful views. Lookout Trail is one of the more popular trails and summits, but some other great hikes include Big Piney, Rattlesnake, and our namesake and the highest mountain in Montreat, Greybeard Trail.
Kitazuma Trail is unmatched in the Black Mountain area as a go-to spot for mountain bikers. After an intense uphill, climb you’ll have an almost 3-mile downhill ride that will end at the Old Fort picnic area. Another popular mountain biking trail is Old Toll Road. Originally carved for the Mt Mitchell Railroad and Logging Company, this trail offers an enjoyable uphill climb with a rocky downhill descent to Montreat.
More suggestions for hikes that are close to Black Mountain, can be accessed here.
Popular Black Mountain Events
- LEAF Festival (Lake Eden Arts Festival) is a bi-annual festival, which takes place every May and October. LEAF includes amazing musical performances, along with an opportunity to explore art, dance, and outdoor adventures. Over 12,000 people participate in this event on the Lake Eden grounds. All donations and proceeds raised from the festival go to support arts education programming.
- Black Mountain’s annual Sourwood Festival takes place every August in downtown Black Mountain. This kid-friendly, sourwood honey-inspired festival boasts over 30,000 attendees each year. Around 200 vendors sell arts and crafts, local food, and more. This weekend festival is free and includes kid’s rides and games, music and dancing, and the Sourwood 5K.
- The annual July 4th Street Dance & Fireworks in downtown Black Mountain features live music, dancing, local food vendors, kid’s activities, and most importantly a huge fireworks display at sundown.
- Black Mountain Tailgate Market is a seasonal, Saturday morning community market. This family-friendly market is held every Saturday starting in May and runs through mid-November. Find organic and locally grown fruits, vegetables, plants, meats, seafood, eggs, bread, and desserts. There are also numerous artists and vendors selling local arts and crafts.
- Embrace the Christmas spirit at Holly Jolly in downtown Black Mountain every year on the first Friday in December. Holly Jolly ushers in holiday cheer with all of Black Mountain’s charming shops staying open late and Cherry Street shutting down to allow pedestrian traffic only. Hop from shop to shop and enjoy complimentary hot cider, hot chocolate, cookies, and Christmas joy. There’s also live entertainment and rumored Santa sightings on Sutton Avenue near The Depot. You can also enjoy the annual Black Mountain Christmas Parade the following day (it's always the first Saturday in December).
If you are looking for a place to stay in the Black Mountain area, check out our available Black Mountain vacation rentals.