Area Attractions ~ Asheville Area ~ Blue Ridge Mountains
Historic Downtown Hendersonville and the Village of Flat Rock
Melange is conveniently located in historic Hendersonville in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, near the Village of Flat Rock. Hendersonville is located 22 miles south of Asheville, NC on a plateau of 2200 feet above sea level.
The heart and soul of Hendersonville is the tree-lined Main Street that reveals a shopping and dining district of more than 100 businesses with traditional southern hometown charm in a classy style. Catch a festival, parade, show or live music in Downtown. The focal point is the copper dome of the Old Courthouse with its statue of “Lady Justice,” the Greek goddess Themis of divine justice and law holding a sword in her right hand and scales in her left. It is believed to be only one of three in the United States without a blindfold. Catch an Old Timey Day, and shop for plants, produce, homemade art and baked goods, a traditional heritage of many local generations at the Curb Market, celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2011.
The historic Village of Flat Rock came to prominence when affluent prominent plantation owners of the South’s low country and European transplants built summer estates. Specialty shops and restaurants add a new spin today.
Cultural and Creative
Flat Rock Playhouse is the State Theatre of North Carolina. It is located in the quaint village of Flat Rock (next door to the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site). What began as a few weeks of summer performances in 1940 is now an eleven month season of shows including concerts, Broadway musicals, comedies and dramas. The barn-like appearance of the main stage facility is reminiscent of Flat Rock Playhouse’s summer stock beginnings, but today it houses state of the art lighting and sound systems, and electronic stages. The auditorium seats 506 patrons in air-conditioned comfort. There is reserved seating for patrons with special needs and assistive listening devices are available at no additional charge. In 2011, Flat Rock Playhouse’s new downtown Hendersonville theatre “Playhouse Downtown” with seating for 250 opened at 125 South Main Street – just steps away from downtown restaurants, bars and retail establishments.
The Arts Council of Hendersonville celebrates its 53rd anniversary in 2012 with the highly popular Art on Main, and the self guided tour of Open Studio weekends. Browse through Art Galleries in Hendersonville, Flat Rock, and the greater Asheville area. Visit Mona, the artistic and inspirational art couture in Hendersonville. The Brevard Music Center, has a summer festival with big name concerts and music recitals. Attend to one of the concerts and shows of Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2012. Music, dance and theatrical performances are at the center of Asheville’s finest theater, the Diana Wortham Theater at Pack Place, about 25 miles away.
Museums and Displays
Hendersonville’s settler and Cherokee past is displayed at the County Heritage Museum. Crack a Geode and take it home at the Mineral and Lapidary Museum. Visit Connemara, Carl Sandburg’s home and farm where he has spent the last part of his poetic life, and visit nearby St. John in the Wilderness Episcopal Church, where many well-known members of declaration of independence and southern aristocracy have family plots in its churchyard.
Of course, no trip to Western North Carolina is complete without visiting the Biltmore House, the largest privately owned home in America. In Asheville, stop at the Blue Ridge Parkway Heritage Center, and the Folk Art Center, the most popular attraction on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Nature at Its Best
Don’t miss the DuPont State Forest , one of the area’s best natural and recreational attractions with over 10,000 acres including 5 waterfalls and 80 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horse-back riding. Bring a lunch; picnic sites with tables are available. DuPont’s popularity skyrocketed following its featured role in the “Hunger Games” film and national magazines. The forest had a historic-high 358,000 visitors in 2012, nearly half of whom parked at Hooker Falls.
Chimney Rock State Park is another nearby natural attraction covering 1000 acres with an elevation of 2,280 feet overlooking Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge,. The 1992 production, Last of the Mohicans, was filmed here and at Du Pont State Forest. Plan a late afternoon cruise — perhaps combined with a dinner at a lakeside restaurant — and you will be treated to wonderful scenery second only to Lake Tahoe.
Visit the state-of-the art greenhouse, bonsai garden, special exhibits, and nature trails at the 434-acre North Carolina Arboretum.
Take a picturesque 20 mile drive to the Pisgah National Forest and experience one of the best vistas of the Blue Ridge Parkway via US 64/US 276 West. Once in the forest, the visitor will be rewarded with Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock and the trails and exhibits at America’s first forestry school, Cradle of Forestry. Mount Pisgah’s 5721 ft peak is a 1,5 mile trek from the parking lot close to Pisgah Inn or go back to US 64 and drive for another 45 minutes on US 64 to Panthertown Valley, America’s Yosemite of the East.