Explore Brevard’s 48-Hour Winter Wonderland
If you’re looking to escape the winter doldrums, there’s no better destination than Brevard and Transylvania County. Explore Brevard’s Winter Wonderland itinerary is perfect for a weekend (or weekday) getaway. Our handy accommodations finder and specials page will help you find a great deal and locate the perfect spot to hang your hat – or your wool stocking cap.
Morning – The Enduring Appeal of Pisgah
Winters in Transylvania County are typically mild, which means that with the right clothing choices, you can be quite comfortable exploring the outdoors. Better yet, the winter views are generally spectacular with the contours of the mountains even more pronounced. You’ll also see how prolific our evergreens, rhododendron, spruce, and mountain laurel are – great swaths of dense green color provide an appealing contrast to the rest of the forest in its winter adornment.
On your first day, start in Pisgah National Forest. Here you’ll find multiple trails of varying lengths and features. Some to consider are Looking Glass Rock, John Rock, Moore Cove Falls and the Pink Beds. We recommend downloading the AllTrails app (free) as a handy way to determine which trails are most appropriate for you interests and fitness level. The Pisgah Forest Ranger Station is also a great resource for information on trails and insights into the local flora and fauna. While there, don’t miss the Andy Cove Trail. It’s a short (less than a mile) hike into a scenic cove, complete with boardwalks and a rustic swinging bridge. The bridge was highlighted in a story featuring many of Transylvania County’s swinging bridges in the September 2022 issue of Our State.
If you’re a mountain biker, we recommend stopping in one of several outstanding bike shops (see the list on this page). They can provide expert advice on where to ride and even set you up with a rental that’s perfect for you and your riding style.
Lunch – Hungry for More
A vigorous hike or mountain bike ride can surely work up an appetite. Near the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, you’ll find a range of food options, including everything from platters of fried catfish and hushpuppies to North Carolina barbecue, and some of the most delightful ice cream choices around. Discover all our dining options here.
Afternoon – Get Your Feet on the Street
After a great lunch, there’s no better place to get your blood moving again than in downtown Brevard. Indulge in some retail therapy at our amazing shops. Explore the many wonderful galleries and studios, where you ‘ll find that perfect, one-of-a-kind keepsake. Take a break with a glass of wine or a cup of cider, tea, or coffee at an inviting café.
Evening – A Taste of the Town
While many mountain communities settle in for a long winter’s nap, Brevard is always open and offers delectable choices for dinner. Discover an amazing collection of restaurants in downtown Brevard as well as throughout the unique communities of Transylvania County. Whether you’re looking for a romantic candlelit dinner or a relaxing spot that offers burgers and local brews, we’ve got you covered. Our craft beer scene is second to none so be sure to try one of our local stouts, ales, porters, pilsners, or IPA’s at Oskar Blues, Brevard Brewing, Upcountry Brewing, Ecusta Brewing and Noblebrau Brewing.
Morning – Breakfast in Brevard
An active day calls for a good breakfast and Transylvania County offers a long list of great spots to start the day. In Brevard, you’ll find amazing bakeries along with a host of great spots with heartier fare that will stoke your furnace for another day of adventure. For a full, sortable list by restaurant type, go here.
North Carolina’s Land of Waterfalls
Transylvania County is home to over 100,000 acres of spectacular public lands. On Day 2, explore further afield with options in DuPont State Recreational Forest and Gorges State Park. Either destination is perfect for waterfall hunting. In DuPont, be sure to check out this triumvirate: High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls. All three can be reached by easily accessible trails leaving from the Hooker Falls parking lot. Friends of DuPont Forest has a wonderful website that provides a full list of trails. They also provide regular trail updates.
If you opt for Gorges State Park, you have multiple trails from which to choose. We recommend the Upper Bearwallow Falls and Rainbow Falls trails if you’re looking to see some great waterfall action. Also be sure to check out Gorges’ beautiful visitor center, which will give you great insight into the geological marvels of this rugged and beautiful part of Transylvania County.
Lunch – The Hunger Games
DuPont was famously the location for this hit movie – and if you’re hungering for a bite to eat after your waterfall excursions, check out the nearby community of Cedar Mountain. On the doorstep of DuPont, Cedar Mountain offers several choices for dine in or take out, including Cedar Mountain Café, Cedar Mountain Outpost, Cedar Mountain Canteen, Cedar Mountain Moonshine, and Creekside Market & Grill.
If you journey to Gorges State Park, Toxaway has some great food options to consider. As always, our sortable dining guide here is an indispensable tool to help you find just what you’re looking for.
Afternoon – Crafting a Memorable Experience
Ever wanted to learn how to throw a clay pot? Tie a fly? Paint a masterpiece? Brevard has loads of creative options where you can get in touch with your inner artist. A great place to start is the Transylvania Community Arts Council, which offers a wide assortment of instructional classes. If you’re more of an art admirer, TCARTS maintains an outstanding art gallery with multiple shows throughout the year. If you’re visiting downtown Brevard, you’ll find a host of wonderful galleries showcasing exceptional jewelry, paintings, sculpture, pottery, and glass. Or take a ride along Route 276 with its noted galleries and studios, where you can create your own special piece of art or take home the wears of our talented local artists.
And for those in the know about the art of fly fishing, Headwaters Outfitters offers Tuesday Night Fly Tying in the Forks of the River Taproom, and Davidson River Outfitters also offers fly tying classes for every level of experience.
Evening – Farewell Dinner
There are so many wonderful food options in and around Brevard that you’re sure to enjoy another memorable dinner on night two. It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on your experiences of the last two days. As always, our sortable dining guide is the perfect resource.
Ending on a High Note
No matter what your musical interests, Brevard serves up some of the best live music experiences in western North Carolina. Brevard Music Center’s Fall and Winter Parker Concert Hall Series offers a wide variety of concert experiences – from fingerpicking master Tom Rush (February 7) to an evening of music with Woody Platt (former lead singer of the Steep Canyon Rangers) and Shannon Whitworth (Tuesday, February 28). Also check out Brevard Philharmonic’s schedule of events, which includes a chamber concert on March 12. In addition, there is always music somewhere in Brevard which offers a host of live music venues and jam opportunities. For more information, just tune in here.