The Counselor’s Guide to the “Land of Waterfalls.”
The Adventurist, who was a summer counselor in a former life, is our resident expert. He’s here to answer your pressing questions and help you make the most of your summer stay in Brevard and Transylvania County.
Do you have any handy tips to help with my time off?
Boy, do I ever. First, get your hands on a Camp Counselor Brevard Discount Card available from your camp administrator. With it, you can enjoy substantial discounts from 20 area merchants all around Brevard and Transylvania County. Second, drop in to the Brevard/Transylvania County Visitor Center to learn everything you need to know about The Land of Waterfalls, and while you’re there grab an Adventure Guide and Waterfall Map. For the adventure-minded we encourage you to purchase the Pisgah and DuPont Trail Maps. Whether you like to hike, bike, camp, climb or paddle during your off time, these maps are all you need to get out there and start exploring the 80,000 acres of outdoor awesomeness that is Transylvania County. Locally produced by map maker Pete Kennedy, these maps are renowned for both their accuracy and their comprehensiveness. Use your discount card to purchase them at many local retailers, including The Hub, Sycamore Cycles, Squatch Bikes and DD Bullwinkles, just to name a few. Finally, grab a free copy of the Get OUT Guide, it’s a day-by-day calendar of everything happening in Transylvania County. It’s available all over town and a great way to see all the special events and happenings that are taking place on your days off. There’s also a list of all the places in the area that offer live music.
Where can I get good food on a counselor’s budget?
You can certainly go the fast food route. But there are also a ton of locally owned restaurants with good food and counselor-friendly prices. They include places like El Ranchero, Sunrise Cafe, Magpie, Mayberry’s, Henry’s, Pad Thai, Fuji Yama, Big Mike’s, Creekside Cafe, and Daggie’s, just to name a few. You can almost always find tasty inexpensive eats from the food trucks at The Hub and Oskar Blues, where there’s often live music as well. Check out my full restaurant list here. If you’re interested in a special treat, head up to the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway, where you can take in the views while dining on native trout and other tasty traditional mountain fare.
Where’s the air conditioning?
AC is a rare commodity at summer camps. But don’t sweat it. Brevard has a ton of great places where you can cool off — while you’re having a good time. The Brevard/Transylvania County Visitor Center is a relaxing spot where you can learn more about the county and use our free wi-fi. Also consider the Rockin’ Bowl, where you can channel your inner Big Lebowski on 18 lanes of waxed wood wonderfulness. The Co-Ed Theatre is another sure bet for chilling out while watching first run flicks. While not technically “air conditioned,” the pool at Franklin Park is a great place to cool down, and it only costs $2.
I need to catch up with my friends back home. Where can I go to get online?
You’re in luck. There are lots of places where you can find a comfortable spot, a reliable internet connection and, in many cases, a good cup of joe. For starters, consider Quotations Coffee Shop, Bracken Mountain Bakery, Blue Ridge Bakery, Cup & Saucer or the Transylvania County Public Library.
Arts is my thing. Where can I get a fix?
Proceed directly to the Transylvania Community Arts Council (TCARTS) website. Here you can discover every studio, gallery and crafts workplace in the county. Whether you’re interested in a print-making lesson at the Printing Press, a pottery lesson from Mud Dabbers or just want to peruse the amazing art collection at Haen Gallery, Red Wolf Gallery or Number 7 Arts, this is a great resource.
Adventurist, what was your favorite thing to do on your day off, back in the dark ages when you were a counselor?
Watch it now. It wasn’t that long ago (okay, it was a previous century). Seriously, though, my favorite activity is still possible. When I had time off, I’d pack a picnic lunch and head over to the Brevard Music Center and I’d walk the campus. Lame you say? Just try it — and follow your ears. Over by the duck pond you’ll hear soaring voices that suggest an opera rehearsal is in full swing. Down by the stream, catch a string quartet perfecting a Mozart minuet. Across the campus you’ll hear a violin here, a clarinet there, and the sound of a french horn echoing across the hills. Then stop by Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, plop yourself in a front-row seat and watch as Maestro Keith Lockhart (or some other world-class conductor) takes an 80-member orchestra through its paces on a challenging Beethoven score. It’s truly a goose-bumps-on-the-arms kind of experience. And here’s one more tip: when you arrive, make a bee-line for the cafeteria. At the entrance you can find the daily schedule of all the rehearsals, from full orchestras to chamber groups to brass bands. And to top it off, the experience is free. You can also get discount tickets for performances at the BMC box office.