While Asheville lays claim to a host of accolades from magazines and travelers across the world, nearby Hendersonville reaps much of the overflow attention — and visitors. The city of Hendersonville is a short 40-minute drive from your cabin door at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds. Let us tell you why it’s worth the trip.
Year-Round Charms As more and more people have discovered nearby Hendersonville and its reasonable housing costs, especially for young families and retiring seniors, the city has seen an upsurge in downtown business and activity. You’ll now find trendy art shops, restaurants and galleries on the historic six blocks that make up the downtown area. Hendersonville, just off I-26 south of Asheville, offers autumn treats to visitors every year during the apple bounty for which the area is renowned. Every Labor Day weekend, the town welcomes thousands of guests to its annual Apple Festival, where you can grab a bushel of fresh-picked apples or taste everything from apple fritters and fried apple pies to apple cider and apple butter. Among the other charms of Hendersonville’s downtown, a few businesses stand out:
- Wickwire is a shop that focuses on Americana with ceramics, paintings, iron sculptures and crafts that feature wildlife and mountain themes.
- Narnia is one of those curiosity shops that you’ll tell your friends about when you get back home. Part flower shop, part fairy emporium and part gift shop, the shop draws tourists and locals alike.
- Village Green Antique Mall houses 12 different vendors who sell their wares, making your browsing experience a joy. You might find a valuable antique or a whimsical memento.
Eat and Be Happy You won’t find a dearth of high-quality, unique eateries in nearby Hendersonville. Whether you need to get off your feet for a drink and appetizer or want to sit down to an array of local delights, you can find it downtown Hendersonville.
- Never Blue may surprise you when you enter — the place is painted in a dozen shades of blue. It’s a tapas bar run by artist/owner Jessie Roque, who decided to change her life and never be blue. The martinis are earning a reputation in the region and the food ranges from jalapeño poppers to Black Sea Bass marinated in lime. Try the chicken wings submerged in a Thai peanut-cashew sauce that Roque calls Chings.
- The Grove Street Inn is a classic diner with an upscale menu that includes New Zealand Lamb Shanks Slow-Braised in Porter Beer and Roasted Wild Shrimp and Chorizo Sausage in a Smoked Tomato Sauce over Parmesan Polenta. That’s a mouthful, as is the burger you’ll find on the menu.
- Bistro 502 is located,you guessed it, at 502 Main Street. It specializes in French cuisine made from mostly local ingredients. The restaurant specializes in French comfort food like Cassoulet, Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon. Enjoy your meal as you can sit at one of the window seats and watch as life passes by on Main Street.
- West First Wood-Fired has developed a reputation for wood-fired pizza and exceptional Italian fare, such as Lamb Tagine and Garlic and Fresh Herb Gnocci. They offer full bar service with a selection of local beer.
And if you’re into wine, Henderson County is home to two distinctive vineyards: Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards and Burntshirt Vineyards. Both offer tastings and sales. History in Nearby Hendersonville If you like to pick up a little history from the places you visit, you’ll find plenty of it in Hendersonville. And if you feel like traveling to adjacent areas, plan to visit Flat Rock, Brevard or Bat Cave. But while you’re in nearby Hendersonville, you can visit:
- Henderson Country Historical Museum
- WNC Air Museum
- Mineral and Lapidary Museum
- Historic Johnson Farm
Make a day of it in nearby Hendersonville.