3 Days in Brevard, NC
Brevard, NC is a charming town with a walkable downtown filled with shops (including a great toy store), restaurants, antiques, and art galleries. It’s located just 33 miles from Asheville. It’s also home to Dupont State Forest, which offers plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails to explore. The Hunger Games movie was filmed at Dupont, where you can visit Triple Falls, the most recognizable mountain scenery in the movie.
You've Arrived- Check in to your lodging in Cedar Mountain or downtown Brevard. Eat lunch at Rocky’s Grill and Soda Shop in downtown Brevard and then enjoy a nice stroll downtown. If you're in the mood, visit Crystal Mountain Gem Mine before heading to Oscar Blues Brewery for a snack and beverage. Enjoy dinner at the food trucks at Oscar Blues, dine downtown, or pick up dinner to eat at your cabin.
To avoid the crowds, depart early for Dupont State Forest. Hike to Triple Falls and walk over the covered bridge at Buck Forest Rd. If you didn't pack a picnic, eat lunch or a late breakfast at the Cedar Mountain Cafe and Canteen in Cedar Mountain. Later, take a swim at Fawn Lake or Hooker Falls swimming holes, visit Symmes Chapel for photos, and wrap up the day with dinner at Magpie and Three.
Wrap up your weekend with breakfast at Cedar Mountain Cafe or Bracken Mountain Bakery in Brevard. On the way out of town, stop at Moore Cove Falls to walk behind a waterfall.
Where To Stay
You have two great locations to choose from: 1) the Cedar Mountain community offers a mountain feel and is the closest location to Dupont State Forest or; 2) you can enjoy being within walking distance to downtown Brevard with its restaurants, cinema, and shops (and still just 14 miles -roughly 22 minutes from Dupont State Forest).
Cedar Mountain Lodging
The Cedar Mountain community is located at the door step of Dupont State Forest. It is a short drive to the popular waterfall hikes and its homes are tucked away in mountain laurel. You can stay in a lovely, very quiet, and private setting but still enjoy wonderful food at Cedar Mountain Cafe and Canteen located within a minute’s drive. If you wish to venture to Brevard from here, it’s only a 20 minute drive.
Heads up: We are not sponsored in any way and have never received compensation at the behest of any organization or company. If you book one of our recommended properties from our VRBO or booking.com links, you won’t pay a penny more but we may get a small commission which helps support this website. Thanks! Disclosure Statement.
Summer Haven. VRBO 360522. We stayed at this 3 bedroom/2 bath home, sleeps 4. Would absolutely return and loved being just 1 mile from Dupont State Forest. We really enjoyed the covered front porch for card games and explored the nearby outdoor Faith Memorial Chapel, just a short walk from the house. Better yet, we could bring our golden retriever with us on this vacation! $170 average nightly stay.
New, rustic cabin near Brevard, Pisgah Forest. VRBO 925977. Located in the same Cedar Mountain area as the place we stayed. It’s newer and looks great. 2 bedroom but has beds for 6. $175 average night stay.
Pisgah Forest Luxury Lodging
Pilot Cove offers luxurious cabins on 64 acres of land with direct access to hiking and mountain bike trails. It's an expensive basecamp but just may be worth it.
Downtown Brevard Lodging
If you want to walk to shops and restaurants, this is where you should stay. It’s only a 25 minute drive to all of the hiking and biking opportunities found at Dupont. All of the options below are within walking distance to downtown Brevard.
1. Downtown Brevard House, Walkable To Downtown Restaurants, Brewery's And Shopping. 2 bedroom/2 bath, sleeps 7. VRBO 896188. Walk to everything but fairly private. $168 night.
2. Downtown Brevard Cottage - Hot Tub / Echo / Pets. VRBO 659507. 3 bedroom/2 bath, sleeps 6. Within a 10 minute walk to town and all it offers. One of the more popular downtown rentals. $165 night
3. Walk to Downtown Brevard. VRBO 750082. 3 bedroom/2 bath, sleeps 4 max. Beautifully restored century home located in the arts district. $170 night.
4. Red House Inn is another option for small families. We have stayed here in their Taylor-Epworth Suite. It’s a 1 bedroom with sleeper sofa. We can’t say enough good things about it. Tasteful furnishings, incredibly yummy breakfast, and walkable location to downtown. $205 night. Red House Inn also rents several off property vacation rentals: The Barn Studio sleeps 3 for $158 night; 103 Franklin House sleeps 6 for $225 a night; and the Guest House sleeps 4. Unfortunately, breakfast is not included for the vacation rental homes.
5. If you’d like a unique, retro-style hotel, check out the recently renovated Sunset Motel. It gets great reviews, is affordable, and walkable to downtown. They offer a standard 2 queen room for $109 a night and a 1000 square foot cottage for $129 night.
Camping- Davidson River Campground is a large, fairly crowded campground on the Davidson River. It’s a great location though. Remember to bring bikes to bike the trail along the river. For tent campers, try to get a site in the no-generators Poplar Loop. You can reserve a site in advance-definitely recommended for weekend visits.
Tip: Checkout nearby Ecusta Brewing. Food trucks and cold beer. 49 Pisgah Highway
Welcome to Brevard!
Day 1 Lunch- Roll into town and head to Rocky’s Grill & Soda Shop with its authentic 1950’s old fashioned lunch counter. Enjoy a burger and an ice cream float or one their famous milkshakes. If you are traveling with your pup, they have a few tables outside. 50 S Broad St. Open 10am-6pm. Tip: Let the kiddos pick out a special candy treat from their “Candy Corner” to take on your hike tomorrow.
After lunch, stroll down Main St. to window shop and enjoy the the relaxing downtown vibe. Make sure to check out O.P. Taylor’s Toy Store. Browse through two floors loaded with toys for kids of all ages. Fun for adults too with lots of retro toys, a race track kids can play with (and you too), and a terrific selection of LEGOs. 16 S. Broadway; 10-6pm; 12-5pm on Sunday.
Day 1 Afternoon-Crystal Mountain Gem Mine - My girls LOVE gem mining. We have not visited this particular shop in downtown Brevard, but the reviews are very good. From their web site: “At Crystal Mountain Gem Mine we have a gigantic 52 foot long indoor water flume! At the flume you and your family will become prospectors and mine for your very own gemstones! Yes, you get to keep everything you find! Even if it's a $17,000 Ruby.” A Little Miner Bucket (1 gallon) will set you back $10. Monday - Friday 11am - 5pm; Saturday: 10am - 6pm; Sunday: 12pm-5pm
Day 1 Dinner-If you’re not planning to cook at your vacation rental, consider stopping by Oscar Blues Brewery for dinner. They have a nice outdoor patio, and a food truck serves burgers and tacos from 4-7pm Monday through Thursday, and 12-8pm Friday and Saturday. Sunday 12-6pm.
You can also schedule a free tour of the brewery. Dale’s Pale Ale is their flagship beer, and they can their own line of sodas “B. Stiff & Sons” for all to enjoy. 342 Mountain Industrial Drive.
Day 2 morning-Get up early to beat the crowds at Dupont State Forest. Have breakfast at home or go to Cedar Mountain Cafe located near the entrance of Dupont. Opens at 8am Monday-Sunday.
They make everything in-house and it’s super yummy. 10667 Greenville Hwy.
Dupont State Forest
Dupont State Forest has it all: mountain biking, hiking, waterfalls, and lakes. The most famous hike in Dupont is highlighted here, but there are many more miles to explore if you have time. If you’d like, stop by the Visitor Center at High Falls Access Area to get the lay of the land.
Day 2 Morning Hike- Hike to High Falls, Triple Falls, and visit the Covered Bridge. From High Falls Parking area (Buck Forest Road), you will be able to hike to both High and Triple Falls and make a stop at the Covered Bridge. You can continue on to Hooker Falls if you’d like, but we chose not to.
Instead, we visited Hooker Falls for a quick swim later in the day. Hooker Falls seemed more crowded than the other falls and I could have skipped it if not for its nice swimming hole. Pack a picnic, relax, and channel your inner Katniss at Triple Falls where the stars filmed many scenes.
Directions to High Falls Parking Area:
From Brevard (Crab Creek Rd)- Go south for 4. 0 miles on DuPont Road which turns into Staton Road. Go past the Hooker Falls Access to High Falls Access Area on the left.
From Cedar Mountain (US 276)-Turn north and go 2.5 miles on Cascade Lake Road and then turn right on Staton Road at the DuPont State Recreational Forest sign. Follow Staton Road 1.3 miles to the High Falls Access Area on the right.
The High Falls/Triple Falls Hike: From the High Falls parking area, begin your hike by going past the gate and hike along Buck Forest Road for about 1/3 mile. Then turn left onto Triple Falls Trail. In about 20 yards, that road will split again, with the left fork continuing down to Triple Falls (2/3 mile) and the right fork going to High Falls (¼ mile). If you’d like to see the covered bridge, follow signs and then retrace your steps back to the Falls loop trail.
For more info including directions to the park’s access areas (parks), check out Dupont's informative website.
Day 2 Lunch- If you didn’t pack a picnic, you can grab lunch at Cedar Mountain Cafe until 2pm.
Day 2 Afternoon- Visit Symmes Chapel or visit a swimming hole at Hooker Falls or Fern Lake.
Symmes Chapel, aka “Pretty Place”- If you want an incredible photo shoot, it’s worth the long, windy drive up the mountain for this breathtaking and remarkably peaceful view. If your kids still wake up at the crack of dawn, this would be a wonderful place to shoot a sunrise! It’s beautiful any time of day though. Fred W. Symmes Chapel is part of the YMCA Camp Greenville. It welcomes visitors to enjoy the Chapel during daylight except when it is in use for campers’ Sunday and Monday morning worship services, or for another reserved event (weddings, dedications, memorial services, etc.) Tip: Make sure to check their website to make sure you can visit--i.e. no wedding events, etc.
Note: Cedar Mountain Cafe is a short 1.5 miles from the turn-off for the YMCA Camp Greenville.
Hooker Falls Swimming Hole
Do the kiddos want to swim? The 12-foot waterfall, Hooker Falls, creates a great swimming hole on hot summer days. Hooker Falls is easy to access via a 1/4-mile trail from the parking area. You will come to an observation deck above the falls first. Then continue on the trail to the pool in front of the waterfall. In the summer, it's a very popular swimming hole and was a bit too crowded for my taste, but it didn’t dampen the girls enthusiasm whatsoever.
Note: This is the only waterfall area in DuPont State Forest that is safe for swimming. There are porta-potties at the parking area. You can find nicer restrooms at the Visitor Center a short drive away at the High Falls access parking area.
Fawn Lake- Located in Dupont State Forest, this small lake is reached in less than a 1/2 mile walk from the parking area. The water here is generally a little warmer than the stream-fed swimming holes, and it has a pier that leads to the deeper section of the lake. After parking at the Fawn Lake Access Area, take the main trail/gravel road less than ½ mile to Fawn Lake.
Directions: From downtown Brevard, go south 10.9 miles on US-276. Turn left at Cascade Lake Road. Make an immediate right on Reasonover Road. Go 2.8 miles. Turn left into Fawn Lake Access Area.
Day 2 Dinner-Magpie Meat and Three. Get your southern food fix here. If you can, sit outside where they have a fire pit and corn hole. Children’s menu available. Open 11am-9pm and closed Sunday and Monday. Located just outside of Brevard’s downtown proper. 170 King St Unit C.
FYI: Located just up from Magpie Meat & Three, you’ll find Underground Salvage Co. The huge warehouse is filled with furniture, old doors, knobs, windows, tools, signs, magazines, maps, records, wood, industrial kitchen items--you get the idea!
228 W French Broad St. Open 10-5pm .
Day 3 Morning-Pack up, have breakfast, and stop at Moore Cove Falls on your way out of town. Grab a coffee and assorted baked goods to go from Bracken Mountain Bakery located at 42 S. Broad Street. Opens at 7:30am. Closed Sundays and Mondays in the off season. Check their website for current hours.
Moore Cove Falls-This easy 1.5 mile roundtrip hike will take you to Moore Cove Falls where you can walk behind the waterfall. Pretty cool! It’s just a 17 minute drive from the Bakery.
Tip: The hike is located roughly 6.5 miles on the right along Highway 276 just past Looking Glass Falls but before Sliding Rock. There are no signs on the highway for the hike, but an information board near the parking lot will let you know you’re in the right place.
The trail begins on the bridge side of the info board. Cross the wooden foot bridge across Looking Glass Creek and head uphill for a short distance. That's the steepest part of the trail. At the top, head to the right and follow the yellow blazes on the trees.
Directions: From the intersection of Highway 64, 280 and 276 north near Brevard, drive north on Hwy 276 for about 6.5 miles and pull off in the paved area on the right side of the road, just before a stone bridge.
Want to get out on the water? Headwaters Outfitters offers several different water adventures including a 2-3 hour lazy tube float down the cool water of the French Broad River. $20 per person. Reservations recommended.
Brevard is known as a mountain biking town with trails in both Pisgah Forest and Dupont. Located just down the road from Davidson River Campground, the Hub will set you up with everything you need including bike rentals, trail info, and a cold draft beer. Per their website: “BIKES. OUTDOOR GEAR. BEER. That is our mission here at the Hub. We are here as a friendly community driven bike shop and outfitter dead set on providing the local knowledge, top notch service and products needed to facilitate your next adventure.” Open M-F 10-6; Saturday 9-6; and Sunday 10-5. 11 Mama's Place, Pisgah Forest, NC
Rainy Day Activities
(Fortunately, we had cloudy but nice weather during our trip and did not need to sample these activities. If you do, let me know your thoughts!)
Co-Ed Theater, Main Street, Downtown-This 75 year old theater is located downtown at 79 W. Main St. The prices are great for first run movies ($6.5 matinees, $7.50 evenings). Shows typically run daily at 1pm, 4pm and 7pm.
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI)- I’m personally fascinated by this activity located just 30 minutes from Brevard. Here’s their website blurb: “Explore a 200-acre former NASA facility — Tucked into the scenic mountains of the Pisgah National Forest, the 200-acre PARI campus is a former NASA facility packed with activities for people of all ages. You’ll see the massive 26m radio telescopes that tracked our first satellites during the infancy of the U.S. space program. These historic instruments are used today to probe the far reaches of outer space. Enjoy scenic mountain views, hike nature trails, see Space Shuttle artifacts and satellites, visit a world-class collection of rare minerals and meteorites— and more, much more!!!”
Address: 1 Pari Dr, Rosman, NC. PARI is open to the public for self-guided tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday. $6 per person/Buy 3 tickets get 1 free; 10 and under free. They also offer stargazing programs. Check their calendar for dates and schedule in advance if at all possible.
Sierra Nevada Brewing-Take a tour of this grand, beautiful brewery. Kids must be 12 and older to take the tour and you must sign up in advance. Any age is welcome to come by for lunch or dinner in their massive farm-to-table menu-inspired restaurant boasting 400 indoor seats, a big outdoor dining terrace, and plenty of tasty beers on tap. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., 100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River, NC.
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