Nestled in the heart of Transylvania County, North Carolina, Brevard is a small, peaceful city with a rich history and plenty of things to keep visitors entertained. The quaint downtown streets offer the opportunity to browse antique stores, art galleries, and unique boutique shops, and there are several fascinating museums to visit as well, including the WNC Military History Museum and the Transylvania Heritage Museum.

The town also serves as a gateway to the Pisgah National Forest, and if you like to spend time outdoors, there are plenty of opportunities to hike, camp, and visit beautiful waterfalls.

1. Art Loeb Trail

Art Loeb Trail
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Stretching for just over 30 miles between Haywood County and the Davidson River Campground just outside Brevard, the Art Loeb Trail is widely regarded as one of the best hikes in North America. The trail is typically hiked from south to north, and it crosses through the Black Balsam region and over four 6,000-foot mountain peaks, including the Black Balsam Knob, Grassy Cove Top, and the iconic Pilot Mountain. Hikers that want to traverse the entire trail should allow themselves at least two or three days, and there are several peaceful backcountry camping spots along the way.

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2. WNC Military History Museum

WNC Military History Museum
© WNC Military History Museum

Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Brevard, the WNC Military History Museum tells the stories of veterans who have served in American military in the 20th and 21st centuries. Many of the items on display have been donated by veterans and their families, and each room of the museum is dedicated to a different war, including World Wars I and II, the Vietnam War, and the war on terror in Afghanistan. There's also a Special Exhibits room that features a rotating series of exhibits on various war-related topics. Admission is by donation, and the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday.

21 E Main St, Brevard, NC 28712, Phone: 828-884-2141

3. Slick Rock Falls, Brevard, NC

Slick Rock Falls, Brevard, NC
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Nestled in the Pisgah National Forest, Slick Rock Falls is a beautiful 30-foot waterfall named for the slippery rocks at its top and at its base. It's located down a gravel logging road, but once you get here, the falls themselves are only 50 feet back from the road. Visitors will enjoy the beautiful nature no matter what the time of year, but the waterfall is at its best during the spring and after a heavy rainfall. If you want to spend the night, there's a small camping area right across the road from the falls. More North Carolina weekend getaways

Pisgah National Forest, Brevard, NC

4. Silvermont Park, Brevard, NC

Silvermont Park, Brevard, NC
© Silvermont Park

The former home of the wealthy Silversteen family, Silvermont Park is a gorgeous 8-acre park with an elegant Colonial Revival mansion sitting at its heart. A lovely wheelchair-accessible path leads through the park's well-maintained gardens, and visitors are also welcome to use the park's basketball courts, tennis courts, children's playground, and picnic areas. Guided tours of the mansion are available on Thursday evenings and Friday afternoons between May and October, and every October, the park hosts the Pumpkin Fest, which features local musicians, family-friendly games and activities, food trucks, and a stunning display of carved pumpkins.

364 E Main St, Brevard, NC 28712-3835, Phone: 828-884-3156

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5. Whistlestop Market, Brevard

Whistlestop Market, Brevard
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Established in 2003, the Whistlestop Market is an excellent place to visit if you want to pick up some groceries or browse a wonderful selection of North Carolinian products. It originally started out as a farm-to-table produce stand, and although the local, seasonal produce sold here is still one of the biggest draws, there are plenty of other things available for purchase as well, with highlights including raw honey, high-quality meat and dairy products, and freshly baked bread made by one of the best bakeries in town. As a bonus, local wine and craft beer are usually sold here as well.

7825 Greenville Hwy, Brevard, NC 28712, Phone: 828-877-5081

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6. Transylvania Heritage Museum, Brevard, NC

Transylvania Heritage Museum, Brevard, NC
© Transylvania Heritage Museum

Housed inside a historic house built at the end of the 19th century, the Transylvania Heritage Museum is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn about the history of Transylvania County. The main exhibit is rotated on a regular basis, and a diverse range of topics are covered, including everything from the methods used to create traditional handicrafts to how transportation has changed over the years. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday between March and mid-December, and between April and October, it also offers guided walking tours of Brevard once a month.

189 W Main St, Brevard, NC 28712, Phone: 828-884-2347

7. Haen Gallery

Haen Gallery
© The Haen Gallery

Located in the artsy Lumberyard District, the Haen Gallery is a contemporary art gallery with a focus on large scale sculpture. The collection includes work by talented local, regional, and national artists, and visitors are always welcome regardless of whether or not they can afford to purchase a piece. The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday, but visitors can also make an appointment to visit outside of opening hours. If you'd like to take one of the many beautiful pieces of art home with you, the gallery also offers a sculpture installation service to make the process as easy as possible.

210 S Broad St, Brevard, NC 28712, Phone: 828-883-3268

8. Crystal Mountain Gem Mine, Brevard, NC

Crystal Mountain Gem Mine, Brevard, NC
© Crystal Mountain Gem Mine

Families don’t have to travel far to experience gem mining in Brevard. All they have to do is head over to Crystal Mountain Gem Mine in the downtown area to enjoy the unique activity of hunting for beautiful gemstones. Fun, easy, and great for all ages, visitors to Crystal Mountain Gem Mine can try their hand at searching for stones like emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, among many others, via a 58-foot-long water flume. Prospectors here can keep everything they find with guests taking home amethyst, obsidian, aquamarine, and possibly a 17,000-dollar ruby. The mine also has a rock and fossil shop to visit where patrons can purchase crystals and gems from all over the world, pick up great home décor, and other potential gifts for family and friends.

31 S Broad Street, Brevard, North Carolina 28712, Phone: 828-877-4700

9. Allison-Deaver House, Brevard, North Carolina

Allison-Deaver House, Brevard, North Carolina
© Allison-Deaver House

Constructed in 1815, the Allison-Deaver House is the area's oldest standing frame house, and it offers a fascinating glimpse at the history of western North Carolina. The building was originally modeled after the row houses that were popular in England at the time, but it has undergone several changes over the years, most notably the double porches that were added in the 1850s. Visitors are welcome to stop by the house on weekend afternoons between early May and mid-October, and if you'd like to visit outside of this time, you might be able to arrange a special appointment.

2753 Asheville Hwy, Brevard, NC, Phone: 828-884-5137

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10. The Inn at Brevard, North Carolina

The Inn at Brevard, North Carolina
© The Inn at Brevard

Originally the home of a wealthy widow who moved here from Virginia in 1885, The Inn at Brevard is an elegant antebellum mansion that has been welcoming out-of-town guests since 1940. Every room is decorated with period furnishings and authentic antiques, and art lovers will appreciate the many beautiful paintings that can be found all throughout the inn, most of which come from the owners' private art collection. Delicious homecooked breakfasts are available upon request in the mornings, and the inn also has some beautiful event spaces that can be booked for fully catered weddings, meetings, and other special events.

315 E Main St, Brevard, NC 28712, Phone: 828-884-2105

11. Things to Do: Brevard Brewing Company

Things to Do: Brevard Brewing Company
© Brevard Brewing Company

There’s something special about a beautifully handcrafted beer and at the Brevard Brewing Company, patrons can discover what that is with its passionately created lagers. Opened in 2012, Brevard Brewing Company is Transylvania County’s first brewery and promises to deliver beers that are flavorful as well as flavorful. The family-owned and operated brewery also holds the distinction of being the only one to specialize in lagers within western North Carolina. Cold-fermented and aged twice the amount of time as ales, lagers carry a unique flavor and demand a higher standard of brewing. Sip on clean, smooth, and crisp brews care of Brevard’s signature cans such as their Lager, Red Ale, Dunkel, and IPA.

63 E Main Street, Brevard, North Carolina 28712, Phone: 828-885-2101

12. Things to Do in Brevard, North Carolina: The Square Root

Things to Do in Brevard, North Carolina: The Square Root
© The Square Root

For 11 consecutive years, The Square Root has been voted the top restaurant in Brevard by the Mountain Xpress Magazine. One visit to the restaurant is all it takes to understand why. Situated within a gorgeous and restored historic building in downtown Brevard, The Square Root dishes up incredible food in a cozy and beautifully decorated dining space. Adventurous and picky eaters alike are bound to find something mouthwatering to enjoy. Sink your teeth into luxurious menu offerings like the North Carolina Mountain Trout, Cedar Plank Salmon, or the Hanger Steak, or fresh small plates like the Poke Ahi Tuna Nachos, Duck Liver, and Cognac Pate, or the Fig and Grilled Chicken Salad. Enjoy your meals or a drink outside on the patio, within the cozy indoor dining room, or atop the restaurant's locally crafted wooden bar.

33 Times Arcade Alley, Brevard, North Carolina 28712, Phone: 828-884-6171

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13. Things to Do in Brevard: TO.P. Taylor’s

Things to Do in Brevard: TO.P. Taylor’s
© O.P. Taylor’s

Looking for the coolest toy store on the planet? You may just find what you’re looking for at O.P. Taylor’s, the top-ranked toy store in the south. With three locations in the Carolinas, Brevard is home to the original store, a 6,000-square-foot establishment that is located nearby popular restaurants and other unique stores. Within this playground of a toy store, patrons will find thousands of toys, games, and memorabilia that will bring a bright smile to any child’s face. Find classics like Etch A Sketches, pick up a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. LEGO Set, snag huge puzzles, plushies, yoyos, and more. Truly, there’s no shortage of incredible finds at O.P. Taylor’s.

16 South Broad Street, Brevard, North Carolina 28712, Phone: 828-883-2309

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