Stunning natural beauty, world-class performing arts, and outdoor adventure all come together in a town with fewer than 8,000 people.
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"I got here in 1986 and thought I had landed in heaven," says basket artist Joe Bruneau, who manages Brevard's arts cooperative, Number 7 Arts. "It's absolutely beautiful."

With pristine parklands and 250 waterfalls, Brevard and its surrounding Transylvania County beckon both outdoor adventurers and artists. Every summer, 500 promising young musicians are chosen for the annual Brevard Music Center Summer Institute & Festival, with some 80 concerts taking the stage from late June to early August. The BMC's artistic director is alumnus Keith Lockhart, principal conductor of the Boston Pops and the chief guest conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in London. Lockhart's parents have lived in Brevard for 30 years, and his grandparents lived there as well. Each summer in the North Carolina mountains is a homecoming for the world-renowned maestro. "Every year is extraordinary," Lockhart says. "All these young people come from diverse backgrounds. They're unsure of themselves and where they fit in. Then we start to make music, and none of that matters anymore."

STAY

Sleep under the Stars

Go "glamping" in one of the luxury yurts at DuPont Yurts, where camping in a tent comes with all the conveniences of a cabin. The glampground (about 11 miles from downtown Brevard) is about a mile from the DuPont State Forest trail access, so you can bike to your outdoor adventure. (Rates from $190 per night in spring, summer, and fall).

Bunk Indoors

Book one of the seven guest rooms at the Bed & Breakfast on Tiffany Hill, a member of the Southern Living Hotel Collection (rates from $225 per night). Guests are served a three-course gourmet breakfast throughout their stay. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the treehouse-like cabins at Pilot Cove (rates vary upon season). Or browse local rental cabins through Transylvania County Tourism.

EAT & DRINK

Pick up a batch of scratch-made breads and pastries from Bracken Mountain Bakery. Other local favorites include Rocky's Grill & Soda Shop for lunch and The Falls Landing Eatery for dinner. Stop by Brevard Brewing Company and Oskar Blues Brewery for hand-crafted lagers.

Pisgah Tavern
After a day of outdoor adventures, kick back at the Pisgah Tavern at The Hub.
| Credit: Robbie Caponetto

DO

Explore local parklands, including the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, DuPont State Recreational Forest, and Gorges State Park.

Check performance schedules at the BMC's terrific open-air Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium and Brevard College's Scott Concert Hall at the Paul Porter Center for Performing Arts

Shop for local art at 4th Friday Gallery Walks held downtown, or drive the 13-mile Scenic 276 Arts Corridor, with galleries, studios, markets, and more.

The French Broad River Paddle Trail provides public access to over 140 miles of the river, along with campsites.

Want a guide? Headwaters Outfitters offers guided (wade or float) fishing trips plus tubing, kayaking, or canoeing excursions. Davidson River Outfitters has over 10 professional fishing guides and access to 3 miles of private trout streams, as well as public parklands.

For adventures on land—or a place to relax and chat up the locals—head for The Hub. Socialize at its Pisgah Tavern, and find anything you need for hiking or biking at their retail shop. The Hub sits at the entrance to the most popular area in Pisgah National Forest.