We asked our son to skip work from his children’s stationery business and bring his family up to Brevard, NC, so our grand kids could strike it rich at the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine. We met his family before the doors were even open. They thought they were going to have to walk through a muddy mine, so they all wore old shoes, t-shirts and jeans, only to find out it’s super clean and tidy inside the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine…
While my teenage granddaughter shopped for precious stones, my two other grand kids (along with mom, dad and Nana) sat at the 52-ft.-long flume and “worked” hard, sifting through large buckets full of sand and dirt…
Their “hard work” turned into joy and excitement with each gemstone they found…
When they had emptied their buckets they collected their gems and presented them to Crystal Mountain Gem Mine owner Chris Cloer, who described each gemstone to our prospectors. To their surprise and excitement, they had found two rubies that could be worth over $1,000 when they’re cut, polished and mounted…
Special thanks to Chris and his crew at the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine for a terrific time with our grand kids. My grand kids agree that Crystal Mountain Gem Mine is one of the most fun children’s activities in Brevard, NC. It’s open seven days a week, and conveniently located at 31 S. Broad Street in Brevard. (Map)
After all the excitement at Crystal Mountain Gem Mine we headed across the street to the famous OP Taylor’s Toy Store. Although our grand kids were very familiar with “the coolest toy store on the planet” our poor, adult son had never seen it. I think he enjoyed himself at the racetrack with my grandson…
Afterward we headed down the block to Rocky’s Grill and Soda Shop for lunch…
Nana had a delicious salad and once again, grandpa set a good example of eating-healthy with two grilled Hebrew National kosher hot dogs. They truly are the best on the planet…
Sadly we said goodbye and parted ways outside Rocky’s Soda Shop…
If you’re looking for an old-fashioned fun place to eat, stop by Rocky’s Grill and Soda Shop in Brevard. It’d directly across Main street from the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine. (Map)
Posted by Steve Wike in on June 9, 2016
Air Museum of WNC (Map)
1340 Gilbert Street, Hendersonville, NC | Phone: 828-698-2482
The Western North Carolina Air Museum features award winning restored and replica antique and vintage airplanes, and houses flight manuals, engines from historic aircraft, photos of historic airplanes and pilots, and models of historic airplanes. There is no admission charge. Check the web site for hours of operation.
Pearson’s Falls and Glen is the top natural attraction in Polk County, NC, hosting over 20,000 visitors each year. It is located in the foothills of Western North Carolina off Hwy. 176, between the towns of Tryon and Saluda, and not far from Flat Rock and Hendersonville. This unique botanical preserve is comprised of 268 acres of rich cove forest, granite, spring-fed streams, and a moderate 1/4 mile trail to a beautiful 90 ft. waterfall. Pearson’s Falls and Glen has over 200 species of rare wildflowers and plants that bloom mainly in the spring months, but there is always something blooming in summer and fall. Mosses, lichens, shrubs, and a variety of trees reside in this Glen, which is classified as a deciduous climax forest. Pearson’s Falls is a perfect stop when visiting the area, with picnic facilities that can accommodate small groups and cyclists. To learn more about Pearson’s Falls and Glen, check out our website or Facebook.
Pura Vida Adventures
155 New Hendersonville Hwy., Pisgah Forest, NC 28768 | Phone: 772-579-0005
Pura Vida Adventures offers safe personal trips to families and small groups. They focus on exploration, discovery, and adventure, by providing guided tours and instructions in hiking, canyoneering, paddling, climbing, biking, and more.
Burntshirt offers award-winning wines and spectacular vineyard mountain views. Expert Tasting Room associates guide guests through a tasting that educates and entertains in the renovated farmhouse. Burntshirt Vineyards offers a wide variety of venues, including Summit Hall, The Barrel Room, Gazebo, Patios and Landscaped Gardens. The Tasting Room is open 7 days a week all year, Sunday thru Thursday 12 –6, Friday & Saturday, 12 –7. Winery tours daily at 2, meet at the tasting room.
The Coston Farm offers pick-your-own apples and a large variety of pre-picked apples, plus all kinds of fall decorations, including pumpkins, gourds, corn shocks, hay and Indian corn. The bakery has fried apple pies, homemade apple pies, apple bread, homemade cookies, fresh cider, frozen cider slushies, apple butter, jams, jellies, and more. Seasonal… check out the Apple Ripening Calendar on the Coston Farm website.
Prospect for real gem stones that you can keep, including rubys, sapphires, emeralds, quartz crystals, citrine, amethyst, garnets, adventurine, sodalite, opal, fluorite, aquamarine and more.
Grandad’s Apple Orchard offers apples (pick your own, or in-store), a bakery (with delicious warm apple donuts, pies and more), pumpkins, a corn maze on a fun, 70-acre family farm in Hendersonville, North Carolina. (Seasonal: August, September and October.)
Justus Orchard offers U-Pick/We-Pick apples, blackberries, and pumpkins, and has an on-site bakery with delicious homemade apple pies (with ice cream), donuts, and apple fritters, as well as caramel apples, apple cider slushies, hot apple cider and coffee. (Seasonal: August, September and October.)
Carl Sandburg Home – Connemara
81 Carl Sandburg Lane, Flat Rock, NC 28731 | Phone: 828-693-4178
The Carl Sandburg Home (a National Historic Site, U.S. National Park Service) has five miles of trails and gardens on 264 acres. The on-site multi-media exhibit features Carl Sandburg, “Poet of the People,” and describes the Sandburg family’s life, achievements, personal belongings, photographs, and writings.
Carolina Horse and Carriage
890 Raven Drive, Landrum, SC 29356 | 803-209-1099
Carolina Horse and Carriage provides carriage tours of Hendersonville, NC (in-season) and for special events like weddings, proms, church functions, business parties, town events and holiday affairs.
Fox Mountain Guides & Climbing School
3228 Asheville Hwy., Pisgah Forest, NC 28768 | Phone: 888-284-8433
Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School is AMGA accredited, offering rock climbing and ice climbing trips and guiding in North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, and Georgia. Climbing classes and skills courses are available for all experience levels.
Hands On Children’s Gallery
318 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792 | Phone: 828-697-8333
Hand’s On is an excellent place for children, parents and grandparents to explore and learn together. Exhibits and programs stimulate curiosity, creativity and make learning fun.
Hendersonville Train Depot
Location: corner of 7th Ave. East and Maple St., Hendersonville, NC.
The Apple Valley Model Railroad Club has constructed a scenic HO model railroad representing Hendersonville and western North Carolina. The Southern Railway caboose is also open to the public.
Historic Johnson Farm
3346 Haywood Road, Hendersonville, NC 28792 | Phone: 828-891-6585
A heritage education center with animals, tours, nature trails, picnic tables and 10 historic structures on 15 acres of forest, fields and streams. Check the web site for admission fees and hours of operation.
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards (Map)
588 Chestnut Gap Road, Hendersonville, NC 28792 | Phone: 828-685-4002
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards was the first commercial vineyard in Henderson County. Located on a family farm for more than nine generations, the tasting room includes both indoor and outdoor seating with spectacular views. Saint Paul wines are made from 14 varieties of grapes grown in two locations at elevations of 2,300 and 3,000 feet, some of the highest in the state. Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards offers a wide variety of venues, indoor and outdoor, for weddings and other special events. The tasting room is open year round.
Sky Top Orchard (Map)
3403 Greenville Hwy., Flat Rock, NC 28731 | Phone: 828-692-7930
Sky Top Orchard offers 20 varieties of apples, both pick-your-own and already picked. They also have fresh apple cider, caramel apples, jams and jellies, pumpkins, gourds, and honey. In addition, Sky Top has an on-site picnic area, playground, hayrides, ponds with ducks and geese, and a ‘barnyard’ area with sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and more. (Seasonal: August, September and October.)
STJ’s Inflation Station
710 Tracy Grove Road #C3, Flat Rock, NC 28731 | Phone: 828-696-0674
An inflatable bouncing playground with an indoor party zone for hosting private celebrations.
Western North Carolina Agricultural Center and State Fair
1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher, NC 28732 | Phone: 828-687-1414
The WNC Ag Center is the home of the North Carolina Mountain State Fair, numerous horse and livestock functions, large scale conferences, exciting events, and trade shows. Check the WNC Ag Center web site for schedules and admission fees.
In addition to the attractions listed above, you’ll find more activities under…