The legions of tourists flocking with blinders on to Asheville are missing out on a gem less than an hour away: Brevard, which is known as North Carolina’s “Land of Waterfalls.” Home to over 250 waterfalls of varying sizes, the town offers up outdoor beauty and a host of family-friendly activities.

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Aerial view of Brevard and a couple hiking, looking at a scenic mountain view
Explore Brevard

A trip to Pisgah National Forest must include stops by Sliding Rock — a massive boulder where thousands of people come every summer to slide into an eight-foot-deep pool of frigid water — and Looking Glass Rock Trail, which offers 1,700 feet of elevation and incredible views to those who can brave the moderately challenging hike. Nature lovers will want to watch out for wildlife, too, especially the famous white squirrel, which Brevard celebrates during White Squirrel Weekend, an annual festival with food, live music and a car show.

Two women walking in downtown area while shopping
Explore Brevard

Residents who want to take time off from hiking, biking, paddling and rock climbing can explore Brevard’s walkable downtown, which is filled with shops and restaurants. Start the day perusing handmade furniture and antiques at Underground Salvage Co. (be sure to say hi to the shop cat, Dust), then peruse the impressive collection of nostalgic and new toys at O.P. Taylor's. Grab a bite on The Square Root’s outdoor patio — try the local trout with crawfish stuffing — and end your night with a concert at 185 King Street.