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Brevard is a small town that’s packed with lots of charm, nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina. In addition to being conveniently located near Asheville and Hendersonville, it’s also situated at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest. Because of its beautiful scenery, variety of activities and moderate climate, it’s a favorite with both locals and tourists just passing through. From mining for gems and waterfall hikes, to craft beer and unique shops, there’s a little something for everyone here – no matter what your interests.
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There’s no need to traverse the North Carolina mountains to find hidden treasure – you can find it right in the middle of downtown Brevard at the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine. You and your family can have an authentic mining experience at the Mine’s 52-foot long indoor water flume, where you have the chance of finding a variety of gemstones like rubies, emeralds, amethyst, sapphires and more. And, you get to keep whatever you find! There’s also a rock and fossil shop on-site where you can shop gifts, décor, jewelry and minerals from all over the world.
If you’re looking for a beautiful hiking trail, look no further than the Graveyard Fields trail in Brevard. This beautiful hiking trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway got its unique name from the many tree stumps that used to be in the area that resembled grave markers. From the parking area at mile marker 418.8, you can take a short hike to the Lower Falls or continue on the four mile Graveyard Fields Loop trail to reach the second waterfall – Upper Falls. During the summer and fall, the area may be busy on the weekends. Particularly at the Lower Falls, which is a popular swimming hole when the weather is warm.
Brevard Brewing Company, a family-owned establishment in the heart of Brevard, was the first brewery to open in Transylvania County. They specialize in hand-crafted lagers and are the only brewery in Western North Carolina to do so. Their goal is to provide beers that are both flavorful and drinkable, no matter what your preferences are. So, in addition to their lagers, they also offer ales, IPA’s, pilsners and more. There’s even a selection of wine and cider for the gluten free folks!
One of the most unique things about Brevard, NC is their claim to fame – a population of white squirrels that are so rare that biologists don’t even recognize them as a species. These unique critters are not albinos (since they have dark eyes and sometimes have streaks of grey fur), so the mystery of how they came to be continues. Although, legend has it that they originated from a carnival truck that overturned in the area in the 1940’s. They’ve become so popular with the locals, however, that there’s now an annual festival held in their honor and the City Council passed an ordinance to protect them!
These days, everyone buys their toys online and has them shipped to their home. But, in the good ol’ days, kids got excited about going in to the toy store with their mom and dad to pick out a treasure. And O.P. Taylor’s is bringing back those days. In fact, it was named as one of the top ten toy stores in the world by U.S.A. Today. Although, there are now two other locations in Asheville and Greenville, the location in downtown Brevard is the flagship store and features over 6,000 square feet of toys, games and hands-on fun. But, all of the toys spread across the store’s eight rooms are imagination-powered, meaning you won’t find any tablets or video games here.
The town of Brevard and Transylvania County date all the way back to 1861. Which means, there’s a long and rich history in the area. And, The Museum of Transylvania Heritage, located on Main Street in Brevard, celebrates that history through a variety of gallery exhibits and traveling exhibits, as well as a Children’s Garden where children can come and learn about gardening.