One of my favorite mountain towns to visit is Black Mountain, located about 16 miles east of Asheville. It has the cutest downtown, delicious restaurants, great places to grab a local beer. Also, it makes for the perfect weekend getaway. It takes just a little under 4 hours to get to from Raleigh. It is named for the mountain range that borders the town to the north. It’s originally known as Grey Eagle to the Cherokee and Catawba Native Americans. They lived and hunted here, Black Mountain was founded in 1893.
We parked our car at the hotel for the weekend and spent our time enjoying the walkable downtown. We were visiting the local shops, trying new restaurants and beers, and exploring this charming town. Here’s what to do on your weekend getaway!
Weekend Travel: the Best Things to Do in Black Mountain, NC
What to Do & See in Black Mountain, NC
Take a Walk Around Lake Tomahawk Park
Lake Tomahawk Park is located right in town. It is walking distance from Monte Vista Hotel. Also, it’s where we stayed for the weekend, and bustling downtown. This .55 mile trail is most flat and easy to navigate. We took a quick stroll before heading out of town on Sunday to stretch our legs before being in the car for 4 hours and the trail offers beautiful views of the area.
Explore the Local Shops
The downtown scene has quite a bit going on ranging from delicious restaurants, breweries, and shops. David and I visited several that we enjoyed, including Seven Sisters Gallery, C.W. Moose Trading Co., and WNC Outdoor Collective. Other must visit spots that we enjoyed: Antiques on Sutton, BAD Craft, Old Depot Arts & Crafts Center, Bone-a-Fide Pet Boutique, Bramblewood, and Black Mountain Home & Accents. Really, you can spend the whole day getting lost popping in and out of these spots.
Catch Live Music at RailYard Black Mountain
The RailYard will officially open soon to offer a fun space for craft brews & cocktails, smash burgers, local food and craft vendors, events, service opportunities, and live music. We got a sneak peek while we were in town and we loved the space. We went back after dinner to listen to live music and grab a drink and kept talking about how we would spend a lot of time there if we lived in Black Mountain. Keep tabs on the official opening by following along here & mark your calendar for April 15 to check it out.
If you are interested in exploring outdoors more…
It’s the Year of the Trail, after all! Be sure to check out Lookout Trail for a more moderate to strenuous option or walk around Lake Susan for an easier option. Both are located outside of Black Mountain in Montreat. For more options, check out this list.
Where to Eat & Drink in Black Mountain, NC
Make a Reservation for Dinner at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails
Milton’s is the restaurant located right in the lobby of Monte Vista Hotel, so we were thrilled to dine here after our drive up. Milton’s Black Mountain offers a seasonal menu of regionally-inspired Southern food, including starting out with corn bread muffins served with sweet cream and jalapeño jam. For a starter, David and I shared the pimento cheese while David ordered shrimp and grits for his entree and I ordered the country fried chicken. We would highly recommend all again–it was delicious!
Enjoy Breakfast at Louise’s Kitchen
Louise’s Kitchen has been a long time favorite of mine! David and I grabbed a light breakfast here before we started our day on Saturday. David ordered a bagel with plain cream cheese, honey, and strawberries while I got a bagel with pesto cream cheese and a blood orange pomegranate mimosa and we each got a side order of breakfast potatoes.
Dine Outside at Foothills the Grange
I love this spot so much! It is such a cool spot with plenty of seating both on the patio off of the main building, an indoor bar with additional seating, and both covered and uncovered picnic tables. There is a permanent food truck serving up Foothills’ classics menu of house ground hamburgers, their secret recipe hot dogs, specialty sandwiches and famous tallow fries. David ordered their Hotdog Brothers’ Hotdog all the way with their tallow fries while I got the Classic Lil Cheeseburger without onions & ketchup with tots. Their tots are outstanding — definitely order them as your side!
The metal work that is along the patio was done after the skyline view from the patio. I loved that touch and think this is the perfect spot to spend a bright, sunny afternoon!
Grab a Beer at Black Mountain Brewing
After our lunch at Foothills Grange, we popped across the street to grab a drink at Black Mountain Brewing. I *love* the Roberta Flack mural (read more about it here). Black Mountain Brewing keeps 7 taps going and has a variety of non-alcoholic beers, ciders, and seltzers. There is a two story deck in the back that leads to the onsite food truck, Smoke, that serves up sharable plates and paninis.
Sit Back and Relax with Dinner at The Pure & Proper
This restaurant was perhaps the most recommended spot for us around town and it absolutely lived up to the hype and more! It is a beautiful space (check out the renovation process on their Instagram!) and their food is out of this world good. We started with the stecca bread that is served with roasted garlic and cultured butter. David ordered the crispy chicken and I ordered the flat iron steak and Brussels sprouts that is served with ricotta. We finished with buttermilk pie, and while I’m not one for sweets, this was absolutely my ideal dessert. Not too sweet and I had a pour over coffee with it.
The Pure & Proper is an all-day eatery and I look forward to checking it out for breakfast and lunch the next time we’re back in town!
Get Chips & Queso & Tacos at Taco Billy
Before heading out of town on Sunday, David and I stopped at Taco Billy for lunch. We started the chips and queso and we each tried the Yard Bird and Santi tacos. Our favorite was the Santi taco — it had great flavor! Taco Billy has such a fun, laid-back vibe with lots of artworks that feature a goat. They also serve breakfast tacos all day. It’s a great spot!
Where to Stay in Black Mountain, NC
Book Your Weekend Stay at the Historic Monte Vista Hotel
David and I checked in to the beautiful Monte Vista Hotel, located right in the heart of Black Mountain. This recently renovated space has been a staple in the community for over a century. The original brick building was completed in 1937 and has 33 rooms and historic features, which is where our room was. There are other wings that were added on over time and during the renovations, many of the historic elements have been preserved.
Breakfast is served downstairs for guests from 7:00-10:00AM and there is a coffee station available on the second floor all day. I loved all the sitting spaces–we took some time to relax on the front porch before dinner on Saturday, we spent some time sitting in front of the fire place to warm up after dinner, and there is a beautiful back patio with a fire pit as well. Another fun feature is the artwork that is for sale throughout the hallways of the hotel. There are some beautiful pieces a
The staff is so friendly and welcoming and the hotel is such a hub for the community! The location cannot be beat. While I know I mentioned earlier, I want to re-iterate how much we enjoyed being able to park our car and walk around all weekend.