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Hendersonville Magazine

Attractions & Family Fun

Henderson County offers attractions for all ages and a variety of interests and a good place to start exploring them is the Visitor Center.

Welcome Center

Henderson County Tourism Development Authority
201 S Main Street, Hendersonville

The Welcome Center helps people discover all that Henderson County has to offer, including outdoor recreation, craft beverages, boutique shopping, agritourism, accommodations, restaurants, family activities, attractions, events and more. Stop by for maps, brochures and a complimentary Visitor Guide, and to learn more about the area. The Welcome Center also offers parking for cars and buses, public restrooms, and is the home to the Henderson County Tourism office. In 2023-2024, come see us in our temporary Welcome Center, located at the same address, while the permanent building is being remodeled.

Aquarium & Shark Lab by TeamECCO

511 N Main Street, Hendersonville
1-4 PM Wed-Sat
Free for children under 1, $4.75 for ages 1-4, $6.75 for ages 5-65, $5.75 for ages 66 and older
Special pricing for military/firefighters/EMT personnel/current teachers

The Aquarium & Shark Lab is a marine education site that brings the ocean to the mountains. The exhibits house 300+ fish, invertebrates and reptiles. Visitors can engage with student interns and docents gaining knowledge and sharing a passion for this watery world. The Aquarium & Shark Lab’s immersive presentations include raising baby sharks, behavioral training and animal imprinting, and research projects with facilities in Chicago, Australia, and the Bahamas. The Aquarium & Shark Lab features the only 2,000-gallon saltwater aquarium in Western North Carolina where small sharks and rays live. Visitors can observe tank feedings of them at 1:30PM Wednesday through Saturday.

Bullington Gardens

95 Upper Red Oak Trail, Hendersonville
9AM-4PM, Mon-Sat year-round

Bullington Gardens is a 12-acre public nonprofit garden and horticultural education center with a number of themed gardens featuring perennials, pollinator plants, herbs, native azaleas and some unusual specimen plants. It includes a distinctive collection of Japanese maples, a fairy garden (open June through August) and an extensive dahlia garden. The property also features a therapy garden for those with physical limitations and a nature trail with native woodland plants. Classes and workshops are offered year-round. Programs for school children and horticultural therapy for special-needs high school students are conducted during the school year. Operated as a partnership with Henderson County Public Schools and NC Cooperative Extension, Bullington Gardens was bequeathed by Bob Bullington, a New York City policeman who established a nursery on the site. Visitors are welcome in all seasons. There is no charge for admission but donations are encouraged. Tours and programs for groups can be arranged.

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site 

Administered by the National Park Service
Little River Road, Flat Rock
Parking lots and grounds open daily, sunrise to sunset
Visit website or call for Sandburg Home, tours and farm area hours which vary by season
No charge for visiting the grounds, hiking or picnicking
House tours: $10 adults, $6 seniors, children under 15 free

This picturesque home and 264-acre farm called Connemara was the residence of Carl Sandburg – Pulitzer-prize winning poet and author, biographer of Abraham Lincoln, journalist and social activist – and his family from 1945 to 1967. Against the backdrop of Glassy Mountain, the home’s peaceful setting and interior remains as it was when the Sandburg family lived there. On the grounds, the park maintains a small goat herd descended from Mrs. Sandburg’s world-renowned herd of dairy goats. There also are more than five miles of trails that lead to wonderful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Throughout the year, special festivals and ranger programs are offered. Carl Sandburg Home NHS is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Hands On! Children’s Museum  

318 N Main Street, Hendersonville
Check website for hours
$4 for children under 1, $10 for everyone else

Hands On! Children’s Museum is the place where learning comes into play. Catering to children ages one to 12 and their caregivers, this children’s museum provides educational exhibits and programs that stimulate the imagination and motivate learning. Traveling programs, space rental for events and birthday parties and memberships are also available.

The People's Museum & Walk of Fame is a celebration of the history and culture of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. This exhibition is FREE to the community and is designed for both youth and adult learners.

Henderson County Heritage Museum

1 Historic Courthouse Square, Suite 4
Inside the 1905 Historic Courthouse on Main Street, Hendersonville
10AM-5PM, Wed-Sat; 1-5PM, Sun

From the Revolutionary War to the coming of the train to the area’s Golden Age (1879-1929) to modern day, this museum celebrates the rich history of Henderson County. Its six exhibit rooms contain artifacts and multimedia presentations that inform visitors about the milestone events that shaped this are
a. Highlights include an interactive scale model of the Saluda Grade railway and a working telegraph system, the Courthouse room, an exhibit featuring the history and heritage of the Historic Seventh Avenue District, an exhibit on the many summer camps in the area, a quilt exhibit showcasing the art of mountain quilting, an exhibit featuring Shepherd’s Store items and the Ridge exhibit that tells the story of communities along the Eastern Continental Divide and includes a working still.

Hendersonville Honeycrisps

69 Balfour Road, Hendersonville
Seasonal, beginning late Spring

Making their home at the historic Berkeley Mills Ballpark, also known as ‘The Orchard,’ the Hendersonville Honeycrisps are a collegiate baseball team playing in the Old North State League. The team’s mission is to be the most exciting and family-friendly entertainment op[tion in the greater Hendersonville community and aid in the personal and athletic development of college baseball players.

Hendersonville Train Depot 

650 Maple Avenue, Hendersonville
1-3PM, Wed; 10AM-2PM, Sat; 10AM-4PM the Friday after Thanksgiving

Built in 1902, the historic depot has been restored to its original state and contains a museum featuring numerous railroad artifacts. Knowledgeable members of the club staff the Depot and share their expertise in model railroading. The Depot houses the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club’s HO Scale model railroad. With more than 2,000 feet of track and 225 switches, its layout represents Henderson County, the Saluda Grade (the steepest railroad grade in the US) and the towns of Western North Carolina with day and night lighting in the Hendersonville and Asheville area of the indoor layout. The Depot has a working telegraph guests can use, a camera car to see the layout from the engineer’s perspective, a touchscreen display with information about historical items in the building, a historic 1,000-pound, 112-year-old 1/8 scale Pauline engine. Visitors can also enjoy running “Thomas” on his track, climbing aboard the restored Southern Railway caboose and touring the G-scale outdoor garden railroad featuring the logging railroads that existed throughout the region more than 100 years ago. A drone camera shows live video from the caboose on the G-scale layout.

Historic Johnson Farm 

3346 Haywood Road, Hendersonville
Call for guided tour times
Tour prices: $10 adults, $8 students and people 65 and older, free for ages under 5
Grounds open 8AM-4PM, Mon-Fri
No charge for visiting grounds

A late-19th-century/early-20th-century farm and summer tourist retreat, Historic Johnson Farm covered 500 acres in its prime. The main house was constructed from 1876 to 1880 with handmade bricks and is believed to be Henderson County’s first brick house. Sallie, Vernon and Leander Johnson opened up the house to summer guests in 1913 to bring in additional income. Vernon and Leander Johnson willed the house to the Henderson County Board of Education, and in 1987, the farm was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today the farm serves as a hands-on museum and heritage education center. Guided tours of the historic house and grounds are offered year-round. Field trips and group tours are also offered. The farm hosts numerous events each year. The Heritage Weavers and Fiber Artists occupy the former boarding house and offer a variety of classes throughout the year as well as a gift shop featuring handmade items.

Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County

400 N Main Street, Hendersonville
1-5PM, Mon-Fri, March-Dec
11AM-5PM, Sat
Closed Sun, Mon and Tue, Jan-Feb

Home of the Hendersonville Meteorite, the museum also features North Carolina minerals, fluorescent minerals, replicas of world-famous diamonds, a display of the lapidary arts, geode cracking, fossils and a T. rex skull replica. The museum offers free tours for schools and other groups.

Western North Carolina Agricultural Center 

1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher

The Western North Carolina Agricultural Center is an entertainment venue that hosts a variety of community events, expos, workshops, musical performances, horse shows and more year-round. Since 1994, the WNC Agricultural Center has been home to the annual NC Mountain State Fair beginning the first Friday after Labor Day, which celebrates the region’s people, agriculture, art and tradition.

Western North Carolina Air Museum 

Follow blue road signs on US 176/Spartanburg Hwy and Shepherd Street to 1340 E Gilbert Street
Open year-round, weather permitting
Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day
10AM-5PM-Wed and Sat, April-Oct
Noon-5PM, Sat and Sun, Nov-March

Known as the first air museum in the “First-In-Flight” state, the Western North Carolina Air Museum displays restored vintage airplanes as well as replica antique planes and aviation memorabilia. The collection includes a two-thirds scale model of the 1903 Wright Flyer and a full-scale 1915 Sopwith Baby replica. Schools and other groups are welcome and tours can be arranged.


The Curb Market

221 N Church Street, Hendersonville
8AM-2PM, Sat, Jan-March
8AM-2PM, Tue, Thu and Sat, April-Dec

The Henderson County Curb Market is a farmers market that provides locally-grown produce and handcrafted items. Shoppers can visit with the vendors as they choose from fresh fruits and vegetables, free-range eggs, home-baked items, soups, preserves, salsas and relishes, and a variety of unique handcrafted items. The Curb Market began on Main Street in 1924 with eight families and has grown to more than 70 vendors. The Market hosts special annual events including June Jamboree, Ol’ Timey Day and Christmas Open House which is held the first Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Etowah Lions Farmers Market 

Etowah Lions Clubhouse, 447 Etowah School Road in front of Etowah Park
3-6PM, Wed, May-Oct

The Etowah Lions Farmers Market features a variety of vendors offering fresh produce, meats, eggs, honey, maple syrup, Bundt cakes, fresh flowers and a variety of arts and crafts. Organized by the Etowah Lions Club, the market also has special market days such as a health-focused market day in June and a Tomato Festival in August.

Flat Rock Farmers Market 

On the green behind the Pinecrest ARP Church
1790 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock
3-6PM, Thursdays, May 4 -Oct 26

The market offers locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, garden starts, herbs, mushrooms, artisan breads and baked goods, local honey, jams, jellies, peaches, blueberries and apples – all direct from a local producer – plus prepared foods such as quiches and strudels to "Take and Bake" and fresh seafood from the Carolina Coast. Market-goers also will find selected crafts from local artisans.

Henderson County Tailgate Market

100 N King Street, Hendersonville (parking lot of County office building)
8AM-noon, Sat, April-Oct
828-329-4027 or 828-891-3561

Established in 1979, the Henderson County Tailgate Market is one of the oldest open air markets in Western North Carolina. This unique Saturday morning market has a festival feel in the heart of Hendersonville. The market is filled with local growers who operate small family farms in Henderson County who have developed a reputation for quality and high-value specialty crops and nursery stock. Throughout the season, the market offers plants, fresh-cut flowers, in-season fruits, vegetables, fresh trout, sourwood honey and baked goods.

Hendersonville Farmers Market 

Hendersonville Train Depot, 650 Maple Street, Hendersonville
8AM-1PM, Sat, May 6-Oct 28

The Hendersonville Farmers Market features an array of producers and growers with an emphasis on Henderson County-made items. Shoppers can expect at least 30 vendors, plus entertainment from local artists as well as kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations and themed events such as Pollinator Day and Tomato Festival.

Mills River Farm Market 

Mills River Elementary School Parking Lot
94 School House Road, Mills River
8AM-noon, Sat, May-Oct

Mills River Farm Market is a producer-only market, selling only fruits and vegetables, plants, honey, crafts, meat products and other products grown and made within a 50-mile radius of the Town of Mills River. The Market accepts SNAP/EBT benefits as well as debit and credit cards and participates in the Double SNAP Program. Visitors can listen to local musicians while shopping. Educating the entire family is a major push for the market with a fun-filled Kid’s Zone and a Demonstration Kitchen for the adults.

Hendersonville Magazine 2023-2024