Downtown Hendersonville is the heart of an economically and culturally vibrant municipality. It is comprised of two districts – Main Street and Seventh Avenue – which attract both residents and visitors at all times of the year. Whether the tulips are in bloom or autumn leaves are falling, the area bustles with people frequenting the many specialty shops, art galleries, restaurants, coffeehouses, entertainment venues and professional offices.
Both Main Street and the Historic Seventh Avenue District are part of Main Street America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation that has recognized downtown Hendersonville for more than 30 years as an energized commercial historic district that celebrates its neighborhood feel and preserves its history. Incorporated in 1847, Hendersonville is home to many historic buildings. Of special significance architecturally is the gold-domed Historic Downtown Courthouse at First and Main Streets that now is home to the Henderson County Heritage Museum. Seventh Avenue boasts the historic Hendersonville Train Depot with its model railroad that represents Henderson County.
The streets of downtown Hendersonville are often alive with free outdoor festivals and concerts ranging from the Rhythm & Brews music series to the summer Street Dances to Labor Day weekend’s North Carolina Apple Festival. They also play host to art, craft, garden and antique shows.
Additionally, downtown Hendersonville is distinguished by its engaging public art. Since 2002, Hendersonville has given nod to the black bears that live in our state with the Bearfootin’ Public Art Walk which exhibits artistic public bear statues created by local artists and sponsored by businesses. Each year after being on display on the main promenade from May through October, the bear statues are auctioned off to raise money for local nonprofits and the enrichment of downtown programs, including community events, public art and other beautification efforts. The “Mountain Memory” fountain on Sixth and Main Streets pays homage to our region’s natural heritage by depicting the prominent peaks surrounding Hendersonville and our area’s rivers. A patriotic mural graces a wall along King Street, paying tribute to our veterans and their military service. And the annual ArtScape Banner Project, a collaborative effort involving the Arts Council of Henderson County and other community partners, showcases on about 35 banners displaying the work of talented regional artists.