Weekend in Black Mountain

Weekend in Black Mountain

With one of the cutest downtown area, mouthwatering restaurants and nearby scenic hikes, Black Mountain, North Carolina is the perfect mountain town for a laid back or jam packed weekend getaway.  When we were recently looking to visit the Asheville area, we stumbled upon an amazing house rental in Black Mountain that shifted the focus of our trip to exploring Black Mountain, and we are so glad it did. Similar to Asheville, Black Mountain is surrounded by stunning mountains and oh so charming with its many local shops and restaurants.  Unlike Asheville, it’s still a hidden gem.  We loved Black Mountain and cannot wait to visit again soon. Read on for our full ‘Weekend in Black Mountain’ Itinerary. 

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Weekend in Black Mountain Overview

  • Day 1: Arrive, Explore Downtown Black Mountain, Check in, Pizza/Drinks
  • Day 2: Coffee, Hike Lookout Mountain, Cuban Food, House Rental Games/Outdoor Relaxation
  • Day 3: Relaxing Morning, Check out, Brunch at The Bush Farmhous

Day 1: Arrive, Explore Downtown Black Mountain, Check in, Pizza

Explore Downtown Black Mountain

Spend some time this afternoon exploring downtown Black Mountain. There are tons of cute local shops and restaurants in the charming downtown area.   You could spend hours shopping at the unique shops alone.  Be sure to check out some of the hand-painted rocking chairs (adult and child sized) on sidewalks all throughout downtown too.  Our toddler really liked having all of us sit on one of these every time we came upon them (and there are a lot of them so we did a lot of rocking).  

Weekend in Black Mountain

Further, consider getting ice cream at The Hop for an afternoon treat.  They have super tasty local homemade ice cream here. We tried 3 flavors (Aztec Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Cookie Party) and as our toddler said “all of them” were her favorite.  We are somewhat ice cream snobs (coming from the dairy state) and the ice cream here lived up to our high standards. 

Check-In to House Rental

Weekend in Black Mountain

After exploring downtown, make the short 3 minute drive to your house rental, the Dancing Bear Getaway, for the weekend to freshen up before dinner and check in.  This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home was the perfect place to stay while exploring the Black Mountain.  The outdoor space (simply stunning), family friendly amenities, indoor game room, nearby scenic hikes, helpful hosts and proximity to downtown Black Mountain all make it the best place to stay near Black Mountain.  See our full review of this place here.    

Pizza and Drinks in Black Mountain

This evening, head back into downtown Black Mountain to Black Mountain Pizza for some of the best Detroit style pizza in the area.  We ordered the 117 Cherry Street Detroit style pizza.  This pizza has an unusual assortment of toppings including pears, walnuts, mushrooms, cauliflower, cheese, garlic and cherry pesto.  Despite the unlikely pairing of toppings, this pizza was SO delicious.  Natalie was very skeptical but was pleasantly surprised with how good it tasted. 

Next, head over to the Foothills Grange for drinks (16 different drinks on tap).  This casual outdoor bar/eatery has a fun setting with string lights, industrial style porch coverings and a huge outdoor sand pit where the kids can play.  The outdoor sand pit was a huge hit with our toddler and unlike any sand play area we have ever seen before.  

Next, head back to the Dancing Bear Getaway, spend the evening sitting around the string lit illuminated bonfire, relaxing in the hot tub or playing some games in the game room.

Day 2: Dripolater, Hike Lookout Mountain, Cousin Cuban Cafe

Coffee and Breakfast at Dripolator 

The next morning, head to Dripolator to caffeinate and try one of their scrumptious baked goods. Or enjoy one of their fruit smoothies.  This coffee shop is super quant and cozy.  Sit outside on the small front patio for some distant morning mountain views.  

Hike Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain, Montreat

After having breakfast at Dripolator, head about 15 minutes north to the small college town of Montreat to hike to Lookout Mountain. This 1.4 mile round trip hike with 600 feet of elevation is steep and a bit rocky at the top but so worth the effort for the views.  This is a great bang-for-your-buck hike, because you get some of the best sweeping mountain views relatively quickly.  

Scrambling and Difficulty 

The hike is a steady climb up through the woods consisting of stairs or a dirt/rock path that requires no true scrambling until the very end.  For less than 0.1 miles near the end, you will have to scramble up some rocks and use your hands to brace yourself to get to the summit.  However, it is not overly technically challenging as we were able to do this safely while baby wearing our kids.  We rate the hike as moderate. Other than the rock scramble portion of the trail and summit area, the trail is almost completely shaded (huge bonus in our eyes).  The summit has stunning expansive mountain views and there are several large rocks at the summit to sit down on to take it all in.  

Parking, Cost & Dogs

We hiked this trail on a weekday around 10 AM and only saw two other small groups of people.  The hike was so peaceful and really felt like a hidden gem. There are two small gravel lots to park at the trailhead, but there are only about 10 spots available total so you may have trouble parking if it is a weekend.  The hike took us about an hour to complete, including taking a 15 minute break at the top to soak in the views, take some pictures and give the kids some snacks.  There is no cost to hike this trail but at the trailhead there is a QR code you can scan to donate to Montreat for the trail maintenance.  We highly encourage you to donate if you hike it as the trail is very well maintained. Dogs are allowed on a leash. 

More Hiking? 

If looking to hike longer or another trail, there are plenty of other hiking trails at Montreat. We also hiked the Lower Piney Trail and the Big Piney Ridge Trail to the lookout point for a 3.6 mile round trip hike with 1200 feet of elevation gain.  We only saw one group of two people on this hike, and it was so serene (yet a killer workout).  Download the trail map with the link above or stop in at the Montreat store for a hard copy map.  There are many other trails here, and you could spend a week hiking a different trail here each day.  

Cousin Cuban Cafe

After your short, yet challenging hike, stop at Cousins Cuban Cafe in Black Mountain for lunch.  This casual Cuban restaurant is unassuming on the outside yet so welcoming on the inside with some of the tastiest food in Black Mountain.  We really loved the atmosphere and food here.  It was very reasonably priced too!  

Note: Be sure to check current hours before visiting.  They were only open 9AM-3PM everyday (other than Wednesday when they were closed) during our visit. 

Then, head back to the Dancing Bear Getaway, spend the rest of the day/evening grilling out on the patio, sitting around the bonfire, relaxing in the hot tub or playing some games in the game room.  You truly could spend your whole weekend at the Dancing Bear Getaway and not be bored! 

Day 3: Relaxing Morning, Check out, Brunch at The Bush Farmhouse

This morning, take it slow.  Enjoy your morning coffee on the front porch rocking chairs at the Dancing Bear Getaway before checking out.   After checking out, head to The Bush Farmhouse.  This restaurant has yummy upscale South African food yet the atmosphere is casual.   Adjacent to the outdoor dining patio is a huge fire pit in front of a stage with live music for bar/restaurant guests to enjoy. 

The patio area had plenty of kid friendly features too.  There is an enclosure where there were giant pigs, chickens and ducks, which our toddler loved, as well as some old school toys/rides for the kids to play on.  They had a retro airplane ride that our toddler wanted to ride on again and again.  The food was delicious here, the outdoor space was very cute, and the kid-friendly touches all made this restaurant a real highlight during our visit to Black Mountain, and it is sure to be a highlight of your visit too. 

Have More Time?  

Consider spending some time hiking throughout the greater Asheville area and/or exploring more of Asheville.  See our 4 Days in Asheville, Asheville with a Baby or Toddler and Top 3 Asheville Hikes for more tips on visiting the area. 

We hope this guide helps you plan your weekend in Black Mountain.  Anything you’d add to our guide? We’d love to hear your feedback and questions.  Please leave us a comment!

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