Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Flat Rock, NC

  • Published 2022/05/14

Visit Flat Rock in North Carolina for your next holiday and experience this quaint and historic village.

Established in 1807, this village traces its origins to when the Cherokee met on the great flat rock.

It became the ‘Little Charleston of the Mountains,’ brimming with summer homes that helped the people escape the heat.

Interestingly, many of these homes are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Contrary to its name, Flat Rock sits on the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.

This small village features numerous restaurants, galleries, and local shops, including the Flat Rock Playhouse and the Carl Sandburg Home.

Likewise, don’t miss the Wrinkled Egg, a popular spot for many locals and tourists, offering stuff for kids and pottery, vintage treasures, antiques, and original southern folk art.

Passing by Greenville Highway shows you beautiful pastel-colored buildings, similar to downtown Charleston’s Rainbow Row.

Though a small village, Flat Rock is one you should visit at least once in your lifetime.

Experience these 15 best things to do in Flat Rock, NC:

Pay a Visit to Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

Exterior of Carl Sandburg Home

Zack Frank /

Who is Carl Sandburg?

He was an American poet, newspaper columnist, lecturer, biographer, and folksinger who brought his family to South Carolina in 1945.

While Ms. Sandburg enjoyed the solitude in their 30-acre pastureland, raising their champion dairy goats, Carl Sandburg lectured and published his works.

Connemara farm goat at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

Danita Delimont /

You can visit the Sandburg residence and the dairy goat farm, which shelters the Connemara Farms goat herd, and presents mountainside woods, rolling pastures, two small lakes, and five miles of hiking trails.

Inside the museum, you can find 250,000 museum objects and more than 800 linear feet of archival material.

You can also find documents, personal artifacts, artworks, and books in Carl Sandburg’s library.

Exterior of the Connemara farm at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

Danita Delimont /

Pick Fruits at the Mountaintop Farm of Sky Top Orchard

Bring the family for a fun day outdoors to the Sky Top Orchard, located on Pinnacle Mountain Road.

More than your average apple orchard, this 100-acre farm sits on top of Mt. McAlpine and offers stunning views of the mountains.

Your whole family, especially the kids, will genuinely love the experience here, as you’ll see farm animals, take a wagon ride, explore the orchard, and pick apples.

Also, you can’t miss their apple cider doughnuts, which are very popular here.

They also have a bamboo forest that you can explore before buying their apple pies, apple tarts, turnovers, and cider slushies.

Come during their U-pick season from August to October

Otherwise, you can wait for their schedule since there are 22 varieties in the orchard.

Spend a Day Outdoors at the Flat Rock Park

Check out where the locals go to relax.

The Flat Rock Park is a 66-acre park owned and managed by the Flat Rock Village.

It lets you enjoy the outdoors through its 1.3-mile trail that offers walking or running opportunities.

You can enjoy sunny days with a picnic with your family and some playtime with the kids.

Likewise, you can look around for the native plants and animals that thrive in the area.

Many of these have remained in the area since the Flat Rock Park used to be the Highland Lake Golf Club.

Check Out the Historic Flat Rock Cultural Center Museum

Located on Village Center Drive is the Historic Flat Rock Cultural Center Museum, which aims to preserve and protect the significance of Flat Rock’s historic district.

Situated within the old Flat Rock Post Office, the center features artifacts and original furniture from the post office.

Don’t miss the many antique pieces of furniture made in the village.

This place is perfect for learning about the origins of Flat Rock and its journey to becoming a charming little village.

Conquer the Glassy Mountain Trail

Climb Big Glassy by taking the Glassy Mountain Trail, which starts at the back of the Carl Sandburg Home.

With a moderately steep, wooded trail, you’ll pass by a small reservoir and rock outcroppings, with benches to sit for a break along the way.

If you want to have a picnic at the summit, you may do so since it is a flat slab of granite that can very well support picnics.

Enjoy the view of Mt. Pisgah in the distance and admire the evergreens and beautiful fall colors.

The Glassy Mountain Trail lets you admire the beautiful blessings of nature upon Flat Rock.

See Mrs. Sandburg’s Dairy Goats at the Connemara Farms

Goats in front of Connemara Farms' barn

Gingo Scott /

When the Sandburg family moved to North Carolina, Mrs. Sandburg kept herself busy raising dairy goats on their multi-acre property—the Carl Sandburg Home.

She raised three breeds—Nubian, Toggenburg, and Saanen.

Milk pails inside Connemara Farms' barn

Gingo Scott /

Visit the Connemara Farms and see the descended goats from Mrs. Sandburg’s famous herd.

Mrs. Sandburg’s scientific breeding methods modernized the dairy goat industry and produced more champion animals.

Goats at Connemara Farms

Gingo Scott /

Enjoy a Feel-Good Show at the Flat Rock Playhouse

As the State Theatre of North Carolina, the Flat Rock Playhouse is a Professional Equity Theatre that features a stellar lineup of shows.

This playhouse started in 1940 with only a few summer performances.

Today, it presents year-long productions, including concerts, drama, comedy, and Broadway musicals.

It’s interesting to note that the building looks like a barn, with the main stage facility still reflecting its farm beginnings.

Today, it is adorned with modern lights and a sound system.

You can dress casually if you want to watch any of the shows, but you might need a jacket when it gets chilly inside.

Plan an Adventure with Adventure Treks

Do you think you’ve already experienced all kinds of adventure?

Perhaps, you should confirm that by going on an adventure with Adventure Treks’ summer camps.

Let your kids foster lifelong friendships, make memories, and become confident young people.

It aims to develop each adventurer into their best selves through exploring the outdoors and by creating a close-knit community.

The best part about the camp is that it is technology-free, teaching the kids to survive and thrive without electronics.

It’s going to be a fantastic learning experience for your teens.

Find Unique Treasures at the Firefly Craft Gallery

Explore the Firefly Craft Gallery, featuring some of the best and most accomplished artisans and artists of Western North Carolina.

You can find a wide array of original art in this gallery, from wood, clay, sterling silver, textiles, glass, and metals.

It’s the place to find beautiful artwork, such as drawings, paintings, sculptures, and ceramics.

You can find the works of some 60 local artists and 20 regional artists.

It’s the go-to gift shop in the Henderson County area, so buy your souvenirs and bring-home gifts for your loved ones here.

You can’t have it any better than this.

Taste Excellent Wines at the Marked Tree Vineyard

Visit the Marked Tree Vineyard, the first winery in Flat Rock.

This winery produces ten varieties of wine from the French-American and European vinifera hybrid grapes.

The grapes include Vidal Blanc, Chardonel, Petit Verdot, Grüner Veltliner, and Cabernet Franc.

You can enjoy your wine from the outdoor patio or indoors.

If you’re up for it, you can join any of the vineyard tours to appreciate the beauty and excellence of the Marked Tree Vineyard.

See a Movie at the Flat Rock Bistro Cinema

Do you want a different kind of cinematic experience?

Come to Flat Rock Bistro Cinema, located on the Greenville Highway.

See current movies in a bistro-style cinema that also offers local brews, cocktails, and food.

The movies range from independent films to Hollywood blockbusters, featuring a wide array of food and beverages.

Besides the usual popcorn, nachos, and Green River BBQ, there are also other offerings such as burgers, sandwiches, and wines.

Reconnect with Nature at the Pulliam Creek Trail

Head to Big Hungry Road to find the Pulliam Creek Trail, an out-and-back trail in Flat Rock.

Spanning 9.2 kilometers long, it’s a moderately challenging route perfect for beginners and enthusiasts.

It only takes two hours and 37 minutes to complete, featuring pathways for running, walking, and jogging.

It’s a great place to bring your pet dog with you as they are welcome to the trail and can even go without a leash in some areas.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit the Henderson County Heritage Museum

Exterior of Henderson County Heritage Museum

Nolichuckyjake /

Go beyond Flat Rock and travel some seven minutes to Hendersonville to see the Henderson County Heritage Museum.

Housed within the Historic Henderson County Courthouse on Main Street, this museum houses libraries, archives, collections, lectures, artifacts, and public displays of everything related to the heritage and culture of Henderson County.

The museum also commemorates Civil War veterans through its Civil War display.

The Henderson County Heritage Museum aims to promote and preserve the county’s history and culture, partnering with businesses and organizations and other museums, libraries, and historical societies.

Relax at East Flat Rock Park

Travel four minutes away from Flat Rock and arrive at the East Flat Rock Park, where you can relax and unwind before ending your vacation.

It has one picnic shelter and one gazebo to help you unwind in nature.

Let your kids enjoy themselves in the playground and swings while you conquer the quarter-mile paved walking trail.

Go to the back area and find more recreational fields and walking trails.

Meanwhile, marvel at the gazebo, which features five round tables, each sitting up to six people.

There’s also a charcoal grill and electrical outlets, so you can cook burgers and charge your devices.

At the picnic shelter, you can use the two large grills,14 tables, the standing water pump, lights, and electrical outlets.

Explore the Western North Carolina Air Museum

Discover the flying heritage of Western North Carolina.

Drive to East Gilbert St to find the Western North Carolina Air Museum, and admire the ingenuity of the locals in preserving and promoting the region’s role in aviation history.

Featuring an impressive collection of vintage replicas, restored airplanes, models, engines, and memorabilia, the museum should be fun and informative.

Coming here means learning about the place’s flying heritage and supporting this nonprofit organization, especially when you purchase items from their museum.

Final Thoughts

Though a small village, Flat Rock offers much more than meets the eye.

Children and adults will love all the opportunities for fun and adventure here.

All in all, Flat Rock is a place that families should visit and explore.

When you’ve made up your mind, book your trip to Flat Rock, NC.

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