Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Mills River, NC

  • Published 2022/10/06

Mills River is a small, welcoming town in Henderson County, North Carolina.

With a population of more than 7,000 in the 2019 census, Mills River is one of the quietest and most peaceful places you can visit in North Carolina.

Mills River boasts several things to do and see that will keep you busy for days.

The town has several parks and trails to explore and various outdoor activities you can do with your family or friends.

There are also plenty of things to do in Mills River, such as shopping, dining out, or simply taking in the beauty of this area.

It’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for outdoor activities and attractions, as it sits near the Pisgah National Forest.

If you want to know what to expect when visiting this place, here are the best things to do in Mills River, North Carolina:

Chug a Beer from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Front view of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co

The ed17, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of the most popular craft breweries in town, and it’s easy to see why.

Established in 1980, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. launched a “beer revolution” that paved the way to where they are today.

Their beers are inspired by the wilderness, emphasizing sustainability at every step of their production process.

Front view of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co

The ed17, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can choose among a wide range of beers, including traditional ales, IPAs, great lagers, and stouts.

They have a little something for every season, something for the brave, and something special, so you can find something that will suit your taste.

The ingredients used in the production are not only of the highest quality but also give a unique and distinctive taste and aroma.

Head on to Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. on Sierra Nevada Way whenever you need a drink.

Have a Picnic in Mills River Park

Mills River Park is an ideal destination for residents and tourists who like to spend their time outdoors.

It is situated along Town Center Drive and sits right next to Mills River, providing access to many fun recreational activities.

The park covers around 48 acres and includes a 1.25-mile trail for hiking or biking, basketball courts, a dog park, picnic areas, playgrounds, and more.

There are several options in the park for individuals who wish to enjoy the outdoors with their family or friends while doing something fun.

You can indulge in various outdoor activities here, such as hiking, fishing, picnics, and other leisure pursuits.

Mills River Park is the ideal location for you and your loved ones to spend the day together if you’re looking for somewhere to go with your family or friends.

Spend a Relaxing Weekend at B & B on Tiffany Hill

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a relaxing vacation, or a place to call home when you’re miles away, you can have it all here in Bed & Breakfast in Tiffany Hill.

The Bed & Breakfast in Tiffany Hill is a B&B conveniently located on Ray Hill Road, in the foothills of Western North Carolina.

The accommodations here are comfortable and include all the amenities needed for an enjoyable stay.

Seven suites are available in the B&B, each with a different theme and furnished with amenities and a complimentary breakfast.

If you want to go out and explore the area, there are plenty of attractions and activities to do near the B&B.

You will get a unique experience by staying at a local B&B; you will not feel like you are staying in a hotel but rather at your own home.

Try Rock Climbing in Riveter

The Riveter is a gathering place for all people with a mutual interest in adventure and thrill-seeking individuals.

If you think you’re one of these people, then visit this adventure center on Old Fanning Bridge Road.

Everyone is welcome in Riveter, whether you’re a beginner or a professional, a child or young-at-heart.

The facility features a rock climbing gym, modern yoga and fitness studio, taproom, and a bike park, while continuously cultivating a progressive and inclusive community.

The Riveter also offers community workspaces, special events, and youth programs to enrich its members.

While you’re there, you can enjoy picturesque scenery in the outdoor seating of the facility that boasts a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge.

Order a Mouthwatering Meal from Mills River Restaurant

You’ll probably get hungry after a great day exploring Mills River, so fill up your empty stomach at Mills River Restaurant.

The unassuming Mills River Restaurant is conveniently located on Boylston Highway and has plenty of customer parking spaces.

Mills River Restaurant offers a variety of food choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

You can find many delicious options on their menu, including steak, seafood, chicken, burgers, and more.

No matter what kind of food you order, you will not be disappointed with their unique selections.

You’ll surely come back for more at Mills River Restaurant with great customer service, affordable prices, and mouthwatering meals.

Find Your Own “Treasure” in Wagon Wheels Antiques

If you’re looking for a way to spend an afternoon in Mills River, check out Wagon Wheels Antiques.

This is the place to go when you need a unique gift or want to make your home look more stylish.

The Wagon Wheels Antiques is along Old Haywood Road, and you’ll know that you’re in the right place when you see a quaint shop with wagon wheels outside.

The store features a great selection of antiques and collectibles that will provide hours of entertainment for all ages.

They have a wide variety of items, so you’ll be able to find something that suits your tastes.

You can find hundreds of antiques and various items from the early 1900s to the modern day.

Browsing the shelves of Wagon Wheels Antiques is a great way to spend a lovely afternoon.

Who knows?

Maybe you’ll find a treasure or two.

Take a Sip of Mills River Brewing Company’s Craft Beers

Located on Banner Farm Road in the tiny town of Mills River, Mills River Brewing Company has become a destination for beer lovers.

Mills Rivers residents founded the brewery, which has operated since 2015 with a mission of serving craft beers to the people of Mills River.

Mills River Brewing Company is a family-friendly establishment that offers a menu of great food and beers for your enjoyment.

You’ll find a variety of beers on their menu.

They have various beers available, including IPAs, stouts, and ales.

Those who enjoy drinking spirits also have a selection of bourbon, whiskey, and scotch available for purchase.

The Mills River Brewing Company is the perfect place to hang with your best pals after a long day, so stop by and taste what this brewery offers.

Camp Out at North Mills River Recreational Area & Campground

The North Mills River Recreational Area and Campground is a favorite spot for families and campers situated on Mills River Road.

The campground offers recreational activities such as fishing, tubing, swimming, and nature watching.

Aside from these, the recreational area and campground also provide opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, and, most significantly, camping.

You can take advantage of the amenities offered at the campground, which include grills, picnic tables, campfire rings, flush toilets, and more.

If you want to get away from the city, the North Mills River Recreational Area & Campground is one of the best places to do so.

Ride a Horse with Saddle Up Trail Rides

If you’re looking for a family-friendly adventure in North Carolina, you’ll want to stop at Saddle Up Trail Rides.

Saddle Up Trail Rides is one of the best places to go in Mills River if you want to experience a nature-based trail ride.

The trail ride will take you through the Pisgah National Forest from the North Mills River and Turkey Penn areas.

You’ll travel past breathtaking sceneries and experience the great outdoors while riding a horse.

The trails are suitable for all skill levels; it’s easy for the kids and fun enough for adults to enjoy.

Have an excellent ride through the mountains and rivers while taking in the beauty of nature around you with Saddle Up Trail Rides.

Sample Peruvian Flavors in ConoSur

ConoSur is a restaurant on Haywood Road that offers authentic Peruvian and Latin cuisine with traditional flavors.

For everyone to experience Peru’s delicacies, the restaurant strives to deliver the essence and flavors of Peru to Mills River.

Sergio Castro, the restaurant’s owner, and his friend Patricio Vera, a veteran in the food industry, joined to provide visitors with Peruvian cuisine.

You can have a taste of their ceviche, suspiro limeno, Pollo a las brasas, and more choices from their menu.

The restaurant also offers catering services if you want to impress your guests with fantastic food.

ConoSur is a little gem in the town that you should try if you want to experience something different from the ordinary.

Get Your Ice Cream Fix in Mills River Creamery

A great way to cool off when it’s sweltering hot in town, especially in the summer, is to indulge in some delectable ice cream from Mills River Creamery.

The Mills River Creamery is not your typical ice cream shop.

The ingredients used to produce these tasty treats come fresh from the farm and its herd of Jersey cows.

Apart from ice cream, you can also purchase some of their products, such as whole milk, butter, chocolate milk, buttermilk, and seasonal eggnog.

The farm offers tours for schools and clubs to show the production process and what the farm does daily.

When craving a cold sweet treat, visit the Mills River Creamery along Haywood Road.

Savor the Ciders from Bold Rock Mills River Cidery

The Blue Ridge Mountains and North Carolina are abundant in resources.

One of these is the world-class apples Bold Rock Mills River Cidery uses for its products.

Hardworking local farmers grow these apples, lifting Bold Rock’s apple cider above the rest.

Established in 2015, Bold Rock Mills River Cidery boasts a variety of award-winning ciders, cocktails and spirits, and refreshing, complex teas and lemonades.

You can tour the facility and discover how they make their products.

After that, taste their hard ciders and munch on some snacks from Bold Bites Mobile Kitchen.

The Bold Rock Mills River Cidery is also available for gatherings and corporate events if you want to spend some time here with your friends and colleagues.

If you want to taste the ciders from Bold Rock Mills River Cidery, you can find them along School House Road.

Other Things to Do Nearby

After you’re done exploring and trying the best things to do around Mills River, maybe it’s time for you to take off on a new adventure.

Around the town, you’ll find exciting new things to do that will keep you entertained in North Carolina.

Here are some things to do nearby Mills River, North Carolina.

Relax in Lake Julian Park

View of Lake Julian Park

Jon Bilous /

Located in Arden, North Carolina, 17 minutes from Mills River, Lake Julian Park is an excellent destination to spend some time with the family or with your friends.

This 300-acre park on Overlook Road is perfect for a fun family day.

You can do recreational activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, and playing disc golf in the park.

View of Lake Julian Park

MarkVanDykePhotography /

There are also several good spots around the park where you can sit down on your blanket and read your favorite books.

The peaceful atmosphere and the scenic lake make it the ideal place to relax outdoors.

Bring your family and friends to Lake Julian Park and make every moment special.

Take a Tour around the Historic Johnson Farm

Front view of Historic Johnson Farm

JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ M.D., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Historic Johnson Farm is situated on Haywood Road, Hendersonville, North Carolina, just six minutes from Mills River.

The building is one of the great examples of the late 19th and early 20th-century farm.

It was made from handmade bricks that were made on-site using French Broad river mud.

The Historic Johnson Farm offers tours around the property.

It features nature trails, historic structures, picnic tables, and animals around the area that you might catch a glimpse of when you visit.

The farm also offers a summer camp for children ages six to fourteen.

When you visit the Historic Johnson Farm, you will enjoy the serene atmosphere and learn about the place’s heritage.

Visit the Historic Johnson Farm when you have time for a fun and exciting learning experience.

Pick Your Gems in Elijah Mountain Gem Mine and Crystal Store

Elijah Mountain Gem Mine and Crystal Store is North Carolina’s prime mining destination located in Brevard Road, Hendersonville, 11 minutes from Mills River.

It is the perfect place for anyone looking to find a unique gemstone or mineral, especially if you are looking for something specific in mind.

Elijah Mountain Crystal Store specializes in high-quality crystals and minerals, including amethyst, quartz, citrine, fluorite, labradorite, and more.

You can choose from the wide variety of gems and minerals inside the store, and you have the freedom to pick from the different types of crystals by color or by type.

After that, you can explore the creek and have a wonderful lunch after selecting your gem or crystal.

There’s also a peacock habitat that you can visit and take pictures of the majestic birds inside the cages.

The Elijah Mountain Gem Mine and Crystal Store are must-visit attractions around Mills River, so don’t miss out on this!

Final Thoughts

Mills River is a small North Carolina town with a lot to offer.

From the beautiful scenery and outdoor activities to the exciting history and museums, this town will surely leave you feeling refreshed and ready for another day of adventure.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Mills River, North Carolina!

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