20 Best Things to Do in Saluda, NC

Saluda, NC
Kvitka Nastroyu / shutterstock.com

Are you planning to visit the beautiful mountain town of Saluda, North Carolina, and try the best things to do in this city?

Saluda is a North Carolina city located in Polk and Henderson Counties.

It took its name after the Cherokee term Tsaludiyi, meaning "green corn place."

Based on the Pace family, pace's Ridge was the original name given to the region by European immigrants.

Scots-Irish families that fled Pennsylvania during the 17902 Whiskey Rebellion were among its earliest residents.

Until Norfolk Southern Railway stopped operating the Saluda Grade in 2001, the mainline standard-gauge railroad in the United States went right through Saluda.

With North Carolina and South Carolina bordering on each other, Saluda is a convenient location.

With a charming Main Street lined with long-established restaurants, stores, and galleries, Saluda has a lot to offer visitors.

Since the late 1800s, it has been a renowned mountain tourist destination.

The Green River Gorge and Pearson's Falls may be found close by.

Read on to find out the best things to do in Saluda, North Carolina.

Hike Towards the Little Bradley Falls

Scenic view of Little Bradley Falls
Shane Shelley / Shutterstock,com

Saluda, North Carolina's Little Bradley Falls is a stunning 50-foot multi-tiered waterfall.

The Little Bradley Falls is a miniature version of the main falls.

One of the best places to see a hidden waterfall is on this easy, 2-mile round trip walk.

Waters of Little Bradley Falls
Scott Alan Ritchie / Shutterstock,com

You'll have to bridge many streams on this path, climb over and under several felled trees (including one in the middle of a boulder field), and traverse a boulder field.

It's worth it in the long run.

This trek is ideal when the weather is warm since you can cool yourself in the pool underneath the falls.

View of Little Bradley Falls
Scott Alan Ritchie / Shutterstock,com

Zip through the Gorge Zipline

Next time you go out, why not go ziplining?

It's a good idea!

It's one of Saluda's most romantic activities for couples.

Seeing 10,000 acres of preserved woodland and hearing the rumbling of the Green River is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

One of America's most challenging and thrilling zipline canopy tours is The Gorge in Saluda, North Carolina.

As a thrilling airborne excursion amid the trees, it's ideal for thrill-seeking individuals.

Saluda offers a wide range of enjoyable activities. On the Gorge Zipline Canopy Tour, conquer your anxieties and soar over the canopy and trees for an adventure of a lifetime.

You'll have access to breathtaking vistas from an incredible 1,100 feet in elevation from start to end.

Explore Pearson's Falls and Glen

The waters of Pearson's Falls and Glen
Jim Schwabel / Shutterstock.com

Pearson's Falls and Glen is a wonderful area to spend some time surrounded by natural wonders.

A total of 250 acres of lovely woodlands and streams belong to the Tryon Garden Club, responsible for site upkeep and ownership.

Those who want to see the beautiful 90-foot waterfall may take a shaded walk.

At various points along the route, you'll come across a wide variety of plants that have been recognized.

The walk is excellent for all ages, and along the way, you can relax on benches and listen to the sounds of nature or take a birdwatching break.

Discover the City's History at Saluda Historic Depot and Museum

To preserve and showcase the early history of Saluda, the Saluda Historic Depot was founded in 2016.

The Depot has been transformed into a railway and historical museum where visitors may learn about the importance of the railroad in Saluda's early years.

By way of movies, narratives, objects, and old photographs, the museum tells the story of the pioneer period in Saluda.

Another enormous diorama in the museum shows visitors how early engineers and workmen risked their lives to create the 3-mile Saluda Grade.

This standard-gauge rail line is the steepest in the United States and conveys passengers and goods to Saluda from the nearby town.

Try Whitewater Tubing at Wilderness Cove Tubing and Camping

Whitewater tubing is a great way to cool down during the scorching summer months while still having a good time.

You may bring a friend and enjoy a fun-filled day.

Tobogganing down the Green River is a great way to have a great time while getting some exercise, relaxing, and cooling down in our cold mountain water!

Depending on the dam release, a daily timetable determines when river tubes may be rented from May to September.

Tubing doesn't need that you spend the night with us—show up for the day!

Your transportation, tube, life jacket, and use of the facilities are all included in the price of renting a tube here.

As long as the dam doesn't flood, it's open every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day, seven days a week.

If you're looking for a daily schedule, visit its Facebook page or leave a message on its phone.

When it comes to tubes, youngsters must be at least 42 inches tall, with a recommended minimum of seven years old.

Check Out M. A. Pace General Store

M. A. Pace General Store, Saluda's oldest general store, opened in 1899 and provided visitors with hours of browsing and purchasing.

In search of low-cost things to do in your area? The M. A. Pace General Store is a great place to spend some time.

Although it may seem dated from the outside, you never know what you'll discover when you open the door.

Saluda's M. A. Pace General Store is a must-see attraction in the city's historic district.

Check out Mayfield's Ice Cream, available on sale in the shop, as a reward for your hard work.

Take Photos with the Big Bradley Falls

Located on Cove Creek, the 75-foot-tall Big Bradley Falls is tucked away in its little valley of beauty.

Hiking to the Big Bradley Falls might be challenging, but the result is undeniably worth it.

Several accidents and a highly risky trail have made it unlikely that you will reach the actual waterfall, so prepare accordingly.

When in doubt, turn back. The 1.9-mile walk leading to the falls is beautiful, but be aware of potential dangers.

Take out your camera as soon as the falls are visible and begin documenting the grandeur of Big Bradley Falls.

Try Different Water Activities at Green River Adventures

Adventures on the water are available at Saluda's Green River Adventures, which provides whitewater rafting, rappelling, ziplining, kayaking, and other water sports.

This weekend, what should you see?

Experience the roaring waters of the Green River and the stunning backdrop of the forest and gorge while participating in adrenaline-pumping activities.

You sound like you'd be up for a challenge.

Visit Green River Adventures in Saluda, North Carolina, for some of the most exhilarating and memorable experiences possible.

Waterfall Rappelling may be done on Little Bradley or Big Bradley and whitewater rafting on the Lower and Upper Green Rivers.

Go Fishing at Lake Summit

Lake Summit is a short drive from Saluda and offers a wide range of outdoor activities, such as tubing, whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, and hiking.

You may also catch bream/bluegill, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie, and carp at this location.

Whether you're a fly fisher or a bait caster, the odds of catching a bite here are high.

In other words, go out there with your best fly fishing gear and hit Lake Summit up.

When deciding where to fish, use your best judgment and abide by local ordinances.

Try Apple Mill's Apple Ciders

William Scrope Viner, English horticulture, founded Apple Mill® in 1927.

Saluda was his first choice because of the area's well-deserved reputation for producing high-quality fruits and vegetables.

Saluda is also home to the North Carolina Apple Festival and the North Carolina Horticultural Society.

Located near the Saluda exit on I-26, the farm cuisine and outlet shop are open.

It boasts products free of preservatives, artificial flavorings, and sweeteners.

It also provides pasteurized and unpasteurized apple cider, apple sauces, and apple butter.

A must-see in Saluda, The Heartwood Contemporary Crafts Gallery features the work of a diverse range of brilliant artists and artisans. Crafters and artists from all across North America present their work at the Gallery.

You'll find anything, including pottery, jewelry, glass, wood, cloth, and leather, among the many different types of art to be found there.

In addition, you may also see stunning works of art in a range of contemporary media.

The Gallery is a great spot to pick up a memento of your trip to North Carolina.

Get Your Necessities at the Historic Thompson's Store

Exterior of Thompson's Store
Upstateherd, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you want to see one of the city's first establishments?

Thompson's Shop in Saluda, North Carolina, was established in 1890 and is the state's oldest grocery store.

Thompson's provides gourmet foods, a full-service meat market with Thompson's famous Charlie's Sage Sausage and other hand-cut meats, a deli, excellent wines and craft brews, fresh fruit, frozen dinners, chocolates, and other home essentials.

Souvenirs, Coon Dog Day clothes, and other things are also available at Thompson's Store.

Ward's Grill, located next door to Thompson's Store, has long been a favorite with residents and tourists alike for its realistic 1950s-style diner meals and retro atmosphere.

Bring Your Kids for a Fun Day at Saluda Gem Mine Wicks & Wares

Are you taking a trip to Saluda with your kids?

Stop by Saluda Gem Mine Wicks & Wares!

The Saluda Post Office and the train tracks are only a few feet away from our open-air covered deck.

Fossil find buckets and various sizes of gem and mineral buckets are available for purchase.

In its water trough sluice box, sift through the mud. The Historic Ashley Museum in Saluda, Georgia, has loaned us a collection of gemstones and minerals discovered in our region dating back to the 1970s.

Soy Candles produced by the owner are on display in the store, and they're quite therapeutic.

It also sells homemade jams, jellies, and honey from a Hendersonville household.

The store also has a variety of different presents.

Eat Right at Purple Onion

Since 1998, the Purple Onion has been a favorite gathering spot in Saluda's Historic Downtown.

Friends and family may gather to unwind and eat delicious ethnic meals from across the globe at the restaurant's indoor and outdoor tables.

The focus is on preparing delicious meals using fresh, organic ingredients sourced from the surrounding area and ethically raised beef and fowl.

Salads that can be paired with chicken, trout, prosciutto, or shrimp may be found on the restaurant's menu and your dressing choice.

Guests may order pasta to be replaced with baby marrow ribbons in any dish and customize their entrees and pizzas.

The lunch menu also includes burgers, wraps, and sandwiches.

Cool Off at Somewhere In Time

Stop by the ice cream stand inside a charming antique shop for a tasty treat!

Ice cream, milkshakes, floats, banana splits, sundaes, cones, cups, and penny candy are all available at our business.

The antiques at Somewhere In Time are diverse and reasonably priced.

Everything about it is one-of-a-kind!

For every vacation to Saluda, ice cream is nearly a need.

Customers may choose from a variety of options.

There aren't many places to sit.

However, there is a little park between two buildings a few businesses away where you may sit.

Dine in the Classic Ward's Grill

Ward's Grill, a long-standing family institution, is housed in the historic Thomson's Store building, which formerly housed North Carolina's oldest grocery store.

Since its opening in 1960, the restaurant has been a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike, thanks to its brilliantly re-created 1950s décor.

The next-door Thompson's Grocer still uses historic family recipes to make several of the restaurant's distinctive dishes, such as its hamburger patties and sage and pork sausages.

It serves a wide variety of mouthwatering burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and grills.

You can also have a retro double-thick shake, made just as back in the 1960s, to satisfy your sweet need.

Spend the Weekend at The Saluda Inn

The Saluda Inn is just a few blocks from Downtown Saluda, North Carolina.

Its National Historic Registry-listed 1880s structure offers a high-end, refined ambiance.

Enjoy the free continental breakfast with pastries and a selection of hot drinks.

The communal areas are warm and spacious, and each bedroom is distinctive and full of charm.

Each room and suite has the finest linens, a small fridge, personal heating and air system, and a blow dryer!

Explore the gaming court offering recreational activities, or sit by the fire pit for comfort.

Unwind in the magnificent wine cellar with a complete bar and relaxing music from Wednesdays through Sundays.

eARThly Minds Gallery is a location where art and nature come together.

Owners Sabrina and Kristen first met at an art exhibition and fell in love with each other's works.

You may find unique presents, essential items, home décor, handcrafted jewelry, candles, original paintings, delectable treats, and much more at eARThly Minds.

Products are all created locally in North Carolina, and there is a little bit for everyone to try something new.

Come warm your heart and make your day brighter with eARThly Minds!

Shop, Dine, and unwind at the Saluda Outfitters

Saluda Outfitters is a locally owned and run outdoor recreation facility with a primary focus on top-notch customer service.

They provide many services to the community, from the bike store to the restaurant, the cozy beer room, and the music venue.

At Saluda Outfitters, adventurous visitors may discover a wide variety of premium gear, including clothing, footwear, recreational items, and supplies, every day of the week.

The recently added Green River Eddy's tap Room and Grill boast several craft beers on tap and domestic, wine, and cocktails.

Its large deck serves as a location for live musical performances, and its shaded porches are equipped with chairs, swings, and gliders so visitors can unwind and take in the scenery.

Learn More about the City at Saluda Visitor Center

Need assistance creating your weekend travel schedule?

More than 27,000 people visited the Saluda Visitor Center when it first started its operations in May 2020 until the end of 2022.

The Center provides info on hotels, dining, services, and pursuits in Saluda and the surrounding region.

It is employed by educated volunteers who enjoy offering locals and tourists various insights.

The Saluda Visitor Center is accessible daily from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the warmer months and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays in the cold season.

Grab Tea Mixes at Mewdlic

Pay a visit to the city center of Saluda’s tea and spice business, Mewdlic.

They specialize in teas and tea mixes for occasional and regular tea consumers.

Mewdlic provides a variety of tea blends that can set the mood from soothing to energetic.

The business has a premium natural spice assortment where you may get as few or as many as you like.

A fresh range of the top regional and local beverages is also available.

Drop by the store, sample what they have brewed, and pick from your favorite teas, spices, and extras to bring home.

Final Thoughts

Saluda, North Carolina, is a paradise of rivers, waterfalls, gorges, and other natural wonders for those who like the great outdoors.

When visiting this charming mountain resort town, use our list of the best things to see and do, and you're in for a treat!

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