Hendersonville, North Carolina – Main Street

Main Streets 2016: North Carolina

The 16 blocks that make up downtown Hendersonville get especially interesting when you travel Main Street — because it’s not exactly straight. As it snakes through the attractively old-timey heart of this community in the mountains of western North Carolina, Main Street leads the visitor by restaurants, art galleries, shops, boutiques and entertainment venues. It’s enough to convince you that today’s Hendersonville has got a good thing going! And it does. The downtown even has free outdoor wifi.

Hendersonville is still a small town, with just over 13,000 residents, yet downtown often has something special happening. During the summer months, locals congregate on South Main to enjoy free live music for the Friday night Music on Main Street concert series. The Hendersonville Antique Car Club tag-teams with the concert series to host classic car shows with a festival-like, family atmosphere.

Summer also brings the downtown Rhythm & Brews Concert Series, and every June the Antique & Vintage Show lines the sidewalks of Main Street with collectibles. The Bearfootin’ Public Art Walk brings tall bear sculptures, fabulously painted with original designs, to the downtown in a highlight of the year that kicks off when the bears are unveiled in May.

One of the town’s most iconic events are the Street Dances, which have been bringing fine mountain music to Main Street for 97 years. The dances, now each Monday evening in mid-summer, began after World War I, as a way to welcome returning soldiers home.

But there’s even more to Main Street than music, shopping, artworks and eateries. The Main Street Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places — and its focal point is the beautifully restored, 1905-vintage Historic Henderson Courthouse. Between First and Second avenues and Main and Church streets, the courthouse is home to the Henderson County Heritage Museum.

Also on Main Street is the Mineral and Lapidary Museum of Henderson County, a fascinating resource on the earth sciences, and Hands On!, a children’s museum whose name gives a great introduction to all the fun and learning that awaits inside.

All photos courtesy of Historic Downtown Hendersonville

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  1. We vacationed in Hendersonville last July and thoroughly enjoyed all that Main Street has to offer. Love the Bears and the entertainment. Especially love that it is very pet friendly.

  2. Inn On Church, built in 1919 as Aloah Hotel, is the only hotel of its era still in operation. It is a 21 room Boutique Hotel and Event Center, located one block from Main St. on the corner of Church & Third. A true landmark in downtown Hendersonville.

  3. Main street was strait until sometime in the 70s .. they put in the “snake” to combat drag racing down the stretch .. it was a common place to “cruise” on Friday and Saturday night up into the early 2000s!

  4. We also host The North Carolina Apple Festival that attracts about 250,000 people every Labor Day for the last 60+ years

  5. As Presbyterian missionaries from Kenya, visiting in December 2001, my wife and I went to the Christmas parade on Main Street. WOWZIE! It was like being transported back to 1955… antique tractors, fire engines, police on horseback, vintage cars, crazy floats, high school bands. Hooked on “Hendo,” we walked into a realty company and were met by the wonderful Bill Everhart who showed us “the only flat lot left in Hendersonville I know of” with a clear view of the Blue Ridge and Mt. Pisgah. We bought it, and it sat waiting for us to move back to the US in 2011 and build our home, “Machpelah,” on Sky Lake Drive. Heaven? Nope, but it’s mighty close! We LOVE “Hendo” – a super duper place to live!
    Y’all come! – Johnny & Becky Long

  6. We moved here 10 years ago for the reasons you mentioned, amongst others including The Garden Jubilee held on the first two days of the Memorial Day weekend.

  7. I absolutely love Hendersonville, NC. !
    When I was a little girl my family and I went up to Rochester, NY. every summer to visit my Dads side of the family for 2 weeks. On the drive up we always passed through a downtown where the cars, motorcycles and old cars parked along side each other. For some odd reason, I loved that! Hendersonville reminds me so much of that little town!