Immediately to the east of Asheville, nestled in the mountains and near lots of hiking hot spots, the town of Fairview offers small-town charm with easy access to city amenities. You’ll find that just driving a few minutes from the bustle of Asheville Mall and Tunnel Road, things quiet down and you get to really focus on the beautiful hilly views and feel the calm and coziness of this area.
Staying in Fairview is a great way to be right next to great hiking, including Strawberry Gap Trailhead and Bearwallow Mountain Trail. Keep heading southeast, and you’ll hit the charming spots Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, or head up north a bit for an afternoon in Black Mountain and Swannanoa.
I’ll level with you: Fairview isn’t an enormous or dense neighborhood or town (in fact, its name is more for the community, and many of the nearby addresses will be part of Asheville or other towns like Fletcher). Therein, however, lies much of the charm. Fairview is a community, a place tied together by a love of the mountains, a slower pace of life than the hustle-filled city, and traditions that have been part of this area for centuries.
Staying here is a lovely privilege, if you get the chance, and if you’re up for it, you can get a little more of a glimpse into mountain living than you’d get from the top floors of a downtown Asheville hotel – these are two wonderful options for travel experiences, for sure, but the Fairview view might be just as sweet!
Your options are varied and excellent for creating a fun weekend getaway or enjoying a leisurely week with family and friends. Here are some of our favorite options in this area of Western NC.
Don’t forget to check out our web story: A Guide to Fairview, NC (Buncombe County)
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While Fairview is a small community with less than 3,000 permanent residents, there are quite a few draws to this area that you’ll be able to find and enjoy. No matter what your group is interested in, there’s something for you to explore that will please everyone in your crew.
However, one theme that shines through in this part of the world is a love of nature and the way that it provides food for us, both in the food you choose to eat while you’re here and in the ways that local farms take pride in their work while choosing sustainable and organic practices.
1. Hickory Nut Gap Farm
For over 100 years, the family that runs Hickory Nut Gap Farm has made their mark on this area, and these days, they are known for their high-quality meats and their beautiful farm. They work to grow food that is harvested in a sustainable and regenerative way and to be part of helping others to learn.
From hosting hog butchery classes to bringing families together for barn dances and stargazing, there is often something happening on the farm. Groups and visitors to special events can see the history of the farm, stop by the farm store, see the cows, pigs, and chickens that are being raised here, and see how the farm operates.
Even if you just stop by the farm store long enough to pick up some meat to put on the grill, it’ll be a real addition to your visit to this area. Many local restaurants are proud to serve their meats, so you know you’re getting top quality.
Location: 57 Sugar Hollow Road, Fairview
2. Flying Cloud Farm
While Hickory Nut Gap is known for their livestock, Flying Cloud Farm in Fairview is known for beautiful and organically grown produce and flowers. They also offer tours, and families often come to pick their own strawberries during the ripe season on this farm, creating cherished memories.
Be aware that picking is only available at the perfect ripeness time and can go quick, so keep an eye on their Facebook page to figure out the best time to come out. At any rate, their farm stand is a great place to pick up some picnic or dinner supplies and enjoy the quiet, pleasant feeling of being out in nature.
Their CSA, or community-supported agriculture, is a wonderful way for locals to get ongoing access to produce while giving the farm a reliable membership that helps to keep everything running smoothly. Find something special to eat today while appreciating the farms that grow our food.
Location: 1860 Charlotte Highway, Fairview
3. WNC Nature Center
While not technically in Fairview, you’re just a bit away from the Western North Carolina Nature Center, which is a wonderful option for a morning or afternoon out if you’re traveling with small children. This nature center feels more like a hike in the woods than most zoos feel, but you’ll still get great opportunities to see bears, owls, foxes, wolves, and even red pandas.
The animals are a great feature, but there are also children’s activities, like a big rope structure for climbing and some music stations along the paths. There’s an indoor building for seeing frogs, turtles, and even a hellbender salamander, and a whole farm exhibit that showcases pigs, goats, sheep, and even a skunk! There’s so much to learn about animals specifically from this region when you stop by the WNC Nature Center.
Location: 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville
4. Whistle Hop Brewing
While Whistle Hop is first and foremost a brewery, we included it in our list of Fairview attractions simply because it is a smidge more fun for the family than the average brewery. For one thing, it’s train-themed, and you can actually drink your beer inside the beautiful train car itself, or enjoy the covered areas, mini-golf course, bowling, and various other yard games.
There’s plenty of benches, charcoal grills, fire pits, and even a playground for kids. They’ve really made this the place to hang out, and they often have food trucks to keep you well-fed while the little ones (or the young at heart!) play.
Location: 1288 Charlotte Highway, Fairview
Fairview being a small and close-knit community doesn’t change that there are fun and exciting activities available within just a few miles’ drive. Be aware, though, that there is a Town of Fairview in NC that is close to Charlotte, and the Fairview community in Buncombe County is a separate entity – just note this if you go looking for events and find anything from fairviewnc.gov.
Your best bet for finding small festivals and activities held by community centers, churches, and local organizations is to talk to your rental host or people you meet while picking up food. A small community often spreads the word about Fairview activities better internally than on the internet.
5. WNC Cheese Trail
Local purveyors Hickory Nut Gap Farms and Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery are both members of the WNC Cheese Trail, a group of growers or producers who have created events together to celebrate the heritage of excellent cheese in this area.
For instance, at Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery, they make their cheeses and then age them in a cave following old-fashioned methods that produce truly incredible flavorful cheeses. They offer tours by appointment, and the cheesemaker is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about cheese.
The WNC Cheese Trail also hosts special events from time to time and many of the creameries in the mountains bring their cheeses to market at farmer’s markets like the East Asheville Tailgate Market, which can be a nice way to find multiple local cheeses and host your own cheese taste test while here in Fairview.
6. Live Music at Turgua Brewing
Turgua Brewing is known for farmhouse brewing that encourages sustainable organic farming, but they also have a lot of live music. If you’re craving a night of toe-tapping good tunes, check and see who is playing at their Fairview taproom while you’re in town.
For a while at least, they’ve had a Tuesday evening jam with acoustic music in genres like old-time, Americana, Irish, and swing, and bringing your own chair and musical instrument is encouraged. The picturesque location is right by Cane Creek, and the interior is both rustic and inviting. They have 24 taps at their wood-edged copper-top bar, and they often have food trucks visiting to keep visitors filled and happy.
Location: 3131 Cane Creek Road, Fairview.
7. Hike Bearwallow
There are too many great hikes in the mountains near Asheville and Fairview to limit our suggestions, but one that is right in the backyard of your Fairview lodgings is Bearwallow Mountain. Known for offering a great 360-degree view and a low difficulty level on the 2-mile trek (round trip), Bearwallow lets you get some good exercise in without feeling too strained by the path.
If you have small kids with you, bringing a pack might be worthwhile to tote them if they get tired, but lots of elementary-age kids and older will be able to really enjoy this hike. The trailhead is at the crest of Bearwallow Mountain Road, where a gravel area on the shoulder of the road provides parking opportunities.
There are kiosks to help you see the path, and there are other paths that connect for more advanced hikes in the Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trail System. Hiking in this area can be a major part of your trip!
Fairview Restaurants and Bars
From a high-quality craft cider company to a bakery that distributes to many of Asheville’s coffee shops and restaurants, you’ll find all kinds of flavorful food in Fairview. Here is just a sampling of the tasty options that await you!
8. Barn Door Ciderworks
Barn Door focuses their cidery on making barrel-aged, dry ciders – this isn’t the tooth-ache-sweet non-alcoholic apple cider of pumpkin patch and corn maze fame. They take pride in an age-old process of pressing local apples and creating aged, hard ciders that are full of complex flavors and a lot of love.
They often do at least one barrel a year with wild apple cider that is foraged from the mountains or friends’ yards. Apples are an interesting crop because unless they are grafted and cloned to be one of the standard varieties, wild apples can grow with a wide range of traits and flavors. All of this contributes to amazing variety and flavor in the apple cider world.
In addition to their craft ciders, you’ll frequently find tasty non-alcoholic beverages, beer, and wine, as well as a few small-bite food items, like olives, pickles, soups, flatbreads, and meatballs. Many of their dishes are inspired by the countries of the Mediterranean. It’s not a large spot, and you’ll feel like you’re visiting family friends when you stop by.
Location: 23 Lytle Road, Fletcher.
9. The Local Joint
The Local Joint takes its name from being a great source for familiar favorites among the local Fairview crew that offer a tasty meal with a connection to community. People stop by at all times of the day. From the breakfast menu to the sandwiches for lunch and the nightly dinner specials, you’ll never leave hungry.
They have a beautiful patio and a beer and wine menu, so relaxing here is the perfect choice. They also have spent nearly 10 years perfecting their recipes and serving local food, aiming for quality and flavor.
Start your day with a breakfast of poached eggs, goat cheese, and mushrooms with a citrus-basil hollandaise, or surprise your vegan friend with the delicious Tempeh Omelet topped with sliced avocados. Start with an order of buffalo chicken smothered potato chips made in-house at lunch, and then snag a top-notch salad or the Fried Green Tomato BLT Sandwich.
Or make it a big night at the Local Joint with a Center Cut Top Sirloin dinner with beer-battered onion rings or the Local Joint Vegetable Paella with saffron brown rice. With options for all palates and preferences, you’ll remember your meal here for a long time.
Location: 1185B Charlotte Highway, Fairview
10. Rise Above Bakehouse
If you’ve eaten at cafes or coffee shops around Asheville, there’s a good chance you’ve had Rise Above baked goods at some point, but the original attraction is right here in Fairview. The bakehouse sells a wide variety of loaf breads, bagels, muffins, cookies, scones, bars, and even cinnamon rolls.
Their coffee bar is all set up to serve you iced chai (they make their own spice blend!) or a hot locally-roasted cup of coffee. They serve breakfast- and lunch-style sandwiches on their bagels and sourdough, with winning combos like the Smoked Sunburst Trout sandwich and the Turkey, Cheddar, Spinach, Tomato, & Aioli sandwich.
No matter whether you’re looking for a quick bite before heading out to hike or settling in for a tasty lunch before a leisurely afternoon of shopping, you’ll find something great and maybe even carry away a dozen bagels or a loaf of bread!
Location: 1207 Charlotte Highway, Fairview
11. Trout Lily Deli and Market
When on the road, it’s easy to accidentally end up only visiting places that fill you up but leave you sluggish. So, for light and healthy organic food, Trout Lily makes a great stop. They have convenient online ordering if you need to pick up and go.
But you can also order on-site and purchase from the many local items they carry, including local ice cream, jam, bars, hot sauces, drinks, and hummus. You’ll find that they focus on local and build relationships with purveyors so that they can be very proud of everything they serve.
Location: 1297 Charlotte Highway, Fairview
12. Sky Mountain Pizza
From flavorful subs to top-notch pizzas, you’ll get your Italian cravings satisfied at Sky Mountain Pizza. From their tasty Margherita Pizza with simple basil, tomato, and mozzarella to the Buffalo Chicken with white sauce and red onions, there’s something with every pizza lover’s name on it.
Their sandwich menu is long, too, with things like the Hot Veggie Sub featuring mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and spinach alongside provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a red wine vinaigrette for tang and flavor.
If you’re in a lighter fare mood, the Spinach Salad pairs baby spinach with red onion, mushrooms, dried cranberries, feta cheese, cucumber, tomato, and red onion, with multiple dressing options available as well. For carb-loading before a big hike or going out for a drive on the Parkway, it’s hard to beat a pizza at Sky Mountain!
Location: 1321 Charlotte Highway, Fairview
If you’re specifically looking for multiple boutiques and clothing or accessory shops, you’re better off driving into the eastern part of Asheville, but never fear – there are still fun ways to participate in all the great Fairview shopping! Here in the area, there are specialty shops that might just suit you and your friends even better than a standard day of considering beautiful clothing options.
13. Troyer’s Country Amish Blatz
If you’ve never had the treat of shopping at an Amish General Store, you’ll find Troyer’s a treat. Stop for a bite to eat with excellent-quality prepared food at the sandwich counter.
You’ll also find bulk food and spices, the old-fashioned equivalent of a grocery store, and a variety of tasty baked goods made from scratch. You’ll also find furniture made in traditional Amish styles, simple and high-quality, meant to last. The whole family will find something to learn about or enjoy.
Location: 14 Bonn E Lane, Fairview
14. New Moon Marketplace
Visiting WNC is often a treat for antiquers, with multiple antique malls and lots of smaller stores. You’ll love seeing the variety at New Moon Marketplace, where vintage clothing, collectibles, signs, and other antiques share the shelves with local pottery, soaps, and gifts. The focus is mostly on clothes, home items, and gifts, so this is a great place to commemorate your journey to Fairview with an item you can’t find anywhere else!
Location: 1508 Charlotte Highway, Fairview
15. The Evolved Fish
Right here in this small town is a cichlid expert who has lots of experience with beautiful aquariums and keeping a variety of exotic fish healthy as pets. Stopping in to see the beautiful and exotic fish selection will teach you a lot, and it’s not only fish – there are also axolotls, a type of salamander. Enjoy the variety of these vibrant freshwater fish and see if any options at The Evolved Fish are the right fit for you and your family!
Location: 1334 Charlotte Highway, Fairview
16. Fiddle and Fret
Many people come to Western NC due to a love of bluegrass and old-time music, beautiful tunes that have been passed down for generations in these hills. Skilled artisans called luthiers create fiddles, banjos, mandolins, and many other instruments with finesse and care, creating a firm foundation for beautiful music that will be made with an instrument.
At Fiddle and Fret in Fairview, you can see Danny Bishop’s handcrafted instruments, and the shop is a destination for those who need intricate repairs to make sure that their family-heirloom-level instruments are in great repair going forward.
Whether you want to ask a question to an expert, admire the beauty of these instruments, or are in the market to buy one yourself, you’ll be in awe of this specialty shop – it’s a rare gem!
Location: 44 Cane Creek Lane, Fairview.
17. Mountain Mist Nursery
Whether you’re a local trying to add to the natural beauty of your home or an out-of-towner whose climate still can sustain some of the beautiful plants of the Western North Carolina mountains, you’ll find beautiful growing things at Mountain Mist Nursery.
Their specialties include native azaleas, ferns, and shade-loving plants like trilliums. Finding these specialty plants and learning to grow them yourself can be a challenge, and the nursery is open by appointment only, so if gardening native plants is a passion, it’s worth calling ahead!
Location: 10 Log Gap Road, Fairview
We hope you enjoy your trip to Fairview, NC! What are your favorite things to do in Fairview? Let us know in the comments.
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