Historic Downtown Hendersonville- Real Downtown
A visit to Downtown Hendersonville can also take you back in time. Incorporated in 1838, Hendersonville is a fantastic place for history buffs who want a deeper understanding of our area’s culture and peoples. Your journey into the past can begin at the recently restored Historic Downtown Courthouse at First and Main, home to the outstanding Henderson County Heritage Museum. Of course, the Historic Courthouse is only one of many beautiful historical buildings Downtown. As you stroll from the Courthouse North toward 7th Avenue, you’ll notice a variety of architecturally significant buildings that are now home to dozens of shops and services ready to make your stay special. Self Guided Tour brochures are available at the Visitor’s Center- 201 South Main Street.
Please visit the Hendersonville Historic Preservation Commission's website for your Historic tour through our past!
After your stroll through Downtown Hendersonville Main Street District please feel free to drop in and visit Henderson County Genealgoical & Historical Society. This nonprofit organization was established in 1983 for profit, educational, and cultural organization. The organization also promotes research into the heritage of Henderson County by collecting, preserving, and publishing the history of Henderson County, North Carolina and her people.
Special Must-See Festivals & Events!
Downtown Hendersonville hosts numerous special must-see events throughout the year, so be sure to check out our full Events Calendar, but here are some of the highlights.
From May through December, you’re invited to join us for the First Friday of each month, when galleries, shops and restaurants stay open late for your shopping and strolling pleasure. A special treat Downtown is the annual Public Art Display, “Bearfootin’ in Hendersonville,” featuring the return of the wildly popular bear statues. Visitors and locals love to hunt for bears and strike a pose in front of their favorites to create one-of-a-kind photo memories.
(New this year! Everyone can vote for their favorite bear online at DowntownHendersonville.org!)
Throughout the spring and summer, Downtown is host to a number of indoor/outdoor events including the Garden Jubilee (May), Main Street Antique Sidewalk Show (June), Do Tell Storyfest (July), Chalk It Up! Art Extravaganza (July) and Living History Weekend (August). Also in mid-June through mid-August, you’ll hear lots of music downtown, with the ever-popular Music On Main concerts every Friday night and the fabulous Monday night Street Dances featuring mountain heritage music and dancing.
On Labor Day weekend (Sept.), the renowned North Carolina Apple Festival arrives to pay tribute to our area’s extensive apple heritage, followed by special leaf-peeping events, and a unique Arts on Main weekend (Oct.). The Holiday Lighting Celebration (Nov.) kicks off the Winter Holidays in style with a wonderful community gathering at the gazebo on Main.
Whether you’re here for a day trip, a week vacation, or you’re here to stay forever, we hope you’ll take the time to visit Historic Downtown Hendersonville.
Stop in a gallery to meet the artists-in-residence. Take a break on a bench to breathe the clear mountain air. Get to know a shop owner. Have a local restaurateur make you a meal you won’t forget.
If that’s not enough to make you stay forever, then . . . consider yourself invited back real soon.
History of Main Street
The Main Street program evolved under the umbrella of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In the 1970’s the Trust recognized that the nation’s historic downtowns were significant community assets that were being challenged by changing market dynamics and in need of an advocate. To this end they created the Main Street Four Point approach and, after an initial pilot program, formally introduced the program in six states, including North Carolina, in 1980. Since that time the program has enjoyed continued growth and success in North Carolina and the nation. The network now includes 46 states and over 1,400 active Main Street communities. In North Carolina alone there are over 60 Main Street communities with Hendersonville representing one of the longer standing programs having begun their efforts in 1986.
Hendersonville's Sister City: Almunecar, Spain
Sister Cities International is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between U.S. and international communities. We strive to build global cooperation at the municipal level, promote cultural understanding and stimulate economic development.
Mission Statement: Promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation- one individual, one community at a time.
Sister Cities International is a leader for local community development and volunteer action. We motivate and empower private citizens, municipal officials and business leaders to conduct long-term sister city programs. We believe that sister city programs involve two-way communication and should mutually benefit partnering communities. If you have more interest in the Sister Cities International please see direct website: http://www.sister-cities.org/index.cfm
In March of 2010, Almuñécar, Spain was chosen as Hendersonville's official "Sister City." Overlooking the crystal-clear Mediterranean Sea, Almuñécar is considered one of the prettiest and most picturesque spots on the tropical coast of Granada. There, the sea meets a mountainous landscape where avocados, custard apples, mangoes, papayas, bananas and guavas grow in the Spanish sunshine.
Although Almuñécar was founded 1500 B.C. by the Phonecians, it shares with Hendersonville an active agricultural community and thriving tourism, as well as a small-town atmosphere and friendliness. Read more about Almunecar and the purpose of our Sister City relationship.