Friday, May 18, 2012

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Hendersonville, North Carolina :

So, you've heard about the waterfalls in Brevard County not far from Asheville, North Carolina.  That's great.  So you've gone down that way and seen the Biltmore Estate, the town of Cherokee, and Chimney Rock State Park.  You feel like a real tourist.  I've done that too.  The problem is that even after 200 waterfalls, I feel like I'm missing something.

Here's the thing you don't know about.  There's a little town called Hendersonville.  It's just south of Asheville and East of Brevard.  It's a little spot on the map that's really of no consequence.  You won't hear about it on television.  But, you should visit.

Hendersonville is the way life used to be.  There are decorated ceramic bears all up and down main street to show us their artsy side.  They have art galleries, ice cream shops, and great shopping.  Everyone will say hi to you on the street, and they may even ask where you're from.  It's a town where everyone knows everyone else, and even if you work hard to fit in, they'll know you're from out of town.

Now, unlike a lot of touristy destinations, I recommend that you visit Hendersonville in the evening, and during the week, probably on a Monday night.  Why?  Because for the last 90 plus years, Hendersonville has been having a public square dance in the city parking lot.  They come out and dance the night away until about ten o'clock.  They'll make you feel like family and it's a lot of fun.  There are no complicated moves.  The callers keep it easy for novices.  It's a great fun time for anyone from anywhere.

Square dancing is one of the most community centered events I have encountered over the years.  It's something that automatically introduces you to new people right on the dance floor or asphalt.  If you do visit this traditional event, you will make friends.  There's simply no way not to.

So, once again, do your hiking, do your gawking, see how the rich people live and learn all about the Cherokee.  Then take a little drive down to Hendersonville and you will learn to have the hometown time of you life. 

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