You may not find vampires in Brevard, the county seat of Transylvania (“trans” for across and “sylvan” for wood). But there are attractions like Dupont State Park, Looking Glass Falls, John Rock, Davidson River, the Pink Beds and the Pisgah Fish Hatchery nearby. Such opportunities for adventure make this small town a near-perfect gateway to the mountains. Slow down for a little while and explore its Main Street charms.
There's Brevard College, a private, United Methodist school with just over 600 students. Being located so close to the mountains offers many of the students a tremendous opportunity to study in the wilderness, and many of the majors reflect as such.
According to local legend, during the Orson Welles’ famous War of the Worlds broadcast in 1938, numerous Brevard College students fainted upon hearing the radio reports of an alien invasion, and a fear and panic gripped the campus.
Today it's a bit calmer, but be on the lookout for the area's revered and unique white squirrels, which are simply a color variant of the common Eastern grey squirrel. So famous are these campus and town residents that every year, the city hosts the Brevard White Squirrel Festival in late May. Last year, participants set a Guiness World Record for the most costumed dancers in a public setting.
If you're feeling athletic (in a leisurely way), play on the college's disc golf course. It's moderately hilly and slightly wooded, weaving through the outskirts of the campus. Water comes into play on some holes, so be prepared to get wet. As a bonus, you might be able to see some of the famed white squirrels while playing.
Another local draw is the Brevard Music Center, which boasts about 400 students and is celebrating its 75th anniversary by presenting more than 80 concerts — orchestra, opera, chamber music, wind ensembles and more. The season runs through early August. Visit brevardmusic.org for more information.
Meanwhile, there are shops, restaurants and charm downtown. There's an old-fashioned toy store, a music shop that specializes in local music, crafts, a Saturday farmers market and more.
— Send your getaway ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 25«1-1333, ext. 152. And visit mountainx.com/getaway.