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Nestled in the Smokies of North Carolina is the sweet little town of Black Mountain. Just 15 miles east of Asheville as the crow flies, Black Mountain offers a tranquil setting for the harried traveler. It is one of North Carolina’s best-kept secrets.

There is plenty of unhurried shopping in Black Mountain. Antique and memorabilia enthusiasts will enjoy the varied shops of Cherry Street. Fine art and mountain craft stores line the curbs in addition to the Old Train Depot. Found at the lower end of Cherry Street, the restored depot is now an artisan consignment shop. Quilts, clocks, dolls, wind chimes, pottery, brooms, and jewelry are just a few of the items on the shelves in Black Mountain.

Montreat College is just north of Black Mountain. Conveniently, Montreat Road leads to this picturesque place just a couple of miles from town. Billy Graham has a home in Montreat and there are other year-round residents as well. Swimming, paddleboats, and nature trails found there offer a welcomed respite after a day of shopping. Montreat College is a private two-year Christian college. The picturesque setting is also the site for religious conferences during the year.

Another popular attraction found at Black Mountain is Lake Tomahawk. Located away from the center of town toward the Black Mountain Golf Course (once deemed the “longest fairway in the world” by Guinness), the lake area accommodates the visitors and town residents. Surrounded by a walking/jogging/exercise-your-dog trail, Lake Tomahawk is also home to myriad ducks and ducklings. There is an island off to one side where the ducks nest in the spring.

The west side of the lake offers a great vista of Seven Sisters, seven mountains located beside one another. Continuing around the lake is a community garden and a playground. A receptacle of free duck food sits on the shore complete with feeding instructions. Adjacent to the trail is the Black Mountain Community Pool with lighted tennis courts just next door.

Black Mountain, North Carolina is not Atlanta. It is not Memphis, and it is not Charleston. Those places are all fine in their own right. Black Mountain is a sleepy little town just down the road a bit from big sister Asheville.

If you want the frantic pace of a racetrack, don’t come to Black Mountain. If you want a super shopping mall complete with an ice rink and theme park, don’t come to Black Mountain. If you want to drink and dance in the discos until dawn, definitely don’t come to Black Mountain.

Come to Black Mountain if you need a little rest. Come to Asheville’s little sister if you want to read a good book or explore a nature trail. Come to the eastern edge of the Smoky Mountains if you’d like to golf, play tennis, or swim. Come to the sweet little town of Black Mountain where the crows don’t tell any secrets of harried travelers.