Hendersonville-Asheville, NC Connects with Sarasota, Bradenton, Clearwater, St. Pete & Punta Gorda

Hendersonville-Asheville, NC Connects with Sarasota, Bradenton, Clearwater, St. Pete & Punta Gorda

Who would have thought this would happen? The Florida Suncoast now has several cities in North Carolina that are connected via air travel. With so many folks traveling between these cities, Allegiant Airlines has made it easy for us to visit these wonderful places.

I had the opportunity to explore the Hendersonville-Asheville, North Carolina area a couple of weeks ago with my pal, photographer extraordinaire, Jack Elka. Jack and his wife, Hope, bought a home in Hendersonville. This time we did the 11-hour drive because there were lots of items to bring up to the new house!



While there, we met so many nice and friendly local folks, ate in some great restaurants and experienced some brisk cold weather as low as 19 degrees!

If you’re heading up that way here are some restaurants, bars and Bed & Breakfast that we checked out.

The Mona Lisa of Hendersonville - great Italian restaurant in Hendersonville, NCMona Lisa of Hendersonville – A family owned restaurant. I had the Veal Chop special. It was the thickest, tastiest, juiciest chop that I have ever had in my life. Bone-in with delicious vegetables, I can’t wait to go back and have it again. From their website: “Owner, Franco was born in Italy in the region of Abruzzo, “Teramo” east of Rome, and moved to the states in 1980. Franco has owned various restaurants in the Orlando, Florida area and has been reviewed and acclaimed by food critics such as Scott Joseph, The Zagat Magazine and others. Today, he is at your service doing what he does best; Creating dishes and sauces with a smile, while saying hello to Patrons thru the food window.”

Great family restaurant which you must try! Sandy, our server, was fabulous. It reminds me so much of Primo Ristorante in Sarasota! 785 N. Church St. Hendersonville, NC 28792 (828) 696-7858 Mona Lisa of Hendersonville.com 

Pop's Diner - old fashioned diner in Hendersonville, NCPop’s Diner – A real old-fashioned diner! We had a great breakfast. So much cool old stuff on display. Brought back a lot of memories from my childhood! They are the longest operated restaurant in Hendersonville, thus the oldest restaurant!

From their website: “We specialize in fresh food. Our food is prepped daily and prepared when you order it. We do not take short cuts and we use the highest quality ingredients .The cooks at Pop’s Diner have over 50 combined years’ experience .We also have knowledgeable wait staff who are prompt and takes pride in serving your family. So, if your local please try us out your sure to become a regular. If your visiting our town come in for the best breakfast and lunch in WNC. The owners are local and raised their kids here and contribute to the local economy.”  860 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792 (828) 693-1035  Pops Diner website

Mike's On Main in Hendersonville, NCMike’s On Main – Another establishment that reminds me of my childhood! We had a nice lunch there and had a great conversation with our server “Noah.” He filled us in on all of the happenings in Hendersonville. So much nostalgia in this breakfast-lunch establishment. From their website:“Mike’s On Main restaurant in Hendersonville, NC has a rich history and a unique 50’s style ambiance and decor. Mike’s on Main in Hendersonville, NC is the most photographed restaurant and perhaps the most photographed building in Hendersonville, NC. The Coca-Cola mural on the side of the building was recently repainted by a painter that was sent down from Charlotte, NC by Coco-Cola to repaint the mural. The building was built in 1900. It was built and operated as a pharmacy by Dr. William Hicks Justus until 1957 when it was sold to Dr. Albert Beck and his brother Bill Beck. Justus Pharmacy installed and operated the first soda fountain in Hendersonville, and it still operates as the only soda fountain in Hendersonville.”  303 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC. 28792. (828) 698-1616  Mikes on Main Street FB 

The Dugout Taproom & Grill - great place for a beer in Hendersonville, NCThe Dugout Taproom & Grill – We stopped in here for a beer and had a great conversation with Chandra the bartender. She moved to Hendersonville from Fort Myers, FL with her husband and they are in love with the area. Both are in the food service industry. This is a great sports bar that has live music several times a week! They have 30 rotating taps and a nice food menu. Watch sporting events on 13 TV’s! 430 N. Main St. Hendersonville, NC (828) 692-9262  The Dugout Taproom & Grill website 

Echo Mountain Inn Bed & Breakfast in Hendersonville, NCEcho Mountain Inn – This Bed & Breakfast is the place to stay when you come to visit Hendersonville. It dates back to 1896 and has just so much history. There is so much charm in this historic inn and the views are magnificent.
From the website: “Echo Mountain Inn was originally built as a home and then converted into a camp called ‘Happiness.’ We cherish this legacy and aim to have our guests experience the best of both during their visit. Our location is a peaceful and quiet one. In the warm weather a swim in the pool, a game of shuffleboard or a walk around the Inn to appreciate the gardens and the view are in order. During the winter, there are indoor pleasures to be enjoyed, like a warm fire or a good book. Our rooms at the Inn are cozy and comfortable. Each has a name that expresses its unique character – from Rustic to Royal and Quilt Haven to Magnolia. They all have private baths and heat/air, TV, and wireless internet. Rooms in our 1930’s wing even have real wood burning fireplaces.

Echo Mountain Inn is just 3 miles from historic Hendersonville Main Street where you’ll find great food to suit any palette as well as shopping and places of interest for the young, old and in between. Then, no matter which direction you head, you will find all kinds of activities and events, historic landmarks, and outstanding art, music and festivals to enjoy. Plus, the beauty of the mountains, waterfalls and national forests are sure to capture your heart.” 2849 Laurel Park Hwy. Hendersonville, NC 28739  (828) 693-9626  Echo Mountain Inn website

West First Wood-Fired Restaurant in Hendersonville NCWest First Wood-Fired Restaurant – Have been there for both lunch & dinner! A very unique menu and fabulous food. From pizza to salads to seafood and pasta we so enjoyed dining here. There is something to eat for everyone.
From their Facebook Page: “West First Wood Fired, Hendersonville North Carolina offers wood fired pizzas, house made pastas, amazing salads, homemade desserts, craft beer and great wines and liquor. It’s a dynamic atmosphere with friendly relaxed but thorough service. Everything is made to order, and we offer many vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. From the moment one enters the loft-style restaurant, everything reinforces the value of the unique, celebrates the handcrafted, and honors a commitment to quality. An imposing glass mosaic tiled oven stands like an altar at the center of a dynamic open kitchen where cooks rhythmically perform the culinary rites and pizzas are tossed, pastas are sautéed, and homemade desserts are carefully plated.” 101 1st Ave W. 28792-5009 Hendersonville, NC (828) 693-1080  West First Wood-Fired Restaurant FB


All photos from Suncoast Post except Echo Inn & West First, photos from their website.


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bed & breakfast, nostalgic restaurant, restaurants in Hendersonville NC, Sande Caplin

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