The Best Waterfalls in North Carolina

There’s plenty to love about visiting the mountains of western North Carolina in the spring, but one thing stands out from the rest: waterfalls. This area is home to some of the best waterfalls in North Carolina. Set amidst the lush scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains, these cascading waters are a beautiful sight to behold. Though there is something to enjoy about waterfalls in North Carolina in every season, spring is when they’re at their most impressive. 

The journey to unique waterfalls in North Carolina is as enchanting as the destinations themselves. Trails meander through verdant forests, offering glimpses of the region’s rich biodiversity. Whether you seek the gentle murmur of a small cascade or the thunderous roar of a larger fall, they offer the perfect backdrop for a beautiful spring day in the mountains. 

Hiking or driving your way from one waterfall to the next is a fantastic way to kick off the season of adventure, too, as before you know it, the long, warm days of summer will be upon us, bringing endless opportunities for hiking, biking, boating, rafting, and so much more. There truly are so many fantastic things to do in the North Carolina Mountains, especially in the Saluda area, and we’d love to be your home base for all your adventures this year. 

Imagine winding down your day with a gourmet dinner, then relaxing on a porch overlooking the starlit mountain sky. Our welcoming accommodations offer the perfect blend of comfort and adventure, inviting you to explore the area’s natural wonders by day and retreat to your private haven by night. Book your room at our top-rated romantic getaway in North Carolina today! 

Pearson's Falls near Saluda is one of the best waterfalls in North Carolina

The Best Waterfalls in North Carolina Near Saluda

There is no shortage of waterfalls in North Carolina. There are more than 250 waterfalls in the Brevard area alone – a part of the state lovingly called the “land of waterfalls,” just southwest of Asheville and not too far from our Saluda hotel. You might even know some of these waterfalls from their appearances in movies like The Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans. To say these waterfalls in North Carolina are iconic is a massive understatement. 

You can spend days hiking and driving to waterfalls in North Carolina and not even scratch the surface, so we’ve done the work for you and narrowed it down to a list of our ten favorite waterfalls, all around 60 – 75 minutes from our hotel in Saluda, NC. 

  1. One of the closest waterfalls to our Saluda hotel is Pearson’s Falls & Glen. The hike to the falls is only a quarter mile, and the falls themselves are 90 feet! We recommend picnicking next to the cascade or on one of the nearby tables – it won’t take long to see why this is one of our favorite waterfalls in North Carolina. 
  2. One of the most popular waterfalls in North Carolina is Big Bradley Falls. This impressive 75-foot waterfall has a breathtaking lookout. To get here, you have to hike for less than a mile on a moderately difficult trail.  
  3. Located across the street from the Big Bradley Falls parking area and trailhead is Little Bradley Falls. The round trip is about 2 miles and features old ruins that you can observe as you hike along Cove Creek. When you reach the falls, you’ll be wowed by the 35-foot, multi-tiered cascade.
  4. Looking Glass Falls near Brevard is stunning. It’s one of the most popular waterfalls in North Carolina, and it’s easy to see why. It drops 65 feet over a ledge, is 35 feet wide, and is set in a beautiful, unbelievably scenic forest. 
  5. For an awe-inspiring multi-tiered waterfall that cascades down over 400 feet, head to Whitewater Falls in Cashiers. It’s the tallest waterfall in the Eastern United States and is well worth the hour and fifteen-minute drive. Another nearby bonus waterfall in this area is Rainbow Falls in Gorges State Park. 
  6. If you’re a fan of the Hunger Games film series, you won’t want to miss these next waterfalls in North Carolina! There are three of them, all in the Dupont State Recreational Forest. You’ll find Triple Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the covered bridge at High Falls, all featured in the movie series. 
  7. Make your way to Chimney Rock State Park to hike the easy 3/4 of a mile to Hickory Nut Falls. This stunning 404-foot waterfall is an incredible sight. You may even recognize it as one of the filming spots for The Last of the Mohicans!
  8. If you want to see waterfalls near Saluda but are wary of a hike, drive to the top of White Oak Mountain and enjoy the scenic view of Shunkawauken Falls. The trail is on private property, but you can see the 150-foot cascade right from the road. As a bonus, you’ll come across some incredible scenic overlooks of the stunning Western North Carolina landscape all along the drive.

Of course, there are far more fantastic waterfalls in North Carolina worth seeing. For example, if you plan to drive the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, don’t miss Linville Falls, Crabtree Falls, and Dry Falls further to the west. 

Other than visiting waterfalls in North carolina, visiting Chimney Rock is one of the best things to do near Saluda

6 More Things to Do Near Our Saluda Hotel

You could spend your days chasing beautiful waterfalls in North Carolina – but that’s just scratching the surface of everything to do near our hotel. There are plenty of fantastic hiking trails and hours of fun on the water on the Green River. Lake Lure isn’t too far away, and don’t forget the incredible town of Asheville and its fantastic restaurants, museums, historic homes like the Biltmore, and so much more, just a short drive away. 

Beyond mesmerizing waterfalls, Saluda, North Carolina, offers a treasure trove of activities catering to various interests. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the local galleries showcasing works by regional artists, while outdoor enthusiasts will find a chance to connect with nature. For those seeking a more relaxed pace, the area’s vineyards and orchards offer tastings and tours,. In short, Saluda provides a myriad of experiences to enrich your visit. Below, we’ve listed some of the top things to do near our Saluda hotel. 

  1. Browse the charming shops and art galleries in downtown Saluda, NC, and embrace the regional history still evident in many of the town’s historic buildings.  
  2. Consider taking a treetop adventure and ziplining through the stunning North Carolina Mountains.
  3. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Tryon Foothills Wine Region. The scenery is as beautiful as the wines are delicious. 
  4. Don’t miss your chance to tour Biltmore, the grandest home in the country, built by the Vanderbilt family in the late 1800s. 
  5. Hiking is one of the most popular things to do in Saluda, NC, and it’s easy to see why. There’s a vast network of hiking trails in the North Carolina Mountains, all of which take you through lush forests and beautiful scenery and often end with breathtaking views. Great hikes include the trails at Chimney Rock State Park, including The Worlds Edge Trail and the Jones Gap Loop, among others.
  6. As the weather warms up in the North Carolina Mountains, the days are perfect for Kayaking, paddleboarding, or floating through the scenic Green River Gorge. Many local outfitters will rent you equipment, but we prefer Green River Adventures. They also offer exhilarating whitewater rafting trips.

Of course, no trip to the North Carolina Mountains is complete without a stay at The Orchard Inn, one of the leading romantic getaways in North Carolina. We offer guests an incomparable retreat in the mountains, one of the finest restaurants outside of Asheville, a luxurious spa for those blissful afternoons you crave, and friendly hospitality that can’t be beat. Get out and explore the best waterfalls in North Carolina this spring, and give yourself plenty of time to relax and unwind in paradise. Book your room at our hotel in Saluda today!