Mars Hill NC
The small town of Mars Hill in Madison County is best known for Mars Hill College. Many of the historic homes and buildings on Main Street show this connection, and the college provides many educational and cultural opportunities for visitors. During the school year, see great student stage plays (or national clogging champions) in the historic Owen Theatre. During the summer, Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre provides entertainment each weekend with old and new plays alike. It’s about 18 miles north of Asheville
Mars Hill College (founded in 1856) is a private, four-year liberal arts institution with a beautiful campus for strolling. It has an eclectic mix of 1,200 students from all over the United States and the world.
Bascom Lamar Lunsford was born here and his collection of music and his letters are housed at the college. Also see the Civil War Trails marker on the campus to learn more about that period of Mars Hill history.
The Weizenblatt Gallery hosts exhibitions of work in a variety of styles and mediums by artists of local and national prominence. It’s open Monday through Friday 9 AM–5 PM during the academic spring and fall semester.
Downtown Mars Hill Restaurants
Jackrabbits Southwest Grill (14 S Main) From the traditional tacos, burritos and nachos to some of the more creative chipotle ranch crispy chicken tacos or blackened chicken nachos, you can choose a Tex-Mex meal or just have a single taco or a side.
The Original Papa Nicks Pizza (15 College St) Debbie Nikla carries on the family tradition started by her dad and mom, Jerry and Lila Nikla, of serving up the best Italian food and pizza in town.
Festival & Special Events
June-August: The Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre (SART) is dedicated to presenting theatre of the highest professional quality thereby enriching the Southern Appalachian Region through artistic programming, education, and outreach.
October 3, 2015: Heritage Festival and Bascom Lamar Lunsford Music Festival is an all-day festival in early October celebrates regional music and dance traditions. It is the second oldest folk festival in Western North Carolina and was named in honor of cofounder Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Lunsford was a musician and folklorist who dedicated his life to collecting and promoting the music of the Southern Appalachians. Through his work he became known as “Minstrel of the Appalachians.” The festival brings out the region’s finest musicians and dancers. Numerous music and dance performances, jam circles, and a ballad and story swap will occur throughout the day on the Mars Hill College quad — for free– and a concert in the evening at Moore Auditorium for a small fee. Madison County Heritage Festival includes local arts and crafts fill the town and campus.