Day Trip Itinerary: Old Fort, Cinnamon Rolls and A Waterfall

This itinerary for an adventurous day in Old Fort starts with cinnamon rolls, includes a family-friendly waterfall hike and ends with cheeseburgers!

We know that planning a day out can be overwhelming, especially if you are visiting an area and have just a few days to see it all.

To take the stress out of it, we have made it our mission to create effortless itineraries for unforgettable experiences. We hope this itinerary for a day trip from Asheville to Old Fort is just that!

About This Itinerary

This guide unveils a delightful day trip from Asheville, just a 30-minute drive from downtown and full of great food and adventure.

If you follow it, you’ll begin with breakfast in Old Fort, NC. It’s a sweet breakfast (cinnamon rolls!) but we’ve included a few additional options if that’s not your thing.

From there, enjoy time in nature at the popular waterfall hike at Catawba Falls. It’s easy enough for kids but has additional options to make it challenging even for the most fit.

After that, lunchtime! We share our top picks as well as ideas for what to do after you are fueled.

Let’s get to it!

Early Morning: A Sweet Breakfast

Start your morning off with something sweet

Sweet tooth friends, we’ve got a great breakfast for you! Gogo’s in downtown Old Fort, NC is an absolute must-stop if you love cinnamon rolls.

They have over 10 flavors daily, including original, maple bacon, birthday, chocolate and strawberry. Each uses the same base dough and includes unique add-ins and toppings.

Opt for a half dozen to sample a few different flavors! They will heat them for you if you are eating immediately. If not, they are happy to share storage and heating instructions.

If sweets aren’t your thing, check out the Davis Country Store & Cafe. It’s just down the road from Gogo’s and opens Monday-Friday at 7 am with a daily breakfast. Unfortunately, they open a bit later on weekends (9 am on Saturday and 11 am on Sunday.) Old Fort has a Hardee’s and a McDonald’s if Davis Country store is closed.


Next: Get Caffeinated

Cute coffee shop in downtown Old Fort

If you are a caffeine enthusiast, don’t leave the downtown area without grabbing a drink from Seeker Coffee.

They have a full espresso menu as well as matcha, chai, drip coffee, and even a pour-over.

You’ll also find a few breakfast pastries at Seeker Coffee if needed.


Late Morning: A Waterfall Hike

An easy-to-moderate hike to a waterfall (with an option to climb almost 600 stairs!)

The bulk of your morning will be spent on the Catawba Falls Trail. It’s a four-mile roundtrip loop, though visitors typically just opt for a 2.5 roundtrip hike to the base of the falls.

If you do want to hike the full loop, be prepared to climb 580 stairs to the top. You’ll pass by the main waterfall area and a second one– Upper Catawba Falls.

The trail was closed for a few years while undergoing renovations, so it’s a popular spot right now! We like to arrive early to snag a parking spot. It begins to fill up by 10 am.


Afternoon: Lunch In Old Fort

Enjoy a cheeseburger overlooking a creek

You’ll be ready to have a bite and rest your legs after time on the trail. We recommend lunch at Hillman Beer in downtown Old Fort.

They have a signature burger, as well as a host of sandwiches, salads and small bites.

You’ll find a few tables out front, additional seating inside and even a few overlooking the adjacent creek. Some of the creek tables are on an enclosed patio and others are alongside the building just up from the creek.

Another option for food in Old Fort is Whaley’s Farm Brewery. It’s also located in downtown Old Fort. They have outdoor seating and an on-site pizza food truck. One thing to note is that they aren’t open daily (currently just Thursday through Sunday!)


Not Ready To Go Home?

Stroll around downtown Old Fort

You may be ready to head back to base camp and rest your legs at this point. If not, take a stroll around Old Fort.

The downtown area is tiny and you won’t have any trouble finding your way around. Plus, it’s charming and there are a few spots with a Wes Anderson feel.

Shops of interest include Old Fort Bike Shop, Arrowhead Gallery, Sheehan’s Estate Sales and the Davis Country Store.

There’s also a local museum (Mountain Gateway Museum) and a visitor’s center. There’s a train museum downtown but it’s temporarily closed.


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Disclaimer: Hours, pricing, menus, etc. may have changed since we last updated this post, so make sure to confirm all of this directly prior to visiting any business or attraction listed on our site.

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