Where the Foothills End and the Blue Ridge Begins.
Saluda, on Polk County’s western border, has long enjoyed fame as a vacation area and place of retirement. Many of the Low Country people seek its pleasant summer climate as well as the sheer beauty of its mountain setting. Saluda is noted for its fine apple orchards which constitute the main source of farm income.
Experience a slower pace of life, a warm community spirit, and good food. Enjoy leisurely strolls among tree-lined streets of lovely Victorian homes and browse the many distinctive shops along historic main street.
Saluda Event Calendar & Town Information
The first time that I went to Saluda was with my brother-in-law: He said that this is his favorite place in all Western North Carolina! Cute, personal, interesting, small enough to know people in a heart beat and a feeling of an artsy community that would embrace strangers with an open heart. I was so impressed by what I found: The main street is small enough for even a child to walk several times up and down without getting tired, but it is jammed packed with interesting shops and restaurants that even accommodate me as a long time vegetarian. People are very friendly and everybody makes you feel welcome when you meet them. This is real southern hospitality up in the mountains. The history on the area is visible where ever you go. Historic Thompson’s Store is the oldest grocery store in the state of North Carolina. This family-owned store was founded in 1890 and is now celebrating its 125th anniversary year. It is so amazing to walk in a store that my great grandparents could have shopped in and found EVERYTHING one needs ever. This is the Walmart of old times. The Coon Dog Day Celebration is present everywhere, printed on hats, t-shirts and posters. It is a major draw every summer and is a lot of fun: Held the first Saturday following each July 4th this iconic event draws 15,000 visitors. (Saluda has only 713 residents). Highlights of the occasion include judging of champion class coon dogs, food vendors, craft booths, a 5K run and a parade that travels the entire three blocks of downtown!
Without the rail road Saluda would not exist: Construction began in 1877 and the first train successfully negotiated the nation’s steepest commercial incline, known as the Saluda Grade , on July 4, 1878, resulting in a huge celebration. Many wealthy families build their summer homes here in the mountains to enjoy the cool weather away from home.