Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this quaint town has a moderate climate, deep equestrian history and wonderful little wineries.
Tryon is located at the base of the “First Peak of the Blue Ridge” – Polk County’s tourism brand – at an elevation of 1067 ft. Tryon actually sits at the base of Tryon Peak (3231 ft.), which is the northernmost mountain of the 10 mile stretch of mountains known as the Tryon Range. Tryon’s geography makes it the perfect place for numerous outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking. Tryon’s unique topography places it in what is known as an “isothermal belt” – an area nestled at the base of a mountain and surrounded by tall hills where temperatures are cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than surrounding areas. Tryon’s geography and climate makes the area very conducive to growing grapes and has resulted in the establishment of several wineries.
Points of Interest in Tryon, NC
Tryon International Equestrian Center – It is like Disney World for horse enthusiasts, with horse competitions, entertainment, a merry-go-round, shopping, restaurants, and much more. Actually, you’ll love it regardless of if you like horses or not.
Historic Downtown Tryon – There are numerous art galleries in the historic downtown that display the works of local artists. Take a walking tour of Tryon by downloading the Historic Downtown Tryon Walking Tour brochure. Enjoy local restaurants and coffee shops.
Local Wineries – Visit any or all of the 5 vineyards located within a short drive of Downtown Tryon — Mountain Brook Vineyards (Tryon), Overmountain Vineyards (Tryon), Parker-Binns Vineyard (Mill Spring), Russian Chapel Hills Winery (Columbus) and Green Creek Winery (Columbus).
Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) – Enjoy equestrian events, hike trails, observe nature, and much more.
Annual Events in Tryon
Tryon Super Saturday – Theatre Festival for Children – 3rd Saturday in March – The promoters provide “exceptional opportunities for children to enrich their lives by presenting the finest actors, singers, dancers, musicians, storytellers, puppeteers, magicians and all-round wizards in festival celebration!”
Tryon April Fools Festival – 1st Saturday in April – Celebrating foolish fun – Kicks off with a parade, then continues with music, food, fun, and games – fun for all!
Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival – Second weekend of June – Well over 50 barbecue competitors vie for the coveted first prize ribbon. Eat your way through hog heaven. Also see classic cars, crafters and lots of musical performers.
Tryon Beer Fest – First Saturday in November – Over 15 local craft beer brewers will be serving their wonderful wares. Food venders, live music and fun for all!
The Tryon NC Community
Much of Tryon’s future now seems to be centered on the success of the Tryon International Equestrian Center. The number of jobs created and overall economic impact to the area will be tremendous. New hotels, restaurants and equestrian-related businesses are springing up everywhere.
Demographic and Housing Information
- Population of full-time residents: 1,687
- Median age: 56.8
- Gender: 44.4% Male 55.6% Female
- Median Household Income: $40,490
- Average Household Income: $63,490
- Median Home Value: $201,276
- Average Home Value: $237,257
- Owner Occupied Housing Units: 51.3% 565 homes
- Renter Occupied Housing Units: 25% 276 homes
- Vacant Housing units: 23.7% 261 homes (include vacation rentals and second homes)
Source: Hometownlocator.com – June 1, 2015
History of Tryon, North Carolina
The town of Tryon was named after North Carolina’s Colonial Governor William Tryon, who held office from 1764-1771. The town became of size in 1877 when the Southern Railway was laying track from South Carolina seaports to North Carolina, Tennessee and the Ohio Valley. Construction of the railroad slowed to a snail’s pace just outside of Tryon where tracks had to be laid on the steepest grade east of the Rockies (known as the “Saluda Grade”). It was at the peak of construction when Tryon received its town charter in 1885.
Tryon’s most famous resident, poet Sidney Lanier, arrived in Tryon in 1881. Unfortunately, three short months after his arrival, he died of tuberculosis. In 1889, a private library was established in Tryon bearing Sidney Lanier’s name – it is the oldest civic organization in Tryon and is opened to the public.
Another famous resident of Tryon is “Morris the Horse.” Morris is a large toy wooden horse on a platform with 4 wheels and has been the town mascot since 1928. He was built by two workers at the Tryon Toy Makers shop for the 1928 parade held in conjunction with the Tryon Horse Show. Today you can see Morris’s image displayed all around Tryon.
Tryon has been a center for equestrian competition since 1925 when a gentleman by the name of Carter Brown came from Castle Park, Michigan and founded the Tryon Horse and Hound Show. Every year, hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators enjoy what is now known as the Tryon Horse Show. Tryon’s deep history in equestrian sport has led to the creation of a multi-million-dollar Tryon International Equestrian Center. Construction began in early 2014 and competitions are already underway.