The Avoca area has been associated with its famous copper mines for many years and the valley has been celebrated by Thomas Moore in the famous song "The Meeting of the Waters". The name of the song derives from the meeting of the Avonmore and Avonbeg rivers, about two miles from the village of Avoca. The song is said to have been written under a tree, the stump of which remains by the Meetings.
Avoca is also famous for its handweaving, with Avoca Handweavers based there.
Avoca was once known as Newbridge. It subsequently became known as Ovoca, and then in Victorian times as Avoca. Ptolemy mentions the river Obhoca on his early map of Ireland. The official name of the village is now Avoca in English and Abhóca in Irish. None of the other names are used today.
Avoca has been used as a filming location for several films and television series. The BBC series Ballykissangel was filmed there. In 1967, Avoca was one of the locations used in the film Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon, and it was the setting for the comedy film Zonad which had a general Irish release in 2010.