15 Interesting Places To Enjoy Fall In North Carolina

In the fall, North Carolina’s huge natural treasures take on a beautiful new look, bathed in a range of oranges, reds, and yellows that make leaf peepers all over the world green with envy.

By the middle of October, the sun is at its brightest and the air has cooled to a nice crispness. This is the perfect time to go outside and see something beautiful, as long as you wear a few warm layers.

Go for a hike, find the best apple trees, carve the best pumpkin, and bring out the hot drinks.

Many cities and towns in the Tarheel State have fun and interesting seasonal celebrations that give visitors a look into the culture of the area.

There are some beautiful places in the South to feel like it’s fall. Here are the best places to visit in North Carolina during the fall.

When Is Fall In North Carolina?

Because there are so many factors, it’s hard to give a clear answer to this question. Leaves change color every year because of things like altitude, location, temperature, and the type of plant.

At first, the leaves turn bright yellows and oranges at higher elevations, but as the season goes on, they slowly move lower.

North Carolina Fall

But in the mountains, you might see the first signs of fall colors before the end of September. Even though the leaves usually don’t start to fall until early November, the show goes on for most of October.

Tips For Spotting Fall Colors In NC

In the fall, hotels and motels fill up quickly, so make your reservations as soon as you can.

Wear appropriate garb:

The weather is known to change quickly in the Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains. Bring a warm coat, some pants, a vest, and a few sweaters. It’s a good idea to wear a raincoat in the fall, just in case it snows. Wear layers, because you never know when the temperature will change.

Get up and move around, and don’t stop until late:

If you want to get good pictures with few people in them, try going early in the morning or just before sunset. It’s a good idea to get up early so you can enjoy nature before the midday heat.

Fill up your tank before you drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. In some places, gas stations and convenience stores are few and far between.

Where To Spend A North Carolina Fall

Blowing Rock

The list starts with an old favorite: a popular place to go in North Carolina in the fall. Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is a popular place for tourists to go, especially in the fall when the weather is nice. It is a charming town with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains that can’t be beat.

After a short walk, you can get to Price Lake, which has beautiful fall views. You can also enjoy the beautiful scenery by hiking the Glen Burney Trail.

North Carolina Fall

The view from the landmark, which is about 3,000 feet above the Johns River Gorge, lets people see how the surrounding forest changes with the seasons. The downtown area feels cozy and autumnal, and Main Street is full of cute shops, cozy cafes, and tasty places to eat.

Linville Falls

Linville Falls is the most-visited waterfall in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it is technically in an unorganized settlement. It’s close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, so getting there is almost as pretty as getting there.

The walk to the falls is only a mile and a half long, but there are four great places to see them. You can choose from five paths that range from easy to hard, but all of them are worth it if you want to see the local scenery.

The beautiful and ethereal cascade has three levels and drops quickly into a deep pool below. Because it is in the Appalachians, people sometimes compare its deep valley to the Grand Canyon. The thick undergrowth is full of trees like pines, hemlocks, birches, and oaks.

The bright reds and oranges of the leaves as they change color are a sight to behold. There are campsites in Pisgah National Forest if you want to spend some time in the great outdoors.


This is the best place in all of North Carolina to see the fall colors. Boone, North Carolina is one of the most beautiful mountain towns in the United States. It is also a great place for people who want to experience real Appalachian culture and have fun in the great outdoors.

It is in the state’s high country, and some of its tallest peaks are there. Howard’s Knob is a mountain peak in Boone that is 5,000 feet above sea level and offers a stunning view of the green countryside around it.

From the Rough Ridge trail, you might get a great view of Grandfather Mountain and the Linn Cove Viaduct.

At the end of the wooden boardwalk, where there are big rocks, is a beautiful place to have a picnic. It also has a lot of breweries, which is pretty cool. What could be better than a chilled pint of artisan beer in the cool air of autumn?

Students at Appalachian State University in Boone are given a map every year that shows them the best places to see the leaves change.

North Carolina Fall

Banner Elk is the best-kept secret in the southern part of North Carolina. Skiers love this area because it is right between Sugar and Beech Mountains, which is a great place to ski. But here, the beautiful fall colors usually stay until the end of October, which is around the middle of September.

Paddling around Wildcat Lake is a great way to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery around the area. There are a number of places where rock climbing can be done.

Banner Elk has been having the Wooly Worm Festival every fall for a long time. Based on the color of its body segments, the winner of the wooly worm caterpillar races is used to make weekly predictions about the coming winter. This makes the festival a popular place for tourists to go.

If you enter a worm in the race, you might win a nice sum of money and the right to brag about it. It’s also a lot of fun to give worms silly names like “Dale Wormheart.”


The fall colors in Asheville are the best in all of North Carolina.

Asheville is the cultural hub of the area and a way to get to the rest of North Carolina’s beautiful mountain scenery.

It is where the well-known Biltmore House is, which has been visited by tourists for many years. The gardens of this estate are a picture-perfect place to enjoy the fall foliage.

The Chow Chow Culinary Festival is held here every September. Asheville already has a great food scene, but it’s getting even better because award-winning chefs from all over the country are moving there and making delicious dishes with a focus on local ingredients and being good to the environment.

Some of the beautiful waterfalls and mountains nearby are Mount Pisgah, Graveyard Fields, Looking Glass Rock, Mount Mitchell, and Table Rock Mountain.

If you want to spend the fall in North Carolina, Asheville is a great place to go. During the day, you can go hiking, and in the evening, you can relax in a cute cabin in the woods.

Lake Lure

Lake Lure is a small town in western North Carolina and one of the most beautiful lakes in the state. It is sometimes called the “crown gem.”

It was supposed to be a vacation spot, but now everyone knows it as the place where the movie Dirty Dancing took place. In fact, the Dirty Dancing Festival is held every year in September to honor the film.

It’s also one of the most romantic places in North Carolina, and it has one of the most beautiful man-made lakes in the whole country. The mountain peaks around it are reflected in the surface, making it look like a strange winter wonderland.

Granite cliffs and green forests make up the landscape of Hickory Nut Gorge. At Rumbling Bald Trail and Buffalo Creek Park, you can hike, ride a bike, or even go bouldering.

Atlantic Beach

Some of the top places to go in North Carolina in the fall in coastal towns may surprise you. But people who know will tell you that this time of year is one of the best times to visit the beautiful sandy beaches along this state’s magnificent coastline.

North Carolina Fall

Because of this, the beaches, especially Atlantic Beach on the Crystal Coast, that are usually very busy will be much less so.

The warm days are perfect for sunbathing and swimming, and the cool sea breezes at night make for a pleasant climate.

It’s my favorite time of year, and I like it better than summer because the heat in North Carolina isn’t as bad. Also, this is where the great Carolina Kite Festival takes place every October.

Imagine that the sky is full of kites of all sizes, shapes, and colors floating around. It’s hard to think of a more creative way to enjoy the fall season.

Little Switzerland

Little Switzerland, which got its name because it looks like the Swiss Alps, seems like a place that would be best in the winter. From the middle to the end of October, the fall colors are at their brightest. This is a popular time to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway and take in the colors.

This area, which is easy to get to from the Blue Ridge Parkway, has some of the best leaf-watching in the East. Visit the Grandfather, Table, and Mitchell Mountains to see their beautiful scenery.

The Orchard at Altapass is a popular place to stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and it’s easy to get to. It is one of the best places to go apple picking in the area because it is surrounded by some of the best nature trails, has an interesting butterfly house, and has a simple shop with locally made goods.

If you want to drink your fall fruits, go to the cute Little Switzerland Orchard and Winery for some very tasty and creatively made apple ciders.

Maggie Valley

Maggie Valley is what it is because of the small shops owned by one or two people. The Great Smoky Mountains are not too far away. They have amazing plants and animals, as well as beautiful fall foliage.

The town has an easygoing, simple vibe with a touch of retro cool that is kind of cute. With all the bluegrass music and moonshine out there, it’s easy to get into the spirit of the season.

Many talented artists and crafters from all over the southeast come to the Fall Arts & Crafts Festival. Paintings, photographs, ceramics, woodwork, furniture, apothecaries, and jewelry, among other types of art, are on display and for sale.

It’s a beautiful way to enjoy the changing seasons while looking at art.

Kitty Hawk

Even though you won’t be able to see North Carolina’s famous fall colors, you might enjoy the peace and quiet of its beautiful beaches. The Outer Banks are a group of islands off the coast of North Carolina. Kitty Hawk is on one of these islands.

It’s hard to find a more peaceful place in the fall than this coastal sanctuary. After most of the other tourists leave, the beautiful Outer Banks beaches may be much cheaper for people to visit.

Visit the place where the Wright Brothers first tried to fly to learn more about the history of flight. There hasn’t been much building there, so the natural beauty of the area has been kept and is only slightly enhanced by some cute old beach houses.

In the Kitty Hawk Coastal Reserve, you can look around in almost 400 acres of marine forest. The Oink and Oyster Festival is held every year in early October. It is a celebration of the area’s oyster and pig roasting traditions.

At the Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival, which is also held in the fall, you can see where the most waterfowl come to spend the winter on the East Coast. As a naturalist, I can say that this is a very interesting thing to see.

North Carolina Fall

Mount Airy

Mount Airy, where Andy Griffith was born, was the real-life inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show.

As you enjoy the refreshing coolness of autumn, let yourself be filled with a longing for a simpler time. The Mayberry Days Festival honors the show for a whole week, with costumes and props from the show itself.

Every year, in October, there is a festival called Autumn Leaves Festival. It has a wide range of foods, live music, and goods made by hand. It’s a unique way to watch the leaves change during the fall.

Mount Airy is a great place to watch the seasons change because it is at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Along the Ararat River, the Granite City Greenway goes from Riverside Park to Westwood Park. Westwood Park has a lot more wooded nature trails than Riverside Park.

As part of the Yadkin Valley Wine Region, North Carolina has a large number of great wineries to visit.


All over North Carolina, Tryon is known as a center for the arts and culture. But the Tryon International Equestrian Center is one of its most interesting parts. If you’ve ever dreamed of galloping your horse through a peaceful fall paradise, this is the book for you.

Saturday Night Lights is an open-to-the-public fall festival that combines a carnival with a horse competition.

The Overmountain Vineyard is on 70 acres in the foothills, which makes it a great place to watch the seasons change while sipping a glass of red wine. They make a line of unique French wines with a focus on craftsmanship and individuality. The grapes are grown on the estate itself.

The Tryon International Film Festival takes place at the beginning of October and lights up the whole town. Both the Tryon Fine Arts Center and a restored, cutting-edge movie theater show well-made features, shorts, and documentaries.

This is the place to go to get a real taste of Southern hospitality.

Black Mountain

On top of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where the charming town of Black Mountain is, you can’t beat the view. Even though it is small, this charming village will win you over with its big heart and great character. Even though the name makes it sound like it happens in the fall, the LEAF Festival is held there.

But this righteous and rocking hideaway is the best place to spend many days enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery and living out any musical dreams inspired by Woodstock.

At 2,500 feet above sea level, there are not only many beautiful natural sights, but also a lot of them. In addition to its old streets and delicious food, it has a number of art galleries and breweries.

There are many great hiking trails, and the weather is usually nice, so now should be a good time to go on at least one hike.

Drive The Blue Ridge Parkway

In North Carolina, driving the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the best things to do in the fall. During the fall, the parkway has so many beautiful spots that you’ll want to stop about every two miles.

Plan to travel the whole parkway over a few days in October. Along the parkway, there are many beautiful places to stop in the fall, but here are some of the best:

  • Pointy Peak Mountain
  • Mabry Mill and Price Lake are where
  • Grandfather’s Highest Point
  • The Linn Cove Bridge
  • The falls at Linville
  • Crabtree Falls is where it is.
  • Death Valley’s Craggy Gardens Observation Point Rock
  • Balsam, Black

North Carolina Fall

Things To Do In The Fall In North Carolina

  • Go Apple Picking: There are plenty of apple orchards in North Carolina to go picking. Many have special events on the weekends in October. So grab the fam for a day of apple cider and farm rides.
  • Go Waterfall Chasing: North Carolina has endless waterfalls and the earlier in October it is, the warmer splashing around one will be.
  • Go Hiking: Some of the best hikes in North Carolina are Looking Glass Rock, Mount Mitchell, Rainbow Falls Trail, and Big Creek Trail.
  • Stay in a Cabin: There’s nothing better than staying in a cabin in the mountains in the fall. We break down some of the best cabins near Asheville in this post.
  • Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride: Asheville Balloon Company offers scenic flights in the fall. There are plenty of other places to take a hot air balloon up around NC, such as Statesville.

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