13 Activities This Fall in Asheville NC
There is no better time to explore Asheville, NC than during the autumn months. As the fall spirit fills the air, the charming city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains takes on a whole new life.
Let’s take a look at how you can make the most of fall in Asheville, NC, and enjoy the season to the fullest!
1. Take a Stroll Through Downtown Asheville
The streets of downtown Asheville welcome you with open arms to this magnificent and eclectic mountain city. Within the downtown area, visitors can find more than 100 dining options and local breweries perfect for foodies passionate about trying the latest culinary creations. For those who enjoy shopping, there are also over 200 locally-owned stores and boutiques to find the perfect gift for a loved one.
Most famous for its vibrant art scene, there are countless art galleries in downtown Asheville where you can find one-of-a-kind art pieces to bring home and showcase in your luxury mountain home. Be sure to check out the River Arts District and explore working studios and galleries, as well as the opportunity to get to know some of the local artists.
2. Discover the Biltmore Estate, Gardens, and Winery
One of the most famous homes in the country is located just a short drive from downtown Asheville, the Biltmore Estate. This grand estate is the largest in the United States and a must-see if you are visiting the area. During the fall months, the estate’s gardens are a lovely place to take a walk and appreciate the changing colors of the foliage. If you would rather explore on a bike, there are easy biking trails on the grounds perfect for riders of all ages. Wine lovers will enjoy taking a tour of the winery and learning how their wine is made –– the best part being the wine tasting at the end of the tour. Be sure to check out all of the activities happening this fall at the Biltmore Estate.
3. Go on a Fall Hike
As the mountain air starts to cool off, get closer to nature and take a long hike through one of the many local parks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. During the fall months, walks through the forests become even more enjoyable, as you can appreciate the colorful changes occurring in nature up close. With hundreds of trails to explore in the area’s state parks, you’ll never run out of magnificent views to take in. The hikes near Asheville, NC range from easy strolls to strenuous climbs and offer a fun fall activity for climbers of all experience levels.
Learn More: Top 11 Hiking Trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains
4. Pack a Picnic With a View
If you’re planning a day spent outdoors, stop by the local farmers market, pack a tasty picnic filled with fresh local produce, and head over to one of the best viewpoints in the area. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Throughout the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are many designated picnic areas with lovely sitting areas. Or bring a blanket and find your own private spot where you can enjoy the beautiful views.
5. Go Apple Picking
There’s nothing sweeter than biting into a crisp, fresh apple from this year’s mountain harvest. Around Asheville, NC, there are several orchards where you can go pick your own basket of apples, right off the tree. A few local favorites to visit during the fall include Justus Orchard, Grandad’s Apples N’ Such, and Sky Top Orchard. Oftentimes, these orchards also offer other fall activities right on the property such as hayrides, corn mazes, and live music performed by local artists. Making for a festive day the whole family can enjoy.
6. Get Lost in the Annual Eliada Corn Maze
If you’re in Asheville, NC, you won’t want to miss the annual Eliada Corn Maze. In addition to the large corn maze, visitors can take a tractor ride through the farm, shoot corn cannons, play on a giant jumping pillow, and enjoy many more family-friendly activities on the grounds. The best part is that all of the proceeds benefit the Eliada Agency and support their mission of helping children succeed through positive child and youth development programming.
7. Enjoy a Craft Beer at a Local Brewery
Known for its vibrant craft beer culture, Asheville is home to numerous breweries that take fall-inspired brews to the next level. A great option is Highland Brewing Company, Asheville’s oldest brewery. Their Clawhammer Oktoberfest and Cold Mountain Winter Ale are highly anticipated seasonal releases that locals and visitors alike look forward to each year. Another option is Wicked Weed, which offers a wide variety of beers, from hop-forward IPAs to barrel-aged sours. Known for pushing the boundaries of brewing creativity, their fall lineup often includes pumpkin ales, spiced stouts, and other innovative seasonal offerings.
8. Visit an Art Gallery
Immerse yourself in Asheville’s vibrant arts community, where creativity thrives around every corner. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the enchanting River Arts District. This district is a treasure trove of artistic expression, housing a myriad of local artists’ studios and galleries. Step into these sanctuaries of creativity to witness firsthand the magic of artists at work. As you stroll through the district’s winding streets, you’ll encounter an array of unique artworks, each with its own story to tell. Whether you’re an avid art collector or simply seeking inspiration, the River Arts District promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Asheville’s artistic soul.
9. Experience Live Music and Performances
Immerse yourself in the vibrant rhythm of Asheville, a city where live music and electrifying performances light up the scene. The Orange Peel stands as a legendary venue, known for hosting both renowned and emerging artists in an intimate setting. For those seeking a touch of history, The Grey Eagle, nestled in the River Arts District, offers a unique atmosphere for live shows. If you’re a fan of bluegrass and traditional tunes, The Asheville Music Hall curates an exceptional lineup. Don’t miss the weekly drum circle at Pritchard Park on Fridays or any of the iconic street performances and buskers along the lively streets of downtown, creating an ever-changing symphony that captures the heart of Asheville’s artistic spirit.
10. Go Shopping at the Local Farmers Market
Taste the essence of fall by exploring Asheville’s local farmer’s markets. With more than 17 bustling markets, they are a sensory delight for all! Each week, vendors stock their stalls with fresh produce, local cheeses, baked goods, one-of-a-kind art pieces, and much more.
11. Attend a Fall Festival
Create cherished memories when you attend one of Asheville’s many fall festivals. One of the most anticipated is the Asheville Oktoberfest, where the rich traditions of Bavaria come to life against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Or, attend the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands showcasing the works of nearly 200 craftspeople from around the region. Be sure to check out Asheville’s event calendar to find one that matches your interests.
12. Go for a Hot Air Balloon Ride
If you are up for an adventure that promises a front-row seat to the breathtaking display of fall’s colors, then picture yourself in a hot-air balloon. One great option in the area is the Asheville Balloon Company. While they have flights throughout the year, fall is arguably the most popular. From this lofty vantage point, you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the rolling mountain tops in their full splendor.
13. Take a Scenic Drive Along the Blue Ridge Parkway
If you rather stay with your feet on the ground, why not take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway? Autumn is one of the best times of the year to cruise along “America’s favorite drive.” During the fall, the iconic blue-toned mountains are draped with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. The Blue Ridge Parkway spans a distance of 469 miles, making it easy to explore the colorful mountains from North Georgia all the way to Virginia.
Visitors can start to see the colors change first in higher elevations and if you want to see the colors at their peak, be sure to plan your visit for mid to late October, as the shorter days and cooler nights are the perfect conditions for a vivid display of colors. Don’t forget to plan to make a few stops to appreciate the spectacular views from the various overlooks along the parkway.
Make the Most of Fall at The Cliffs at Walnut Cove
Given its proximity to Asheville, The Cliffs at Walnut Cove is the perfect place to enjoy fall in the Carolina mountains. With countless exclusive amenities, members can enjoy pet-friendly walking and hiking trails, a world-class golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, and hundreds of private social clubs –– and all without ever leaving the community gates!
If you would like to take advantage of everything that The Cliffs has to offer its members, be sure to check out our available luxury properties in our Asheville community. And, if you need additional resources, simply contact our team to learn more about how you can start your new life at The Cliffs.
This post was originally written in October 2020 and rewritten in September 2023.