The Carolina Bed & Breakfast is our Asheville home in the Great Smoky Mountains. Our guests love to visit the North Carolina Mountains in the Autumn where they can enjoy our spectacular weather and enjoy the wonderful show nature puts on as she prepares for the onslaught of winter. After five years in this town on the edge of the Blue Ridge Parkway, James and I have found some great ways to enjoy the Fall in Asheville and we would like to share them with you. So here goes: 10 Great Ways to Enjoy the Fall in Asheville, NC.
1. Plan your trip for early or late in the season.
Peak leaf color in the mountains begins in early October and works its way down to lower elevations over the course of the next four weeks, reaching Asheville sometime towards the end of the month. But that’s peak color. Trees are already starting to change on Mount Mitchell and by the 20th or so of September there will be much to enjoy on your drives and/or hikes. Most Bed and Breakfasts in Asheville have higher rates in October. Visit in September or early November for lower rates and fewer crowds!
2. Take a Hike!
James and I love to hike and we have explored many of the nearest Mountain Trails. As the leaves start to fall, vistas open up and you can see for miles. We can find the perfect trail for you to match your ability and the time you have available. Read our blog to find out more about some of the trails in our area or check the Romantic Asheville website and HikeWNC for ideas. Book our Hiking Package and we will supply you with a delicious picnic from the Cheese Store of Asheville, then book you a fabulous foot-soak at Wake to Soak Foot Spa to finish the day in pampered luxury.
3. Create your own Pumpkin Trail.
Asheville is known for its food and its beer. See how many different iterations on pumpkin you can find while you are here. Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Latte, Pumpkin dumplings and more will make their way to the menus in town. At the Carolina Bed & Breakfast you may find a mini Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake waiting for you in your room when you return in the evening or enjoy Pumpkin Bread Pudding on Spiced Apple and Pear Compote with Sausage and Fried Sage for Breakfast. We love the fruits of Autumn and will try to surprise and delight you with our canapes, and hors d’oeurves as well as our sweet treats and breakfasts.
4. Compare to the Biltmore to the Carl Sandburg House
If you visit Asheville it is more or less a given that you will tour the Biltmore Estate while you are here. Built between 1889 and 1895 this grand mansion in the style of Versailles is a testament to the Gilded Age of America and the conspicuous consumption of the era by the very rich. It is an undeniable treasure and very much worth a visit. A less well known but equally fascinating house to visit is the Carl Sandburg Home in the small village of Flat Rock, North Carolina. Often considered to be the voice of 20th Century America, Carl Sandburg and his wife, Lillian, moved to North Carolina in 1945 where they lived a simple life until his death in 1967. The house and all its contents were deeded over to the state and remain as they were during his life. Not only will you enjoy a pleasant drive out to Flat Rock but also the contrast provided by these two homes may provoke some thought!
5. Ride the Great Smoky Mountain Railway
Drive about one hour up to Bryson City, NC and board the Great Smoky Mountain Railway for a four hour round-trip ride through the mountains with a stopover in the scenic town of Dillsboro, NC. The railway offers some of the best views of the country-side as it winds its way along. Special tours and events are on offer as well!
6. Visit a Farm.
There are multiple farms in this area, many of which offer produce for sale to the general public. A number will also have pick-it yourself orchards and other activities. One which we are especially happy to recommend is nearby Hickory Nut Gap Farm (home of the world’s happiest pigs, cows and chickens!). It’s a beautiful location, well-known and respected for its produce and meat products. Get lost in the corn maze, enjoy a hay ride or visit with the farm animals before making your purchases at the Farm Store. We will be happy to store your purchases for you until you are ready to take them home.
7. Explore the WNC Cheese Trail.
If you like cheese you have to do this! The Carolina Bed & Breakfast was an early supporter of the WNC Cheese Trail before the trail was even fully in existence. More than ten artisan cheese-makers and affiliates are open to the public on weekends and afternoons, some with tours and small shops. You will need to plan ahead and find out who is open and/or make appointments as many of these are very small producers but the drive through the countryside and the unique and dedicated cheese-producers you will meet will make it worth your while.
8. Take a Tour.
Asheville has a tour for almost every interest. This is just a sampling of some of the tours available:
Moving Sidewalk Tours: Segway Tour of Asheville
Greyline Trolley Tour: Historic Tour of Asheville (open-air)
La Zoom Tour: Comic Bus Tour of Asheville
Eating Asheville: Walking Food Tour of Asheville
Haunted Asheville: Ghost Tours of Asheville
History At Hand: Walking Tours of Riverside Cemetery and other Historic Asheville Sites
No Taste Like Home: Wild Food Foraging Tours (Mushrooms and other edibles)
9. View Asheville from the Air
Can you imagine anything more spectacular than a multi-colored carpet of trees spread out below you in the early morning light while you ride above it in a hot air balloon? You will need to book early for this one! And since it means a pre-dawn start from the inn we will be happy to send you on your way with a “To-Go Breakfast in a Bag”. Asheville Hot Air Balloons . If you would rather get your thrills a little closer to the ground (and maybe sleep a little later) Navitat Canopy Adventures offers multiple zip-line tours which will take you into the treetops to enjoy the color up close.
10. People Watch
Above all, Asheville is about people of all types (which makes for interesting people watching). Whether you chose to do this from a downtown site, or relaxing with a cool drink on our front porch swing at 177 Cumberland Avenue, people watching is a great way to enjoy the Fall in Asheville!