Asheville has become a hot travel spot in recent years, often found among rankings of the top places to live. In fact, it’s even been called one of America’s happiest cities. It boasts a thriving music, arts and brew scene, while the surrounding area offers a wealth of mountain scenery and outdoor adventure. This fall there are even more reasons to visit, with everything from vibrant autumn foliage to special events.

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The Color Blowing Rock overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway
Blowing Rock overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway

The Color

Asheville and the surrounding area is renowned for its autumn foliage, some of the most breathtaking in the country, and it also offers one of the longest fall seasons. The sunny days of September lead to trees to creating more red pigments resulting in even brighter hues. Enjoy it in the city’s parks or hit the trails, like the 1.2-mile Rough Ridge stretch on the Tanawha Trail off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway which brings breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape blanketed in vibrant color. Scenic overlooks can also be enjoyed high above via rooftop tour or hot air balloon.

Special Events at Biltmore Estate One of the best places to see the changing leaves in Asheville is at Biltmore Estate.
Credit: Biltmore
One of the best places to see the changing leaves in Asheville is at Biltmore Estate.

Special Events at Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate is densely forested, boasting some of the region’s oldest and most magnificent trees, while garden plantings include thousands of colorful mums. The chrysanthemums will be bursting in rich hues and a number of exciting special events will be hosted too.  Celebrate with food and wine events at The Winery, and in September and October on Friday and Saturday evenings, come for Live After Five which hosts live music on the Village Bandstand. No matter what you do, you’re guaranteed lots of fabulous fall photo-ops.

Seasonal Ciders at Urban Orchard Cider Urban Orchard Cider in Asheville
Urban Orchard Cider in Asheville

Seasonal Ciders at Urban Orchard Cider

Fall is the perfect time for cider, and Urban Orchard Cider produces some great seasonal and year-round ciders. All are made with super fresh ingredients. In fact, the owner uses persimmons, muscadines, spices and herbs that are grown right in her garden. While cider evokes the aromas and tastes of autumn on its own, there are some wonderful flavors ideal for the season like Ginger Campaign, a crisp semi-dry cider infused with ginger, and Sidra Del Diablo, a semi-sweet option with fresh vanilla, habanero and creeper spice. The tasting room has outdoor spaces that are fabulous for sipping.

Asheville Art Museum Asheville Art Museum
Asheville Art Museum

Asheville Art Museum

The Asheville Art Museum has been closed for major renovations but will reopen in the fall with a new state-of-the-art building. It will feature an art library, education facilities, the new ArtPLAYce for families with children and a rooftop sculpture terrace and café where visitors can take in fabulous views of downtown and the mountains. The opening exhibition will be “Appalachia Now!” providing a snapshot of current contemporary art in Southern Appalachia that highlight’s emerging artists from the region.

Oktoberfest Asheville Oktoberfest, Asheville
Asheville Oktoberfest, Asheville

Oktoberfest

Downtown Asheville’s Pack Square Park will host Oktoberfest on October 5th in 2019 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. A great way to sample and celebrate the local beer scene, you’ll need to purchase tickets in advance as the event often sells out. Those 21 and over can attend, enjoying an extensive variety of beer and hard cider tastings from 20 different breweries, with many featuring seasonal ales. There will be plenty of Bavarian staples too, like bratwurst, pretzels and traditional sides, along with stein hoisting, costume contests, ax tossing, races and more.

Sunset Yoga Hikes with Asheville Wellness Tours Sunset yoga tours, Asheville, North Carolina
Sunset yoga tours, Asheville, North Carolina

Sunset Yoga Hikes with Asheville Wellness Tours

Asheville Wellness Tours will be offering sunset yoga hikes on Saturday evenings from mid-September throughout the season. It’s the perfect time to unwind and breathe in spectacular autumn foliage and fresh, crisp mountain air highlighted by colorful sunsets. It starts with mindful meditation and is followed by yoga practice on a mountain top that’s suitable for everyone from beginners to the advanced.

Art and Beer Tours in the River Arts District The Junction part of buildings on Depot St in the River Arts District of Asheville
Credit: bigstock.com
The Junction part of buildings on Depot St in the River Arts District of Asheville

Art and Beer Tours in the River Arts District

Beer and art lovers will be able to take an Art and Beer Tour in the River Arts District, famous for its works of art which span multiple genres found in galleries, studios and in the streets. In fact, there is some brilliant street art like the Foundation Walls where graffiti artists paint the walls of the old warehouses. The tour will bring guests to artist studios and make stops to enjoy the area’s fabulous concentration of breweries too.

Haunted Tours Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, NC
Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, NC

Haunted Tours

October is a great time to experience some of Asheville’s haunted history with a number of mysterious, haunted guided adventures available. Haunted Asheville Tours is often named among the country’s best. Developed by renowned paranormal expert and TV personality Joshua P. Warren, it includes admission to the Asheville Mystery Museum. Visitors can also hop on one of the Gray Line’s iconic red trolleys for a haunted mystery tour or join Dark Ride Tours aboard a classic hearse that travels around Riverside Cemetery and the French Broad River. Halloween night tours are said to be extra special.

Spectacular Waterfall Hikes Looking Glass Falls in autumn, Pisgah National Forest near Asheville, NC
Looking Glass Falls in autumn, Pisgah National Forest near Asheville, NC

Spectacular Waterfall Hikes

Looking Glass Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the state, cascading from a towering cliff, and in autumn, framed by brilliant foliage. The short, but exceptionally scenic trek to the base of the waterfall begins at the signed trailhead on US 276 near Brevard. An observation deck along the roadside brings beautiful glimpses of the tumbling walls, but by descending the stairs on the trail to a middle and lower viewing platform, you’ll get a better look.  While swimming is allowed, it’s at your own risk and may be a bit too chilly later in the season. It’s a perfect place for a picnic, however, and there are many other falls to visit in the area too, including the Moore Cove Falls Trail that leads to a waterfall in a picturesque cove.

Zip Lining Over a Canopy of Color Ziplining with Navitat in Asheville, NC
Credit: navitat.com
Ziplining with Navitat in Asheville, NC

Zip Lining Over a Canopy of Color

For a thrilling bird’s eye view of the canopy of color, hop on a zipline. There are a variety of courses available, including Navitat Canopy Adventures which offers lines as high as 350 feet and as long as nearly three-quarters of a mile.

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