While I love North Carolina any time of the year, there is nothing better than fall in North Carolina. Beginning in mid-October, there is such a nice reprieve from the hot, humid temperatures we have experienced for several long months. The cooler, breezy temperatures, changing leaves, and a sense of calmness make it the most magical state! It’s a great time of year to visit the various parts of the states, not just the popular mountains. Today, I am sharing a roundup of fall getaway ideas for you to plan your next North Carolina adventure!
10 Fall Getaways in North Carolina
Asheville gets a lot of attention in North Carolina, and for good reason. We love exploring Asheville no matter the time of year, though fall is quite lovely. A few years ago, we took a weekend getaway and brought the Grant Boys for a little weekend of exploring. Asheville nicknamed itself Dog City USA and is truly one of the most welcoming cities for your furry friends. It feels like there is something for everyone in this bustling mountain city. Know that it will likely be busy because fall is the leaf-peeping season and Pisgah National Forest offers gorgeous fall colors. However, there are plenty of hiking trails, shops to visit, and breweries and restaurants to lounge on their patios. This article has some of our favorite low-key spots in the city!
Black Mountain is such a cool small town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains with sweeping views of the mountain ranges surrounding the town. David and I had such a great trip eating and drinking our way through town and checking out local live music. Black Mountain is located a short drive from Asheville, but also close to some really great hiking trails and offers great local artists to learn about, shopping, and breweries. This article has our full weekend itinerary!
Make a visit to North Carolina’s oldest tourist attraction, Blowing Rock! The quaint town is one of my favorites in North Carolina and is perfect for a relaxing, quiet mountain weekend escape. If you are looking for a little more adventure on your weekend in Blowing Rock, check out the Blue Ridge Parkway! Blowing Rock is the only full-service town on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Moses Cone Manor is one of the most popular stops on the Parkway! Take a drive on the Linn Cove Viaduct on your way to hike (or drive) to the top of Grandfather Mountain and the Mile-High Bridge. Another good adventure is checking out Linville Falls, arguably the most popular waterfall in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This article features a girls’ weekend itinerary in the charming town.
David and I visited Burnsville in October and had the absolute best weekend. There are so many great restaurants, trails, and galleries to visit. We had the best time exploring the town square and shopping local. It is the perfect weekend getaway spot and boasts the most artists per capita in the United States.
One of my favorite times to visit my home county is fall for harvest season. Make a reservation at the delicious Hen and the Hog and enjoy a leisurely weekend exploring this historic area. Make a stop in Enfield to shop at Southern Seasons at Mears, a unique collection of shops located on Main Street. It’s a quick detour right off I-95 and worth the stop! Be sure to check their social media for their hours as well. Littleton has quite a bit going on as well! Catch a show at the newly renovated Lakeland Cultural Arts Center and enjoy a culinary treat at Blue Jay Bistro. Check out the Roanoke Canal Trail, between Roanoke Rapids and Weldon, which is celebrating its 200th year this year.
As I got older, I began preferring coastal towns in the early spring and fall to the peak summer months. We are fortunate to still get sneaky warm days and with the smaller crowds, it makes it easier to get dinner reservations, rooms are a tad more affordable, and the foliage is stunning. Manteo is just such a charming, Hallmark-like town anyway. Many places stay open year-round, making it a great spot to visit for a weekend getaway. This article highlights some favorites of ours from our most recent visit to Manteo.
I just absolutely adore Surry County no matter the time of year! There is so much to do and see and eat. And it makes for a lovely weekend getaway that feels much further than the 2.5 hours from Raleigh. With Pilot Mountain State Park being a prime attraction for leaf-watching season, there are other trails to consider supplementing your trip with if you are looking for outdoor adventures! Another great way to take in the fall colors is being visiting a winery! I have done two different winery adventures on trips, so check out this post and this post for an itinerary. My absolute favorite winery in the area is Dynamis Estate Wines, located on the top of a mountain. The drive-up is absolutely stunning and offers beautiful mountain views.
There was absolutely no way that I was going to write a post about the best fall getaways in North Carolina without mentioning a trip to Valle Crucis. Two years ago, David and I started what appears to be an annual trip to Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis. I look forward to this trip because I think it is the only time a year that I truly relax on vacation. Most times, I am working non-stop. Whether it is for this space or because I am taking advantage of my remote work policy.
That being said, here, I do nothing other than sleep in, drink delicious red wine curled up in front of the fireplace with a good book, and explore the property. I truly look forward to unplugging and unwinding here! We also make a Saturday night dinner reservation at Over Yonder. I will say that Valle Crucis is close to Banner Elk, which offers charming restaurants and shops, so that could be a nice day trip if you are looking for a little more to do! See our full guide to our first weekend here.
Another eastern North Carolina gem perfect for a fall weekend getaway is Wilmington! We always look forward to a trip to the Port City and a later October or November trip is absolutely a good idea! We lucked up with a beautiful 80-degree day making for a beautiful day on Wrightsville Beach and a gorgeous boat tour leaving from the Blockade Runner! It is truly a great time to visit and get to check off some places you may have been wanting to visit but were too busy during peak season. Here is our fall trip itinerary!
Winston-Salem is such a cool city with so much to do! I like it for a home base for a long weekend in the North Carolina foothills should you want to check out Pilot Mountain or some of the surrounding areas but still end up with some nightlife. We think Winston-Salem has quite a lot to offer regardless of your preferences. Reynolda is absolutely stunning during the fall season and so is Old Salem. Check out my Winston-Salem guide here.