How can you experience a vibrant Asheville fall? As locals, we are sharing the best things to do during the fall in Asheville, NC.
It’s no secret that we used to live in Florida. As CT residents for most of our lives, every year the fall beckons to us.
We crave the cold weather, stunning fall foliage, and apple picking. Did you know that you cannot pick an apple in FL? Oranges, sure. We guess mimosas are nice too? Hot apple cider is our favorite, though.
When we moved to North Carolina, we knew our first Asheville fall would be ballz to the wallz with all of the autumn activities. Like the good yuppies that we are, we needed everything pumpkin.
Asheville in the fall = all of the pumpkins and apples you could ever desire. Nearby Hendersonville is ‘Apple Alley,’ after all.
Bring on the sugary cider donuts and pumpkin spice lattes. We cannot even begin to tell you how many apple crisps we have made since moving to Asheville.
Plus, Asheville’s Blue Ridge Mountains look like they are breathing in the fall with all of that angsty mist swirling in a rainbow of color.
So, what are the best things that you can do in Asheville, NC in the fall?
Below, find fall activities in and near Asheville for tourists, leaf chasers, and locals. Discover family-friendly things to do as well as more adult adventures like boozy ghost tours and wine tastings.
These are our suggested fall Asheville bucket list activities and traditions. We hope that you build your own Asheville, NC fall traditions, too. Let’s get started.
Create a magical vacation with all of our posts about experiencing Autumn in Asheville.
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15 Soul-Fulfilling Ways To Celebrate An Asheville Fall
1. Watch a gorgeous sunset with a seasonal drink at the Grove Park Inn
The historic Omni Grove Park Inn sits on Sunset Mountain in North Asheville. Located in the lobby and next to the Great Hall Bar, be sure to check out the jaw-dropping floor-to-ceiling fireplaces.
Literary quotes flank those massive stone fireplaces, which is fitting since F. Scott Fitzgerald once stayed here.
Grab a seasonal cocktail, munch on a charcuterie board, and gently glide back and forth in one of their rocking chairs.
The dark lobby opens up to windows that overlook Sunset Terrace and Mount Pisgah. Of course, the stone patio lives up to its namesake. Don’t miss more of the best Asheville rooftop bars and restaurants.
Catch a vibrant and famous Grove Park Inn sunset. Bright purples and pinks light up the mountains during the fall in Asheville. If you want to treat yourself, make a dinner reservation here.
Don’t miss our personal favorite, Edison, a Grove Park Inn restaurant overlooking downtown Asheville and its beautiful fall leaves.
Edison at the Grove Park Inn is perfect for lighter fare along with seasonal drinks on a covered patio filled with blazing fireplaces. Grab all of our Asheville restaurant recommendations here.
Enjoy dinner at Sunset Terrace as one of Asheville’s top fine dining restaurants.
2. Pumpkin pick at a quaint popup stand
Of course, you can pumpkin pick at almost all of the orchards around Asheville, NC. And yes, Ingles sells some pretty perfectly shaped pumpkins for carving that our bears would love to eat.
However, we cannot resist those side-of-the-road pumpkin stands or even better, ones that are the epitome of an Asheville fall.
We highly recommend pumpkin picking at Grace Episcopal Church in Asheville.
Whether or not religion is your jam, the church is stunning with its bright red doors contrasting those glowing orange pumpkins.
Located right before Beaverdam Road on Merrimon Ave. in North Asheville, find an array of colored pumpkins: orange, white, blue, and light orange. Personally, we prefer the Dr. Seuss-like pumpkins.
Please be aware that this Asheville pumpkin patch tends to come down early, usually a week before Halloween.
While in this neighborhood, consider dining at stellar North Asheville’s restaurants like Luella’s Bar-B-Que, Asheville Pizza & Brewing, The Madness, Cecelia’s, Plant, and Taco Temple.
P.S. Our friend, Tara from Hammer and a Headband, has some cute pumpkin carving ideas and free templates here.
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3. Road trip down the famous Blue Ridge Parkway
An Asheville fall would not be complete without a drive down some part of the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP). The Parkway is 469-miles long and follows the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Visitors navigate the BRP via mile markers. Cellular service is spotty.
Bears and wildlife may cross the road at any time — please drive carefully. If it is foggy, you might end up driving into a cloud with limited to no views. A clear or sunny day is best unless you have an amazing sense of humor.
Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, visitors will encounter endless hiking trails, swimming holes, and cascading waterfalls.
We frequent the Craggy area just beyond North Asheville filled with plentiful overlooks. This area of the BRP is home to Craggy Pinnacle and Craggy Gardens. Mount Mitchell and Little Butt/Big Butt are out this way as well.
Before hopping on the BRP in South Asheville, you can stop at The NC Arboretum.
Save These Asheville Fall Things To Do For Later
4. Stroll Biltmore’s gardens
Fall activities in Asheville almost always include a visit to Biltmore Estate. And how can they not?
One of the most iconic and largest houses in the nation, Biltmore is 8,000 acres of sheer beauty. We traded in our annual Disney passes for Biltmore ones.
George Vanderbilt and his wife, Edith, put their heart and soul into this home. Community-driven, the Vanderbilts gave back to Asheville in areas of forestry, agriculture, and education.
Enjoy a morning on a self-guided or audio tour of Biltmore House. With spanning views of the forest and Deer Park, you’ll love Biltmore and its loggia views of the Asheville fall foliage.
Head to the gardens designed by the one and only Frederick Law Olmsted. Then, lunch in the former horse stables at the Stable Cafe.
In the afternoon, don’t miss wine tasting at Biltmore’s winery. We also love cocktails and pickles at Cedric’s Tavern, an ode to the beloved Biltmore pooch.
Did we mention that Biltmore has 22-miles of nature and hiking trails? Discover all of the things that you can do at Biltmore.
If you are traveling with children, check out these family-friendly Biltmore activities.
5. Attend one of the many Asheville fall festivals
Both Hendersonville and Asheville host a wide variety of fall festivals. You’ll find endless Oktoberfests, craft fairs, art fests, vintage flea markets, block parties, and Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.
To see all of Asheville’s fall events and more, head over to our events calendar.
6. Laugh on a haunted LaZoom tour
If you are looking for spooky-fun fall things to do in Asheville, LaZoom is it! How many times have you spied a purple bus with eyelashes tearing down the streets of Asheville full of giggling people? That’s LaZoom.
LaZoom offers a variety of comedy tours. Find some for the entire family while others are designed for those of the legal drinking age.
The LaZoom Ghosted [Haunted] Comedy Tour is an Asheville fall must. You’ll walk into a kitschy bar full of cat pillows and rubber chickens.
Our one-hour tour took us through downtown as Asheville’s ghosts hopped on and off the bus. Each character shared the darker history of the city. Think murderers, thieves, and famous dead people.
For the 21+ group, you are allowed to bring unopened beverages on the bus — to open once seated — purchased from LaZoom’s bar. They have local craft beers and bottles of wine. They even hand you a personal cooler.
We suggest purchasing tickets in advance. Get there early, too, as you board the bus based on your arrival order.
7. Drink all the Asheville fall beer
The perfect Asheville fall has to involve beer! Asheville is famous for its craft brewery scene, and we live for ambers, stouts, reds, and anything infused with spice.
We cannot even begin to keep up with the Asheville breweries and their wild Count Chocula concoctions. However, we are all here for it.
Everyone has their personal favorites, and this beer passion gets a bit contentious.
For local Asheville craft breweries try:
- Bhramari Brewing Company
- Asheville Brewing Company – Can we just say: PIZZA!! The Merrimon location also plays movies at their theater, including scary ones around Halloween.
- Hi-Wire Brewing
- Burial Beer Co.
- Wicked Weed Brewing – This is a fantastic lunch option
- Ginger’s Revenge – Gluten-free ginger beer
- Green Man
- Wedge Brewing Co. – We love the Wedge at Foundation location in the River Arts District
You may also love Hendersonville’s breweries like Oklawaha, D9, and Triskelion.
8. Get lost in a corn maze
We are not going to lie: Growing up in Connecticut, Lyman Orchards still has the best corn maze that we’ve ever been to. We live for corn mazes, and we compare everything to Lyman’s.
We love heading to Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard and Farm to pick apples, grab some fresh salsa and jam, and get incredibly lost in their corn maze.
The 5-acre corn maze is wickedly large and confusing. You have to try it. Stepp’s corn maze will take you at least 30 to 45-minutes.
We highly recommend peeing before you enter but also making sure that you are well-hydrated. Buncombe and Henderson counties may still be quite warm weather-wise.
Snap a picture of the map on the wall for when you get desperate. There are no clues along the way, and if you go during a quiet weekday, you might be one of the only ones out there.
Grandad’s Apples also has a fun corn maze with maps spread throughout the corn stalks.
9. Apple pick along ‘Apple Alley’
Did you know: North Carolina is one of the top 10 producers of America’s apples? It’s why we moved here. Well, no, not really, but we did miss apple picking that much.
Along Highway 64 (near I-26) in Henderson County, find “Apple Alley.” We think it’s wine alley too, but let’s talk about family-friendly fall things to do near Asheville first.
Around Hendersonville, find Grandad’s Apples, Mountain Fresh, Jeter Mountain Farm, Coston Farm, Justus, Stepp’s Hillcrest, or Sky Top (technically in Flat Rock).
The Hendersonville apple orchards are famous for their baked goods, ciders, U-Pick farms, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches. This is the best spot for apple picking near Asheville.
Some have sunflower mazes and bamboo forests. You may even catch a few humping goats or a hard cider.
Apple picking during an Asheville fall is a must, especially with views of those gorgeous blue-hued mountains.
Personally, Fujis sing to us for apple crisps. Find Pink Ladies, Galas, Honeycrisps, Romes, and Golden Delicious to name just a few more apples out there.
Be sure to grab our list of the best Hendersonville apple orchards to see what each one has to offer.
10. Eat a steaming hot cinnamon cider donut & get lost in a bamboo forest at Sky Top Orchard
We’ve always been obsessed with fall donuts, but quite frankly, donuts make us feel like blehhh after we eat them. Still: eat them, we must.
We also have been around the donut block. Sky Top Orchard makes our favorite donuts, ever.
Our first time there, we had no idea why literally everyone was sitting around gorging on donuts instead of playing. Now we get it.
Walk up to their window to watch as the staff makes fresh-out-of-the-frier donuts. Yup, they shake those steamy bad boys in cinnamon and sugar, and they land straight in your mou…container.
Fair warning: the donuts are beyond popular, and they do run out on weekends. Sky Top serves hard cider as well as cider slushies to wash down that clump of delicious gooey goodness.
Get the ultimate sugar rush. Sky Top is officially one of our top Asheville fall traditions. We are a living cliche.
Even on the weekdays, Sky Top stays pretty busy. The weekends fill with crazed orchard-goers in October and November. Read more about Sky Top Orchard.
11. Hike along the Asheville fall foliage trails
Visiting DuPont State Forest is one of the best things to do in Asheville in the fall.
Triple Falls is both gorgeous and famous as a The Hunger Games filming location. Bridal Veil Falls (DuPont) is also home to scenes from The Last of the Mohicans.
Remember the scene where Katniss almost steps on Peeta’s face in the falls? That’s Triple Falls. Further in the forest, find Bridal Veil Falls where Katniss cools her burning leg from the fireballs.
Grab our full list of Asheville hiking trails.
12. Wine Taste Around WNC
If you follow us anywhere else online — like The Uncorked Librarian — you know that we love our wine.
Plus, if you are looking for more adult fall things to do near Asheville, the Hendersonville wineries are both delicious and gorgeous.
A few top wineries near Asheville we recommend:
Stone Ashe Vineyards – Stone Ashe Vineyards is a newer Hendersonville winery and one of our favorites. We love sitting on the hill overlooking the grapes. Their tasting room has floor-to-ceiling windows, too.
Point Lookout Vineyards – A winery with breathtaking views, don’t miss sitting high over the mountains while sipping delicious wines. You can choose between a wine or mead tasting, and they have food on-site.
St. Paul Mountain Vineyards– St. Paul grows 14 varieties of grapes. You can grab a glass of wine and sit on the patio overlooking the vineyards or sit inside by the fireplace.
Sawyer Springs Vineyard – A lesser-known winery in Hendersonville, grab a picnic outside this family-run business. Sawyer Springs is perfect if you are craving a quieter Asheville fall experience.
If you are headed to Flat Rock, don’t miss Marked Tree Vineyards. The views are stellar here.
On a foggy day, you’ll get major Asheville Halloween vibes. The free-standing chimneys add to the spooky atmosphere.
If you don’t have time for a winery, though, Asheville also has dazzling wine bars, including Bottle Riot and Leo’s House of Thirst.
13. Read a fall book
Wait, what?!?! Yesss!
Whether you are a local, visitor, or snowbird, I highly recommend getting cozy and warm with a blanket and fall book in front of a fireplace during your evenings.
Grab that donut, warm up that cider while dumping in butterscotch schnapps, and pick up a book. Did you know Asheville is all about literary tourism?
Our sister site, The Uncorked Librarian, offers plenty of fall reading lists, too: wickedly witchy books, steamy vampire series and romances, Salem Witch Trial books, and seriously spooky books for adults.
14. Day Trip Around Asheville
While enjoying an Asheville, NC fall, don’t forget to take a few day trips to some of AVL’s neighboring towns.
We love Black Mountain for breweries, a meadery, and Oak and Grist Distillery. Not to mention Black Mountain has delicious restaurants and gorgeous Bed & Breakfasts.
Immediately to the north of Asheville, you can also head into Weaverville to escape the crowds. Enjoy fine dining reservations at the Glass Onion or grab more casual cocktails and local beer at Twisted Laurel.
There’s even a boozy dog bar and a lake. The Weaverville food scene is both chill and delicious.
Or, head to Grandfather Mountain for that mile-high ‘swinging’ bridge. Wine taste in the Tryon Foothills.
Lastly, don’t forget that Knoxville and Dollywood are only hours away, too.
15. Visit Riverside Cemetery
If you are looking for spookier things to do in Asheville this fall, take a walk through Riverside Cemetery. Located in Asheville’s quaint Historic Montford District, Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry are buried here.
Pick up a walking guide at the gates that will point out historic sites and famous people interned here. W.O. Wolfe’s ‘angels’ greet strollers throughout the grounds.
The 3.5-miles of paved walking trails through this beautiful Victorian-inspired cemetery won’t leave you disappointed. And yes, Riverside Cemetery is allegedly haunted…
Nearby, don’t miss peeking in on Homewood — an equally spooky mansion that looks like a castle.
Planning Your Asheville Fall Vacation? Save This Post For Later:
Asheville Fall Foliage & Weather
The weather during the fall in Asheville is a tad unpredictable. This is the mountains, after all.
One day, the sun blazes down on you and it’s 90-degrees outside. The next, a cold front pushes through and you wake up to temperatures in the 40s. Asheville in October usually starts to *mildly* cool down.
The end of September into early October is also when the leaves start to change. You’ll see leaves burst into colors in the higher elevations at the end of September.
Asheville soon follows. The Asheville fall foliage may go as late as the end of October into early November.
Asheville days generally waiver in the 70s and 80s in September and mid-October — although 60s is not uncommon. For Asheville in November, expect daytime temps around 60 with cooler nights in the 40s.
We recommend wearing layers, carrying sunscreen and bug spray, and having a light jacket or fleece at the beginning of Asheville’s fall season.
Umbrellas are needed for the occasional shower. Some of the hiking trails get extremely muddy. Never hike on a trail that looks flooded, unsafe, or washed away.
Read more in our complete Asheville Fall Color Forecast & Fall Festival Guide.
Where To Stay In Asheville In The Fall
Asheville, NC Hotels
Hotels and B&Bs tend to book up fast in Asheville, especially in the fall, spring, and around holidays. Make dinner reservations wherever you can, too. A few hotels to consider that either we, our friends, or others highly recommend include:
Near The Asheville Outlets/Biltmore
Hampton Inn And Suites Asheville Biltmore Area *Our second favorite pick. We stayed here before we moved.
DoubleTree By Hilton Biltmore/Asheville
Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville
The Omni Grove Park Inn *We frequently stop by the Grove Park Inn for sunsets, drinks, and food.
1900 Inn On Montford
Don’t miss our Top Asheville Hotel, Resort & B&B Picks Here.
What are you favorite parts about an Asheville, NC fall?
So, are you ready to visit Asheville in the fall? What Asheville fall activities do you love?
Do you have a favorite apple orchard or waterfall hike? Who has the best donuts, and where do you catch the prettiest sunset?
Please tell us about your Asheville fall traditions in the comments. We’d love to know where else you head in WNC too!
You May Also Enjoy:
Stunning Asheville Fall Foliage Hikes
Favorite Hendersonville Apple Orchards For Donuts, Cider & Corn Mazes
Plan Your Visit To Sky Top Orchard
Asheville Fall Color Forecast & Festivals
50+ Best Things To Do In Asheville All Year Round
Best Ways To Celebrate Winter In Asheville