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Asheville Fall Bucket List: 15 Best Things To Do

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.

Asheville NC Fall Bucket List church with orange pumpkins out front
Nothing beats an Asheville, NC fall. Leaf chasers flock to the Blue Ridge Parkway while cider donut seekers dash off to the orchards. Just as the sunsets become more vibrant, the waterfalls take on a magical glow. As Asheville locals, don’t miss our ultimate Asheville fall bucket list.

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See our Top Places To Stay in Asheville.

Don’t miss out on these Asheville properties on Booking.com, too.

15 Soul-Fulfilling Ways To Celebrate An Asheville Fall

1. Watch a gorgeous sunset with a seasonal drink at the Grove Park Inn

Asheville NC Fall Grove Park Inn Sunset with terrace overlooking fall foliage with people and sun setting
The Grove Park Inn is most famous for its stunning sunsets and seasonal cocktails. Enjoy a bevie in front of floor-to-ceiling stone fireplaces or outside on Sunset Terrace.

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.

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

Asheville Fall On the Blue Ridge Parkway collage with BRP tunnel, pictures around Looking Glass, and fall foliage leaves in the mountains
Did you even enjoy an Asheville, NC fall if you didn’t drive aimlessly along the Blue Ridge Parkway? The pictures on the bottom left and right are from the southern parts of the BRP around Mount Pisgah and the Looking Glass Rock Overlook. The BRP is famous for its tunnels, overlooks, waterfalls, and fall hiking trails.

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.

Then, visit popular Blue Ridge Parkway hiking trails like Mount Pisgah, Fryingpan Mountain Tower, Skinny Dip Falls, Pink Beds Loop, Graveyard Fields, and Black Balsam via the Art Loeb Trail.

Save These Asheville Fall Things To Do For Later

Best Asheville Fall Things To Do Pinterest Pin with fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway
Looking to fill up your Asheville fall bucket list? Don’t miss some of our favorite things to do in Asheville, NC in the fall. Never be without a panoramic view, pumpkin patch, boozed-up cider, or cascading waterfall. Experience fall like a local with Uncorked Asheville.

4. Stroll Biltmore’s gardens

Asheville fall views from Biltmore Estate Asheville NC with trees and Blue Ridge Mountains and Pisgah Forest
Asheville fall activities must include a visit to Biltmore — America’s largest home. From wine tasting and a home tour to dining in the former horse stables and walking one of the numerous trails, visitors can easily spend a day here.

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.

We particularly love Asheville’s VeganFest. Hendersonville is famous for hosting The North Carolina Apple Festival.

To see all of Asheville’s fall events and more, head over to our events calendar.

6. Laugh on a haunted LaZoom tour

LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours Purple Bus
Be sure to add a LaZoom Haunted Comedy Tour to your Asheville fall agenda.

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

Wicked Weed Brewing Brewpub Asheville NC with glass of foamy stout in front of outside area taproom
Fall is our favorite season for Asheville’s craft beer scene. We crave Oktoberfests, pumpkin-everything, and those ambers.

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.

If you want to see a massive beer factory, head to Sierra Nevada for their Oktoberfest — order the duck fries — or even New Belgium for a pumpkin brew. Those are both more touristy breweries, though.

For local Asheville craft breweries try:

You may also love Hendersonville’s breweries like Oklawaha, D9, and Triskelion.

Of course, you can also tour the Brevard breweries — Ecusta or Oskar Blues are great after hiking around the Pisgah National Forest — or the Mills River breweries with Bold Rock.

If you are gluten-free, don’t miss Asheville’s delicious cideries like Noble and Urban Orchard.

8. Get lost in a corn maze

Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard Corn Maze with white male in blue shirt and sunglasses surrounded by tall corn stalks
We always commit to two corn mazes during the fall in Asheville: Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard (above) and Grandad’s Apples. Both are fabulous for nearby outdoor fun.

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.

Explore all that you can do in Hendersonville and grab lunch or dinner at one of their fantastic restaurants. Umi Sushi and Haus Heidelberg are our go-tos.

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

The Hunger Games Waterfalls Triple Falls DuPont Forest three-tiered waterfall in fall
The Asheville fall hiking trails and waterfalls are a must. Don’t miss The Hunger Games waterfalls, Triple Falls, at DuPont State Forest.

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.

DuPont gets wildly busy. You may also want to check out these Asheville fall foliage hiking trails. If you are more of a mountain biker, we have just the places for you.

Of course, don’t miss the best Asheville waterfalls, either, including Douglas Falls, Mingo Falls, Catawba Falls, Daniel Ridge Falls, Rainbow Falls, Moore Cove Falls, and Linville Falls.

Other popular hiking trails include Max Patch, Bearwallow Mountain, Trombatore Trail to Blue Ridge Pastures, Lover’s Leap, and Oconaluftee River Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Grab our full list of Asheville hiking trails.

12. Wine Taste Around WNC

Asheville Fall Things To Do Marked Tree Vineyards with white brunette man and woman sitting in chairs with arms behind head and glasses of wine overlooking the vineyards
Don’t miss Flat Rock’s spooky-gorgeous winery, Marked Tree Vineyards. The fog definitely adds an eerie fall vibe here… You’ll also love the historic free-standing fireplaces. Photo by Sarah Resta Photography.

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

Asheville NC fall reading with white woman wearing long knee-high beige socks, drinking a hot cup of coffee, and sitting next to a pile of books
After a day full of exploring, why not cozy up with a book in your warm Asheville room?

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?

We have two Asheville-specific book lists just for you: Books Set In North Carolina & Books Set In Asheville. You can also check out these local Asheville authors.

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

Grandfather Mountain Mile High Swinging Bridge with steel bridge over mountains
An Asheville fall is meant to scare your pants right off… Are you brave enough to face the mile-high swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain? Those views are worth it.

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

Thomas Wolfe Grave at Riverside Cemetery in historic Montford Asheville NC
Pay your respects to Asheville’s literary greats at 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 NC Fall Things To Do Pinterest Pin with fall foliage leaves and Hooker Falls at DuPont Forest in the fall
Headed to Asheville, NC this fall? Save our Asheville fall bucket list for later and never be without something fun to do. Experience an Asheville fall like a local with Uncorked Asheville.

Asheville Fall Foliage & Weather

Asheville NC Fall Foliage Colors with red, yellow and orange leaves on ground with dusting of snow
One fall in Asheville, we saw both leaves and snow on the ground.

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:

Downtown Asheville
The Foundry Hotel
AC Hotel By Marriott Downtown Asheville
Hotel Indigo
Aloft – Downtown Asheville *One of our top picks; they renovated in 2020

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

North Asheville/Montford
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

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