Best Asheville Fall Festivals, Activities, And Events (2023)

If you are craving a gorgeous fall in Asheville, plan your trip around the best Asheville fall festivals, activities, and events – foliage included.

As residents, fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains is our favorite time of year. Many of our readers plan their trips around the Asheville fall color forecast. Think gorgeous red, yellow, and orange leaves.

Peak fall foliage begins in the higher elevations and starts changing around the end of September into October.

By mid-October in Asheville, visitors can chase those leaves along breathtaking Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) drives and hikes – waterfalls included.

Along with the infamous fall colors, the seasonal apple orchards in Hendersonville, NC open their doors, kicking off with numerous WNC apple festivals and street fairs.

Not to mention that visitors and locals alike can attend the best fall festivals in Asheville and across the region, especially for vegans, crafters, art and music lovers, beer drinkers, dancers, and foodies.

Below, discover the best Asheville fall events along with top-rated ghost tours, spooky haunted places, and more. Let’s get started!

Western North Carolina and Asheville Fall Festivals, Events, and Activities featured article image with orange, green, and yellow mini pumpkins and gourds.
Attend top fall festivals in Asheville and Western North Carolina with our local guide.

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Best Asheville Fall Festivals 2023

Below, find just a few of the best fall festivals in Asheville by month and in chronological order. Please remember to check all dates and times with the event host or venue as they are subject to change. Keep an eye on the weather, and be sure to check out our Asheville Events Calendar for year-round events and festivals.

September Festivals

NC Apple Festival (September 1 – 4, 2023)

Labor Day weekend, enjoy the famous NC Apple Festival in Hendersonville, North Carolina. This large street fair is an ode to Hendersonville’s reputation as “Apple Alley” with its plentiful apple orchards. Encounter food, educational booths, music, children’s activities, and concerts. See all that you can do in Hendersonville, including our favorite museums, wineries, and breweries.

Shakespeare in the Park (September 1 – 30, 2023)

Shakespeare in the Park, performed by the Montford Park Players, is one of our favorite Asheville fall events. This year, watch The Tempest by William Shakespeare – directed by Dwight Chiles – under the stars at Asheville’s Hazel Robinson Theater. This free/donation-based event is one of our overall top things to do in Asheville (from May through October). Bring chairs, and enjoy on-site snacks and beverages.

Maggie Valley Arts & Crafts Festival (September 2 – 3, 2023)

Shop for handmade arts and crafts at the Maggie Valley Arts & Crafts Festival. As one of the area’s longest-running events, find pottery, jewelry, artisanal soaps, woodworking, lawn decor, and more. We love this festival. Find great prices, beautiful art, and ample parking. While in the area, see what else you can do in Maggie Valley, including waterfalls, a lookout tower, and quirky shops.

Autumn at Oz at Beech Mountain (September 8th – 10th; 15th to 17th; 22nd to 24th, 2023)

Autumn at Oz is one of the most celebrated fall festivals in Asheville located at Beech Mountain. This is a three-weekend, immersive experience and an ode to the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Meet characters from your favorite classic story, and shop for crafts. Enjoy face painting, food, beverages, live performances, and terrific photo opportunities. Follow the yellow brick road in North Carolina.

Chow Chow Asheville Food Festival (September 7 – September 10, 2023)

Chow Chow Asheville Food Festival is a food and culture festival in Asheville that will speak to the city’s reputation for award-winning and unforgettable restaurants. Grab passes for events including a Pride Brunch, BBQ party, James Beard dinner, fish fry, and more.

NC Mountain State Fair (September 8 – September 17, 2023)

It wouldn’t be fall in Asheville without the massive NC Mountain State Fair in Fletcher, NC. Find equestrian and trade shows, all of your favorite fair rides, and of course, fair food. Watch competitions and live entertainment, including music, hypnotists, swimming pigs, escape artists, cooking demos, and more.

Art in Autumn (September 16, 2023)

Head to Weaverville, NC for its beloved 16th Art in Autumn Outdoor Arts & Crafts Festival. Chat with and shop from over 100 local artists and craftspeople – both at the fair as well as local Weaverville businesses. Listen to live music. During the show, artists’ work is judged with monetary rewards. Discover all that you can do around Weaverville, including visiting Lake Louise.

Lake Lure Dance Festival (September 16th, 2023)

Lake Lure Washburn Marina NC with dark blue green lake and shore with buildings and boats and mountains behind themPin
Get your Dirty Dancing on and more!

Formerly the Dirty Dancing Festival, attend the revamped Lake Lure Dance Festival. In 2023, find a festival that celebrates all things dance at Morse Park. They are even adding salsa. Enjoy food, music, arts, crafts, and more. See all that you can do around the Lake Lure and Chimney Rock area.

Asheville Greek Festival (September 22 & 23, 2023)

Head to Asheville’s beautiful Historic Montford District for the Asheville Greek Festival. Hosted by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, get a slice of Greece in your own backyard with your favorite Greek food, music, dancing, shopping, and fun. Learn more about and celebrate Greek heritage and culture. See all of the delicious food you can eat in our Greek Festival Guide. We highly recommend this event.

Blue Ridge Pride Festival (September 30, 2023)

Celebrate, educate, and advocate with the Blue Ridge Pride Festival in Asheville’s Pack Square. First, join in the walking procession that leads to the festival in Downtown Asheville’s Pack Square. Watch musicians and entertainers while strolling through the numerous food, clothing, art, and education vendors. Support Asheville’s LGBTQ+ community.

More September Events

Be sure to check out our Asheville Fall Color Calendar too. The end of September into early October is when we start to see peak fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

October Festivals

There are so many fun things to do in Asheville in October. Along with visiting the apple orchards, hiking, and picking pumpkins at pop-up stands, Asheville and its neighboring towns are full of events. These are just a few of the best festivals in Western North Carolina and parts of South Carolina.

Albino Skunk Music Festival (October 5 – October 7, 2023)

If you love Americana, Bluegrass, Folk, and Rock music, Greer, South Carolina’s Albino Skunk Music Festival might just be for you. Camp or RV, if you like, and find music, food, drink, and more. Littles can enjoy drive-in movie nights, nature trails, tree swings, and a playground.

Shakespeare in the Park (October 6 – October 28, 2023)

Montford Park Players Shakespeare in the Park with colorful open air theater lit up at nightPin
Watch free theater under the stars.

Attend Shakespeare in the Park by the Montford Park Players at Asheville’s Hazel Robinson Theater in historic Montford. Watch Wonderland Legacies: Alice’s Adventures in Murderland, a Halloween show and world premiere, written by Will Storrs and directed by Deanna Braine Smith.

Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival (October 6 – October 8, 2023)

Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival is the perfect way to start off your Asheville fall in the mountain city of Cashiers. Stroll through tents featuring over 90 vendors, filled with arts and crafts. There is also food, drink, and live music.

Asheville Oktoberfest (October 7, 2023)

Asheville Oktoberfest in Pack Square is one of the most-anticipated fall festivals in Asheville. This is, of course, the German-inspired, local version of Oktoberfest. Enjoy brews from the best breweries in Asheville, including cider, ginger beer, and distilled beverages. Eat delicious food, and play festival games.

Asheville VeganFest (October 8, 2023)

One of our personal favorite Asheville fall festivals, we always try to attend Asheville VeganFest in Pack Square. As a half-Celiac and lactose-intolerant household, we love that we can find gluten-free and vegan treats. Shop from vendors selling baked goods, art, clothing, plants, and more. Enjoy delicious vegan food trucks. Sip healthy and boozy bevies. Read more about vegan/veggie places in Asheville as well as our top GF picks for food.

Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival (October 8, 2023)

If you love cheese, be sure to check out the Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival in Black Mountain. Hosted by one of our favorite distilleries, Oak & Grist Distilling, this is an annual fundraiser for the WNC cheese trail. Read more about enjoying all that Black Mountain has to offer before going.

LEAF Festival (October 19 – October 22, 2023)

Located at Lake Eden, the LEAF Festival celebrates culture and community. Watch a variety of cultural performances including dance, music, and puppets. Attend educational and craft workshops. Participate in a competition. Each day is jam-packed with events, tributes, and ceremonies.

Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands (October 19 – October 22, 2023)

Hosted in Downtown Asheville’s Harrah’s Cherokee Center, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands showcases a variety of contemporary and traditional arts and crafts, including metal, clay, glass, fiber, mixed media, and jewelry. Listen to live music, watch a craft demonstration, and shop for gifts.

Waynesville Apple Harvest Festival (October 21, 2023)

Head to the annual Waynesville Apple Harvest Festival, a street festival in quaint Waynesville, NC. Celebrate the Great Smoky Mountains – and all things fall and apples – with vendors and Downtown Waynesville’s best shops and restaurants.

North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival (October 28, 2023)

Listen to Appalachian music, watch live demonstrations, and eat great food while perusing artists at the North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival in Asheville.

More October Events

Guides For Asheville Fall Activities

From ghosts and abandoned towns to breathtaking fall hikes and the creepiest legends, create the best Western North Carolina fall bucket list. We also have helpful Asheville itineraries including planning a weekend in Asheville and a whirlwind 36-hour itinerary to see blockbusters.

Plan your fall activities in Asheville with our top local guides:

Ghost Tours To Book

With so much to do in Asheville in the fall, it can be overwhelming to plan the perfect itinerary. If you enjoy guided tours, these are just a few popular ghost and history tours to check out:

Tips To Having The Best Fall In Asheville, NC

If you are attending one of these fantastic Asheville fall events, and as locals, we have a few tips to help you plan for weather, crowds, and things to do. Please know that if you find your activities getting rained out, we also have a list of fun indoor and year-round Asheville activities. Plus, don’t miss Asheville’s biggest tourist attractions like Biltmore Estate.

  • Book your Asheville fall accommodations early. October in Asheville is a part of the busiest tourist season. Restaurant and hotel reservations fill up quickly.

  • Arrive at your fall destination(s) early & on weekdays to beat the crowds. This includes hikes, breweries, wineries, Biltmore, and orchards. Weekends are jam-packed, especially as noon approaches.

  • Asheville fall foliage starts much earlier in the higher elevations. Black Balsam and Graveyard Fields tend to be the first pops of color near AVL. Check with the National Park Service for road and gate closures along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Downtown Asheville usually peaks toward the end of October into November.

  • You might lose cellular service, especially in the mountains. Have a GPS map saved for driving directions as well as any pictures of your trail maps.

  • Pack or wear layers if you are heading to the mountains. It might be in the 70s and sunny in Asheville but 55 and cloudy along the BRP.

Where To Stay In Asheville

Explore the best places to stay in Asheville. A few of our top suggestions:

  • Aloft – Downtown Asheville – Centrally located and recently renovated, enjoy a rooftop pool, a gorgeous bar, and trendy rooms.
  • The Omni Grove Park Inn – Treat yourself to a luxury resort in North Asheville, complete with breathtaking sunsets, terrace bars and dining, and loads of Asheville history.
  • Hampton Inn And Suites Asheville Biltmore Area – A budget-friendly but renovated hotel on busier Brevard Road that’s perfect if you wish to stay between Biltmore Estate, Downtown Asheville, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Asheville Cottages – Gorgeous 1 to 3-bedroom cottages with a private deck, housing a grill and hot tub. Find luxurious heated-floor bathrooms with rain showers, a well-stocked kitchen, and the cleanest rooms in town.
  • Foundry Hotel – An oasis in Downtown Asheville, Foundry Hotel is a nod to AVL’s industrial history. Find famous restaurant Benne on Eagle while sleeping ensconced in charm and elegance.
  • Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Asheville Westgate, NC – Located off of the highway as you enter AVL, find a sleek and clean hotel at a great price. 
  • Black Walnut B&B Inn – Designed by Biltmore’s supervising architect, Richard Sharp-Smith, this 1899 inn is close to Downtown AVL and serves afternoon tea. Two rooms are pet-friendly.

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

Building your WNC fall itinerary? Save your favorite Asheville fall festivals and events for later. Enjoy fall like a local with Uncorked Asheville.

Best Fall Festivals in Asheville NC Pinterest pin with URL of website and image with orange, green, and yellow mini pumpkins and gourds.Pin
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Christine Frascarelli

Christine (pronouns: she/her) is the owner and lead writer of Uncorked Asheville. After falling in love with those gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, Christine and her husband Tom decided to call Asheville, North Carolina home. When her pointy Italian nose isn’t stuck in a book, Christine is adopting all of the kitties, getting lost in the forest, and drinking an ESB. She has a BA in English and History from Smith College, her MLIS from USF-Tampa, and is a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar - Indonesia. Christine also owns The Uncorked Librarian LLC with books and movies to inspire travel.

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