BY ELISA WALLACE COPPEDE
As the days become shorter and the weather becomes cooler, summer turns into fall. This season change is a welcome relief for those seeking refuge from the hot Carolina sun. There is something magical about this time of year. From the colors of the leaves painting the sky around us in different shades of red, gold and orange, to the delicious fall crops that provide us with autumn flavor, this season is certainly a favorite of many. Rather than embrace this change at home, many think fall is a perfect time to plan a getaway with family, friends, or oneself.
Being a Carolinian means you don’t have to plan a trip far away to enjoy some of the most beautiful sights and sounds this season can provide. One of the many reasons our state is so beloved is the fact that we have all four seasons, as well as easy access to some of the most exquisite mountains and beaches one can see. North Carolina’s coastal areas can experience 70-80-degree weather in the middle of fall, which is appealing to many who want one last trip to the beach. However, one doesn’t have to only be ready for a trip to the beach. North Carolina also has picture-perfect mountains that offer a variety of fall activities one can enjoy. With all this said, it’s no surprise that North Carolina is becoming one of the most popular places to live and relocate to.
Ready to kick off the fall season with a trip to one of North Carolina’s many picturesque spots? Don’t worry about a long car trip. Many of these locations are a few hours away and can easily be done for a lovely weekend getaway. Read on for North Carolina’s top five locations to plan a perfect fall excursion.
Asheville, North Carolina: Yes, this destination seems like a no brainer. Asheville easily tops the list of a perfect spot to visit during the fall season. Best known for being a city for the hippies-at-heart, this lovely city is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Providing a perfect backdrop for a fall getaway, Asheville is also an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking, to tubing, to fly fishing, Asheville is filled with exciting outdoor activities to enjoy. This mountain city is also a great spot to view local art and enjoy music. It seems like around every corner, there is a spot to embrace the art scene.
Wilmington, NC: This coastal city is home to beautiful beaches and a vibrant historic downtown. Not only does this seafaring city boast live music, breweries, and art museums, Wilmington also has an exciting history involving pirates and historical battles. Why visit Wilmington in the fall? Not only are the temperatures still warm enough to sneak a trip or two to the beach, but the city can offer a chance to learn more about the darker side of history with local ghost and pub tours.
Davidson, NC: This lakeside town, is another excellent location to visit for a fall getaway. The Davidson/Cornelius area offers many sports for the water enthusiasts wanting to enjoy a few last weeks of fun in the sun. Cornelius offers numerous marinas to make renting boats, jet skis, or paddleboards a breeze. Foodies will delight at the sight of Hello, Sailor, a waterfront restaurant and bar known for its hushpuppies, cocktails, and of course, Carolina shrimp Calabash plate.
Black Mountain, NC: Craving another mountain vacation this fall? Look no further than Black Mountain. Voted “America’s Prettiest Small Town” in 2017 by TripAdvisor, this city nestled 20 minutes outside of Asheville, is another excellent base to explore western North Carolina. Wanting to experience more time on the water this fall? Try renting a cabin on Lake Eden, where you can choose from treehouse-style cabins, rustic cabins, luxury cottages, or nostalgic campers. Lake Eden also hosts the adored LEAF festival. This colorful event is focused on music, culture, and art. Local craft breweries are also there for the brew loving travelers, including Lookout Brewing, Pisgah Brewing, and Black Mountain Brewing.
Mt. Airy, NC: For those wanting to get away from bustling city life, Mt. Airy may be the perfect fall spot to enjoy a trip away. It provides the small-town feel that many will enjoy. Not only is this city beautiful to view fall foliage, it also boasts a popular fall festival known as the “Mayberry Days.” If you’re a fan of the classic Andy Griffith Show, then this is the festival for you. Over a week, guests can see characters from the show and enjoy fall activities that are sure to take one and all back to a simpler time of life.