Top Things to Do in Asheville During the Fall

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As the temperatures begin to cool and the leaves don their vibrant coats of red, orange, and gold, there’s a captivating transformation that sweeps through Asheville, North Carolina.

Known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and artistic soul, this charming city becomes an even more enchanting destination when autumn arrives. Join me on a journey as we explore the irresistible allure of things to do in Asheville during this magical season.

From the fiery landscapes of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the artistic treasures hidden in the River Arts District, the tantalizing flavors of local orchards and cideries, the eerie tales of ghost tours, and the grandeur of the Biltmore Estate amidst fall’s splendor, Asheville beckons with a tapestry of experiences that promise to capture your heart and imagination.

So, grab your sweater, your camera, and your sense of adventure as we look at the top things to do in Asheville.

Table of Contents

Embrace the Colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Embrace the Colors on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Of the many things to do in Asheville, The Blue Ridge Parkway, often hailed as “America’s Favorite Drive,” has always been one of my favorites. Witnessing the incredible transformation of lush summer greens into the fiery reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn along this scenic byway is like stepping into a living masterpiece painted by nature.

Every fall, the Blue Ridge Parkway undergoes a remarkable transformation as the trees that line its winding path burst into a kaleidoscope of colors. The hillsides come alive with the brilliant hues of crimson, tangerine, and gold, creating an awe-inspiring panorama that stretches as far as the eye can see.

A Hiker’s Paradise: Trails Abound

The Blue Ridge Parkway isn’t just about the views from the comfort of your car; it’s also a hiker’s paradise. Along the parkway, there are numerous trailheads leading to a variety of hiking adventures. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker looking to conquer a challenging peak or a leisurely stroller seeking a short nature walk, there’s a trail for you.

A Picturesque Fall Paradise

Pretty much anyone who travels along the Blue Ridge Parkway can’t help but want to capture the magic of the season. The interplay of sunlight filtering through the foliage, the contrast of colorful leaves against the deep blue sky, and the dramatic landscapes all around provide endless inspiration for the camera.

Definitely make sure not to forget your camera or smartphone! 

Sip and Savor at Local Orchards and Cideries

Sip and Savor at Local Orchards and Cideries

When it comes to finding things to do in Asheville, North Carolina, celebrating fall flavors can be one of the most rewarding. Amidst the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant foliage, the city and its surroundings boast an array of local orchards and cideries that invite you to embark on a culinary adventure like no other. 

Apple Orchards

Asheville’s apple orchards are a testament to the region’s rich agricultural heritage. With the arrival of fall, these orchards burst into a vibrant symphony of colors, welcoming visitors to partake in the age-old tradition of apple picking. It’s a sensory delight to stroll through rows of apple-laden trees, reaching up to pluck the ripest and juiciest fruits directly from the branches. The crisp autumn air is filled with the sweet aroma of freshly harvested apples, and it’s hard to resist taking a bite right then and there.

The orchards in and around Asheville offer a diverse selection of apple varieties, from the tart and tangy to the sweet and crisp. Whether you’re in search of apples for baking, snacking, or making your own cider, there’s a perfect pick awaiting your discovery.

Engaging in apple picking not only connects you with the seasonal rhythms of the area but also allows you to savor the fruits of your labor in the most literal sense.


Once you’ve had your fill of apple picking, it’s time to explore the local cideries that transform these handpicked apples into liquid gold. Asheville boasts a burgeoning craft cider scene, and the cideries here take their craft seriously. They offer an impressive array of ciders, each with its unique flavor profile and character.

Visiting a cidery is an opportunity to witness the alchemy behind cider-making. Many cideries offer tours and tastings where you can learn about the fermentation process, from apple crushing to bottling. You’ll gain insight into the careful selection of apple varieties, the art of blending, and the nuances that give each cider its distinct taste.

From traditional dry ciders that are crisp and refreshing to sweeter varieties that burst with fruity notes, there’s a cider to suit every palate. Some cideries even experiment with unique ingredients like spices, berries, or hops, resulting in truly one-of-a-kind concoctions.

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Experience Arts and Culture in the River Arts District

Experience Arts and Culture in the River Arts District

When it comes to looking for  cultural things to do in Asheville, North Carolina, one destination stands out as a vibrant hub of creativity and artistic expression—the River Arts District. During my recent visit to this charming city in the peak of autumn, I had the pleasure of diving into the artistic haven that is the River Arts District, and the experience was nothing short of inspiring.

A Canvas of Creativity

Nestled along the banks of the French Broad River, the River Arts District is a testament to Asheville’s commitment to the arts. This once-industrial neighborhood has undergone a remarkable transformation, with old warehouses and factories now repurposed into vibrant studios and galleries.

Studio Exploration

Wandering through the River Arts District is like embarking on a journey through the minds and souls of local artists. The district is home to a diverse community of painters, sculptors, potters, glassblowers, and more, each showcasing their unique talents and creations.

Visitors even have the opportunity to step into these working studios and witness art being created by craft masters.

Gallery Galore

Beyond the studios, the River Arts District is dotted with galleries showcasing an impressive array of art forms. From contemporary paintings to abstract sculptures, there’s an eclectic mix of artistic styles waiting to be explored. Stepping into these galleries feels like entering a treasure trove of creativity, each piece telling a unique story and evoking a range of emotions.

What I found particularly enchanting was the diversity of art on display. Whether you’re drawn to traditional oil paintings, modern installations, or avant-garde pieces, the River Arts District has something to pique every art lover’s interest. The galleries themselves often serve as works of art, with their interiors thoughtfully designed to complement the pieces they house.

Public Art and Murals: An Outdoor Gallery

One of the defining features of the River Arts District is its embrace of public art and murals. From intricate, large-scale murals that span entire buildings to smaller, hidden gems waiting to be discovered, every corner of the District holds artistic surprises. The outdoor art not only adds visual interest but also serves as a testament to the district’s commitment to making art accessible to all.

Interactive Workshops: Becoming an Artist for a Day

For those seeking hands-on things to do in Asheville, the District offers a range of interactive workshops and classes which span from traditional painting with acrylics and watercolors to pottery and more.

These workshops are not only educational but also incredibly fun. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced artist, there’s a workshop suited to your interests and skill level. It’s a chance to take a piece of the River Arts District’s creative spirit home with you.

Hike Amidst the Fall Foliage

Hike Amidst the Fall Foliage

One of the greatest things to do in Asheville, North Carolina is taking in the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds the city, especially during the vibrant fall season. While the city itself exudes charm, it’s the stunning fall foliage that draws adventurers like me to explore the great outdoors. 

A Kaleidoscope of Colors

Asheville’s lush woodlands undergo a spectacular transformation each fall, as the foliage transitions from its summer green to a riot of reds, oranges, and golds. The trees that line the hiking trails become living canvases, painting the landscape with hues that seem almost surreal. It’s a sight that can only be truly appreciated up close, making hiking the ideal way to immerse yourself in the spectacle.

Pisgah National Forest

One of the premier destinations for fall foliage hikes near Asheville is the Pisgah National Forest. This vast and diverse forest is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker looking to conquer a challenging peak or a casual walker seeking a leisurely stroll, Pisgah has an adventure waiting for you.

DuPont State Recreational Forest

For a more serene and family-friendly hiking experience, the nearby DuPont State Recreational Forest is a must-visit. Its well-maintained trails lead to some of the most iconic waterfalls in the area. During the fall, these cascades are set against a backdrop of golden leaves, creating postcard-perfect scenes that are simply breathtaking.

What sets DuPont apart is its accessibility and the relatively short, easy hikes that lead to its natural wonders. It’s an ideal destination for those with varying levels of fitness, and the reward of witnessing the falls in their autumn glory is well worth the journey.

Hiking Tips for the Season

Exploring the fall foliage on foot requires some preparation. Here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable hiking experience:

Layer Up

Fall weather can be unpredictable, so dress in layers to stay comfortable as temperatures fluctuate.


Proper hiking boots or sturdy shoes with good traction are essential for navigating uneven terrain.

Trail Maps

Carry trail maps and a compass or GPS device to stay oriented, especially in unfamiliar terrain.

Hydration and Snacks

Bring plenty of water and energy-rich snacks to keep you fueled throughout your hike.

Leave No Trace

Respect the environment by staying on marked trails and carrying out all trash.

Safety First

Let someone know your hiking plans and estimated return time, and be prepared for changes in weather or daylight.

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Explore Biltmore Estate in Autumn Splendor

Explore Biltmore Estate in Autumn Splendor

A visit to Asheville in the fall season wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the grandeur of the Biltmore Estate. The House is not just a historic mansion; it’s a living testament to the elegance and grandeur of a bygone era, making it an essential stop for anyone looking for things to do in Asheville.

The Biltmore House

Visiting Biltmore House is a captivating journey into the opulent past of Asheville, North Carolina. As you approach the grand estate, you’ll immediately be struck by the sheer magnitude and architectural beauty of this iconic mansion.

Built by George Washington Vanderbilt II in the late 19th century, Biltmore House is America’s largest privately-owned home, boasting 250 rooms, magnificent halls, and awe-inspiring interiors. Exploring the estate’s meticulously designed rooms, from the grand banquet hall to the ornate library and opulent bedrooms, will feel like stepping back in time to the Gilded Age of America.

Biltmore’s Gardens in Fall

As you stroll through the estate’s meticulously manicured gardens and grounds, you’ll be greeted by an awe-inspiring display of autumn colors. The towering trees that grace the estate transform into towering pillars of red, orange, and gold, creating a visual masterpiece that seems straight out of a painting.

The Italian Garden and the Walled Garden are especially enchanting, with vibrant floral displays and reflecting pools that add to the sensory delight of the season. The estate’s expansive lawns offer a perfect spot for a leisurely picnic or a contemplative moment while you soak in the fall splendor, a perfect addition to your list of things to do in Asheville.

Get Spooked on a Ghost Tour

Get Spooked on a Ghost Tour

As darkness descends upon the picturesque streets of Asheville in the fall season, a unique and spine-tingling adventure awaits those with a penchant for the paranormal—ghost tours. 

The Haunting Charm of Asheville’s Ghost Tours

While Asheville is known for its natural beauty and cultural attractions, its ghost tours offer a different kind of allure. These tours take you on a journey through the city’s historic districts, where knowledgeable guides recount spine-chilling stories of apparitions, unexplained phenomena, and the restless spirits that are said to roam the streets and buildings.

One of the most popular ghost tours to do in Asheville is the “Haunted Asheville” tour. Led by charismatic guides, this tour delves deep into the city’s dark and mysterious past. The historic architecture and cobbled streets set the perfect stage for tales of tragic love stories, unsolved mysteries, and unquiet spirits.

Haunted Hotspots and Eerie Encounters

Of the many things to do in Asheville, it’s ghost tours lead you to some of the city’s most haunted hotspots. One such location is the Asheville Masonic Temple, where it’s believed that the spirits of Freemasons from the past still linger. The Battery Park Hotel, another eerie destination on the tour, is said to be inhabited by a ghostly lady in pink, who is rumored to have leapt to her death from the roof.

While the tales of spectral encounters are enough to send shivers down your spine, it’s the ambiance of the city at night that adds to the tour’s mystique. The dimly lit streets, the cool autumn breeze, and the historic architecture take on a haunting charm of their own as you navigate the city’s haunted past.

The Ghostly Resonance of History

What makes Asheville’s ghost tours particularly captivating is their connection to the city’s rich history. As you listen to the ghostly tales, you gain insight into the lives and events that shaped Asheville. The stories of star-crossed lovers, tragic accidents, and unsolved mysteries serve as a haunting reminder of the people who once walked these same streets, leaving behind a spectral legacy.

Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, Asheville’s ghost tours offer a unique and immersive way to connect with the city’s history and experience its mysterious side. It’s a journey into the unknown, where the line between fact and folklore blurs, and where the veil between the living and the departed seems to thin, if only for a moment.

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Enjoy the Beauty of Asheville

There are so many wonderful things to do in Asheville during the autumn season that encapsulate the city’s unique charm and natural beauty. From the stunning fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway to the delightful orchards and cideries, the vibrant River Arts District, intriguing ghost tours, and the grandeur of the Biltmore Estate, this city has something for every traveler.

The meticulously landscaped gardens and grounds of the Biltmore Estate, designed by the renowned Frederick Law Olmsted, offer a blend of natural beauty and artistic design that is truly remarkable. Asheville’s autumn allure is not only captured in its picturesque landscapes and cultural treasures but also in the warm and welcoming spirit of the city.

As you bid farewell to this enchanting destination, you’ll carry with you cherished memories and a genuine appreciation for the many unique things to do in Asheville. It’s a place that invites you to return, season after season, promising fresh discoveries and a deep connection to the beauty of autumn.

Happy travels!

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