Asheville is at the tail end of 3 days of the Bele Chere Summer Festival right now. Four sound stages are set up with live music, artists from all over the country are selling their crafts, street performers, food vendors, and cold beers, many locally crafted are everywhere. It been hot in Asheville and misting tents are set up downtown to keep the revelers cool. All of Asheville seems to be one big summer party.
But I’m remembering those cool nights of autumn in the mountains right now! Guests are calling with October reservations and asking for Fall Foliage predictions and it seems a million years away from this summer heat with all of its festivals, but it’s not! Before you know it the colors will start appearing, first at the mountaintops and then in glorious bands, working their way down the mountains. All the different elevations in the area mean one of the longest-running fall foliage seasons in the country. The days are still warm in the fall and the sun illuminates the brilliant colors. The Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville is full of great places to view the show, take a hike, stop for a picnic and take in the breathtaking views of the mountains. The Parkway may even add a rest stop soon with views of the Asheville skyline. We’ll keep you posted! Navitat has zipline tours through the forest canope that are even more beautiful and peaceful in the fall. Soaring through the treetops, you will suddenly come upon a stunning mountain vista on your way to the next landing flatform in the trees. A guided canoe trip down the French Broad River offers a unique view of the colors. You may even want to enjoy the panorama of the blazing mountains from a balloon ride across the Hominy Valley! And of course, The Biltmore Estate and Gardens are a thing to behold in the Fall with the Biltmore Forest in full autumn glory rising behind the mansion and the gardens specially planted for the season.
Whether you’re exploring in Dupont State Forest, climbing Chimney Rock or visiting Pisgah National Forest, during the day, Asheville is the perfect place to come home to. At the end of the day you’ll find plenty to do in downtown Asheville. The nights cool off just enough to enjoy a sweater while you eat outside at one of Asheville’s many sidewalk cafés. Asheville has a myriad of great independent restaurants, most emphasizing locally grown foods. There’s sure to be live music in town and artists displaying their work outside the Grove Arcade or at the Art in the Park Series at Pack Square. If you’re in the mood for theater, October offers everything from Romeo and Juliet with the Montford Park Players, to Angels in America with the North Carolina Stage Company.
The color show is predicted to start this October 4 through the 14th at the highest elevations above 5,000 feet just north of Asheville. Look for color on Mount Mitchell, Craggy Gardens or Grandfather Mountain. October 12th through the 21st look to the mountains southwest of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway including Mount Pisgah and Devil’s Courthouse. October 18th through the 26th the mountains surrounding Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway should be at peak color, between 3,000 and 4,000 feet. October 26th through November 5th the show shines brightest right in Asheville itself at 2,000 feet. This is the time to visit the NC Arboretum or Dupont State Forest. The Biltmore Estate will be at peak color then as well. October 27th to November 6th look to Lake Lure and the Chimney Rock area.