Best Places to See Fall Foliage in North Carolina

You know who you are: as soon as that first green leaf turns red, you're buying pumpkin lattes, pulling on cardigans, and lighting up bonfires. Add a little sight seeing to your Autumn obsession by checking out these awesome locations to view fall foliage.

Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Contrary to its name, Blowing Rock is not a formation of stone but an actual town with a whole lot to see. In addition to their amazing mountain views, Blowing Rock is host to festivals all year round celebrating the arts, seasons, holidays, and other cultural events. You could also spend the day at one of their many farms or wineries. What says "It's fall!" more than sampling local wines and picking your own bushel of apples?

Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain is every North Carolinian's go-to spot for quality hiking and spectacular views. The highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains, scaling this beauty will put you at an elevation of almost 6,000 feet. In case the climb and stunning scenery at the top aren't enough to keep you satisfied, you can take a walk across America's highest suspension footbridge, the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Those with a fear of heights: beware.

David Joyce / Flickr

Asheville, North Carolina

If you want to see some beautiful Autumn colors but don't want to spend the day tromping through the forest, book yourself a weekend stay in Asheville, North Carolina. This eclectic town set in the heart of the mountains offers a wide variety of entertainment to keep you busy including antique shops, art galleries, and some of the best food and drink North Carolina offers. Be sure to visit one of the local breweries while you're there for a true taste of the town. And in case you want to escape one afternoon into the woods, most hiking trails are just a short 20 minute drive from the city.

Our favorite breakfast spot so far. Any other suggestions?
Michael Sprague / Flickr

Navitat Zipline Canopy Adventures

If you're hoping to stay in the Asheville area but want to add a little thrill to your fall foliage viewing, check out Navitat Zipline Canopy Adventures. Side by side with a friend, you'll zip over gorgeous Blue Ridge canopies, experiencing mountain views on every side. Soaring at over 60 miles an hour, Navitat is home to the South's longest zip, stretching over two thirds of a mile. There are two different experiences to choose from at the Asheville location or you can double up and book both of them for a discounted price.

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Do you like the idea of soaring past the Autumn leaves but not necessarily hanging from a cable to do so? Taking a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad is a great option for you. This family friendly train will carry you through some of the Blue Ridge's most incredible views, all while seated comfortably inside a swift locomotive. Got kids? Take them on a ride to the Peanuts Pumpkin Patch—a trip with a two hour layover picking pumpkins and snapping selfies with the Peanuts characters.

Carrie-Christina Siftar has been exploring Charlotte since moving there in 2011. When she's not writing, she's nose-deep in a latte and YA novel. You can follow her here.