Fall Color Update, Events, Festivals & Tips for Visiting NC Mountains

Sunrise NC Mountains

September 18, 2013 Asheville Fall Color Report: Most all leaves are still very green. Right now, late summer wildflowers are providing great color. A mostly dry week with some morning fog and some cloudy afternoons. Remember to bring a jacket since temperatures in higher elevations can be 10-15 cooler than downtown Asheville, especially when peaks are covered by clouds. The big color show is still 2-5 weeks away. Lodging is booking up fast especially on the weekends, so make your reservations soon! See our full Asheville Fall Color & Event Guide at http://www.romanticasheville.com/fall.htm.


  • 20: Downtown After Five Live Music
  • 21: Fall Into the Farm at Carl Sandburg Home
  • 21: Mountain Life Festival Great Smoky Mountains Farm Museum
  • 21: Art in Autumn Fest in Weaverville
  • 21-22: Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
  • 21-22: Farm Tour
  • 21-22: Flock to Rock Birding Weekend
  • 27-29: NOC’s Guest Appreciation Weekend
  • 28: Heritage Craft Day NC Arboretum
  • 28: Art on the Island Fest in Marshall
  • 28: French Broad Brew Festival in Hot Springs


  • 5: Blue Ridge Pride
  • 5: Forest Festival Day
  • 5: Heritage Folk Festival in Mars Hill
  • 5-6: Land of Oz Weekend
  • 5, 12, 19: Asheville Art in the Park
  • 12: 2nd Saturday Art Events River Arts District
  • 12: Oktoberfest Downtown Asheville
  • 12: Church Street Waynesville Art & Craft Show
  • 12-13: Tour de Falls Waterfall Tour
  • 12-13: Bonsai Expo at NC Arboretum
  • 12-13: Spruce Pine Potters & Heritage Fest
  • 17-20: LEAF Festival
  • 17-20: Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
  • 19-20: Woolly Worm Festival
  • 19-20: NC Arboretum Chrysanthemum Show
  • 19-20: Lake Lure Arts Festival
  • 19: Apple Harvest Festival
  • 20: HardLox Jewish Festival
  • 25-27: Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit
  • 26: NOCtoberfest on Nantahala River
  • 26: Downtown Brevard Halloweenfest


  • 1-2: Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
  • 2-3: Weaverville Art Safari
  • 9-10: River District Artists Studio Stroll


Here are some tips to help you plan an Asheville fall vacation:

  • Make your room reservations early. Many times, weekends are booked at inns and hotels months in advance.
  • To avoid the biggest crowds and to save, stay on Sunday through Thursday nights.
  • With the varying elevations along the Blue Ridge Parkway, this is the quickest place to find the best areas for color. The elevation of the Parkway around the city of Asheville is approximately 2,200 feet, and it rises to 5,000+ feet as you drive north or south. The color show starts a the highest elevations in early October and progresses down.
  • When you find a particular area of brilliant foliage, take a hike along a trial or take a detour on one of the intersecting roads.
  • If you encounter fog (low clouds) on the Blue Ridge Parkway, don’t despair. The weather can change rapidly. It could be very sunny around the next bend or in a few minutes. Fog is most frequent in the mornings, and it can create magical scenes.
  • Take your camera. The warm light of the early morning or late afternoon can create especially dramatic images.
  • Enhance colors by wearing polarized sunglasses.
  • Take a picnic or snacks, especially if you are driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is only one restaurant along the Parkway near Asheville.
  • Fill up the gas tank before taking a scenic drive out of the city, since gas stations are sparse in rural areas and none on the Parkway.
  • Don’t rely 100% on your GPS to navigate our mountain roads. That’s a good way to get lost. Take a map along also.
  • Bring a sweater or jacket. While it might be 70 degrees in Asheville, it may be 20 degrees cooler at the higher elevations. In late October, snow or ice is possible at the higher elevations. Road closures and conditions on the Blue Ridge Parkway, along with weather reports, are available by calling the Parkway information line at (828) 298-0398.

See a week-by-week fall color forecast of peak colors at http://www.romanticasheville.com/fall.htm.


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