The weather is changing in Asheville, with August’s heat fading into the past. For autumn enthusiasts, it signals that the area’s iconic and gorgeous changing of the leaves may soon follow.
Asheville ranked No. 10 among the nation’s 10 best places to visit in the fall months by USA Today in its 10Best Reader’s Choice series. Other regional cities on the list include top-ranked Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and No. 6 Greenville, South Carolina.
What makes Asheville so magical in the fall?
The 10 places, voted on by USA Today readers, were based on “beautiful scenery, fantastic weather, and wealth of seasonal activities and events.”
One thing that Asheville is consistent for is its scenic beauty. In the case of cold weather, visitors and locals could see color changes beginning by the end of September in higher elevation sites on the Blue Ridge Parkway, according to previous Citizen Times reporting.
In the third week of October, from Oct. 20 to the end of the month, fall colors could begin to peak in the city of Asheville, around the Biltmore Estate and in Hendersonville.
Some experts said that last year was the best season for fall foliage in a decade. Forecasters are predicting another colorful season.
David Huff, councilor for communications for the Carolina Mountain Club, the largest and oldest hiking and trail maintenance club in the Southeast, has experienced many falls in Asheville as he’s lived in the area on and off since the 1980s.
“Fall will happen at the higher elevations first, and then it’ll work its way down. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a real sweet spot in the fall. The colors up there can be amazing,” Huff told the Citizen Times Sept. 18.
Huff recommended two spots on the parkway where visitors can see all the beautiful colors fall has to offer:
- Graveyard Fields, at Milepost 418.8 in Canton.
- Craggy Gardens, at Milepost 364, north of Black Mountain.
Here’s what USA Today had to say about fall in Asheville:
“As the summer sun gives way to cooler temperatures, Asheville offers a wealth of fascinating attractions for autumn visitors to enjoy. Though best known for its spectacular beer scene, the region is also equipped with its fair share of gorgeous natural sites to explore, with area destinations ranging from the Blue Ridge Parkway to the North Carolina Arboretum.”
Arboretum spokesperson Brian Postelle told the Citizen Times Sept. 18 that the North Carolina Arboretum is one of the most accessible gateways to the woods in Asheville.
“It’s so easy for visitors to just step into the woods and be completely surrounded by fall, he said.
This will be Postelle’s 23rd fall in Asheville. His favorite part? Exploring.
“The forest takes on a different personality,” he said.
“My favorite part is getting out and seeing what everything looks like in the new season.”
10 best places to visit in fall, according to USA Today readers
- Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
- Allegany County, Maryland.
- Mackinac Island, Michigan.
- Branson, Missouri.
- Stowe, Vermont.
- Greenville, South Carolina.
- Bayfield, Wisconsin.
- Cody, Wyoming.
- Taos, New Mexico.
- Asheville, North Carolina.
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