I decided to take a short break from writing to prepare for my trip to Nashville, Tennessee for the 53rd Dove Awards. During my break, I had time to do some self-care and self-exploration. I also realigned my short and long term personal goals. This was my first time driving through the North Carolina and Tennessee Mountains. The Fall season is the best season to come visit Western North Carolina. As soon as summer ends, the dense canopy of leaves changes from its usual green to iconic shades of red, yellow, and orange in the blink of an eye.
If you want to see Western North Carolina fall foliage, your best bet is to come during peak time. The peak color usually occurs from mid-October to early November. The trees at the highest elevation change first, and the trees in the low foothills change last.
I took a moment to record my journey traveling from Tennessee to the North Carolina Mountains here.
Below are the top 5 places you can visit to have a cozy fall getaway:
- Asheville- Asheville is one of the state's most popular vacation destinations with its funky Bohemian vibe, and it has a prime location in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. The historic Biltmore Estate is one of the main attractions, but visitors will also find a vibrant cultural, craft beer, and culinary scene to explore.
- Biltmore Estate- If you're traveling to Asheville and want to visit Biltmore Estate while in town, you should add a few extra days to your vacation to explore this Impressive 8,000-acre property and grounds. Historic Biltmore House is known as "America's Largest Home," and it's the former residence of George and Edith Vanderbilt. If you want to stay close to all the activities, there are several options for accommodations on the property, including the casual Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate or the luxurious Inn on Biltmore Estate.
- Blue Ridge Parkway- It is also known as "America's Favorite Scenic Drive," the Blue Ridge Parkway is a winding 469-mile road that connects the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, and North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park- Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited national park in the U.S. Located in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee, the park encompasses 520,000 acres (or 800 square miles) of natural beauty, waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. The park is also known for the striking blue mist over its peaks and valleys, which inspires the Great Smoky Mountains name.
- Pisgah National Forest- Pisgah National Forest boasts more than 500,000 acres of old-growth forests, with nearly 100,000 acres that once belonged to George W. Vanderbilt. When Vanderbilt's wife, Edith, sold the lands to the U.S. government in 1914 after her husband's death, this created the first national forest east of the Mississippi River. Now, Pisgah is the home to the first school of forestry in the U.S. Travelers can visit the Cradle of Forestry in America historic site in the park, which features historic buildings, guided walks, living history interpreters, an old logging train, and the Forest