Stay up to date with the best autumn hikes, drives and travel deals in Asheville, North Carolina, with our weekly fall color reports. Our Fall Color Hunter keeps you in the know on where to go.
In the coming weeks, the brisk mountain air will help paint the leaves of the Blue Ridge Mountains in brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges.
The first hints of fall typically arrive in the mountains in late September. The fall leaf season often extends well into the month of November. In general, the fall leaf schedule begins with color showing in highest elevations (above 6,000 feet). Fall color then makes its way down the mountain sides into the valleys and foothills. Check out our interactive fall color map to see for yourself.
Not only is fall a time for beautiful foliage, it's one of the most exciting times of the year in terms of festivals, events and openings. Discover what's new in Asheville for fall 2019.
And, check out our guide to the top 10 ways to experience fall in Asheville. As you plan your visit, here are five things to know about fall in Asheville.
Scroll down to read our weekly report and find out what events and activities are happening this week in Asheville.
Fall is making its final push in the lower elevations, such as Chimney Rock State Park. Photo taken November 6, 2019 by Jason Tarr.
We have entered the Falliday season in Asheville! Falliday is when fall color's final stretch overlaps with the beginning of Asheville's best holiday traditions.
In terms of fall, the fall color now has shifted to the lowest elevations. The strongest fall color we have seen in the past couple days is at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. We hiked the Skyline Trail, which reopened in 2017, and saw nice golds, oranges and reds. We also found the drive up to Chimney Rock from Chimney Rock Village to be quite beautiful. As we explored, we did see trees that have lost leaves and some trees that are past their prime for the season. Interestingly, there are also many trees that are still green. But it has certainly looked and felt like fall at Chimney Rock State Park this week.
While pockets of colorful trees can still be found throughout the rest of the area, including in the city of Asheville, most of the trees have already shown their strongest color for the season and begun to drop leaves. We expect this week to be the final stretch for the remaining fall color in the City of Asheville and on the Blue Ridge Parkway near town. That's due, in part, to a storm a few days ago that brought down many leaves.
While there are few places still showing wide swaths of autumn color, there are beautiful details to be found. Keep your eyes open and look up and down. You may be surprised by what you find!
This report marks the final fall color report in our 2019 series. Thank you for following along with us this autumn!
Fall color as seen from the entrance ticketing gate at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. Photo taken November 6, 2019 by Jason Tarr.
Afternoon sun highlights fall color along the Skyline Trail at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. Photo taken November 6, 2019 by Jason Tarr.
A golden tree awaits hikers at the top of a flight of stairs on a trail at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. Photo taken November 6, 2019 by Jason Tarr.
Fall surrounds Chimney Rock as seen from Pulpit Rock at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. Photo taken November 6, 2019 by Jason Tarr.
Fall color dots the vista behind Chimney Rock. There are still green trees yet to turn. Photo taken November 6, 2019 by Jason Tarr.
Celebrate the Falliday season in Asheville: a time when fall and the holidays collide!
Christmas at Biltmore is underway with stunning and elegant decorations. This two-month celebration (Nov. 1, 2019 through Jan. 4, 2020) is born out of a tradition that began more than a century ago. More than 55 hand-decorated Christmas trees adorn the home and the estate, the centerpiece being a 35-foot Fraser fir in the 7-story Banquet Hall.
Biltmore glows in the evening with candlelight and firelight, giving you the opportunity to experience Christmas at Biltmore in a different light. Candlelight Christmas Evenings will help you experience Christmas at the Estate much the way the Vanderbilt’s did on Christmas Eve 1895 when Biltmore welcomed its first guests.
Explore our online Christmas at Biltmore 2019 photo tour for a first look at this year's decorations!
Speaking of Christmas, begin your shopping with the Annual Fall Studio Stroll and Sale in the River Arts District on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 9-10). There are more than 200 working artist studios in this artsy hub just five minutes from downtown Asheville. The Studio Stroll offers a unique opportunity to tour numerous studios and galleries belonging to Asheville’s most celebrated artists. Not only can you meet the artists, but you can also get a behind-the-scenes look at how they make their art. Arts and crafts enthusiasts will also enjoy the Fairview Craft and Give Fair (Nov. 9) in the nearby community of Fairview, just 15 minutes from downtown Asheville.
The beginning of November is an exciting time in Asheville with several major, highly anticipated grand openings. First up, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition opens at Biltmore on Friday (Nov. 8). You may recall Biltmore hosted a Downton Abbey costume exhibition a couple years ago. But this exhibition is something entirely different. You'll have the chance to experience never-before-seen interactive elements that connect you to your favorite characters, as well as the fashions, locations, and historic events of the time period. Showcased in two estate locations, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition pairs seamlessly with the real-life story of the Vanderbilt family.
Next Thursday (Nov. 14), the Asheville Art Museum reopens after a three-year, $24-million renovation. The new state of the art facility features 10 new galleries and a rooftop terrace and cafe with gorgeous mountain views.
Learn more about what's new in Asheville in November, including the upcoming grand opening of The Center for Craft (Nov. 16). The new National Craft Innovation Hub facility will offer free exhibitions seven days a week in addition to interactive workshops and access to a trove of research.
See our guide to things to do this weekend in Asheville for more events and activities.
Enjoy smaller crowds and easier access to activities when you visit during the week. Asheville features live music on nearly every night of the week (see our full Asheville live music calendar!) and other great events to help you experience the city. Here are a few upcoming weekday event highlights:
That's the question many visitors ask us each year. The answer may surprise you!
There is no single peak time for fall color in the Asheville area. That's one of our top 5 things you need to know about fall in Asheville.
The development of fall color is largely dependent on elevation. Because there is such a wide variety of elevations near town, Asheville enjoys one of the longest and most vibrant fall color seasons in the nation. The timing of the fall color change also depends on the species of trees and plants found in each area. See our guide to the science behind fall color to learn more!
Visualize the progression of fall color through the Blue Ridge Mountains with our interactive fall color map and schedule.
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The color reports will help keep you up to date on where to find the best and the brightest colors during your visit. Even if you're not planning a vacation during fall, you'll find lots of travel inspiration in the form of photos, recommended drives and hikes and fun events and festivals.
Share your photos with us throughout the season by using #VisitAsheville when you post!
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