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How to Plan a Leaf Viewing Asheville Mountain Vacation
October 12, 2007
Category: Seasonal Suggestions: Near Your Asheville Hotel
Autumn is here and the first signs of color are beginning to surface. And, one of the best places to view the colors of the season change is Western North Carolina, and more specifically, Asheville. This southern city is close to popular leaf-viewing destinations such as the renowned Blue Ridge Parkway and one of the most visited parks in the country, Smoky Mountain National Park. It is also a short drive from several southern cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and Atlanta.
Since leaf season vacations are so popular, finding tips for planning the perfect Asheville vacation is important. For example, many travelers will find that visiting during the week is much better than a weekend.
Where to Stay During Your Asheville Mountain Vacation
The first item to consider is where to stay and when. The choice will depend on whether you are planning a family vacation, romantic getaway, or business retreat. Do not assume that you will find a room when you are in Asheville; hotels in Asheville experience their busiest time of year in the fall, so book ahead.
“I planned a North Carolina mountain getaway last year,” Janice Kennedy of Greensboro, NC said. “I started researching Asheville hotels about two weeks before I wanted to go and found that many were already booked. While we were able to find accommodations, they were not as nice as we would have liked. This year, I will plan a few months ahead of time to ensure a romantic mountain getaway with luxury amenities.”
Asheville is home to many luxury mountain getaways, family vacation rentals, and luxury condominium rentals. Many of these hotels and property management companies will offer travel concierge services to help you to best determine your personal travel needs.
Now, while getting away during the week may be a challenge for some, it may well be worth the effort. Many Asheville vacation rentals and luxury mountain getaways are less expensive during the week, and the crowds are much thinner. This will allow you more time to view the leaves and to explore fall harvest festivals; it will also leave you with more money in your pocket.
Explore the Leaves During Your Luxury Mountain Getaway
Taking a scenic drive, going for a mountain hike, exploring the many bike trails of Western North Carolina or jumping on horseback, are all viable options for leaf-viewing activities. In the early fall, the best scenic drives are at the highest elevations in the Asheville area such as Craggy Gardens, Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain and Pisgah National Forest. In the mid-Fall, the fall color moves to new elevations and there are many colorful drives and day trips to areas such as Transylvania County, also known as “the land of the waterfalls,” Hot Springs, Cherokee, and Maggie Valley. Late fall visitors will find the best splash of color in places like Kimberly Avenue in Asheville, the Hickory Nut Gap region, and the North Carolina Arboretum.
“My family and I have visited Asheville several times to view the fall foliage. We have visited during the early and late part of the season,” Mollie Page of Naples, FL, said. “I find that visiting at the beginning of the season, early October, and then towards the end, in say early November, are great times to escape the majority of leaf viewers and still have a wonderful Asheville mountain experience.”
Enjoy the Autumn Harvest in Asheville
In addition to scenic drives and hikes, this is also a wonderful time of year to experience the Asheville area’s commitment to agriculture and locally-grown produce with some autumn harvest adventures that include a trip to one or more of over 40 farmers markets, dinner at a local restaurant that serves regional fare, a visit to Harvest Celebration at the Biltmore Estate where the Appalachian heritage is celebrated through craft demonstrations, storytelling, music, and dance. While there, a visit to the winery may be a nice way to break from the sightseeing activities.
Many hotels in Asheville will offer vacation planning tips and provide you with the best ways to enjoy your mountain/city travel vacation. So, remember to plan ahead and book your room or Asheville condominium before you go. The Asheville Chamber of Commerce is a good source for travel and tourism in Asheville and can act as your travel and experience concierge.