Asheville, NC hotel - The Residences at Biltmore

October Opulence in Asheville

Fall in the mountains of Asheville and Western North Carolina is nothing short of beautiful; the changing colors of the leaves cast an entirely different hue over the entire area. Thanks to a hot and dry summer, we are on track for a seriously colorful fall, which has already started at higher elevations. 

The peak week for color in Asheville is predicted to be Oct. 21-25, so make sure to make your reservations at The Residences at Biltmore soon! And, if you book 3 nights in a 3-bedroom suite directly through us during the month of October, we’ll give you 10 percent off each night, so you can bring the whole family! Use the code October10 (case-sensitive) when you book. 

If you want more from your vacation to the mountains than just gorgeous visuals, there are numerous activities happening in Asheville. A selection of the sights, sounds, and smells of fall – including some festivals and fairs – can be found below. 

Sights

Graveyard Fields – At an elevation of 5,120 feet, Graveyard Fields is one of the first overlooks off the Blue Ridge Parkway where you can see the leaves changing. It’s located at milepost 418.8. 

Mt. Mitchell – The highest peak in the Appalachians, as well as the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, stands at an elevation of 6,684 feet. It is a must-see any time of year, but especially so during this time of year. Its trees get the first dose of leaf coloring because of its altitude. Make sure to bring a jacket if you go – it can get windy and chilly up that high. 

Biltmore gardens – Do not miss the gorgeous chrysanthemums and salvias in the gardens at Biltmore. The muted fall tones of yellows, oranges, reds, and purples are ironically vibrant while they last. And of course, the changing leaves on the trees surrounding the entire property are breathtaking.

Riverside Cemetery – October is also the month for Halloween, so taking a walking tour of the historic cemetery isn’t that strange. It’s a peaceful place with lots of trees, and particularly serene while the leaves are changing. Plus, it’s the final resting grounds for Asheville authors O. Henry (given name William Sydney Porter) and Thomas Wolfe, among others. 

Sounds

Fall LEAF Festival – The fall installment of the twice-yearly festival is Oct. 17-20 in Black Mountain, just a short drive from Asheville. The festival bills itself as “an inter-generational celebration of world culture that uses music, arts, and creativity to champion artistic expression, instill cultural competency, and build a diverse & welcoming community.” There is lots of music, many vendors, and performers over the 4 days. 

Brewgrass Festival – What’s better than a full day of bluegrass music? A full day of bluegrass and beer! On October 5 from 3 p.m. – midnight, the Salvage Station is playing host to 45 breweries and 6 bluegrass musicians. Local vendors will be on hand with food and other delights. 

Smells

Aside from pumpkin spice, there is no other smell that says “fall” as well as the scent of an apple orchard. Henderson County, Asheville’s southern neighbor, is the “Apple Capital of the South,” with about 150 apple orchards on over 5,500 acres, making it the seventh-largest apple producer in the country. With so many from which to choose, we’ve chosen just a couple to list. 

SkyTop Orchard – Easily the orchard with the best view in Western North Carolina is SkyTop. The selection of apples is impressive, and there are a ton of family-friendly activities to keep the kids busy after apple picking. Don’t be intimidated by the drive up to the orchard – it goes fast, and is well worth the wait – but the earlier in the day you go, the better. Don’t forget to pick up some apple cider or hot apple cider donuts while you’re there. 

Grandad’s Apples – 20 acres of varieties welcome you at Grandad’s. On top of picking apples, there are pumpkins available, as well as family activities like a 5-acre corn maze. There’s even a small petting zoo on the property, and on the weekends, kids can ride on the cow train driven by a tractor, and jump on the unique “Jump Pillow” that is much better than a bouncy house. 

Justus Orchard – For more than 4 generations, the Justus family has been growing apples in Henderson County. You can choose to pick them yourself, or purchase apples in bulk. The bakery on the premises serves up fried apple pies, apple cider donuts, apple fritters, apple pies, candy apples, and even apple cider slushies. 

Festivals

Asheville Oktoberfest – No autumn is complete without an Oktoberfest, and Asheville’s promises to be a blast. The event takes place on Oct. 5 in Pack Square Park from 1-6 p.m., and will feature food, games, activities, competitions, and of course beer. 

CiderFest NC – A fundraiser for the Green Built Alliance, the 7th-annual event takes place at Carrier Park on Oct. 12 from 1-5 p.m. In addition to apple cider – hard and non-alcoholic – fulfill your apple beverage needs with mead and apple wine. Food, music, activities for kids, and workshops will also be featured. 

HardLox Jewish Food and Heritage Festival – Craving a bowl of homemade matzo ball soup or a potato knish? You can get those and more at the annual event on Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Pack Square. In addition to the food, there will be plenty of folk dancing, klezmer music, crafters, and Judaic art. 

WNC Garlic Fest – Vampires, beware! The annual festival will take place at Sow True Seed in downtown Asheville on Oct. 5. Visitors to the festival can walk the Garlic Trail for samples, learn how to grow garlic, and find out more about the odorous herb. Where else can you eat garlic ice cream or garlic cookies, or drink garlic lemonade or garlic beer? 

Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands – From Oct. 17-20, the U.S. Cellular Center hosts the art fair that highlights traditional and modern art made of clay, wood, metal, glass, fiber, and more. In addition to art and artists on exhibit, enjoy demonstrations, musicians, and vendors.

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