Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall in the mountains. The days are still warm, but at night the cool mountain air begins to creep in. It’s a great time to be in mountains of Western North Carolina and there is no shortage of Asheville fall events including festivals, scenic drives, hiking, and of course seasonal beers tastings. Here’s a list of some of our favorite things to do in Asheville during the fall season.
Asheville Fall Events
Shindig On The Green – September 03
Shindig on the Green takes place in the heart of downtown Asheville in Pack Square Park’s Roger McGuire Green. In its 50th season, musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather on these Saturday nights to share the region’s stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, pack a picnic and make it an evening in downtown Asheville. The last Shindig of the 2016 season is Saturday September 3. http://www.folkheritage.org/shindigonthegreen.htm
36th Annual Goombay Festival – Sept 9-11
Goombay Festival festival highlights the African American experience and the YMI’s role in crafting that experience in Asheville North Carolina. A weekend of arts, crafts, music, food, and community. http://www.ashevillegoombayfestival.com
North Carolina Mountain State Fair – September 9-18
A favorite Asheville fall events for many is the NC Carolina Mountain State Fair. Known as the “state fair” of the west, the ten-day event is attended by 180,000+ people and celebrates the people, agriculture, art and tradition that make our region great. Live music, rides, animals and food. Held at the Western North Carolina Agriculture Center
Asheville Greek Festival – Sept 24-27
Admission is free for all ages and everyone is welcome. Bring your family for a weekend of music, food, fun and cultural exploration. Be sure to leave room for the baklava. www.holytrinityasheville.com/greek-festival
Nature Connects, Art With LEGO Bricks By Sean Kenney – Ends October 23
A great exhibit at the North Carolina Arboretum for everyone in the family. Inspired by nature and built from more than 370,000 LEGO® bricks. this special exhibit features 14 beautifully crafted sculptures placed throughout the Arboretum’s gardens. After you’ve had a chance to see the LEGO exhibit be sure to check out some of the great hiking trails on the grounds, the model trains and the revolving inside exhibit. The North Carolina Arboretum is a great place for people of all ages to spend a full day exploring. There are also numerous bike trails. Maps are available in the visitors center.
WNC Open Studios 2016 – Oct 1-16
WNC Open Studios 2016 features 40 local craftsmen and artists who share an authentic desire to connect and inspire with their users. All studios are open and guests are encouraged to interact and engage with the artists as they visit the studios. www.wncopenstudios.org
2016 Autumn Lake Lure Arts & Crafts Festival – Oct 15-16
Festival features 80+ artisans, 12 food & refreshment vendors, continuous entertainment, and a very beautiful mountain setting on Lake Lure where the original Dirty Dancing movie was filmed. http://www.lakelureartsandcraftsfestivals.com/
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands – Oct 20-23
Over 200 craftspeople fill the two levels of the Civic Center selling their works of clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, mixed media, natural materials, paper, wood and jewelry. Members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the exhibiting artists have passed a rigorous jury process to become a part of the organization. Artists live in the mountain counties of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Seasonal Beer Tastings
Fall is a great time to visit the Asheville area breweries as they roll out their seasonal beers. Be sure to check out our list of the breweries in Asheville, along with complete list of breweries to visit in the region.
Scenic Drives On The Blue Ridge Parkway
There’s never a bad time of the year to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but fall is extra special with the leaves. Pack a picnic and make it a full day. From East Fork Ranch the Blue Ridge Parkway can be accessed using 276 and is a short 20 minute drive to the entrance. You will enter at mile marker 412. Once your on the parkway you can either head North towards Asheville or South towards the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Each direction will offer some great overlooks. Don’t forget sunrise can be as equally amazing as sunset, which is a very popular time to be on the parkway. Here’s a list of North Carolina experiences by milepost numbers. http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=827