By Asheville Insider
There’s nothing quite like the colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Autumn. As far as the eye can see, the landscape is like a cozy quilt of rich warm Carolina colors against a crisp blue sky.
The biggest question is, when do leaves change color in North Carolina? North Carolina leaf changes may vary slightly every year, but you can count on the trees in the mountains being the first ones to transition in the state.
More specifically, when are leaves going to change in Asheville? Peak fall foliage in Asheville is usually around mid to late October, with the higher elevations turning red and gold first. Now that we have those answers, where are the best places to see these Asheville fall colors? If you are lucky enough to live here, or if you are planning a special trip to “leaf peep,” here are five ways to enjoy the season.
City-fied Views of Asheville Fall Colors
You don’t have to venture out of the comforts of the city to enjoy the colors of fall. The Land of the Sky was given that nickname for a reason - step out of your hotel or historic bed and breakfast and if you’re not already there, head downtown for views of the ancient hills that surround the town.
If you happen to be staying at the historic Omni Grove Park Inn be sure to take a sidewalk stroll down Kimberly Avenue where huge red oak trees make a tunnel over the road with gorgeous displays of Asheville’s fall colors.
Grab a Sweet Potato Latte, the seasonal special for fall from coffee cafe Trade and Lore on Wall Street, and walk the hills of the historic district. Because of the frequent (read: wear comfortable shoes) ups and downs, every step has a different view. Shop the unique local offerings block after block, and reward yourself with lunch or a cocktail on one of the many rooftop bars or restaurants. If you’re on Wall Street you’ll be surrounded by beautiful golden Ginkgo trees. Catch them while you can because Gingkos are known for shedding their leaves all at once in a single day!
Asheville is also home to over 900 acres of city parks and facilities maintained by the Parks and Recreation department. Walk along the French Broad River, or Zillicoah, as the Cherokee called it, all the way from New Belgium Brewery in the River Arts District to locals’ secret French Broad Outfitters at Hominy Creek, an outfitter that has a container bar, live music and picnic tables in the creek. While you are walking between French Broad River Park and Hominy Creek, the views you see on the opposite bank are those of the Biltmore Estate. Better yet, rent one of those kayaks or canoes and paddle one of the oldest rivers in the world for a viewpoint only shared with the waterfowl - and other rafters, of course.