The air’s feeling crisp, fall jackets are making an appearance, and U.S. travelers are researching more than ever the best destinations to visit this season!
While states like Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire spring to mind whenever the word fall is mentioned, there are a few contenders who are battling it out and making themselves known as the ideal destinations this season.
Sat along the Southeastern region, North Carolina is a prime spot for those leaf-peeping lovers out there, and it’s super easy to get to from most locations around the U.S.
Filled with a mix of landscapes, neighborhoods, and activities, the 28th-largest state is making a name for itself — especially when it comes to all things fall!
The Rankings Never Lie
A recent survey by the U.S. News ranked both Asheville and the Great Smoky Mountains (part of which lay in North Carolina) as the best places to visit this fall.
According to the U.S. News, “this national park is home to multiple hiking trails, tumbling waterfalls and all kinds of wildlife,”- aka the perfect leaf-spotting location! What better way to experience all the beauty of fall than a magical display of nature at its finest?!
If you’re a beer and flannel lover, then you’re in luck with Asheville! Within close proximity to amazing foliage, this popular town is also home to several breweries.
It’s no secret that the U.S. has an abundance of standout locations when it comes to leaves of red, orange, and yellow, but did you know there are dozens of places to see them in North Carolina?! That’s right, according to the experts, these are the prime spots:
- Mount Mitchell
- Grandfather Mountain
- Beech Mountain
- Rough Ridge Trail
- Jump Off Rock Overlook
- Banner Elk
Fall means something different for everyone. Pleasant gatherings around a warm fire pit, leaf-peeping road trips, brewery hopping- whatever your tradition, I’m sure we can all think of at least one food associated with the comforts of fall!
This year, a North Carolina-based pancake house made it onto Travel and Leisure’s list of “25 Best Places To Eat Pancakes In America!” Nags Head in the Outer Banks is a famous spot for both locals and tourists looking for something sweet or savory.
But pancakes aren’t the only cozy comfort food of fall, and the Nags Head certainly isn’t the only quaint eatery in the entire state- we have more!
From mountain resorts to country hideaways, here’s a list of cozy spots to eat and drink in NC.
Brewery Culture Is Alive And Kickin’
We mentioned breweries above, but what inspires the feeling of fall more than sitting in the fresh air sipping a pint of your favorite craft beer?
In the American South, North Carolina has the largest number of craft breweries! With more than 410 around the state, beer lovers will have no issue finding their next hangout location.
If you’re feeling up to a craft beer road trip around the state, here’s a helpful map of some of the breweries and brewpubs in the state.
It’s Affordable To Get To
The word we all love to hear… Affordable! And when it comes to cheap flight prices and ease of travel, North Carolina takes the cake here.
At the moment, to fly from Dallas to North Carolina costs below $150 roundtrip. San Diego to Charlotte is around $165 roundtrip! If you’re looking to visit during prime leaf time, then it’s best to take a look at the Google-flights tracker now!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com