Foliage.org: What are the projected dates for North Carolina’s peak foliage season?
Peak autumn colors depends on where you are in North Carolina. Peak color starts at the highest elevations and works its way down to lower elevations and then into the Piedmont region. For instance, Mount Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi River so color will start there before moving to the lower elevations. To see where the peak is each week you can go to the Fall Color Forecast Map on VisitNC.com, where we follow the fall foliage progression through the state.
Are there areas, vistas, scenic lookouts or other destinations within North Carolina that are known for their uniquely beautiful autumn foliage displays?
There are so many great places from NC’s small towns to the large cities, from National Forests and Parks to all NC’s state parks! It is so hard to just choose one. Some of the more popular destinations in the mountains are: the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Mountains, Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell, Blowing Rock, Lake Lure, and Bryson City, just to name a few. A few places in the Piedmont are: Pilot Mountain, Uwharrie National Forest, and even the NC Zoo. Some cool ways visitors can view fall color are by trails, hot air balloons, on a river, and by bicycle!
What are the local and regional roads or highways that are favorite scenic routes for Fall tourists?
Some of the more popular ones are the Blue Ridge Parkway which is known as “America’s Favorite Drive,”, near Robbinsville are both the “‘The Tail of the Dragon and” the Cherohola Skyway, plus there’s the “Road to Nowhere” in Swain County.
What festivals or other public events are taking place during the 2009 Fall foliage season?
- Tweetsie Railroad Ghost Train in Blowing Rock
- Music in the Mountains in Bryson City, every Saturday night
- Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival in Morehead City
- Autumn at Oz in Beech Mountain
- Oktoberfest Fun At Sugar Mountain Resort
- North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh
- Annual Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk
- Caldwell-Hohl Artworks Kiln Opening in Seagrove
- Annual Barbecue Festival in Lexington
- The Carolina BalloonFest in Statesville
- Wine Down in the Country in Elizabeth City
- Western North Carolina Pottery Festival in Dillsboro
- Annual Hog Happnin’ in Shelby
Visitors can find more information on these events and more on VisitNC.com
Are there historic or cultural sites that are popular destinations for Fall foliage travelers? What are they?
Again there are so many! The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, Cherokee, the Appalachian Trail runs through North Carolina, and Chinqua Penn Plantation in Wentworth are popular spots, just to name a very few. Traveling along the New River can be quite picturesque, too; the New River is the oldest river in the United States.
What are some of the less well known, but much loved local attractions?
North Carolina has some incredible mountain roads that just entice you to traveling by motorcycle along winding curves and elevation changes. September and October are harvest times for a number of vineyards across the state so visiting a winery/vineyard is very popular, too – you can admire the fall foliage, the vineyards and, quite often, enjoy a wine tasting.
Are there favorite destinations for history, literature, architecture buffs, or antique collectors? What are they?
A few throughout the state are again the Biltmore Estate, Chinqua Penn Plantation, Moses Cone Manor and the state’s capitol in Raleigh. The Carl Sandberg Home, Connemara, also has descendants of Mrs. Sandburg’s prize-winning goats. Asheville was home to Thomas Wolfe and his home is still there, and not far is what’s believed to be the angel from “Look Homeward Angel.” O. Henry, also known as William Sydney Porter, hailed from Greensboro. Some fall color does come to the Outer Banks, which is nicknamed the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” due to the hundreds of shipwrecks that have occurred along its shores. Visit Kill Devil Hills to see where the Wright Brothers took their first flight. Several towns offer walking tours so you can best view and learn about the town’s architecture. As for antiques, you could practically pick any spot and find numerous antique dealers or makers of beautiful pottery. Popular writer, Nicholas Sparks lives in New Bern on the North Carolina coast. A number of his movies and books have been set or filmed in North Carolina.
What are some favorite destinations or activities of families traveling during the Fall travel season?
Fall is a wonderful time to round up the family and enjoy North Carolina. Any of the events and destinations mentioned are great for fun family getaways.
What are some helpful resources for discovering local inns, bed and breakfasts, lodges, boutique hotels, and other local lodging and dining?
The VisitNC.com has almost 4,000 accommodation listings for all across North Carolina.
Is there anything else you would like to tell visitors thinking about traveling North Carolina for the fall foliage season?
Visitors can go to VisitNC.com more on Fall Color and Fall Fishing in North Carolina. Visitors can also register to win weekly get-a-ways to destinations across the state. There are also fun thing like ‘share your fall photos’ and a ‘Pirates Life for Me’ Contest. Visitors can also get fall color information on Twitter (http://Twitter.com/VisitNC ) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/northcarolina )
Special thanks to Jennifer Francioni from VisitNC Division of Tourism for her tips on traveling to NC for fall foliage.