Western North Carolina is one of the South’s most beautiful places to enjoy forested hills and fall splendor. When you want to enjoy natural beauty with a civilized, cultivated flair, Asheville’s Biltmore Estate and the North Carolina Arboretum are two must-see destinations.
Family Fun at the North Carolina Arboretum
With hiking and biking trails plus guided tours and special activities just for kids, the North Carolina Arboretum is an ideal setting for those who want to fully immerse themselves in natural beauty. All of the arboretum’s gardens are at their autumnal best in October and November, and you’ll have plenty of ways to wile the day away after paying a modest parking fee. It’s easy to spend an entire day exploring the North Carolina Arboretum’s 65 publicly owned acres, which include seasonal displays and the Forest Meadow, a planted collection designed especially for fall beauty. Put on your walking shoes, pick up a free garden trail map and be prepared for 65 acres of colorful fall splendor.
Gilded Age Glamour at the Biltmore Estate
A truly majestic destination, Asheville’s Biltmore Estate feels more like a European castle than the site of an American private home. However, its origins are all American. William Henry Vanderbilt, son of one of the nation’s most infamously wealthy families, fell in love with Western North Carolina on a visit and decided to establish an estate. Though he humbly referred to it as his summer home, Vanderbilt oversaw the construction of a masterpiece of Gilded Age architecture and landscape design. The grandeur of the nearly 7,000-acre property is staggering to behold in autumn, offering incredibly beautiful views of red-, yellow- and orange-kissed trees that have grown massive over the course of more than a century.
These beautiful fall trees are set against the backdrop of amazingly manicured gardens and the property’s massive main house, and the effect is unforgettable. No matter where you are on the estate, there are plenty of viewpoints from which to enjoy the fall color gradient developing on the gently rolling slopes of the mountains beyond. The house tends to be the main attraction at Biltmore, but with everything from horseback riding and rafting to vineyard tours and wine tastings on site, there’s no shortage of activities to entertain. You’ll pay an admission fee to enter the property, and from there you can go on a self-guided stroll at no additional cost, or enjoy a number of reasonably priced activities.
Plan your Asheville getaway at allegiant.com.