There are so many fun things to do all across North Carolina during the fall. Inland areas have traditional apple and pumpkin picking. The coastal areas have a bunch of autumn festivals. But the Tar Heel State also has some traditions that you may not find in other states. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Eat Oysters
Oyster season starts in October, which means it’s a great time to enjoy these local treats and other seafood. The North Carolina Oyster Festival takes place every October in Ocean Isle in Brunswick County. It’s a great day for shag dancing, unique shopping, and tasty food.
2. Take a Mountain Color Tour
North Carolina is home to 4 separate mountain ranges – The Great Smokey Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, Brushy Mountains, and Uwharrie Mountains. This means the state is one of the best for enjoying the seasonal color changes. It starts in areas at 5,000+ feet above sea level in early October and spreads downward in late October and early November. Here are some good places for viewing the colorful foliage. You can also devise your own tour with help from the Fall Color Map for North Carolina.
3. Stomp Grapes at a Winery
Fall is harvest time for North Carolina wineries. Many of the bigger ones have stomp parties and grape festivals, which also include wine tasting, food, entertainment, and shopping. It’s a great time to enjoy some of the finer parts of the state’s agriculture.
4. Watch the Carolina Hurricanes Play
Sure, fall is traditionally football season, but it’s also the start of hockey season. Starting in October, you can watch the Carolina Hurricanes play at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. It’s an entertaining activity for all members of the family.
5. Sample Local Brews at a Beer Festival
Breweries are booming in North Carolina and fall is a busy time of the year for festivals. So, why not stop by a beer festival or Oktoberfest and see what the local folks are making. You may even find a local-made hard cider.
6. Visit a Corn Maze
Corn mazes are nothing new, but there are farmers in North Carolina who like to take it to a whole new level, like Hubb’s Farm in Clinton, NC. They cut their maze into an intricate picture that is both a maze and work of art. They also have a fall festival and pumpkin patch sure to delight the whole family. In 2018, they made Country Living Magazine’s list of Top 25 Corn Mazes in the U.S.
7. Visit the Carolina Renaissance Festival
For multiple weekends in October and November, a 25-acre village comes to life outside Huntersville, NC, as the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Visitors can step into a fantastical realm and enjoy period-inspired entertainment and food, as well as rides and shopping. Enter in plain clothing or costume (rentals are available outside the gate). It’s a full day of fun!
8. Enjoy Autumn at Oz
Hidden atop Beech Mountain is a magical place called The Land of Oz. It was America’s original Wizard of Oz theme park that operated during the 1970s and closed in 1980. It is now privately owned and opens a few times a year for events, including Autumn at Oz. Join in the fun and walk down the yellow brick road!
What fall activity do you think is iconically North Carolina? Let us know in the comments!