As a midwest transplant, one of the hardest parts of the move to the south was giving up the AMAZING leaf season. There is absolutely nothing like looking at the leaves on my parents property. However, all is not lost. There is some seriously unique leaf viewing in Georgia and North Carolina in October and November that can’t be missed! Thanks to our plentiful ash, birch, gum and oak trees, combined with our beautiful mountains, beaches and lakes, leaf season in the south has it’s own magical charm. Best Leaf Viewing in Georgia and North Carolina
Below are the most unique places to see mother nature in her finest season.
For the adventurous: Zip line with the birds, GA.
- Unique Viewing: Fall Foliage from a Guinness World Record holding zip line
- Photo Credit: Historic Banning Mills Best Leaf Viewing in Georgia and North Carolina
Historic Banning Mills is going to take your leaf viewing to new heights and provide a birds-eye-view on its ten miles of zip line. This is the longest continuous eco-canopy zip line tour in the world – which is pretty darn neat-o. Not into zipping? Other activities include a 100-foot free fall off the world’s tallest free-standing climbing wall, and an aerial challenge course. Those foliage fanatics that want to continue the aerial adventure can stay in one of Banning Mill’s tree house rooms, set 70 feet above a rushing gorge and tucked away in the trees for an unobstructed view of the changing season. YES PLEASE! http://historicbanningmills.com/
For the landlocked: Some pre-Winter “Soulstice”: North Carolina Brunswick Islands, NC
- Unique Viewing: See the sunrise and set on the same beach.
- Photo Credit: North Carolina Brunswick Islands CVB
Late fall and winter is the PERFECT time to see the sun set on the Atlantic Ocean. North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands have the rare distinction of running east-west as they parallel the shore. Beginning in late fall, this orientation means that you can sit on Oak Island, Ocean Isle or Holden Beach and watch both the sunrise and sunset. If you live on the East Coast and an ocean sunset is on your bucket list, this is the place to be! Not to mention, fall yields less tourist, lower prices and cooler temperatures than peak season.http://www.ncbrunswick.com/
For the explorer: Hiking to the Shadow of the Bear, NC
- Unique Viewing: Shadow of the Bear, near Cashiers, is a naturally occurring phenomenon that occurs for 30 minutes a day during mid-October to November. Best spot to site the bear is Rhodes Big View Overlook off Highway 64 between 5:30-6 p.m. Best Leaf Viewing in Georgia and North Carolina
- Photo Credit: Georgia Department of Natural Resources
The Western North Carolina mountain towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire are blanketed in fall color, enjoying cooler temperatures and offering a number of outdoor activities during the fall season. Explore the trails on Whiteside Mountain, which is estimated to be one of the oldest mountains in the world, between 390 to 460-million-years-old. The trail teeters on the ridgeline of Whiteside, showcasing stunning views of the red and gold tones of the Appalachian Mountains along the way. For backroad hiking, Panthertown Valley is known as the “Yosemite of the East” with more than 30 miles of backcountry trails and 12 waterfalls. https://www.visitnc.com/
For the nostalgic: Dahlonega, GA.
- Unique Viewing: Fall foliage and waterfalls at the U.S’s first gold rush town
- Photo Credit: Dahlonega CVB Best Leaf Viewing in Georgia and North Carolina
For those seeking a sense of wonder and nostalgia will enjoy visiting the first gold mining town in the United States. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the mining town has preserved its mining roots, with the downtown area mimicking times past. It’s pretty cute, y’all. Guests can easily venture out into the mountains with Dahlonega’s central location to TONS of waterfalls and scenic leaf-peeping excursions. Plus, you can snag your alltime best Instagram selfie with the beautiful fall foliage in the backdrop. #YAS http://dahlonega.org/
For the family: High Hampton Inn, NC
- Unique Viewing: No TV viewing from your cottage.
- Photo Credit: High Hampton Inn
Perfect for any serene getaway, High Hampton Inn, in Cashiers, N. C., is tucked away on 1,400 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and is known for its limited technology experience. Families will find solace in the tranquility of the inn’s lodging, and will find plenty of non-smartphone related activities to bond over this fall (if you’re into that kind of thing.) Families can wander the winding trails for breathtaking views of the water on the Lake Trail, clear mountaintop vistas on the Chimney Top Trail or enjoy a casual trek alongside Hampton Lake.
Did we miss any spots for unique leaf viewing in Georgia and North Carolina? If so, let us know and we’ll add those places to the list!