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Welcome to our weekly dose of Carolina charm, featuring some of our favorite fall festivals in North Carolina! Get ready to dive into the heart of fall with a sneak peek at the Woolly Worm Festival, where fuzzy critters predict cool temperatures. Then, step back in time at the Carolina Renaissance Festival and don your saucy maiden costume for a chance at glory. All aboard for a scenic train ride through the Nantahala Gorge, where nature's hues paint the landscape. Lastly, summon your courage for the Haints in the Holler Haunted Hike, exploring Appalachian mysteries. Join us as we uncover the best events and fall festivals in North Carolina, from whimsical to spine-tingling! 🍂🎭👻 Learn how to join our Carolina Traveler Facebook group and become a subscriber to the Carolina Traveler magazine!
Head to Banner Elk For One Of The Best Fall Festivals In North Carolina
VIP Subscriber Offers
- Renaissance Festival (Sep. 30 – Nov. 19, Huntersville, NC) – Up to 2 adult and 2 child passes
- Renaissance Festival VIP parking contest (Sep. 30 – Nov. 19, Huntersville, NC) – see the Carolina Traveler page on Facebook
- Dickens Christmas Show and Marketplace (Nov. 9-12, Myrtle Beach, SC) – Two passes
- Chistmas Carousel marketplace (Nov. 24-26, Raleigh, NC) – Two passes
The Fair Is Here!
- Tuesday, October 17 — Senior Citizens' Day (seniors age 65+ get free admission)
- Wednesday, October 18 — Military Appreciation Day (parade at 10 AM)
- Thursday, October 19 — Smithfield Hunger Relief Day (bring six cans of food in exchange for free admission)
Attend the South Carolina State Fair from October 11-22, 2023. Returning for its fourth year, the CIRCUS at the Fair is free with fair admission and takes place daily at 2 PM, 4:30 PM, and 7:30 PM showings, which run 40 minutes.
Returning for a fourth year at the South Carolina State Fair, the CIRCUS at the Fair is back and better than ever with fresh and exciting entertainment, familiar and new! Experience the breathtaking talents of aerial artists, acrobats, clowns, magicians, and even a laser illumination performer!
We suggest planning your visit on a weekend between two of the best fall festivals in North Carolina — that way you can take part in as much autumn NC fun as you can!
All Aboard The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad's Premier Fall Foliage Excursion
Get ready for a real deal journey through North Carolina's transportation history while soaking in the fall vibes in the Smoky Mountains! If you want the ultimate autumn spectacle, jump on one of the train rides the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has got lined up.
The Nantahala Gorge Excursion is like the holy grail of fall foliage trips. Picture this: a 4.5-hour round trip starting from Bryson City, covering a solid 44 miles in the mountains. You'll be cruising alongside the cute Nantahala River and through the Nantahala Gorge. Oh, and don't miss the historic Fontana Trestle – a cool bridge over Fontana Lake.
Now, if you're craving that authentic small mountain town vibe, the Tuckasegee River Excursion is your go-to. It's a 32-mile roundtrip adventure lasting around four hours. Trust me, this is the way to experience North Carolina's fall colors – straight from the cozy seat of a train! 🚂🍂
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Double, Double, Toil And Trouble: Two Spooky Tours in North Carolina
If fall festivals in North Carolina are not quite up your alley, and you prefer more of an intimate gathering to celebrate the Halloween season, we've got two exceptional tours for you and your close friends and family.
Prepare yourself for a chilling journey into the unknown with this eerie trek – not meant for the faint-hearted. As darkness descends, your odyssey commences, guided only by the feeble glow of lanterns that cast ghostly, flickering shadows. The trail meanders through ancient trees, revealing mischievous apparitions from our Appalachian past.
Amidst the ominous atmosphere, storytellers will weave tales of local legends and spectral folklore, intensifying the suspense that cloaks the adventure. Their words breathe life into the forest, leaving you to ponder the lurking mysteries just beyond the tree line.
This Halloween hike guarantees an unforgettable and bewitching experience suitable for adults and children aged ten years and up. Brace yourself to confront the eerie tales deeply embedded within the Appalachian woods, departing with memories destined to haunt your dreams! 🌲👻 Book a haunted hike in the woods.
Embark upon a foreboding journey through Raleigh, NC, delving into an architectural tour that unravels the secrets of the city's oldest and most enigmatic downtown residences. The eerie exploration includes sites such as 1 E Edenton St, 206 New Bern Pl, the hauntingly historic Haywood Hall House and Gardens, and 200 N Blount St.
Among them, the Heck-Andrews House stands as an ominous relic, constructed in the aftermath of the Civil War and earning its distinction as one of Raleigh's inaugural post-war dwellings. As you navigate these spectral edifices, prepare to confront the shadows of the past and glean insights into the mysterious tapestry of Raleigh's architectural history.
This haunted tour seamlessly combines education with an unsettling glimpse into the enduring mysteries that cloak these time-honored residences. Book a haunted architectural tour.
Take The Southport Ferry To See “Old Baldy”
Kick back and soak in the coastal vibes in Southport, your gateway to a laid-back family weekend. Nestled close to the famed beach towns of NC, it's the ideal spot for an autumn retreat.
A quick jaunt worth considering is a ferry ride to Bald Head Island, just a breezy 20 minutes away. Adults (12+) snag round-trip tickets for $23, while the little ones (3-12) ride for $12, and the tiny tots under 2 catch a free wave.
Bald Head Island, a gem of a destination, has a unique charm – no cars allowed. Cruise around on rented bikes or golf carts, and just go with the flow. With 14 miles of pristine beaches, it's a paradise for sun-soaking, swimming, and crafting the perfect sandcastle. Meander through the marina, explore quirky boutiques, or paddle through the island's serene creeks.
And here's a tip: don't skip Old Baldy, North Carolina's OG lighthouse. Climb its 108 stairs for panoramic views that'll sweep you off your beachcombing feet! 🏖️🚲