Fall Events In North Carolina You Shouldn’t Miss

fall events in north carolina

There are a lot of highly anticipated fall events in North Carolina. At this time of the year, locals and tourists alike gear up for some of the most fun, eye-opening, and smile-inducing activities the state has to offer.


Exciting Fall Events in North Carolina to Experience

Autumn is a beautiful time to visit North Carolina. Not only is it a feast for the eyes but also for your taste buds, as events lined up for the next few months await. Whether you’re a long-time local or just a visitor stopping by, here are the best things to do in North Carolina this fall.


1. Carolina Renaissance Festival

Location: Huntersville

Event Date: September 30 to November 19, 2023

Admission: Starts at $32 ($20 for children ages 5-12, free for children under 5)

Huntersville is one of the best places to visit in North Carolina in the fall – and a big part of that is the Carolina Renaissance Festival. This festival transports you back to the enchanting era of the Renaissance. Stroll through the recreated village and immerse yourself in entertainment, artisans, and theatrical performances. Enjoy jousting tournaments, arts and crafts, and delicious food and beverages.

Come in costume or rent one at the entrance. However you choose to attend, you will certainly create cherished memories featuring medieval merriment and life in a bygone era.


2. North Carolina Seafood Festival

Location: Morehead City

Event Date: October 6 to 8, 2023

Admission: Free

Taking place in Morehead City, the North Carolina Seafood Festival is a coastal celebration of the rich maritime heritage of the state’s waters. Here, you’ll get a taste of delectable seafood prepared in a variety of culinary styles as well as local flavors. Indulge in diverse delicacies as you enjoy live music and exciting contests.


3. Triangle Oktoberfest

Location: Cary

Event Date: October 6 to 7, 2023

Admission: Starts at $25 (Free for kids aged 15 and under)

When it comes to North Carolina fall festivals, it’s impossible to leave out Oktoberfest. The Triangle Oktoberfest, in particular, is the biggest one in the Raleigh-Triangle area. Featuring live music, traditional dances, food, and games, this festival celebrates German heritage and culture in a way you won’t soon forget.


4. Colorfest!

Location: Dillsboro

Event Date: October 7, 2023

Admission: Free

The historic town of Dillsboro boasts Colorfest, a festival featuring local artists and food booths. Enjoy browsing through their work and conversing with them about all things art. Then, head on to Church Street for some delicious treats and cold beverages as you gaze at the mountains surrounding you.


5. Brushy Mountain Apple Festival

Location: Downtown Wilkesboro

Event Date: October 7, 2023

Admission: Free

When it comes to North Carolina fall events, the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival is a must-visit. This one-day festival is the largest of its kind, featuring arts and crafts, live music, and food concessions. Enjoy a variety of genres, including bluegrass, country, folk, and gospel, as you peruse crafts showcasing the Appalachian heritage. This festival’s got everything from soap making and chair making to quilting and pottery throwing.


6. Stomp and Brew


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Location: West Jefferson

Event Date: October 7, 2023

Admission: Starts at $5

This wine and cider-tasting event features the best brewers and vintners of the region. The tasting event itself is only open to adults over 21 years old, but underaged visitors can still enjoy the food trucks as well as the classic car show. The best part is that proceeds from the tasting event will go to a local charity called Shoes for Kids.


7. Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival

Location: North Carolina

Event Date: October 17 to 22, 2023

Admission: Varied

The Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival is open to anyone who loves nature. It takes place across five counties in northeastern North Carolina, including six national wildlife refuges (Alligator River, Currituck, Pea Island, Mackay Island, Mattamuskeet, and Pocosin Lakes). Due to popular demand, the WOW Festival will have an encore from December 8 to 10.


8. Bluegrass Island Music Festival

Location: Manteo

Event Date: October 19 to 21, 2023

Admission: Starts at $75

If you’re looking for things to do in North Carolina in October, try the Bluegrass Island Music Festival in Manteo. Held at the Roanoke Island Festival Park, this three-day event features a selection of acclaimed regional and international bands. Sit back, relax, and enjoy soulful melodies and lively rhythms against the backdrop of the Outer Banks.


9. Annual Apple Harvest Festival\

Location: Waynesville

Event Date: October 21, 2023

Admission: Free

Apple lovers should answer the call to attend the Annual Apple Harvest Festival in Waynesville. This festival features vendors, arts and crafts, and restaurants lining historic Main Street. Spend some time outside under the autumnal sun and break bread with locals for a truly unforgettable experience.


10. Valle Country Fair

Location: Valle Crucis/Banner Elk

Event Date: October 21, 2023

Admission: Free

Country fairs are always a good time, so make your way to Valle Country Fair between Valle Crucis and Banner Elk. Indulge in decadent and homemade food as you enjoy live music and performances. Gain a new appreciation for hand-made arts and crafts as you peruse the exhibitors. For kids, pumpkin bowling, live alpacas, and face painting await.


11. Blowing Rock Halloween Festival

Location: Blowing Rock

Event Date: October 28, 2023

Admission: Free

You can’t have a list of fall activities in North Carolina without including Halloween. The Blowing Rock Halloween Festival, in particular, is one to check out. Spend time trick-or-treating downtown before taking part in the Monster March. On top of that, you’ve got games, hayrides, scavenger hunts, and a costume contest!


12. Smoky Mountains Bluegrass Festival

Location: Waynesville

Event Date: October 28, 2023

Admission: Starts at $55 (Free for kids under 12 years old)

One of the most anticipated fall festivals in NC is the Smoky Mountains Bluegrass Festival. This one-day event is jam-packed with activities and music. There are music-themed vendors, artist demonstrations, and playgrounds. Enjoy local food and drinks as you listen to live music and try your luck at raffles.


13. 16th Annual Celebration of Seagrove Potters Fall Festival and Tour

Location: Seagrove

Event Date: November 18 to 19, 2023

Admission: $5

Held at the historic Luck’s Cannery, the Seagrove Potters Fall Festival and Tour is an indoor event featuring shopping, demonstrations, and auction pieces. It is the largest collaboration of local and traditional potters in the Seagrove area.


14. Island of Lights Festival

Location: Pleasure Island

Event Date: November 24 to December 31, 2023

Admission: Free

This island-wide festival starts off with Lighting at the Lake, a one-mile trail of gorgeous lighted displays around Carolina Beach Lake Park. It also features a coastal parade of lights, with themed boats cruising the water. If you’re in the area on New Year’s Eve, this festival closes with an NYE celebration full of music, dancing, and refreshments.


15. Dillsboro Lights and Luminaries


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Location: Dillsboro

Event Date: December 1 to 2 and December 8 to 9, 2023

Admission: Free

Taking place over the first two weekends in December, this festival of lights showcases 2,500 candles in white bags lining the streets. These candles illuminate the night as you stroll along galleries, art studios, and shops in a truly magical setting.


A Fun Time for Everyone

Fall events in North Carolina are some of the most electrifying and visually appealing activities you’ll ever have the pleasure of experiencing. Mark your calendars and buy your tickets for a truly unforgettable time.



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