Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®

Fall is my favorite time of year! I love the food, the fun, Halloween, and the festive events. Here in North Carolina, we have a lot to celebrate in fall, and lots of areas do that with fall festivals. According to Only In Your State, there are a few festivals that are among the best in North Carolina. Many of these focus on local food, which is perfect if you love eating! All of the festivals mentioned are happening this month, and they’re a perfect excuse for a fall day trip!

North Carolina’s Best Fall Festivals For Family Fun

  • Best NC Fall Festivals: Ol' Front Porch Music Festival, Oriental, Oct. 6-7

    I will admit that I had no clue where Oriental, N.C. was. After Googling it, I found out it’s in Pamlico County, close to New Bern, which means it’s near the water. The ‘Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival’ is featuring an array of musical artists and genres of music.
    The lineup at this festival features all types of music from folk to Americana, bluegrass, country, gospel, and jazz. This may be a great place to discover new bands and musicians! You can also enjoy arts, crafts, and other vendors. Since it’s a bit of a drive, this festival is a great excuse for a weekend getaway!

  • Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival, Black Mountain, Oct. 8

    Black Mountain is about a two hour drive from Charlotte, so this is a fun day festival to check out if you’re a cheese fan! Taste and shop for numerous varieties of artisan cheese in Western North Carolina. In addition to all of the different cheeses, you’ll be able to check out other gourmet foods, wines, and shop local vendors. This festival is also a fundraiser for WNC Cheese Trail, which is a non-profit spreading the word about local cheese being made here in North Carolina. Cool!



  • Autumn Leaves Festival, Mount Airy, Oct. 13-15

    One of the most amazing sights to see in North Carolina in fall is the leaves changing. The colors are mind blowing and absolutely gorgeous. Mount Airy is under a two hour drive from Charlotte, so it’s a doable day trip! This festival celebrates all that is fall, and it’s a historic festival that brings folks from all over the country. Since 1966 it’s been a festival celebrating food, music, and amazing local artisans.

  • NC Mountaineer and Apple Butter Festival, Bakersville, Oct. 20-21

    I will tell you that I recently had apple butter for the first time and OMG! SO good! I put it on some vanilla ice cream and it screams fall treat! The kind I have is store bought, but I am sure homemade is way better, and you can try it at this festival. If you make a great chili, you can enter the Chili and Cornbread cookoff this event brings. Watch contests and folks making scrumptious apple butter, and taste lots of amazing foods. If you’re a car fan, you can check out all the cool rides at the car show!

    Follow the link to request an application

    Posted by NC Mountaineer Festival on Wednesday, August 9, 2023
  • Valle Country Fair, Banner Elk, Oct. 21

    Take a two hour drive to Banner Elk and see all the vibrant colors of fall. The Valle County Fair’s setting will give you some magical views of the fall foliage, and tons of family fun! You can enjoy food, crafts, music, and games, such as pumpkin bowling. Pumpkin bowling sounds like a blast! Kids will love all the fun games and face painting as well as visiting with live alpacas! You’ll also be able to do some shopping as local vendors will be at the festival too! 

  • Living History Festival, Vale, Oct. 28

    If you’re into the history of North Carolina, this festival is for you. Vale is only about an hour from Charlotte, so this is a great place for a day trip. Go back to the early 1800s at Hart Square Village, featuring hundreds of artisans and historic demonstrators showing their cool crafts.  You’ll be able to check out 103 historic structures and check out historic costumes. 

  • Lexington Barbecue Festival, Lexington, Oct. 28

    The name of this festival says it all! Food is the focus at the

    and you’ll be able to taste the ‘world’s best barbecue’. You’ll be able to walk off the calories from all the food while checking out the six stages of live entertainment, and shopping all the local vendors. They’ll be lots of fun stuff for the kids and a cool bicycle stunt show that they’ll love! This festival gets crowded quick, so get there early!


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