12 Southern Towns Perfect for a Cozy November Getaway
Finally, we say. Finally, fall has arrived. In the South, regardless of what the calendar might say, fall doesn’t really kick off until we officially dip under 75 degrees. On that day, we break out the sweaters, grab our pumpkin spice latte, and get ready for fall festivities.
Nothing celebrates the season like catching the mountains, valleys, forests, and fields throughout the South when they’re absolutely on fire with fall color. Pair that stunning scenery with fall festivals, apple orchards, train rides, and charming town squares, and we’re really sold. These 12 Southern towns have you covered with the best places to travel in November and the ultimate places to see fall colors. Sounds like a win-win.
Pack your bags!
Blue Ridge, Georgia
There’s a lot to love about this little mountain town. Though you can make it here from Atlanta in less than two hours, it’ll feel more like you’ve taken a deep dive into mountain country—and fall foliage heaven. Nestled up against the Chattahoochee National Forest, embark on an array of autumnal pursuits, such as apple picking at Mercier Orchards (which has been in business over 70 years) or hopping on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Either way, you’ll be taking in all the seasonal sights and smells.
New River Gorge, West Virginia
New River Gorge might be known for its white-water rafting, fishing, and hiking, but imagine doing all of those outdoor pursuits amid stunning displays of yellow, orange, and red leaves. Sound ideal? We thought so too. These woods are undeniably on fire with fall color. Long Point Trail, an easy 1.6-mile hike, serves up a breathtaking view of New River Gorge and its bridge—perfect for a sunset hike, perhaps?
This stately town offers a hearty dose of history, merlot, and fall festivities. Settled amongst crisp, bright fall foliage, this Virginia getaway boasts an annual Heritage Harvest Festival that's so charming it belongs on the set of Gilmore Girls. The celebration kicks off the season on the colonial stomping grounds of Thomas Jefferson, aka his historic plantation Monticello, and the spirit carries into October and November. Monticello hosts an apple cider tasting in honor of "Virginia Cider Week" during the second week of November, and it runs holiday wreath workshops throughout the month. If visiting later in the season, get a taste of Virginia’s wine country on the Monticello Wine Trail and enjoy that autumn weather.
Here, it’s all about the antebellums, baby. During early fall, you can embark on what Natchez calls a “Fall Pilgrimage,” which is a seasonal tour that lets you take a peek inside some of the most breathtaking historic antebellum homes in the South. After the pilgrimage comes to a close in October, you can follow a self-guided tour of sorts, using our handy guide. Wind down at King’s Tavern, the oldest standing building in Natchez. (We recommend ordering their craft bourbon cocktail, "Rabbit’s Foot.”)
There is no better place to wind down and enjoy a fall weekend than being cozied up right on the bay in Mobile. Few places are as inviting as a Southern hotel, especially when it’s all dressed up in the fineries of fall, so get into the getaway spirit by staying at The Battle House. Tucked in downtown Mobile, this historic hotel is filled with Southern charm. If inclined, make the 30-minute jaunt to neighboring Fairhope. You’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere more scenic—with its antebellum homes, streets lined with live oaks, and charming, walkable downtown.
This fall, find some unexpected gems in Texas Hill Country. Home to over 30 wineries, this getaway has us more than ready to say goodbye to tailgate beer and bourbon. In downtown Fredericksburg, experience the small town’s German heritage. You’ll find a festive Bavarian Inn and a few biergartens along the way. If you’re looking for fall color, journey outside of town to the Lost Maples State Natural Area, which is home to stunning—you guessed it—maples that turn bright orange and red.
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Located 22 miles south of Asheville, Hendersonville feels similarly hip and funky, but boasts some real fall-worthy charm. Get your fill of pumpkin and apple spice donuts at fourth-generation working farm and orchard, Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard; then head over to Flat Rock Cider Works or Mills River Cidery to taste the local ciders. Hendersonville is a bit of a hard apple cider hub. The colorful Main Street seals the deal with more than a few cute shops and restaurants worth a visit.
Words that describe this Tennessee town’s fall aesthetic: bluegrass, apple butter, woodworking, and jam cake. Oh, and a festival dubbed Old Timers Day, as if it couldn't get any more old-fashioned. Nestled right into the Smokies, this historic town packs in plenty of ways to celebrate the season. Don’t miss out on its Grains and Grits Festival in November, if you’re into that kind of thing. (Who isn’t?)
The Panhandle is working hard to recover from the devastation done by Hurricane Michael, and this Old Florida beach town wants to keep spirits high. Show your support by spending a weekend walking the charming downtown shops and sticking your toes in the white sand. The Panhandle needs the love. Fall festivals run the gamut, from the artsy Foo Foo Festival to the festive Beach-O-Ween.
Abita Springs, Louisiana
This bayou town boasts big charm and craft brewing. It’s also home to a place known as “Louisiana’s most eccentric attraction," so naturally we’re hooked. For a quick weekend trip, this Cajun town offers some fall-worthy appeal. Start with Abita Mystery House (aforementioned eccentric attraction). Visitors can enter the mystery house through a vintage Standard Oil gas station, which leads to Louisiana-inspired exhibits and intriguing open-air vignettes. You can also explore the main hall of peculiar showpieces housed in a Creole cottage that’s over a century old. Finish the day with a cold craft brew from Abita Springs Brewery and Taproom. The seasonal Pecan Ale won’t disappoint.
Located in the famed Bourbon-Bluegrass-Horse Country, Harrodsburg is Kentucky’s oldest town. As if that wasn’t quaint enough already, it has a historic downtown district that’s only a 10-minute walk from one of our South’s Best Inns, Beaumont Inn, which is celebrating its 99th birthday this year. Keeping alive old-timey dishes like “Yellow Legged” Fried Chicken and offering personalized bourbon tastings with the fifth-generation owner, this inn makes it easy to sit back and relax. Right outside of town, slip into a slower pace of life at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, home of the largest restored Shaker community in America.
A gateway to the Shenandoah Valley, this small town feels cozier than a cashmere sweater. Steeped in Civil War history, it instantly makes you feel taken back in time. (Seven battles raged in and around the town.) Between its Greek Revival courthouse built in 1840 and refurbished 90-room George Washington Hotel built in 1924, this destination has even more to offer than the stunning fall color seen in the Valley. But that’s pretty nice on its own, too.