32 Charming Mountain Towns To Visit This Fall

Cashiers, North Carolina
Photo: North Carolina Mountain Towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, and Sylva / Facebook

While there are many things to miss about summer once it has left us, we can't help but get excited about the start of a new season full of stunning scenery, cozy fires, and warm seasonal dishes. Ah, fall—we love you so. From the cascading colors of autumn leaves to the abundance of fun fall activities, the turn of the season is quite something, even down here in the South. We have access to some breathtaking mountain views, and there's no better way to experience them than setting your sights on a relaxing (or adventurous!) mountain getaway. Whether you're looking for outdoor excursions, great scenery, or quaint villages, these charming Southern mountain towns should be next on your list of places to visit this fall.

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Alpine, Texas

Alpine, Texas
Visit Alpine, Texas / Facebook

We consider Alpine a West Texas gem. Big Bend National Park is a must-see when visiting this part of Texas, and you'll have a front-row seat to stunning mountain vistas and views. Explore the bustling little town in between ventures into the rugged terrain. visitalpinetx.com

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Arcadia Valley, Missouri

Arcadia Valley, MO
larrybraunphotography.com / Getty Images

This Missouri town is a gem hidden among the mountains. It's located in the southeastern part of the state and is surrounded by the St. Francois Mountains. Find lots of opportunities for camping, biking, hiking, fishing, and shopping for locally made wares. visitarcadiavalley.info

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Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina
Courtesy of exploreasheville.com

Asheville is a mountain town with undeniable character and quirk. There are endless activities, hiking trails, and great food and drinks to experience during a trip to this artsy town. Make sure to visit the Biltmore while you're there. exploreasheville.com

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Banner Elk, North Carolina

Banner Elk, NC
Tom Doane / Getty Images

This North Carolina town has long been a favorite of Southern travelers due to its restaurants, wineries, and breweries that welcome visitors with plenty of Southern hospitality and menus filled with delicious items to try. It has all the small-town charm you want near the season's changing leaves. bannerelk.com

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Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Berkeley Springs, WV / Facebook

The warm mineral waters that flow from the springs of Berkeley Springs State Park are why this town is known as a relaxing natural spa, complete with a Bathhouse that opened in 1930. The town is only 90 minutes from the D.C. area, so you can make it a joint trip to the mountains and the country's capital. berkeleysprings.com

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Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Courtesy of blowingrock.com

If you choose to visit Blowing Rock, you can look forward to beautiful, far-reaching views along the Blue Ridge Parkway and a charming mountain village. Popular attractions such as Tweetsie Railroad and The Blowing Rock await along, with the outdoor adventures of hiking, biking, and bouldering. blowingrock.com

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Blue Ridge, Georgia

Blue Ridge, Georgia
Blue Ridge Georgia / Facebook

Blue Ridge is one of the special places where you can do just about anything and have a great view. Hike to local waterfalls, go horseback riding in the Chattahoochee National Forest, go on a whitewater rafting excursion, ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway or enjoy water activities on Lake Blue Ridge. As we said, anything goes here. blueridgemountains.com

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Boone, North Carolina

Boone, NC
Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Enjoy a luxury stay in small-town Boone, North Carolina, when you book into The Horton Hotel's beautiful property, which has a rooftop lounge for taking in the charming downtown and picturesque Blue Ridge views. You can also stay in the area's cozy mountain cabins to enjoy fresh mountain air out among the stars. exploreboone.com

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Bristol, Virginia

Bristol, Virginia
Courtesy of bristolva.org

With all due respect to Nashville lovers, Bristol—located in the Blue Ridge Highlands region of Virginia—was the location of the first country music recordings made for national distribution. You'll find "The Birthplace of Country Music" on The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. Fun fact: It lies directly on the Virginia/Tennessee state line so that you can be standing in two Southern states at once in the downtown area. bristolva.org

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Cashiers, North Carolina

Cashiers, North Carolina
North Carolina Mountain Towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, and Sylva / Facebook

Located on a plateau in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Cashiers is a traditional mountain town full of quiet lakes, scenic peaks, and calming waterfalls. This town is an amazing destination if you're looking for a relaxing nature escape. discoverjacksonnc.com

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Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga Fun / Facebook

Chattanooga is no stranger to lists of top destinations in the country. As mountain getaways go, it offers the best of both worlds, including urban dining, entertainment, nightlife, beautiful scenery, and plenty of outdoor adventure. Some of it is on the riverfront near the Tennessee Aquarium. chattanoogafun.com

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Dahlonega, Georgia

Dahlonega, GA
Keith Smith / Getty Images

Dahlonega, nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, gives you a rustic mountain getaway only an hour or so north of Atlanta. Hike breathtaking mountain vistas, climb stairs alongside the steep Amicalola Falls, visit local wineries, and shop around in the thriving historic downtown. dahlonega.org

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Elkins, West Virginia

Elkins, WV
Robbie Skinner Photography

This charming West Virginia town is next to the Monongahela National Forest, a fantastic spot for outdoor adventurers exploring the wilderness. To see the sights, you can book a ticket on the area's Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, which will take you into the Appalachians to experience the changing leaves. See the foliage up close on hiking and biking trails crisscrossing the area. cityofelkinswv.com

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Ellijay, Georgia

Ellijay, GA
rodclementphotography / Getty Images

Georgia's apple capital is a destination in fall when flannel-clad visitors visit the North Georgia mountains to pick apples, enjoy cups of cider, and take in the beautiful views. Check out B.J. Reece Orchards and nearby Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge for a seasonal apple crop to savor. ellijay-ga.gov

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Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Eureka Springs, Arkansas / Facebook

There's no shortage of things to do in Eureka Springs. It's a town that prides itself on being a gateway to many outdoor excursions and an oasis of great culinary delights, a thriving village with shopping, and a destination for entertainment and relaxation. eurekasprings.org

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Frostburg, Maryland

Frostburg, MD Main Street
Ryan Brenneman

Another charming mountain town with an inviting red-brick downtown Frostburg, Maryland, is filled with shops, galleries, and restaurants to keep you busy after exploring the surrounding area and hopping a ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. downtownfrostburg.com

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Heber Springs, Arkansas

Heber Springs, AR
Marine2844 / Getty Images

This Arkansas town is next to Greers Ferry Lake, giving it access to spectacular views and forests, hiking trails, and spots to see the season's changing foliage. The nearby Buckeye Trail is a wheelchair-accessible National Recreation Trail, and there are many other areas for fishing, visiting waterfalls, and seeing the sights. cityofhebersprings.com

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Helen, Georgia

Helen, Georgia
Alpine Helen & White County Convention & Visitors Bureau / Facebook

Get a Bavarian Village experience in this charming small town that encompasses only 2.1 square miles. Little hotels and inns, cobblestone walkways, and outdoor activities (like tubing the Chattahoochee River) will make your visit the most memorable. You will love the quaint architecture of the German-inspired village, and if you play your cards right, you can catch plenty of fall fun when the town hosts its annual Oktoberfest celebration beginning in September. helenga.org

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Highlands, North Carolina

Highlands, North Carolina
Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center / Facebook

Highlands is what you might call a refined mountain town. Apart from its breathtaking scenic views during the fall, it's a quiet, secluded retreat with amenities like fine art galleries, elegant dining, and a charming Main Street. highlandschamber.org

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Lewisburg, West Virginia

Lewisburg, West Virginia
The City of Lewisburg / Facebook

Located amongst the Allegheny Mountains, Lewisburg offers travelers more than just outdoor fun. The 232-year-old town offers original architecture and a thriving Historic District for seeking a town steeped in history and tradition. You don't want to miss the surrounding mountains drenched with rich hues during autumn. visitlewisburgwv.com

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Mentone, Alabama

Mentone, Alabama
Alabama State Parks

Check into rustic, charming lodging, such as the Mountain View Inn, perched on Lookout Mountain's edge, for stunning views when visiting Mentone. Visit DeSoto Falls, a 100-foot waterfall on the outskirts of town, via an easy, paved path for those not looking for an arduous hike. mentonealabama.gov

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Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
My Pigeon Forge / Facebook

Not only are you on the cusp of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but you have access to Dollywood, an outdoor gravity park, and plenty of shows when you visit Pigeon Forge. This mountain town is great for families because it's full of things to do, many of which are kid-friendly. mypigeonforge.com

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Ponca, Arkansas

Ponca, Arkansas
Buffalo Outdoor Center / Facebook

If you've ever seen the Ozarks, they're a natural wonder—and a Southern treasure. They set the scene for endless outdoor exploration and activities. Ponca lets you experience it all firsthand. Visit Buffalo Outdoor Center for easy bookings of outdoor adventures. arkansas.com

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Red River Gorge, Kentucky

Fall Foliage in Red River Gorge
Courtesy of kentuckytourism.com

You can stay inside the Natural Bridge State Resort in the Hemlock Lodge, where you'll be closest to the Red River Gorge. Beloved by Kentuckians, this area is just breathtaking, known for its overhanging cliffs that draw rock climbers from around the world. redrivergorge.com

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Roanoke, Virginia

Roanoke, VA
Getty Images

For scenic sights, travel to Roanoke, Virginia. This Blue Ridge destination has markets, boutiques, restaurants, and hiking along the Appalachian Trail. Nearby Smith Mountain Lake also offers boating or kayaking on the Upper James River Water Trail. Visit once, and you'll never want to leave. visitroanokeva.com

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Staunton, Virginia

Staunton, Virginia
Visit Staunton, Virginia / Facebook

You're at a great vantage point in Staunton because you can explore the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Spend time in the fun downtown scene and historic Main Street. The town is also home to the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and 13 breweries in the area. visitstaunton.com

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Sugar Mountain, North Carolina

Sugar Mountain, NC
Craig Zerbe / Getty Images

This mountain town is probably better defined as a resort village. It's an exciting escape that draws visitors with its Sugar Mountain Resort, a lively spot with plenty of ski slopes and trails, and an outdoor ice rink for testing out your skating skills. seesugar.com

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Thomas, West Virginia

Albert Falls, on the North Fork Blackwater River
Gabriela Herman

Find a charming red-brick downtown filled with locally-owned shops and galleries in Thomas, West Virginia. This small town lies next to Blackwater Falls State Park, a destination for seeing fall foliage and waterfalls. local.wv.gov

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Vanderpool, Texas

Vanderpool, Texas
Texas Parks & Wildlife

Located in the Texas Hill Country, the town of Vanderpool lets you escape city life and immerse yourself in nature. (We might be stretching to include it with mountain towns, but it has such gorgeous fall vistas that we couldn't help ourselves.) Gaze at some beautiful scenery at Lost Maples State Natural Area, and visit the historic Lone Star Motorcycle Museum, with its 50 classic motorcycles, to get an authentic taste of Texas. texashillcountry.com

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Walland, Tennessee

Walland, Tennessee
Helen Norman

It's no secret that we're huge fans of Blackberry Farm, a lovely, lush resort located in this mountain town. You'll be snug in the Great Smoky Mountains with access to incredible views and some seriously fabulous food. tnvacation.com

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Bryson City, North Carolina

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Chris Murray / Getty Images

An hour west of Asheville sits a tranquil mountain town that borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can enjoy various water activities, from fishing to kayaking on the Nantahala River. The scenic trails offer even more family-friendly activities. The railroad excursions, trout fishing, and horseback riding will keep you occupied for days. greatsmokies.com

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Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

harpers ferry, west virginia
Molly Wolff Photography

There is something special about the historic community of Harpers Ferry. This gem tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains immerses visitors in the area's history while uncovering the beauty found in the natural surroundings. The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers converge around this town, which is also a landmark for the first successful American railroad. nps.gov/hafe

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