Best Fall Activities in Charlotte

fall in Charlotte
Photo credit Jamey Price

With the change in season comes a number of fall activities in Charlotte. From festivals and breweries to art crawls and farm hayrides, there is no shortage of things to do, see, and try in and around the Queen City. Bundle up, enjoy the crisp air, and experience everything Charlotte has to offer this autumn. 

Stroll through the garden

Autumn is a perfect time to take in the beautiful leaves and enjoy the dip in temperatures. Take a stroll through some of Charlotte’s beautiful gardens such as Wing Haven, McGill Rose Garden, and Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Just 20 minutes from Uptown, DSBG is a perfect way to connect with nature and features over 110 acres of gardens, conservatory, and walking trails. There’s no better way to absorb the autumn season.

Location: Belmont, NC

Cost: $14.95 for adults, $7.95 for kids 2-12

Go on a hayride 

One of the must-do fall activities in Charlotte is apple picking. Carrigan Farms in Mooresville more than supplies this key feature and meets all your needs for pie-baking supplies. But the family-owned farm doesn’t just stop at apple picking. Go for a hayride and pick a pumpkin or explore Scarrigan Farms on select November nights.

Location: Mooresville, NC

fall activities in Charlotte

Enjoy the best of Charlotte’s fall brews 

Indulge in and enjoy the best of Charlotte’s fall beverages, from craft beers, ciders, and wine. Local breweries, like NoDa Brewing Company, offer both year-round brews and seasonal selections. Choose from brews like Gordgeous, a pumpkin ale that was a gold medal winner of the 2018 Great American Beer Festival. 

In the mood for cider instead? In 2015, Red Clay Ciderworks entered the hard cider scene in Charlotte and it’s more than perfect to enjoy this fall season. A few drinks to put on your radar include Chai Jacked, a chai spice pumpkin cider, or Pomme Pom, with notes of pomegranate and apple.

Location: Charlotte, NC

Spend a day by the lake

Summers may be best spent by the lake, but don’t forget autumn! Charlotte lakes are even better enjoyed in fall with warm water and cool air, and many aren’t that far from Uptown. Lake Norman also includes a number of activities such as a corn maze or hiking and biking trails around the area if you’d rather not be by the lake.

Location: Lake Norman, NC

Cost: $6 for maze, $4 for kids 5-12

fall activities in Charlotte

Dig into fall comfort food

A blend of classic Thanksgiving cuisine and non-traditional, The Asbury is a stunning mix of both. Enjoy pan-roasted grouper with a fall squash bisque. Or try a new take on mac & cheese with Piquillo Peppers and country ham.

Location: Charlotte, NC

Take in the arts

The Davidson Fall Art Festival has some of the best artists displaying their artwork through pottery, jewelry, textiles, and more. Enjoy live music and food as you stroll through some of Davidson’s historic and timeless streets.

Location: Davidson, NC

Cost: Free

fall activities in Charlotte

Windy Hill Orchard & Cidery

At Windy Hill Orchard & Cidery, guests can enjoy apple picking, hayrides, a hard cider and the famous fried apple cider donuts. Reservations are required this season.

Location: York, South Carolina

Cost: Pick-your-own apples cost between $5 and $25

Catch an outdoor drive-in movie

It’s the perfect weather to enjoy a drive-in movie. During this season, several places around Charlotte, like The Music Yard, Old Town Cornelius, Hounds Drive-In, and Papa Doc’s Shore Club, are all screening a variety of different beloved films that are perfect for fall, from Ghostbusters and Harry Potter to Beetlejuice and Hocus Pocus.

Location: South Boulevard, Cornelius, Kings Mountain, and Lake Wylie

Cost: Averages $20 per car

Visit Charlotte’s regional vineyards

There are several vineyards within a relatively short 30 to 40 minute drive from Charlotte’s Uptown. With the crisp air, there’s no better time to sit outside, sip a local wine, and enjoy the vineyard views. Many are requiring reservations right now, so be sure to check online before visiting. The closest two vineyards from Charlotte proper are Douglas and Rocky River. You can also get to Cauble Creek, Treehouse Vineyards, Davasté, and Veronét Vineyards & Winery all within around 40 minutes.

Location: Locations range from Monroe, NC to Kannapolis, NC

Cost: Tastings and tours start as low as $8