It is fall even though it may only feel like it in the morning. That golden sun is casting a more amber hue across the landscape and there is a breeze rolling in. With the season comes a stirring in my soul to explore, to feel the crunch of the leaves beneath my soles and see the sunset painted across the sky in all shades of fall. Here are 7 places to travel this fall that capture the essence of the season across the south.
The Shaker Village at The Pleasant Hill, Kentucky – Step back in time for an experience that will ignite your imagination and deepen your understanding of our connection to the land. The Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill is the home to the 3rd largest Shaker Village in the United States. Shakers were a religious sect that began in England and believed in simple living, best known for their beautiful, minimalistic handcrafted furniture. At The Shaker Village you will find over 3,000 acres of discovery featuring hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, canoe trips, historic buildings, and a working farm that supplies the village restaurant. There are also events throughout each month including special farm dinners, artisan classes, fox hunts, hayrides, and music on the lawn. You can also stay at the village in one of their restored original Shaker buildings. This trip is ideal for couples and families. For eats enjoy meals at the village restaurant or take a trip into Lexington and dine at Shakespeare and Company, The Village Idiot, or enjoy a cup of joe at one the of funkiest coffee shops you will ever set foot in Third Street Stuff.
Chattanooga, Tennessee – A hiker’s paradise, Chattanooga is the place to explore the outdoors in fall. Finding an awe-inspiring trail in Chattanooga is easy to do in this city bordered by mountains and carved by the Tennessee River into a ‘Moccasin Bend’, two of my favorites are Cravens House to Sunset Rock and Rainbow Lake to Signal Point, both offer vistas for miles that are sure to mesmerize your mind and give your body a healthy workout. Signal Point offers a sunset view that will leave your mouth gaping with its beauty. There is also paddle boarding along the magnificent Tennessee River Gorge that is easy to do from downtown Chattanooga. Even a walk over the pedestrian bring from downtown to North Shore is a fun excursion. The Hunter Museum of American Art in the Bluff View Arts District is also a must visit offering some of the Southeast’s best exhibits. You may also want to stay in the Bluff View Arts District which overlooks the Tennessee River Gorge and is in walking distance to downtown. Bluff View offers historic lodging, dining, and its own outdoor sculpture garden. For proximity to downtown and for spa relaxation, The Chattanoogan is an excellent choice. Spacious rooms, a stellar restaurant, and a wonderful spa await guests. For eats, choose Urban Stack, Alleia, Easy Bistro, and Milk and Honey.
From love at first sight to love at first bite, this Relais & Chateaux Inn and restaurant nestled in the charming village of Fearrington just south of Chapel Hill, North Carolina will entice you to stay, play, and fall in love.
Tucked away down a country highway, Fearrington Village welcomes you with rolling farmland enclosed with white fences, a beautiful white washed barn, and of course the Beltie cows (aka Oreo cows.) Just like most of your Fearrington Village experience, these beautiful creatures look like something out of a storybook. You will also find two turtle doves in the property’s boutique Dovecote and gorgeous European-influenced gardens with stone paths throughout the property, around every corner there is a scene reminiscent of a Hans Christian Andersen tale.
To call Chef Colin a ‘chef’ is much like calling Van Gogh a ‘painter’ or Shakespeare a ‘playwright’, Chef Colin’s culinary artistry opens the door to a world of cuisine that very few can master. Not only does each plate look like a work of art, the flavors are so exactly proportioned, that each bite is a sensual burst of heaven in your mouth. From the venison to the sunchokes to the lobster to the chocolate souffle, our meal at The Fearrington House Restaurant is as memorable and full of life as a first kiss. It is easy to see why couples return year after year for anniversaries and birthdays.
A stroll into Dovecote and you will discover an apparel and gift boutique offering unique garments, jewelry, stationary, specialty food products, and more. Also on property McIntyre Books which hosts frequent special events and book signings that are worth planning a trip around themselves.
Whether you are planning a romantic weekend or a mother/daughter retreat, there is a reason to step away from the hustle and bustle and into to this fairytale village. To learn more or plan your trip to Fearrington click here.
There are trips and then there are adventures. And who doesn’t want an adventure? A trip to the Mississippi Delta is guaranteed to bring adventure and a cast of characters straight out of a novel. The people are what makes the Mississippi Delta so special. Conversation after conversation and you will discover that the people of the Delta have hospitality and humor running through their veins. Which also means they like to throw a party and come up with lots of reasons to do so.
If you didn’t know that Greenville was the Hot Tamale capital of the World, now you do. Every mid-October the city of Greenville, Mississippi hosts the Hot Tamale Festival which is a culinary and literary event featuring famed Southern chef’s from throughout the region as well as literary icons like Delta native Julia Reed. This year’s festival is October 18-20 beginning with a special dinner at the beautiful Belmont Plantation. Join celebrity chefs and Delta legends like Hank Burdine. You can order Hank’s new book on The Delta here.
If you are looking for another reason to visit the Delta, it doesn’t get more fun, more swanky, or more delicious than the Delta Supper Club. With events throughout the year featuring Southern Chefs at locations from plantations to airplane hangars, these dinners are the epitome of Southern hospitality.
While in the area eat at the legendary Does Eat Place. A quick drive and you can stay at the historic The Thompson House in Leland, Mississippi. Another must stop in the Delta – Greenwood, Mississippi home to The Alluvian where you can enjoy the spa and cooking classes at The Viking Cooking School.
A drive through Greenwood is a drive through cotton fields and history. Make sure to visit rock and roll legend Robert Johnson’s Memorial.
Franklin, Tennessee – Just outside of Nashville lies charming Franklin. Sauntering is a favorite activity in this town, where a stroll down Main Street provides people watching, boutique shopping, and musical entertainment. Just a short drive you will find Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art, one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the South with an array of activities for fall including a pumpkin house, Halloween Pooch parade, Dia de los Muertos festival, and so much more. For an evening to remember plan your Franklin getaway around one of the historic Franklin Theatre shows. Also close by Kix Brooks’ Arrington Vineyards where you can enjoy Jazz in the Courtyard and Bluegrass in the Barn throughout the season. For an unforgettable place to stay choose Cabin Creek Farm nestled on 5.5 acres of farmland and 3 miles from Franklin. If proximity to downtown is what you are looking for check out the Inn at Franklin Square with beautifully furnished rooms at a great price. For eats you must make reservations at the Homestead Manor located on a 10 acre farm. Try their Chef’s Table Experience, an intimate dining occasion where the chef personally chooses items for your party that are not available to anyone else by way of our regular menu. For other eats enjoy Saffire, Cork and Cow, and Puckett’s Grocery.
Waynesville, North Carolina – There is no where in the world that captures all the colors of fall like the Great Smoky Mountains. The fall foliage color display is one of the most captivating sights you will ever see, its beauty shines in the eye of every beholder. Whether you drive the jaw dropping 46 miles of the most beautiful stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway located in Haywood County or you venture to one of my most favorite hikes in the world, Purchase Knob, a fall trip to Waynesville will permeate through your soul.
A 30 minute drive to Chataloochee Ranch offers horseback riding through mountain trails reaching over 5,200 miles above sea level.
While you are enjoying that Smoky Mountain high, you should also sip the local brews. Waynesville boasts some of North Carolina’s best breweries including Frog Level, Boojum, Bear Waters, and Tipping Point. Another incredible aspect about Waynesville, the Buy Haywood initiative that puts locally grown, organic produce at the forefront of restaurants and markets. With such a strong organic food market there is no shortage of incredibly fresh meals. Look for fall festivals like the Waynesville Apple Festival in mid October and others throughout the season. If you are interested din taking taste of fall home with you, plan a day trip to Stepp’s Apple Orchard in Hendersonville so you can enjoy the season’s freshest apples. For the swankiest of lodging with vistas for miles choose The Swag. For a more centrally located lodging at a great price, Waynesville Inn Golf Resort and Spa. For eats enjoy some of the best barbecue in the South at Haywood Smokehouse or choose more modern fare at Sweet Onion or Bourbon, Beef, and Ale.
New Orleans, Louisiana – Already filled with characters, I cannot imagine a more fun place to experience Halloween festivities. Enjoy the Krewe of Boo on October 20, New Orleans official Halloween parade filled with larger than life paper mache and fiberglass spooks and ghouls. On actual Halloween weekend enjoy Voodoo Music Festival featuring some of the world’s top musicians, artists, and of course New Orleans’ famous food. See the lineup here. For plush accommodations and a roof deck pool, Windsor Court is always an ideal choice. For eats, you cannot visit New Orleans without dining at Cochon, Galatoires, or Shaya. Add in a reservation to one of these acclaimed new restaurants too, Willa Jean, MoPho, Turkey and The Wolf, or Carrollton Market.