***Trigger warning: this blog briefly touches on discussions of suicide and grief. Please only read if you feel comfortable doing so. If you are in need of immediate support, please contact the Canada Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-833-456-4566 (and in Quebec 1-866-277-3553). ***
My journey of enjoying southern charm in North Carolina this fall was great! When I previously visited NC last year, I was sick and there was also a hurricane that came our way from Florida – so it was a bit of a hectic week. This time around, I was feeling healthy, there were no hurricanes in sight and I was blessed with some wonderful weather – right on the cusp of changing seasons. Safe to say, I had a great time exploring what North Carolina had to offer. Read on, and pretty soon you’ll be fall-ing for NC’s southern charm, just as I did!
Charlotte Part 1
My journey exploring NC began and finished in Charlotte. After having a self-care night in the evening from my flight in from Texas, the next morning I was ready for brunch. I went to Easy Like Sunday in Charlotte, which was a great choice. It’s so cute in there, filled with lights and plants – two of my favs! Plus, the food was delicious: I had an eggs benny and a lavender latte. Yuuuum.
From there, I drove out to Asheville, which was an absolutely gorgeous drive. I went to visit my fav spot, Target, and got the chance to visit one of my favourite schools in the area too. Though my time in Asheville was short-lived, this area of NC in particular is surrounded by a lot of gorgeous mountains. I love it, it made me feel closer to BC! Shortly after, I was headed back towards Charlotte to do a bit more adventuring over the next few days.
Charlotte Part 2
I had the opportunity to check out a few different stunning areas of Charlotte. On the main day I was there, it happened to be the two year anniversary of losing a loved one to suicide. I wanted to do something special to remember them, and since I was feeling close to nature, I decided to seek out a nature spot and have a moment of reflection. I happened to luck out with a spot close to where I was staying in the Pineville area of Charlotte, beside a marsh that had some walking trails and seating areas. It was perfect. I spent quite a bit of time there enjoying the space and remembering the person I had lost. I’m really glad I had this space to remember them, and to feel so connected, even while I was away in NC.
Greensboro, Durham, Chapel Hill
After Charlotte, I headed east towards the Greensboro and Durham areas. I got to see some great changing colours of the leaves here as we began to slip into fall. A number of the places I visited were also infused with nature, whether they were located in a forest-like setting or situated on a nearby lake. That was one of the most pleasantly surprising parts about NC to me: the close proximity to nature! It made me feel so much calmer overall and I really loved that. I also had some great Italian food in Durham of massive proportions, which made for excellent leftovers (and don’t forget the wine!).
Cary + Raleigh
My last area to explore was near Raleigh. I didn’t have as much time as I had expected in this area, but again, nature was all around and that was something I really enjoyed. I did get the chance to see a bit of downtown Raleigh near the Village District, a very hip spot. Grabbing some pizza and drinks at Tazza Kitchen was great. If I had more time, I’d definitely check out the stores in that area more, because it looked like they had some terrific options! Finally, since I was flying back out of the Charlotte airport, I had to drive back to Charlotte from Raleigh. It was a longer drive than I had hoped, but I still got to drive through forests – always a bonus.
Overall, it was a great week in NC and I really lucked out with the weather. It was the perfect time to visit, I was truly fall-ing for NC’s southern charm and the early fall vibes! Here are my top NC recommendations for your own fall adventure:
- Drive out to Asheville to enjoy some mountain views if you have the chance
- Get your brunch on in Charlotte at spots such as Easy like Sunday
- Check out the fall foliage throughout NC
- Explore the shops and restaurants at the Village District in Raleigh
- Enjoy the close proximity to nature and take the time to soak it all in!
Enjoy your fall adventures in NC, and if I missed anything, make sure to mention it in the comments below!