From Brevard to the Outer Banks: Choose Your Adventures

Transylvania County Tourism Development AuthorityFrom Brevard to the Outer Banks: Choose Your Adventures

The French Broad River is popular for canoeing, kayaking, fishing and more

Dealing with the grind of daily life, sometimes your only solace is to look ahead to your next vacation or weekend getaway. And what better way to clear your head than to explore the great outdoors?

Planning a trip to North Carolina’s outdoor adventures is easy, whether you’re visiting beautiful places in Brevard in the Blue Ridge Mountains or on the Outer Banks of the coast. Choose your destination, then fill your days with everything from hiking past waterfalls to off-road driving in search of the perfect sunset.

Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest

Transylvania County TDA

Looking Glass Falls is a breathtaking sight inside Pisgah National Forest

With its many waterfalls, pristine rivers and more than 100,000 acres of public lands, Brevard and Transylvania County is one of the most-attractive outdoor destinations in America for adventures of every kind: mountain biking, hiking, fly fishing, climbing, paddling and more.

Transylvania County is known as the “Land of Waterfalls” because of the 250 cascading bodies of water here. You’ll find many of these waterfalls inside Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Recreational Forest and Gorges State Park, with several of them easily accessible by short hikes. Take a selfie in front of Looking Glass Falls – one of the most photographed waterfalls in the country.

But do more than simply look at these incredible sights. Pura Vida Adventures offers canyoneering – a feat that combines rock climbing with rappelling down waterfalls. This kind of professional guide is plentiful in the Brevard area. With Headwaters Outfitters, you can paddle the French Broad River – the third-oldest river in the world – and even combine that with a zip line tour or overnight camping trip. And, the folks at Davidson River Outfitters will give you the skinny on great spots to fish.

Transylvania County Fly Fishing

Transylvania County TDA

There are more than 500 miles of fishable trout streams within a one-hour drive of Brevard

Transylvania County is also considered to be the cycling capital of the South. World-class mountain bikers make Brevard their home base when visiting the area. The forests here boast more than 300 miles of single track, and there are hundreds more miles of roads that are great for a variety of cycling.

Start your two-wheeled day at Sycamore Cycles, where you can rent a mountain bike and get a good cup of joe from the in-house Crank Coffee shop. Then, end your ride with beers at The Hub and Pisgah Tavern, a combo bike shop and bar. And the beer-bikes theme doesn’t get more prevalent than at Oskar Blues, whose East Coast brewery is in Brevard, where you can choose from 16 beers in the Tasty Weasel Tap Room.

Mountain biking through Transylvania County

Transylvania County TDA

Enjoy the views while mountain biking through Transylvania County

If you’re planning to visit this fall, find the festival or signature event that syncs up with the timing of your trip. Plus, you’ll see some of the most beautiful fall color you’ve ever encountered, as the leaf-changing progresses across the Blue Ridge Parkway.

But the views don’t stop there – some are out of this world. Check out Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), a 200-acre former NASA facility that features hands-on space exhibits and campus tours in addition to hiking trails and a nature center.

Planning a fall getaway may be just what you need as you accept the fact that your summer travels are over. And even if you enjoyed a trip to the beach in recent months, you may not be aware of the advantages of visiting beaches post-summer.

Pristine coastline along the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway

Outer Banks Visitors Bureau

Discover a pristine coastline along the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway

The Outer Banks spans 130 miles of the North Carolina coast, comprised of barrier islands, beaches, quaint towns and fishing villages. And during fall, the crowds are smaller and the weather is even more pleasant.

Explore Cape Hatteras National Seashore, where you can tour two iconic lighthouses – Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras (America’s tallest) – both of which are open for self-guided climbs through mid-October. Plus, appreciate the natural habitats of the shore, where sea turtles lay eggs and wild horses roam.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

Take a tour of Bodie Island Lighthouse before it closes for the season

With no desires to set an alarm clock, you may still want to awaken early to experience a breath-taking sunrise. And because the Outer Banks’ beaches face both east and west, you can also see sunsets from here. Jockey’s Ridge State Park is a great place to do both, watching the sun move across the largest, natural living sand dune on the East Coast.

When you’re ready to pick up the pace, go kiteboarding with help from Real Watersports, located in the aptly named town of Waves. With its flagship store, rental shop, lesson center (and even a bar and grill), there’s everything you need for action on the ocean. If you prefer less of an adrenaline rush yet a fun experience, opt for the stand-up paddleboarding.

Off-road driving is another unique activity to look forward to on the Outer Banks. That 4x4 vehicle you drive to work was designed for more than your daily commute. Take it deep out onto the beaches to reach secluded areas and truly get away. Also see the coast by horseback. Equine Adventures and Hatteras Island Horseback Riding each offer guided tours along the beach that are great for the whole family or perfect for a romantic evening.

Outer Banks Beach Rental

Find your quiet spot at the beach this fall on the Outer Banks

You should also set aside time for fishing. Anglers come here from around the world for fly fishing, offshore and inshore charter fishing, and surf fishing. But if you’re a first-timer, take it easy by fishing from one of several piers, including Jennette’s Pier, which provides lessons, and Avon Fishing Pier, offering all the gear (and cold beer) you’ll need.

There’s much more to explore this fall on the Outer Banks, and you’ll also find a variety of vacation rentals placing you just steps away from the action. Stay for a weekend or a week, oceanfront or soundside, and create lasting memories.

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