Cherokee named in AARP’s top fall destinations listing

by Sep 24, 2019COMMUNITY sgadugi

Brilliant leaf color, such as the ones spotted on a tree outside of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in November 2018, is one of the reasons Cherokee was named to the AARP to fall destinations listing. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photo)





From sipping on apple cider to hiking through the woods while leaves fall around you, fall has its share of cozy moments.  Cherokee, nestled in the Smoky Mountains, has been named one of the best fall destinations in a recent survey by the AARP.

In an article on the AARP Travel Center website entitled “Top Fall Vacations, According to AARP Survey of Baby Boomers”, Cherokee came in at 11 on the top 12 listing with Gatlinburg, Tenn. topping the list.

“We discovered travel research that reveals senior travelers enjoy going on vacation during the shoulder seasons, particularly September through October, which is also prime leaf-peeping time,” said Chloe Mulliner, author of the article.  “Based on these findings, we surveyed 1,000 travelers, ages 45 years and older, to determine their favorite fall destinations. The survey was open-ended, so the respondents could pick any destination.”

She added, “Of the 570 female and 430 male respondents, the group picked Cherokee, North Carolina, as one of their favorites. Between its vibrant autumnal leaves around Oconaluftee River Trail and Soco Falls each season, it’s no wonder Cherokee scored a place on our fall travel list.”

The entire list is as follows:

  1. Gatlinburg, Tenn.
  2. Upper Peninsula, Mich.
  3. Ithaca, New York
  4. Door County, Wisc.
  5. Nashville, Ind.
  6. Duluth, Minn.
  7. Branson, Mo.
  8. San Antonio, Texas
  9. Tacoma, Wash.
  10. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  11. Cherokee, N.C.
  12. Jim Thorpe, Pa.

The article describes Cherokee as such, “Turn your attention to the glorious display of colors scattered throughout Cherokee.  Sitting in western North Carolina, this town showcases the golden colors of Appalachia.  Perhaps one of the best ways to admire the blazing leaves is driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  This mountain road winds through the radiant foliage, passing 26 tunnels along the way.  For those who want to get in the thick of it, head to the trails.  Check out the brilliant hues from the Fire Mountain Trails, where you can bike or hike under the canopies.  Next, chase waterfalls at Mingo Falls.  The 120-foot waterfall is surrounded by stunning autumn shades.”

For more information on visiting Cherokee this fall, go to: