As a child, I used to look forward to the fading of summer, and not just for the crisp, cool weather that made evenings on the porch so much sweeter. For me, fall was all about the color. I gladly traded the steamy blues and burning yellows of August for the warm shades of ambler, russet, and crimson that magically appeared on each tree-lined street, turning the city ablaze with a spectacular once-a-year show.
Fortunately, those same tree-lined streets I longed for as a child still exist today, in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Only now, they have the added bonus of bakeries, theatres, galleries, boutiques, and a host of other delicious diversions all perfect for my adult-sized, fall-loving heart.
So in honor of my favorite fall pastime, now all grown up, I’m “changing up” how I see the leaves change. Who knows. This fall, it might even change you.
Leaf Peeping with the Llamas
You’ve seen the leaves change. And you might have seen a llama farm. But I’m pretty sure you haven’t seen the leaves change at a llama farm before. At Divine Llama Vineyards, a host of furry, four-legged beauties are ready to trek you through some of the finest fall colors in the greater Yadkin Valley. As an added bonus, Divine Llama is also a working vineyard. So after a leisurely afternoon communing with nature (animal and vegetable), you can sample a glass or two of Divine Llama Vineyard’s finest, grown from the very earth you just trod. Fall trek dates are being announced soon, and vineyard tours are available Friday through Sunday afternoons (or by appointment).
Segway through the Seasons
If motorized travel is more your speed, why not hop a Segway and glide through the changing leaves? Triad ECO Adventure Tours takes care of everything. They offer a thoughtful get-started session, then your choice of guided tours through the city. My personal favorite runs right through historic Old Salem Museums and Gardens. The stately trees are frankly spectacular, and seeing block after cobblestone-lined block of authentic Colonial American history is made that much more anachronistic while riding your own “futurized” transport. Tours are narrated by long-time residents and natives and can be customized for groups if you wish. Best of all, children as young as 10 can participate. Check them out at TriadEcoAdventures.com.
Leave the Ground in a Hot Air Balloon
If flying in a hot air balloon isn’t already on your Bucket List, then prepare to add it (and cross it off!) right now. Using Winston-Salem as a starting point, you can enjoy the dreamy experience of soaring high overhead in nearby Yadkin Valley with some of the most vibrant landscapes you’ll see in your lifetime. Thanks to our fall-perfect climate, the changing leaves actually keep their bright color longer in the gateway to Yadkin Valley than anywhere else in the state. So you can schedule your flight as late as the second week in November and still expect a show. Schedule a private balloon adventure for a romantic getaway, or bring a small group or reunion and make a party of it. Details are waiting at Carolina Balloon Adventures.
Overnight packages for fall adventures, including Historic Homes Tours, Heirloom Gardens Collection Tours, Museum Visits and other attractions are available at VisitWinstonSalem.com.
Huge thanks to Ken Bennet for this post’s featured image!