RALEIGH, N.C. (November 1, 2012) — From wind-powered whirligigs to Wings Over Water, early-season skiing and late-season leaf watching, North Carolina promises visitors a “November to Remember.” Travelers can find information on nearly 300 November events at VisitNC.com, the state’s official travel planning website, and scope out activities in a new “Fall Into Winter” Facebook album filled with images taken this week.
With two ski areas adding their snowmaking power to the early snowstorm’s powder, travelers can opt for winter sports action or fall signatures, such as enjoying the last brilliant patches of fall color and strolling on pristine beaches during the fall bird migration. The Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival has adjusted its schedule in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but nearly all of North Carolina’s 300 miles of beaches are open.
“November is a shoulder season in North Carolina and a great time to find the best prices and added value offers throughout the state,” said Lynn Minges, Assistant Secretary of Tourism, Marketing, and Global Branding. “VisitNC.com has a special offers section with about 30 different deals that add even more value to a November trip.”
November’s first weekend includes the Wilson Whirligig Festival, which celebrates local artist Vollis Simpson’s wind-powered structures (think giant pinwheels whirling overhead), and the Cape Fear Kite Festival at Wrightsville Beach. Wings Over Water, which offers excursions into varied coastal environments to experience migrating birds, howling wolves and changing flora, begins Tuesday and runs through Nov. 11.
The foliage show that began in the mountains approaches its peak at destinations to the east. From the top of Chimney Rock, the iconic monolith southeast of Asheville, visitors can gaze across Lake Lure and take in the glow of northern red oaks and golden hickories at the mid- and lower elevations. Colorful foliage at Falls Lake State Recreation Area in Raleigh and other Piedmont parks also survived Sandy’s high winds. Farther north, the Roanoke River Ramble charts a 9-mile course past a restored grist mill, vibrant foliage, and the nesting places of bald eagles, osprey and great blue heron.
In the mountains, Sugar Mountain Resort and Cataloochee Ski Area welcomed the season’s first skiers and snowboarders this week. It marked Sugar’s earliest opening and only the second time Cataloochee has started skiing before November. For an early leap into the holiday season, the Christmas at Biltmore celebration gets underway Sunday with bedazzling displays of trees, lights and treasures on the 8,000-acre Asheville estate.
Competitive fishermen can show their skills in the mountains and on the coast this weekend. The Rumble in the Rhododendron Fly Fishing Tournament takes place in Cherokee’s well-stocked tribal waters, while at Ocean Isle’s Fall Brawl King Classic, fishermen will give the king mackerel a run for the money. And those who prefer the simple pleasures of surf casting will find a blitz of puppy drum along the Outer Banks.
Special offers extend the possibilities. Deals at VisitNC.com/offers include everything from a free night at Ocean Isle Beach with a stay of three nights, a Pinehurst Thanksgiving package starting at $171, and a hiking and wine-tasting package at Beech Mountain for $159.