Asheville, North Carolina, was named the best place for autumn trips.  This file photo shows people standing near Navitat Canopy Adventures.

Asheville, North Carolina, was named the best place for autumn trips. This file photo shows people standing near Navitat Canopy Adventures.

The city in North Carolina is known for its picturesque surroundings – and is considered the best place for a fall vacation.

Mountain Asheville tourist destination ranked No. 1 on the list of best places to visit this season, according to US News & World Report.

Also at the top of the list was another hot spot in Western North Carolina. Great Smoky Mountains National Parkwhich is also in Tennessee, was ranked #4.

To create the rankings, US News & World Report focused on locations in the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada. Thousands of users voted on whether the destinations deserved recognition, and editors rated several factors for each location, including “celebrity, culture, people, food, family, nightlife, adventure, romance, value and affordability,” according to the results , updated on August 30.

The issue of recommending a season as a season was also considered best time to visit places where autumn is defined as the period from September to November, officials wrote in their report.

Asheville rose to the top of the list for the third year in a row.

“Both travelers and editors find Asheville a really great fall option because there are so many hiking trails nearby where people can catch fall foliage, there are quite a few autumn holidays and the weather is usually cool but often sunny,” Erin Evans, senior travel editor for US News & World Report, told McClatchy News in a phone interview.

City some 94,000 people also received recommendations for their breweries, which may come as no surprise for a city that was ranked the best places in the country for beer lovers.

Also receiving recognition was Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which US News & World Report praised for its scenic views from the ground and from the Ober Gatlinburg Cable Car in nearby Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

“This national park is home to numerous hiking trails, cascading waterfalls and all kinds of wildlife,” officials wrote in their report. “When the temperature drops, the park becomes the perfect place for leaf gazing.”

If you want to see the leaves change color for yourself, you still have time to plan a trip to Mountains of North Carolina. Earlier this year, forecasts indicated that the nature exhibit would likely welcome visitors from October to early November.

In addition to Asheville and the Smokies, other destinations that round out the top five on US News & World Report’s list of best fall vacations include:

  • Zion National Park in Utah
  • The Grand Canyon in Arizona
  • Kauai, Hawaii

Simone Jasper is a reporter who covers breaking news for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.