CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Blue Ridge Parkway, here we come!

With September drawing near on the calendar, there’s some really exciting news for leaf peepers and fall lovers everywhere, as experts believe the Blue Ridge Mountains are in for some of the brightest leaves in years this season.

Experts say the abundance of thunderstorms and mild temperatures have created the right environment for healthy, full leaves across the region, especially compared to last season’s offering that was a bit dull due to last year’s drought and warm temperatures. Officials have provided a number of tips for those planning a trip to see the leaves this fall:

  • Make your reservations early.
  • To avoid the biggest crowds, stay Sunday through Thursday nights, especially if you plan to stay at the more popular destinations.
  • Enhance the colors by wearing polarized glasses.
  • Fill up the gas tank before taking a drive. Gas stations are sparse in remote areas and along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Click here for a list of events scheduled during leaf season.

According to Romantic Asheville, the leaf season will begin in late September and run through mid-October in North Carolina. Peak leaf color is expected between September 24 and October 1 in the higher elevations, according to the Smoky Mountains Fall Foliage Map.

Click here to see the complete interactive map.