Travel Team | Aug 17, 2022
Summer is winding down, but that doesn’t mean you have to put your suitcase away. Fall is a great time to travel. Bring on the cooler days, bonfires with friends, and the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte!
Throughout the United States, travelers are hitting the roads to celebrate autumn and marvel at colorful fall leaves (an activity that’s adorably nicknamed “leaf peeping”). Luckily, you don’t have to travel far for a memorable experience. If you’re looking for beautiful places to visit this fall, the destinations below will have you packing your flannels in no time!
If you can’t get enough of the Gilmore Girls-esque small-town aesthetic, you’re bound to fall in love with Litchfield County. The region’s rolling hills and charming towns inspired the fictitious Stars Hollow, Connecticut, that Rory and Lorelai Gilmore call home.
Litchfield County’s real-life visitors can take in the fall colors at Kent Falls State Park or spend the day touring the region’s many wineries, breweries, and distilleries. In addition to more traditional fall activities, Litchfield County is home to a rich variety of galleries, museums, and upscale restaurants, allowing guests to incorporate a hearty dose of culture into their whimsical autumn escape.
Vermont may be well-known for its maple syrup, but it’s the state’s colorful sugar maple trees that make it so ideal for autumn travel. The lively town of Manchester, nestled in Vermont's namesake Green Mountains, is a beloved autumn destination — and for good reason! The nearby Equinox Preservation Trust is a perfect venue for hiking, biking, or simply wandering through the forest.
For a more leisurely option, the Manchester Riverwalk provides walking trails with views of waterfalls and wooded glens. Manchester also offers luxury shopping, golf, farmers’ markets, and apple-picking. No matter what activity you choose, you’re bound to come away feeling refreshed.
The best place to travel in October, especially if you’re a fan of Halloween, is Salem. If witch tours and spooky season aren’t up your alley, though, you’ll find plenty of other reasons it’s often considered one of the best fall getaways in the Northeast. Maritime and pirate history — and therefore seafood — abound. Bibliophiles must make a stop at Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of Seven Gables.
Located in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina, is at once upscale and down-to-earth. This dynamic city is home to the Biltmore Estate, an enormous chateau-style mansion built by George Vanderbilt, which draws admirers from around the world. The home’s surrounding grounds offer spectacular mountain views, made all the lovelier by fall foliage.
For those looking to escape to nature, the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an ideal venue for a day of hiking or biking. And no visit to Asheville would be complete without a trip to downtown’s quirky breweries, sustainable eateries, and contemporary galleries.
As the summer heat begins to die down, Georgia’s Blue Ridge makes for an idyllic autumn escape. Get lost in the serenity of the Appalachian Mountains by booking a stay in one of the area’s many log cabins or B&Bs.
While hiking is a popular option, many travelers prefer taking in the autumn colors on horseback or from a canoe on the Toccoa River. If you have a knack for fishing, you’re in luck. Known as the “Trout Capital of Georgia,” this region boasts hundreds of miles of creeks, rivers, and streams. The ease with which you’ll find nature and opportunities for outdoorsmanship makes Blue Ridge the perfect fall getaway.
Traverse City may be best-known for its summertime cherry harvest, but with miles of vineyards, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches, the city’s fall bounty deserves accolades of its own.
Aside from plentiful produce, Traverse City is also home to breathtaking autumn foliage. Located along highway M-22 — which was named one of the country’s best scenic autumn drives — Traverse City offers a colorful annual leaf display that delights visitors and locals alike. For those looking for a scenic view, Sleeping Bear Dunes is a favorite spot for families. Just be prepared to run, slide, and occasionally roll, down hundreds of feet of sandy slopes.
Located on the narrow peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Door County, Wisconsin, boasts more than 300 miles of lakeside shoreline. With its scenic limestone bluffs, charming coastal villages, and “seafood” galore, Door County has been lovingly nicknamed “The Cape Cod of the Midwest.”
Although Wisconsin's temperatures tend to drop sharply in the autumn, visitors aren’t deterred. Door County’s bright foliage and charming Scandinavian architecture attract guests and admirers each fall.
While many of Arizona’s visitors flock to the Grand Canyon, the city of Flagstaff is home to treasures of its own. Stroll through the Historic Downtown and Railroad District, where vintage architecture intermingles with contemporary shops, galleries, and markets.
Just outside of the city, visitors can explore ancient ruins and marvel at the red rock structures. While nearby canyons are a hiker’s paradise, leisure-lovers can find plenty to do in Flagstaff. From zipline tours and chairlift rides to farmers’ markets and fall festivals, Flagstaff’s autumnal charm gives New England a run for its money.
Settled by German pioneers in the mid-1800s, the town of Fredericksburg still prides itself on having “Texas heart with a German soul.” And that German soul has a chance to shine every September. With sausage and schnitzel, chicken-dancing in the town square, a “kraut-run” 5k, and a sizeable beer list, Fredericksburg’s annual Oktoberfest draws visitors not only from across Texas but also from around the country.
One of our favorite fall break destinations for families is the Black Hills in South Dakota. Yes, it will be cooler than if you went to Texas, but those mild temperatures can be perfect for hiking and exploring the area’s parks and natural wonders. And there are plenty of parks to explore.
Check out Mt. Rushmore while you’re there. With dryer weather, it’s less likely to be fogged in than when you visit in the summer. And when you’re making your way from one awe-inspiring site to the next, make sure your route takes you along the Needles Highway. The turns are sharp, but the scenery is amazing.
Bend, Oregon, is a premier autumn destination for nature enthusiasts and foodies alike. Named one of the nation’s Best Restaurant Cities by the Huffington Post, Bend has one of the highest numbers of eateries per capita.
As summer tourist season dies down, Bend becomes an excellent home base for autumn hikes, river tours, and unobstructed stargazing. After a long day of leaf-peeping, travelers can kick back in one of Bend’s many mountain resorts or B&Bs.
Although it is only an hour’s drive away from San Diego, the town of Julian, California, is anything but beachy. This former gold mining town is perched more than 4,000 feet above sea level, making it a quaint mountain retreat for both locals and visitors.
Thanks to its elevation, Julian enjoys four distinct seasons (unlike many of its peers in Southern California). The cooler autumn temperatures make Julian a prime spot for apple-picking. Julian’s apple pies in particular have gained a cult-like following of foodies, and visitors are treated to apple-based ciders, butters, preserves, and baked goods throughout the autumn season.
Now that your imagination is alive with fall vacation ideas and inspiration for a last-minute fall getaway, be sure to protect your trip with travel insurance. Seven Corners’ Get Away USA provides customizable coverage for your next autumn adventure.