Best Fall Vacations in the US- Colorful Foliage, Cozy Drinks, Crisp Weather

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As the crisp air of autumn begins to roll in, thoughts of cozy sweaters, pumpkin patches, and warm apple cider come to mind. But for many, Fall is the perfect time to take a vacation and witness the stunning colors of the season. From the Adirondacks to the Rockies, the best fall vacations in the US are bursting with colorful and breathtaking landscapes during Fall.

For those who love the great outdoors, destinations such as Acadia National Park or Lake Tahoe offer endless opportunities to hike and take in the changing leaves.

For those who prefer a more urban escape, cities like New York City or Boston provide a perfect mix of fall foliage views and exciting city life. No matter where you choose to go, a Fall vacation in the USA promises to be a memorable and enchanting experience.

Get your cozy sweaters out, and let’s take a colorful autumn trip in 2023!

best fall vacations in the US

Best Fall Vacations USA

Autumn in the United States is a magical time when nature paints the landscape with a vibrant tapestry of red, orange, and gold. With cooler temperatures and a festive atmosphere, it’s the perfect season to embark on an unforgettable fall vacation.

From picturesque New England towns adorned with colorful foliage to national parks boasting breathtaking views, the options are endless.

Whether you’re a leaf-peeping enthusiast, a foodie craving seasonal delights, or an adventure seeker looking for outdoor thrills, we have the right autumn destination for you to explore.

Harpers Ferry West Virginia

Harpers Ferry
Photo Mark Sweeny Getty Images

If you’re looking for the perfect fall vacation in the US where the air is crisp and cool, the leaves are painted in shades of amber and crimson, and the charm of history whispers through every brick and cobblestone street- look no further than Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, a gem nestled in the heart of the lower Shenandoah Valley.

Now, let me tell you why Harpers Ferry in the fall is an absolute dream. My daughter lives 20 minutes away in Frederick Maryland (an amazing, charming town). First of all, this little town is a history buff’s paradise. It’s like stepping into a time machine and being transported to the 19th century.

You see, Harpers Ferry played a major role in the Civil War, and walking through the streets feels like you’re strolling through a living history museum.

I can’t even begin to describe the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding landscape during autumn. The Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers come together here, and the merging waters create a serene backdrop that’s nothing short of mesmerizing.

As the leaves start to change colors, the whole place turns into a masterpiece of nature’s artwork.

There’s this fantastic little hike called the Maryland Heights Trail that you absolutely have to try. It’s a bit of a climb, but believe me, the view from the top is totally worth it. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the town, the rivers, and the stunning foliage that stretches as far as the eye can see. Trust me, it’s an Instagram-worthy moment you won’t want to miss.

Now, let’s talk about the food, because you know I’m all about that. Harpers Ferry may be small, but it’s big on flavor! There are quaint cafes, charming bakeries, and cozy restaurants that serve up the most delicious comfort food you can imagine.

Warm apple cider, pumpkin spice everything, and don’t even get me started on the homemade pies. It’s a foodie paradise with a seasonal twist!

The cobblestone streets are lined with adorable boutiques and artsy shops offering handcrafted goods that’ll make your heart skip a beat. It’s the perfect place to find souvenirs or even start your holiday shopping early.

Now, I have to be honest with you—the fall season in Harpers Ferry can get a bit crowded. But don’t let that discourage you. There’s still plenty of charm to go around, and the vibrant atmosphere only adds to the experience.

So, stay at a cabin or cozy cottage, grab your flannel shirt, put on your warmest scarf, and head to Harpers Ferry for an autumn adventure you won’t soon forget. History, nature, food, and shopping—what more could you ask for? Trust me, you’ll be leaving with a heart full of joy and a camera roll full of amazing memories.

~ Things to do in Harper’s Ferry~

  • Visit the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. The park is situated where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers meet and flow together and form the Chesapeake Bay. Stroll the quaint streets, visit exhibits and museums, or hike our trails and battlefields, including the ruins of a Civil War-era armory and arsenal, as well as many museums and exhibits. For outdoor activities, there is hiking, camping, kayaking, and bird watching.
  • Head to The Point where you can experience the three rivers and three states (West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland) merging. Here you can take some spectacular pictures.
  • Hike the Appalachian National Scenic Trail
  • Take a look inside White Hall Tavern, the oldest community gathering spot.

Stowe Vermont

If you're looking for the best places to visit in the US in October, then look no further than Stowe Vermont! From hiking and biking to leaf-peeping, there's something for everyone.
Photo: Getty Images franckreporter

If you’re dreaming of a fall vacation that’s straight out of a postcard, look no further than Stowe, Vermont! Let me tell you why this charming town is hands down one of the best places to visit in the US in October.

First things first, picture-perfect foliage. I’m talking about a kaleidoscope of colors that will leave you speechless. Stowe is in the heart of the Green Mountains, and during autumn, those mountains turn into a canvas of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows.

It’s like nature decided to have an arts-and-crafts day, and the result is pure magic.

Now, you can’t come to Stowe in October and not go leaf-peeping. Trust me, this is the ultimate leaf-peeping destination! There are scenic drives and hiking trails that will take you through the heart of this fall wonderland.

One of my favorites is the drive along the Smugglers’ Notch Scenic Byway. The name alone gives it an air of mystery, but it’s the scenery that steals the show. Curvy roads flanked by towering trees showing off their autumn best—prepare to have your breath taken away!

Oh, but the beauty of Stowe doesn’t stop there. This town is also home to some seriously Instagram-worthy covered bridges.

Head over to Gold Brook Bridge or Emily’s Bridge for a perfect fall photo op. The combination of the rustic bridge, the colorful foliage, and the crisp air will make you feel like you’re in the middle of a fall fairytale.

Now, let’s talk about the food because, as you know, I’m always on the hunt for delicious eats. Stowe takes its farm-to-table game seriously. You’ll find cozy cafes and charming restaurants serving up dishes made with fresh, local ingredients.

And don’t even get me started on the apple cider donuts. They’re like little bites of autumn heaven! Make sure to treat yourself to this seasonal delight.

If you’re up for a little adventure, Stowe is an outdoor lover’s paradise year-round, and October is no exception. From hiking and biking to zip-lining and hot-air ballooning, there’s no shortage of activities to get your adrenaline pumping.

Plus, the weather is just perfect for exploring the great outdoors without breaking a sweat.

And let’s not forget about the cozy accommodations. Stowe knows how to do charming inns and snug cabins like nobody’s business. Picture yourself cuddled up in front of a fireplace with a hot cup of cocoa after a day of exploring—sounds like a slice of fall bliss to me!

So there you have it, my fellow travelers. Stowe, Vermont, is a fall paradise that’ll steal your heart and leave you with memories to cherish forever.

Get ready to immerse yourself in a sea of autumn colors, savor mouthwatering treats, and embark on unforgettable adventures. Pack your scarves and sweaters because this is the fall trip you’ve been waiting for!

Stowe Vermont in the Fall Heading to Stowe Vermont in the Fall? We have the ultimate guide for the perfect autumn vacation HERE!

Montpelier, Vermont

Fall vacations are a great time to visit the New England states. Find out why you should visit Montpelier, VT. Its one of the best places to visit in October in USA
Photo: Sean Pavone Getty Images

If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate fall vacation in the US that combines small-town charm, jaw-dropping scenery, and a touch of New England magic, then Montpelier, Vermont is perfect!

This picturesque gem is only 30 minutes from Stowe and an absolute dream destination for autumn lovers, and let me tell you why.

First things first, let’s talk about the foliage.

Oh my gourd, the foliage!

Montpelier transforms into a fairytale wonderland as the leaves put on their kaleidoscopic show. The streets are lined with maple trees, and when they change colors, it’s like the whole town is covered in a quilt of reds, oranges, and yellows.

Whether you’re leaf-peeping from a scenic drive, booking the perfect New England cottage and having cocoa by the fireplace, or taking a leisurely stroll through town, the beauty of nature will leave you breathless.

Now, what’s a fall getaway without indulging in all things cozy and pumpkin-spiced? Montpelier knows how to celebrate the season right. You’ll find adorable cafes and bakeries serving up pumpkin-flavored everything—think lattes, pies, and even pumpkin spice macarons!

And don’t forget to warm up with some local Vermont maple syrup; it’s practically liquid gold and pairs perfectly with your stack of hot pancakes.

Montpelier’s vibrant arts and cultural scene add a unique flair to your autumn adventure. The town is dotted with art galleries, craft shops, and cozy bookstores that are perfect for leisurely browsing on those cooler fall afternoons.

Plus, the community here is so friendly and welcoming; you’ll feel right at home in no time.

And for all you outdoor enthusiasts, Montpelier has you covered too! The surrounding landscape is a haven for hikers and nature lovers.

The Hubbard Park Trails offer stunning vistas, and if you’re up for a bit of a challenge, hike up to the Vermont State House for panoramic views of the autumn spectacle.

Montpelier, Vermont, is a fall vacation dream come true. With its enchanting foliage, cozy delights, artsy vibes, and outdoor adventures, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the spirit of autumn

Things to do in Montpelier ~

  • Hike or bike the Green Mountains
  • Go apple picking at Burtt’s Apple Orchard
  • Eat dinner at the Mule Bar & Pub
  • Visit Bragg Farms to learn about traditional maple sugaring and snag some of the best pure maple candy boxes. Be sure to grab a couple of extra gift boxes to bring home for family or friends.
  • Get nostalgic at the award-winning independent bookstore, Bear Pond Books.
  • See Vermont’s fall foliage from Above Reality Hot Air Balloons

Best Fall Vacations in the USA-Woodstock Vermont

Photo Sean Pavone Getty Images

For another quintessential New England fall getaway, let me introduce you to the enchanting wonderland of Woodstock, Vermont!

This postcard-perfect destination is an absolute must-visit for anyone craving a picturesque autumn experience.

Now, let’s talk about fall foliage because that’s the real showstopper here! When autumn rolls around, Woodstock puts on a color display that will leave you utterly mesmerized.

Speaking of town, Woodstock is like something out of a storybook. You’ll be enchanted by its historic charm, with classic New England architecture and white picket fences lining the streets.

Woodstock town center is a hub of boutique shops, charming cafes, and art galleries waiting to be explored. Trust me, you won’t be able to resist snapping photos at every turn.

Outdoor lovers, rejoice! Woodstock is a playground for adventure seekers. With the Ottauquechee River running through town and the Green Mountains in the background, you’ll find endless opportunities for hiking, biking, and even fly fishing. And don’t miss a visit to the Quechee Gorge—Vermont’s own little Grand Canyon—where the views are simply breathtaking.

Best Fall Vacations on the East Coast: Witness vibrant foliage, charming towns, and seasonal festivities in the region’s most picturesque autumn destinations. Find the guide here!

Kennebunkport, Maine

Looking for the best fall vacations? Check out our guide to kennebunkport, Maine – a charming town on the east coast with plenty of activities to keep you busy.
Photo DougLemke Getty Images

If you’re on the hunt for the best places to visit in the fall that combines coastal charm, delicious seafood, and autumn splendor, look no further than Kennebunkport, Maine! This idyllic coastal town is an absolute must-visit for anyone craving a quintessential New England fall experience.

Picture this: quaint clapboard houses adorned with pumpkins, streets lined with colorful foliage, and the scent of fresh sea air mingling with hints of fall spices. Kennebunkport truly knows how to embrace the spirit of autumn!

One of the highlights of a fall getaway in Kennebunkport is exploring the picturesque coastline. Take a scenic walk along the rocky shores, enjoy the crisp breeze as you sail on a lobster boat tour, or simply sit back and relax on the sandy beaches while savoring the last rays of the sun.

Now, let’s talk food because, trust me, your taste buds are in for a treat! Kennebunkport is a seafood lover’s paradise. From the freshest lobster rolls to succulent clam chowder, the local delicacies are sure to leave you craving for more. And don’t forget to stop by the charming bakeries for some apple cider donuts—a perfect fall indulgence!

As the leaves turn hues of red and gold, the town becomes a haven for leaf-peepers. Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll through Dock Square or driving along scenic byways, the fall foliage here is simply breathtaking.

And let’s not forget about the coastal accommodations! Kennebunkport offers charming inns and waterfront cottages that will make you feel right at home.


~Must-do Kennebunkport Activities~

  • Live out your Hallmark movie fantasy and stroll the rocky beaches before heading back to your Old Inn accommodation and reading a book by the fireplace. 
  • Add in some adventure and go kayaking. 
  • Pick your own pumpkin at The Pumpkin Trolley Patch at Seashore Trolley Museum
  • Head off on one of the best bike rides you’ll ever experience. 
  • Buy some seashells at the Shell Shack
  • Get a world-famous lobster roll at the Clam House
  • Hop onto a sailboat and take to the seas as you view the small town’s coast and the President Bush compound.
  • Hunt down Goat Island Lighthouse for some amazing vacation photos. 

Portsmouth New Hampshire

For an out-of-the-box fall vacation idea, seeking a charming fall escape that’s brimming with historic charm, coastal beauty, and autumn delights, look no further than Portsmouth, New Hampshire! This beautiful spot is a must-visit for anyone in search of an authentic New England fall experience.

Portsmouth’s colonial architecture adds a touch of old-world charm to the already picturesque streets.

Stroll along Market Square, where cobblestone streets are lined with cute boutiques, unique hotel accommodations, local shops, and cozy cafes—the perfect setting to indulge in pumpkin-spiced treats and warm apple cider.

Portsmouth’s waterfront is another autumn highlight. The views of sailboats gently swaying in the harbor amidst the backdrop of colorful foliage are simply breathtaking. Be sure to take a scenic boat tour along the Piscataqua River to fully immerse yourself in the coastal beauty.

Now, let’s talk about the food, because you know I’m all about that! Portsmouth’s food scene is a delightful blend of seafood delicacies and seasonal treats. Freshly caught lobsters, steamed clams, and seafood chowder are a must-try.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is an enchanting fall vacation in the US that promises a delightful blend of coastal charm and autumn magic. Embrace the season, explore the town’s historic streets, savor the delicious treats, and fall in love with Portsmouth this autumn.

What to do in Portsmouth:

  • Browse the outdoor history museum, the ​​Strawbery Banke Museum.
  • Pack some Googie’s Sandwiches and picnic in Prescott Park.
  • Track down the Scarecrows of the Port.
  • Grab a hot chocolate and some treats at La Cascade du Chocolat and head for a walking tour of the beautiful and quaint Downtown area. 

Salem Massachusetts

Salem is a the premier Halloween destination for your fall vacation. Its hauntingly beautiful
Photo: DenisTangneyJr, Getty Images

We are going to be biased and say Salem is THE best fall vacation in the US.


You’ll get a twist of history, a dash of spookiness, and a whole lot of autumn charm. This bewitching town is an absolute must-visit for anyone looking to embrace the Halloween spirit and immerse in the magic of fall.

Salem is steeped in history, famously known for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. But in the fall, the town comes alive with a different kind of enchantment.

The historic streets are adorned with pumpkins, skeletons, and all things spooky—perfect for a dose of Halloween excitement! Salem is a hub of ghost tours, haunted houses, and eerie events that will give you a delightful shiver down your spine.

But there’s more to Salem than just the Halloween hype.

The fall foliage here is absolutely mesmerizing, with the town’s colonial architecture providing the perfect backdrop for Mother Nature’s autumn show.

Things to do in Salem in Fall:

  • Find all the filming locations of Hocus Pocus
  • Get some delicious confections at Ye Olde Pepper Companie
  • Sail the high seas with the Privateer Schooner in Salem Sound
  • Do a Salem Witch Trials walking tour
  • Go eat at one of the coolest and most delicious pubs around, Olde Main Street Pub
  • Explore Salem’s oldest cemetery founded in 1637, Old Burying Pointe Cemetery
  • Experience art and culture at the Peabody Essex Museum

Best Halloween Towns in America: Discover the best Halloween vacations in the US! Experience spine-chilling festivals, haunted attractions, and eerie traditions in the country’s most spirited Halloween vacations. Find the guide here!

Best Fall Vacations in the USA-Arcadia National Park Maine

best fall vacations in the USA

If you’re craving a fall adventure look no further than Acadia National Park in Maine! This stunning national park is an absolute must-visit for anyone yearning to immerse themselves in the breathtaking beauty of autumn.

Imagine hiking along rugged cliffs and scenic trails, with the cool breeze carrying the scent of fallen leaves. Acadia National Park is a fall foliage paradise, with its dense forests transforming into a mesmerizing canvas of reds, oranges, and yellows.

The views from Cadillac Mountain, the Beehive, and Jordan Pond are simply jaw-dropping, offering panoramic vistas of the vibrant autumn landscape and the rugged coastline.

For thrill-seekers, there’s nothing quite like biking along the historic carriage roads or rock climbing on the iconic pink granite cliffs. It’s an adrenaline rush like no other, set against the backdrop of Mother Nature’s fall masterpiece.

Pack a picnic and relax amidst the natural splendor, or enjoy a peaceful sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain—it’s the perfect way to start your fall day.

And for those who love a little wildlife spotting, keep your eyes peeled for deer, moose, and adorable critters scurrying around. Acadia’s wildlife is just as enchanting as its fall foliage.

Pack your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to fall in love with Acadia!

New York City

New York City is one of the best fall vacations in the United States. You can do Central Park for nature and beautiful fall foliage and then city activities
Photo” Rabbit 75_ist Getty Images

Fall in New York City is an enchanting, fun time when the cityscape transforms into a mesmerizing blend of autumn colors and urban energy. As the leaves change, Central Park becomes a picturesque oasis in the heart of the bustling metropolis.

A leisurely walk through the park’s winding paths allows you to bask in the beauty of fall foliage, creating a serene escape from the city’s fast pace.

The fall fashion scene in NYC is a sight to behold. As temperatures drop, the streets become a runway of trendy coats, stylish scarves, and fashionable boots. New Yorkers embrace the season with their signature chic style, making it the perfect opportunity to update your wardrobe and feel like a part of the city’s vibrant culture.

When it comes to fall flavors, the city’s eateries serve up a delectable array of seasonal treats. From pumpkin-spiced lattes at cozy cafes to freshly baked apple pies at local bakeries, every corner offers a taste of autumn delight.

Cultural events and harvest festivals add to the fall charm, with art exhibits and performances adding an extra layer of magic to the city’s cultural scene. As the crisp air sets in, New York City becomes an inviting playground for urban explorers and autumn enthusiasts alike.

Read More New York City Fall

Fall in NYC: Fall is our absolute favorite time to go to New York City. Between the end of September through November, the air is crisp, the weather is fantastic and it’s just not too cold or hot. Not to mention, the fall foliage in NYC is gorgeous. This Guide will send you the best vacation during fall in NYC HERE.

Central Park in The Fall. Central Park in the fall is the most magical time. The air is crisp, the leaves are deep shades of red, yellow, and orange. Central Park turns into an autumn wonderland with photo opportunities all over. Find the guide HERE!

Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge is one of the best places to visit in September and October because fall peaks early due to high altitudes
Photo: Brendan Bombaci, Getty Images

It’s not surprising that Colorado offers one of the best places to travel in the fall. Breckenridge is a popular place for winter activities and draws a crowd in summer.

But it’s fall that offers this town the perfect time to shine.

Fall often comes to Breckenridge before the rest of the US receives its cloak of golden hues. Breckenridge is one of the best places to visit in September and October. This is thanks to the high altitude. So if you want to enjoy your fall vacation and make it home before Halloween, this is the place to go. 

Where to go in Breckenridge~ 

  • Hike through the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance 
  • Grab a cookie at Mountain Top Cookie Shop (insider tip, ask them for a scoop of dough, head off, and find a hot chocolate. Drop your cookie dough in the hot chocolate for the best treat in Breck)
  • Enjoy one of the many festivals, like Brecktoberfest or the wine festival. 
  • Try out ax throwing.
  • Head off on a spooky ghost tour.
  • Immerse yourself in the town’s arts, culture, and history offering

Best Colorado Mountain Towns. Discover the most beautiful Colorado mountain towns. Experience majestic peaks, vibrant culture, and unparalleled outdoor adventures in these picturesque Rocky Mountain gems. Find the guide here.

Best US Fall Vacations- Williamsburg Virginia

If you’re yearning for the best fall vacation in the United States that’s a journey through time, Williamsburg, Virginia, is the perfect destination for you! This historic gem is a must-visit for anyone craving a blend of autumn charm and colonial allure.

Step into a living history museum as you explore Colonial Williamsburg. This 18th-century town comes alive with the spirit of the past, and during fall, the streets are adorned with pumpkins and colorful foliage, creating a captivating atmosphere that feels straight out of a storybook.

Take a leisurely walk through the charming streets, with perfect white colonial homes & pickets fences that will make you fall in love.

Don’t miss a visit to the Williamsburg Farmers Market, where you can indulge in local treats like apple cider and pumpkin pies.

For adventure seekers, Busch Gardens Williamsburg offers a spooky twist during the fall season with their Howl-O-Scream event. Get ready for thrilling roller coasters, haunted houses, and frightful fun that will leave you exhilarated.

And let’s not forget about the fall foliage. The surrounding countryside is a canvas of reds, oranges, and yellows, offering scenic drives and hiking trails that immerse you in nature’s autumn masterpiece.

If you’re craving a fall vacation in the US that’s a blend of history, charm, and seasonal delights, Williamsburg, Virginia, is calling your name.

Charlottesville Virginia

Fall Vacations in the US-Charlottsville Virginia

Escape to the charming city of Charlottesville, Virginia, for one of the best fall vacations in the United States. Embrace the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains as they transform into a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and gold.

Explore the historic Monticello estate, the former home of Thomas Jefferson, surrounded by vibrant fall foliage.

Stroll along the picturesque Downtown historic district, adorned with pumpkins and seasonal decorations, and indulge in delicious local cuisine at the city’s cozy restaurants.

Don’t miss a visit to the nearby wineries, where you can savor award-winning wines against the backdrop of stunning autumn views.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Shenandoah National Park beckons with its scenic Skyline Drive, offering panoramic vistas of the Shenandoah Valley blanketed in fall colors. Hike the trails, breathe in the crisp air, and connect with nature in its seasonal splendor.

Charlottesville promises an unforgettable fall vacation.


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