Planning a trip in the fall? Whether you’re wanting a quick getaway or looking for places to spend the entire season, these cities offer everything from gorgeous outdoor recreation, lively downtown areas, fun autumn festivities, and more. Check out these 14 best cities for fall vacations!
- Asheville, NC
- Aspen, CO
- Boston, MA
- Burlington, VT
- Charleston, SC
- Jackson Hole, WY
- Kansas City, MO
- New Orleans, LA
- New York City, NY
- Portland, ME
- Salem, MA
- Salt Lake City, UT
- San Diego, CA
- Santa Fe, NM
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 68 degrees; 46 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $142
As one of the best cities near the mountains, it’s no question that Asheville is an ideal destination for a fall getaway! The Blue Ridge Mountains are the perfect backdrop for day drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway, where you can get in some stellar leaf peeping. Experience what makes Asheville a hip and artsy city in the River Arts District, where there are tons of galleries like St. Claire Art and trendy tasting rooms like plēb urban winery. Visit the grand Biltmore Estate, an iconic mansion in the city, where you can take a beautiful guided tour in the fall, enjoy lunch, or plan an overnight stay. Another of the best things to do in Asheville in the fall is head out for some apple-picking at nearby orchards like Justus Orchard. After a day of picking, head to Urban Orchard Cider Co. to sip on some locally crafted hard ciders. Asheville is also home to a variety of farm-to-table restaurants like Table Asheville, Posana, Corner Kitchen that create delicious seasonal dishes!
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 58 degrees; 30 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $271
Aspen may be known for its great skiing, but it’s also a charming Colorado mountain town to visit in the fall during the off-season! Plus, if you’re looking for a romantic escape, Aspen is one of the most romantic cities in the U.S. Head to Maroon Bells and hike to the peak of a fourteener! If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Aspen, take a trip up to Aspen Mountain with the Silver Queen Gondola. Once you get to the top, enjoy lunch with an autumn view of the Elk Mountains on the Sundeck. Or for a true adrenalin rush, book a reservation with Aspen Paragliding and soar through the mountains to see the mountain fall foliage from above. Aspen isn’t just all outdoors, either! Sip on seasonal Colorado brews at spots like Aspen Brewing Company or Hops Culture. Also, movie buffs can watch indie documentaries and narrative films at Aspen Film Fest in mid-October.
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 61 degrees; 47 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $265
Fall comes alive on the East Coast, especially in Boston, making it a great destination for your autumn vacation. The Hub of the Universe is one of the best cities for outdoor recreation where you can take in the stunning colors of fall. Plus, Boston’s rich history means there are plenty of ghost tours to experience. Walk through the Boston Public Garden to see the fiery reds and oranges that pop up in the autumn months. Head out on the water to catch the tail end of whale watching season. Take a Ghost & Gravestones Tour to learn about haunted spots in Boston. Get football season started at a New England Patriots (NFL) game at Gillette Stadium. or watch the Boston Red Sox (MLB) play at Fenway Park before the season ends! Enjoy the cool fall weather while watching the largest two-day regatta in the world, Head of the Charles Regatta. Celebrate classic literature as well as up-and-coming authors at the Boston Book Festival, which happens every October.
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 57 degrees; 38 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $53
As one of the best places to live in New England, Burlington makes a great destination for autumn vacations thanks to its gorgeous views of Lake Champlain and cooler temperatures. Don’t miss out on visiting Church Street Marketplace for fantastic dining, shopping, and local events. Shop for vintage finds at Downtown Threads or people-watch while getting a bite to eat at Church Street Tavern. Celebrate fall with craft beers, live music, and a carnival at Oktoberfest Vermont. Burlington is also no stranger to outdoor recreation! Go on the Lake Champlain Valley Fall Foliage Bike Tour to see the colors of the season. Head to the nearby Centennial Woods for some hiking and leaf peeping. Have your pick of the fall harvest at the Burlington Farmers Market and grab some fresh produce, flowers, and food. Craft beer is a big deal here, too, so check out all the seasonal brews in Burlington like Zero Gravity Brewery, Switchback Brewing Co., and Queen City Brewery.
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 77 degrees; 57 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $144
Fall is one of the best times to visit Charleston—temperatures are still warm but without the humidity from the Lowcountry summer. And as one of the most haunted cities in America, Charleston is an especially great place to visit during the spooky season! Take a tour of Old City Jail, or go on a ghost tour by boat to learn about old pirate stories with Sandlapper Tours. Attend Boone Hall Fright Nights, the state’s biggest spooky event featuring four separate—yet equally frightening—haunted attractions. Find your way out of the Willie Mcrae Corn Maze, or go on a wagon tour at Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch. Not a fan of Halloween? Charleston still has amazing fall activities, such as the Charleston Fall Wine Festival, where you can sip on different wines and enjoy live entertainment. Go to the Charleston Hot Air Balloon Festival & Polo Match in November, which also has kids areas, live music, delicious food, and more. Dress to the nines and head to the Stono Ferry Racetrack to watch the Steeplechase of Charleston. Or take your fall vacation in Charleston in September to expand your palate, and try unique culinary creations during Charleston Restaurant Week.
Jackson Hole, WY
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 58 degrees; 25 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $247
With smaller crowds before ski season, fall is an ideal time to visit Jackson Hole. Temperatures stay fairly mild here during the autumn months with cool mornings and warmer afternoons. Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park are popular outdoor areas where you can see the landscape light up in bright fall shades. Rent a bicycle and ride through Yellowstone to see the stunning nature during Fall Bike Season. Visit Jenny Lake to test your skills at fly fishing. Go on a day drive down Fall Creek Road to view the stunning mountains in autumn and take some amazing photographs. Be a spectator or compete in the Jackson Hole Marathon in September. Or get tickets to the Fall Arts Festival so you can see Western-style art, fashion, architecture, and more.
Kansas City, MO
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 68 degrees; 49 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $141
Considering a Midwest city for a fall vacation? Check out Kansas City! The city comes alive in the fall with tree-lined streets sporting red, orange, and yellow leaves and the start of football season. Sports fans will get a kick out of fall in KC where they can see the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) play at Arrowhead Stadium or Sporting KC (MLS) compete at Children’s Mercy Park. Traveling with the whole family? Spend a day at the Kansas City Zoo for Boo at the Zoo, where you can trick-or-treat while seeing more than 1,700 animals. For the thrill-seeker, head to Worlds of Fun Amusement Park for Halloween Haunt and The Great Pumpkin Fest. Even though it’s open year-round, Louisburg Cider Mill is a must-visit during the autumn months because of its pumpkin patch, corn maze, and Ciderfest celebration! Or do your own apple, pumpkin, and pear-picking at Cider Mill Family Orchard, and enjoy fall eats like Cinnamon-Cider Donuts or an Apple Cider Freeze.
New Orleans, LA
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 80 degrees; 63 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $200
Fall is a perfect time to visit New Orleans because the weather starts to get cooler and the humidity becomes more tolerable after the summer months. Plus, since The Big Easy is famous for voodoo, you’ll find tons of fun, Halloween-themed activities. Celebrate the spooky holiday in the French Quarter, where you can show off your costume and hang out with locals at the Frenchmen Street Party. Or learn about the paranormal history of this iconic neighborhood by booking a Ghosts of New Orleans Tour. Football season also starts in September, so be sure to visit the Caesers Superdome to cheer on the New Orleans Saints (NFL). Fall is a great time for foodies in NOLA, too! Oyster Season starts in September, so you’ll want to check out places like Acme Oyster House and Crescent City Brewhouse. Try more than 30 beignet dishes from local restaurants at Beignet Fest in September, or listen to live music while eating some fried chicken at Fried Chicken Fest in October.
New York City, NY
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 65 degrees; 50 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $274
New York City is a popular year-round destination, but The Big Apple is truly magical in the fall! If you’re looking to see some autumn foliage, it doesn’t get much better than the red, yellow, and orange leaves that pop up in Central Park. Or visit the New York Botanical Garden to see 250 acres of plants and flowers that also change with the seasons. Fall is also a great time to go sightseeing at iconic NYC spots like Times Square, the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Plus, getting tickets to see a show on Broadway is a must! Pro sports are in full swing during this time of year, so grab a seat to watch your favorite team like the New York Yankees (MLB), New York Giants (NFL), or New York Rangers (NHL). There are tons of great events that happen during the fall months in NYC, too. Watch your favorite comedian perform during the New York Comedy Festival, see more than 70 outdoor photo exhibits at Photoville, or bundle up and watch the amazing floats at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 59 degrees; 39 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $183
Maine’s largest city, Portland, is a great fall destination thanks to its mild weather before the freezing winter arrives. Plus, New England is known for some of the best leaf peeping spots, so you’ll want to be sure to check out peak foliage season in October. Take a day trip to Georgetown Island to get some amazing views of the seasonal scenery. Attend Harvest on the Harbor, Portland’s annual food and spirits festival that’s one of the highlights of the season. Or book a tour with Odyssey Whale Watch to see the amazing sea creatures before whale-watching season ends in October. Lobsters are most active in the Portland area from mid-summer to the end of fall, so be sure to eat fresh lobster dishes from the many restaurants in the city like Portland Lobster Company and J’s Oyster. Craft beer is growing in Vacationland, so make sure you go on a seasonal brewery tour at well-known places like Allagash and Austin Street Brewing.
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 61 degrees; 47 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $117
A popular destination for travelers around Halloween, Salem has a history of witchcraft persecution, but Salem in the modern age is more tolerant and leans into the Halloween stereotype. There are tons of Haunted Happenings throughout October for you to experience in The Witch City! Visit must-see places to learn about past and present witchcraft like the Salem Witch Museum, Salem Witch Trials Memorial, or The Witch House. See the most haunted houses and locations in Salem by going on a Candlelight Ghost Tour. Watch new horror films and learn more about the classics at Salem Horror Fest. Spend a day driving around and visiting the filming locations of the popular Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus, which was mostly filmed in Salem. The city is also full of fun, witch-themed shops like Crow Haven Corner, Hex Old World Witchery, and Enchanted so you can pick up some souvenirs from your spooky trip.
Salt Lake City, UT
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 65 degrees; 46 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $190
With few crowds, amazing weather, and affordable hotel prices, Salt Lake City is a great choice for your fall vacation! Start the fall season right and enjoy fair food, carnival rides, live music, and more at the Utah State Fair in September. Since SLC sits at the foot of the mountains, there are plenty of opportunities to get in some unforgettable leaf peeping on a hike in Wasatch National Forest, a scenic drive through Big Cottonwood Canyon, or right in town at Liberty Park. Or put on some red and cheer on the Utah Utes (NCAA) of University of Utah, and experience some of the best football tailgates at Rice-Eccles Stadium. There are also plenty of fun festivals and events that happen in Salt Lake City during the fall! Listen to a number of live jazz artists at Salt Lake City Jazz Festival, or celebrate all things horror, Halloween, and fantasy at Fear Con. For a complete fall experience, pick out pumpkins, watch pig races, go through the corn maze, and eat caramel apples at Cross E Ranch during Fall Festival.
San Diego, CA
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 66 degrees; 53 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $183
Travel to one of the best places to live on the West Coast for your fall vacation—San Diego! La Jolla is one of the best beaches in California and temperatures are warm enough in the fall to enjoy beachside picnics and ocean views. Or if you’d prefer to stay inland, go hiking at Mission Trails Regional Park. Celebrate the history of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter at the Fallback Festival, a family-friendly event with live entertainment, food vendors, games, and more. Or foodies will love trying different flavors at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. Head to Petco Park to watch the San Diego Padres (MLB) play before their season ends in October. Balboa Park is a great spot for visitors, too, as there are a ton of attractions in one place! There, you can visit the San Diego Zoo and celebrate HalGLOWeen with dance parties and parades.
Santa Fe, NM
- Average High & Low Temperature in Fall: 67 degrees; 35 degrees
- Average Nightly Hotel Cost: $129
Looking for an autumn destination with tons of culture and rich history? Discover everything there is to offer in Santa Fe! The City Different is one of the best cities for year-round weather, and crowds start to slow down in the fall, making it a great time to visit. For art lovers, Canyon Road is a must—this one-mile stretch is home to over 100 art galleries, artisan boutiques, and local restaurants. If you’re wanting to completely immerse yourself in the Santa Fe culture, visit the Museum of International Folk Art. Celebrate New Mexico culture at the Sant Fe Fiesta in September. Or bring out your inner foodie at the Santa Fe Wine & Chili Fiesta, and taste dishes from local Santa Fe restaurants. If you love spending time outdoors, Santa Fe is the perfect place to enjoy the fall scenery while hiking at places like Santa Fe National Forest and Aspen Vista Trail.
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