Fall is considered a "shoulder season" - in between the big tourist seasons of summer and winter. That makes it a great time to take a break and see some sights, from gorgeous fall foliage to visiting areas that would otherwise be too hot, cold, or crowded to enjoy.
Utah: Temperatures are cooler and the summer tourist crowds have gone home. Explore Monument Valley--they recommend a Navajo guide so that you see off-the-beaten-path areas unavailable to unaccompanied tourists. Then drive on up to Bluff, Utah, for a host of active travel experiences, including Natural Bridges National Monument. Recommended place to headquarter; Desert Rose Inn.
More Utah: Arches National Park is photogenic anytime of the year, but particularly so in the fall with golden-colored wildflowers decorating the red rock landscape. Hiking and photographing the arches is time well spent. Since Canyonlands National Park is practically next door, combine the two for the ultimate national park visit in Moab, Utah.
...in the Big Hole Valley area of Montana; and you’ll find attractions especially uncrowded in the fall. And what better time than October to explore a couple of ghost towns before the snow really flies. Bannack Ghost Town is a state park and Montana’s first territorial capital. Be sure to go into the buildings that are open for a look at a town built upon the ups and downs of mining.
October in North Carolina is filled with color; include a visit to a winery makes for a great fall travel combination. Learn to the blend wine at Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery in the Yadkin Valley. And don’t miss the museums and history that nearby Winston-Salem has to offer. Recommended place to stay; Graylyn Estate for a romantic weekend exploring the area.
Fall is the best time to explore the small towns and countryside of Europe, like:
- take a walking tour of Schwerin, Germany and discover Western Pomerania history, including a castle that’s worthy of Cinderella. Recommended place to stay; Hotel Niderländischen Hof....or
- take a self-guided walking tour of Gdansk Poland & explore the complicated history of this Polish city
- go to Italy and enjoy the beautiful Cinque Terre, a string of five villages perched on the Ligurian coast...or
- take a road trip to the Tremiti Islands. You can get there by commuter helicopter to explore these tiny islands in the Adriatic near Italy’s Gargano Peninsula, known for sea life and Middle Ages history
Beijing makes a fascinating October travel destination, and if you’re ever going to visit China, fall’s the time since the pollution is at its lowest.
Take in Glorious Fall Foliage in the Northeast (this one's from me...)
Better hurry though; New England is already at its peak, and by the end of October, all states down through Virginia will be finished foliaging (I just created that word...). Use the slider on this map to see the peak & end dates from Maine to Virginnie and below.
You have been officially alerted....