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Last updated: November 11, 2022 • Traveling Around the World

Fall Vacation Ideas

As the final hints of summer are slipping through our fingers, we tend to ease back into the monotone schedules that occupy our lives. We go to school, we go to work, and we start a new chapter in our lives as the fall season settles in around us. In some ways, it may seem like life is picking up speed as our time gets taken away from us by assignments, projects, and deadlines, but fall doesn’t want to rush anywhere. It takes its time, and there’s no better way to show our appreciation of the season than by looking for fall vacation ideas.

We know that school starts in the fall, and summer is usually the time to go on vacation for those employed, but hear us out for a second. Fall is when discounts happen, especially for vacationers, as the off-season begins and accommodation prices drop as they try to attract as many vacationers while the weather is still decent for tourism. It happens all over the world too, and it is why Europeans choose this time of the year for their holidays. 

The fall season is beyond beautiful as nature comes into its own, giving way to colors unlike you can see in any other season. We have a beautiful country, and the fall season colors it in the most breathtaking shades the eyes could see. There are many beautiful places to visit in the fall as people inadvertently slow down and take a breath before the cold winter shows its face. While not the warmest season, fall brings comfort, and it won’t be difficult to organize some relaxing fall vacations once you start looking.

Most Beautiful Places to Visit in the Fall

feet sneakers walking on fall

Planning relaxing fall vacations is one of the easiest types of vacations to plan. It can be a quick weekend getaway or a vacation-length trip across the country as it will be a lot easier to find accommodations, prices will be lower, and you won’t have to worry about your destination being overcrowded with tourists or other vacationers. All you have to do is gather your group and make sure you can all take some time off from your responsibilities.

Once that is done, finding the most beautiful places to visit in the fall won’t be hard, as these fall destinations don’t disappoint. The sort of restorative escape that recharges your batteries just in time for Thanksgiving is exactly what these fall vacation ideas are meant to do. Whether it’s National Parks, beachy escapes, or mountain resorts, the following fall vacation ideas are suitable for families and groups alike because, in nature, you don’t need to depend on amenities to have a good time. Give me a good book, time to read it, and some rain outside, and I’m on my dream holiday.

Rocky Mountain National Park

rocky mountain colorado autumn

If you want to treat your eyes to some of the best fall colors in the US, then you shouldn’t miss the Rocky Mountains in September. Golden waves cover the landscape as the aspen groves of the Rocky Mountain National Park color Colorado’s landscape every year. Even if you can only visit during the end of August or the start of October, you can still catch some of the colors as it transforms the whole scenery, bringing warmth just as the days get colder and shorter. It’s like nature clings to those last days of warm temperature and, in its struggle, gives us an image that not even the greatest painters can manage.

But the changing color of the leaves isn’t the only reason the Rocky Mountains is one of the most beautiful national parks in the US. There are places to hike, bike, walk and explore the wilderness among all those transfiguration foliage. Elks will be gathering in herds as they prepare for the winter, and migratory birds stop on their journey halfway through the park as they head south for the winter. Find a spot in an area of lower elevation and enjoy the view that combines the late-blooming autumn flowers and the golden foliage that glows in the shining rays of the fall sun.

San Diego, California

sunset over san diego ocean beach

If you live on the West Coast, while the sun is at its most powerful time in the sky during the summer months, the fall season has plenty of it for you to enjoy as well. Whether it’s September, October, or November, fall vacation ideas in San Diego start with the rising sun but don’t end with its setting in the evening, as it’s one of the best places to visit in California. As temperatures range between the 50s and 70s, there’s plenty of fall sunshine to bathe in, even if you wear a light jacket over your t-shirt. Vitamin D doesn’t need you to expose your whole skin to do its job, so go out and take as much of it in while you’re there.

As the coast is nearby, take your whole party for some water-related activities. From surfing to boating and everything else in between, San Diego will surely provide you with all the best things to do in and around the city, including moving to this county. Whale sighting season may start in mid-December, but whales aren’t the only marine creatures that attract onlookers worldwide. When it comes to food, San Diego doesn’t disappoint. Its impressive mix of culinary landscapes will cater to your appetite through a combination of taco stands, Michelin-stared restaurants, and beach shacks, unlike anything you’ve ever tried before.

Blue Ridge Parkway

linn cove viaduct grandfather mountain

Going on a summer road trip is thrilling and exciting, but the hotter the weather is, the more irritating it can be to be jam-packed in a car on the highway. However, as soon as fall settles in and the temperatures drop ever so slightly, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the ideal destination for one of your most relaxing fall vacations ever and living there is even better. Your children may grow impatient during the summer heat, but as the wind blows lightly through their hair, the colors of the forests all around them from the Appalachian and the Great Smoky Mountains will offer plenty of excuses to pull over and take in the view. There are over 200 scenic overlooks across the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the 469-mile highway comes with surreal natural beauty that takes time to create and take in as well. Don’t be strict with your time, as that scenery shouldn’t be rushed.

There’s no need to rush, especially as the speed limit doesn’t exceed 45 mph, but the National Park Services suggest you give yourself around half an hour for every 30 miles of road. If you want to cover the whole stretch of the parkway, it might be worth arranging some accommodations or renting a large van or camper and making your entire holiday an excuse to experience the van life, even if only for a few days. But fall doesn’t only come with leaf-changing colors that create a natural mural out of every forest your eyes can see. The labors of harvest must be picked, gathered, and enjoyed, so make sure to take fall up on its offer and set some time aside to visit some of the farms in the area.


rural vermont usa waits river

One of the most beautiful places to visit in the fall has to be Vermont, without a doubt. With its cozy village main streets and its fall foliage that brings rainbows to mind, despite the lack of blues and purples, Vermont goes all in for fall. You’ll find picture-perfect small towns like Bennington or Woodstock with cozy little family-owned bed&breakfast, or you can stay on your journey and book several stops on the Mad River Byway, the Molly Stark Byway, or Route 100. If you want the whole experience, don’t choose one or the other. Mix the scenic drives with relaxing hikes and give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the farms, historic sites, and towns along the way.

Considering the fact that Vermont is one of the most popular fall destinations across the country, booking is essential whether you stop by at family-owned inns or hotels. If you want to go and stay at a particular location, make a booking in advance to make sure there’s still room for you when you arrive.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

amazing sunset over santa fe

By the time temperatures start to drop in Santa Fe, you’ll find plenty of cultural events to keep your blood boiling with adrenaline and excitement as the festivals begin. When it comes to cultural celebrations, Santa Fe takes gastronomy to another level as it combines indigenous cultures, film festivals, and open studios, the simple combination of arts causing your mind to short-circuit as you will have to choose between one or another thing to do. It all starts with the immense variety of activities, as even skiing is on the table in the nearby mountains.

The fall turning of the leaves doesn’t last long in Santa Fe, but if you check the fall foliage map, you can plan your trip accordingly and not miss out on the change of aspen from green to gold. The country’s oldest capital doesn’t rush fall and does it justice even if the natural spectacle is short-lived. You won’t have to battle the crowds to enjoy the best of Santa Fe.


Some of the most beautiful places to visit in the fall are close or interconnected with nature, and that’s not a mistake. I can hardly imagine fall without the colors of the trees changing in the shade of the more docile fall sun. All our fall vacation ideas are inevitably located in areas where the forest or the mountain plays an important role in the lifestyle of the area. So make sure you take it all in, enjoy every aspect of it and make sure not miss out on the most beautiful large scale natural transformation.


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