You’ve put away your shorts, brought out the boots and the pumpkin decorations. The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping, and the scent of pumpkin spice is, seemingly, everywhere. Fall is finally here!
Ok, well maybe it’s been here, but for many of us in the country, it’s felt like summer has lingered on for longer than anticipated. With wardrobes, home decor, and kitchens ready for the season, there’s only one last order of business left to sort out: travel!
Fall may not be the first season that comes to mind when deciding on when to travel, but the combination of stunning foliage, mild weather and abundance of festivals and events make the autumnal season an optimal one to explore a new destination. Combined with the fact that fall is consider the “low season,” flights and hotels are cheaper, and destinations are significantly less crowded (goodbye lines and dinner reservations!)
So, before winter sweeps its frigid touch across the country, consider rounding up the family and vising these unique towns that are sure to delight:
Willamette Valley, OR
Winecation, anyone? Nestled between the Cascade Range to the east, the Oregon Coast Range to the west, and the Calapooya Mountains to the south, the Willamette Valley is home to Oregon’s lauded wine country and six of the state’s largest cities. With 150 miles of farm country, cityscapes and stunning natural landscapes, there’s a little something for the whole family in this fertile region of the Pacific Northwest.
The Oregon Wine Country is recognized as one of the premier areas for Pinot noir, so head to one of the region’s 500 wineries (yes, you read that right), stock up on a bottle or three to keep you warm and start making your way through the lush landscape! The kids will love stopping by one of the region’s many family-friendly farms, such as Bauman Farms, for a full day of fun in the “nut house” a hazelnut-filled playground, or visiting with friendly barn animals.
Maybe adventure is more your family’s speed? No problem. The Willamette Valley is a playground for outdoors enthusiasts with plenty of bike trails, waterways and adrenaline-pumping activities like skydiving to satisfy even the most enthusiastic adventurer. Just make sure to fuel your body at one of the numerous farm-to-fork restaurants dotting the valley that are making the most of the region’s fertile soil.
Rio Rancho, NM
If the southeast is more to your liking, Rio Rancho is the New Mexican getaway you didn’t know you needed. History is the name of the game in this enchanting town north of Albuquerque. Make your way to the Coronado Historic Site to learn about the “discovery” of the Tiwa tribes by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and see some of the finest examples of Pre-Columbian art ever found in the country.
For a fun and fulfilling weekend check out a show at the Santa Ana Star Center. From comedy, concerts and entertainment for kids, the Star Ana Star Center has something for just about anyone. Visit during the summer and you can expect one of the metro area’s oldest food events, Pork & Brew, featuring delicious bar-b-que and craft beers from local breweries.
Thrill seekers and paranormal enthusiasts, rejoice! Halloween may have passed, but Atchison’s serving up spooky vibes all season long. Dubbed the “most haunted town in Kansas,” hundreds of brave travelers flock to the town all year long to explore the town’s rich haunted history.
If houses haunted by creepy little girls aren’t your thing (or not your kids’ preferred way to spend a vacation!) head to the International Forest of Friendship, a five-acre park honoring people from around the world who have made significant contributions to the field of aviation. Trees from around the world boast a dazzling display of fall colors around this time of year! Why aviation, you may ask? Fun fact: Atchison is the hometown of Amelia Earhart! No stay in Atchison is complete without a trip to the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum.
White Mountains, NH
If fall foliage is on your to-do list this year, the White Mountains in New Hampshire is the premier destination for never ending blankets of autumnal tones. This picturesque part of the northeast is replete with unique ways to see stunning views of the leaves!
If you’ve got a set of wheels, take a drive down the Mount Washington Auto Road which was built in 1861, making it America’s oldest man-made attraction. Looking for more aerial shots? The Loon Mountain Gondola is the way to go. The cable cars will take you on a leisurely ride up to the mountain’s peak that sits 2,733 feet above sea level for the freshest of mountain airs that will get anyone in the fall spirit!
Which of these four will you choose for your Fall Getaway? Whatever the choice, you’re sure to have a great time! Check out more great destinations and get their free guide from us on our site.
Did we leave out a super awesome place that you like to go? If so, then let us know in the comments.