Autumn is such a beautiful time to travel, look at the foliage and do all the fall stuff. Are you looking for a great trip to make this season? TravelAwaits writers are here to inspire your fall trips as they share their favorite fall vacation destinations below.
Former Presque Isle Lighthouse on Lake Huron in Presque Isle, Michigan (photo credit: Melody Pittman)
1. Alpena, Michigan
Alpena, Michigan, and the Great Lakes Sanctuary region is one of the favorite fall destinations for travel blogger Melody Pittman. This lovely beach town is located in the northeast of the Lower Peninsula in the form of a mitt. Pittman says its “unique attractions are exceptional in the fall.”
“The historic 1840 Old Presque Isle Lighthouse on Lake Huron is magnificent. The Austin Brothers Beer Company’s food and drink is exceptional. You can also learn about nautical life on the Great Lakes and shipwrecks at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage. Center.
Head to the Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman for a horse-drawn carriage ride to see the highlands of the Rocky Mountains. Afterwards, enjoy a gourmet five-course dinner and wine tasting. Drink cider, go pick apples and eat cider fritters at Knaebe’s Mmmunchy Krunchy apple farm.
“What I like most is visiting the Ocqueoc Falls, an easy trail with the first universally accessible waterfall in the country,” Pittman describes. “The scenery is really stunning with the leaves changing color on top.”
Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina (photo credit: Christine Chagaris)
2. Asheville, North Carolina
North Carolina is known for its fall foliage. Expert collaborator Chris Chagaris has just returned from his first visit to Asheville, which has become his new favorite fall vacation destination. “I was amazed at the vibrant, changing colors of fall and good weather,” Chagaris describes. She says there was “still a touch of heat, with a breeze falling into the air that was marked by a glorious blue sky with swollen clouds.” Stunning scenery of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the many things to do in and around the city center sealed the deal for Chagaris.
“Asheville was more than delivered for a great week, successfully mixing the beauty of fall and a variety of things to do,” says Chagaris. He visited the famous Biltmore Estate, visited the downtown shops and tasted a large southern barbecue while in town. If you go there, be sure to try some of the best restaurants in Asheville.
Professional advice: Swing by the Smokies. “Asheville isn’t that far from Tennessee, so a visit to Dollywood was also on the agenda and added an extra dose of fun,” Chagaris says.
Lake Washington in the Fall (photo credit: cdrin / Shutterstock.com)
3. Lake Washington, Washington
With stunning views of the Seattle skyline in the distance, Lake Washington is the favorite fall vacation destination of freelance writer Jo-Anne Bowen, based in the Pacific Northwest. Hyatt Regency Lake Washington serves as headquarters. Located on the southeast shore of the lake, the four-star hotel is located in Renton, Washington. “I just returned from a two-night stay at Hyatt Hotels and Greenrubino,” says Bowen, who assures us that “all thoughts and opinions are [her] own. ”
An incredible autumn foliage surrounds the lake shore. Relax while watching the water traffic and enjoy a dinner by the sea. “Pamper yourself at the hotel’s Spa at the Lake, enjoy a stimulating workout in the gym and pool, and then relax in the relaxing waters of the hot tub,” Bowen suggests. No need to twist your arms!
Next to the hotel is the beautiful 57-acre Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, which offers 1.5 miles of paved and ADA-accessible trails. Pay tribute to Jimi Hendricks at the Greenwood Memorial Park Cemetery Historical Memorial. Downtown Seattle attractions such as Chihuly Garden And Glass, Space Needle and Pike Place Market are just 20 minutes away.
Kaaterskill Falls in Catskills in the Hudson Valley of New York State (photo credit: Sage Scott)
4. Hudson Valley in upstate New York
“When it comes to crisp mornings and rich colors, it’s hard to get over the Hudson Valley in upstate New York as a fall destination,” says travel writer Sage Scott. “Whether you’re heading north of New York City or south of Albany, the best stops along the Hudson River stretch from Tarrytown to Catskill.”
“Gallop with the rider with no visitors to the actual places that inspired Washington Irving’s tale in Sleepy Hollow,” Scott suggests. “Admire the views that were previously only available to the mega-rich by traversing the grounds of golden-age mansions framed by yellow, orange and red leaves. Or get a bird’s eye view walking down the Hudson in Poughkeepsie Feel the crunch of leaves under your boots as you ride an alpaca in Hyde Park Drink the beauty of Kaaterskill Falls Let the sounds of nature put you to sleep as you spend the night glamping at Treetopia in Catskill.
Fall foliage looking down from the catwalk (photo credit: Robin O’Neal Smith)
5. Route 6 north of Pennsylvania
Writer Robin O’Neal Smith states that “the perfect fall vacation for people who enjoy the changing colors of the leaves is a road trip on Route 6 in northern Pennsylvania.” He visited her a couple of weeks ago. “This area is absolutely beautiful in the fall, with no crowds and lots of things to see and do along the way,” he says of the experience.
Places not to be missed for looking at the magnificent leaves include the Kinzua Bridge Skywalk on Mount Jewett and Pine Creek Gorge, the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania” near Wellsboro. “They both offer spectacular views year-round, but in the fall, Mother Nature really shows up,” Smith says.
“As you travel east on Route 6 through Potter and Tioga counties, you’ll see a lot of fall foliage. Due to the natural environment and its remoteness, Potter County has received the nickname ‘Land of the Gods,’ “says Smith.” A visit in the fall and you’ll agree. ”
“As you continue along Route 6 with stops at the various Towanda lookouts, and then at the Tunkhannock Viaduct, the colors scarlet, gold, crimson, rust and orange of the leaves will amaze you,” he says. Spectacular fall foliage is displayed throughout the route on the PA 6 route. “Stops in the small towns along the way will give you fun things to do and some unique shopping opportunities,” says Smith.
Aspens on a Hill Over Taos, New Mexico (Photo Credit: Terry W Ryder / Shutterstock.com)
6. Taos, New Mexico
“Taos in the Fall is one of the most beautiful places to see in New Mexico,” Liz Carey tells us in her article, The Most Beautiful U.S. Cities in The Fall. “Known as ‘The Land of Charm,’ the painted desert of New Mexico offers stunning year-round views, but the fall colors add to the show.” It’s also a great place to spend Thanksgiving.
This picturesque mountain town offers many outdoor activities, but it may be too cold to enjoy in the fall. Instead, Carey suggests taking the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway by car to see some of the changing colors. Or drive along the High Road to Taos, the scenic road between Taos and Sante Fe.
If trains are more important, Carey suggests boarding the Cumbres and Toltec scenic railroad located a couple of hours away in Chama, New Mexico. Enjoy the beautiful fall foliage as you ride a coal-steam engine through steep mountain canyons, high deserts, and lush meadows along the Colorado-New Mexico border.