Fall Travel Bucket List – 13 Must-Do Autumn Activities

Everyone, remain calm… it’s officially the best season of the year! Fall is my favorite season: the weather, the changing leaves, Halloween, pumpkin spice lattes… I could go on. This year, I’ve put together a fall travel bucket list, so you can scratch that travel itch while crossing items off your fall bucket list!

The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for Fall

Fall Travel Bucket List + Activities

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1. Admire the Fall Foliage

Is there anything more quintessentially fall than soaking in all the beautiful colors of the fall foliage?! At the top of any good fall travel bucket list is leaf-peeping, which you can do in your own backyard or by embarking on a cross-country trip, depending on what you’re up for. If you want to make a trip of it, head to New England, where the best leaf-peeping in the country is available for all.

leaves changing Fall Travel Bucket List

Hot spots for this fun fall activity include Lake Placid, NY, Aspen, CO, and Bar Harbor, ME.

2. Visit a pumpkin patch - Fall Travel Bucket List

It’s not autumn if you don’t carve your own pumpkin! To add a little travel into your fall bucket list, take a day trip to a rural pumpkin patch in your area. Bonus points if you find one with extra fun fall activities like hay rides, apple bobbing contests, and more!

After you pick out your favorite pumpkin, make sure to see if the patch offers yummy fall treats. Many sell fruit preserves, fall beverages, and more. 

Check out these cute tshirts to wear to a pumpkin patch:

3. Go apple picking (and make your own fall treats)

Apples are great all year round, but come fall, you can take a day trip to pick your very own. There are pick-your-own farms all across the US, and many offer other fun fall activities and tasty goodies while you’re there. You’ll get a basket to store all your apples and you can usually explore the orchard by yourself, climbing into the trees on ladders to choose which apples you want to bring home with you.

go apple picking - Fall Travel Bucket List

And since there’s no way you can eat several baskets worth of apples, why not make some fall treats once you get home? I love classic apple pies and caramelized apples in particular.

4. Get spooked at a haunted house - Fall Travel Bucket List

If you’re a fan of Halloween and all things spooky, you can’t pass up the chance to visit a haunted house come autumn. It’s the best way to get in the Halloween spirit and get your pants scared off you at the same time.

Haunted house - Fall Travel Bucket List

5. Go on a fall hike

If leaf peeping sounds a little too sedentary to you, why not try a fall foliage hike? Pack some snacks, water, and an extra layer or two in case it gets cold. I recommend both mountainous hikes and lakeside hikes during this time of year.

Fall Travel Bucket List go for a hike

In the mountains you’ll get incredible views of the rolling hills of red, orange, and yellow. And while hiking lakeside, you can enjoy double the fall foliage with the reflective surface of the lake. Depending on where you go, you may be able to even take a canoe ride after your hike.

6. Go for a hay ride

This one is extra fun for those with kids! Buckle up for a ride through the scenic countryside when you take a fall hay ride. To make things a little more fun for the adults, see if your area has any haunted hay rides or boozy hay rides.

7. Spend the day at a fall fair

Fall is one of the best seasons to spend time outside at a local festival—the air is nice and crisp without being too cold, making it easier to wander around and enjoy all the sights, sounds, and flavors.

Fall Travel Bucket List - attend Fall Festival

See what fall festivals your area offers, or take a weekend trip to a nearby town with one. I love scoping out Oktoberfest celebrations near me, but Harvest Festivals are also always a good time (and a great way to support your local farmers!).

8. Plan a fall picnic - Fall Travel Bucket List

Do lunch al fresco one day with a scenic fall picnic. There’s nothing more picturesque than unfurling a cozy blanket and digging into the goodies in your picnic basket with your S.O. and/or friends. Some fun ideas for your picnic basket:

    • Charcuterie-to-go: pack a few different kinds of cheese, meat, and other savory snacks like olives or nuts. 
    • Boozy picnic: my favorite thing to sip on at a fall picnic is a crisp rosé, but pack whatever you’d like!
    • Dessert picnic: if you’re going in the late afternoon, it’s best to bring just some snacks. Why not pack some of your leftover apple pie or other tasty fall desserts?
Fall Picnic - Fall Travel Bucket List

9. Go to a drive-in movie

It’s COVID-friendly and oh-so-fun! I love drive-in movies—you get to watch something on the big screen but from the comfort of your own car. Make sure to pack plenty of snacks and drinks, or just hit up the snack bar at the drive-in.

drive in movie in the fall - Fall Travel Bucket List

10. Go camping

If you’re a fan of the outdoors, you already know that fall is a great time for camping. There’s still plenty of daylight to enjoy time outside, but the sun sets early enough that you can light a nice roaring fire and tell ghost stories before you go to bed.

go camping Fall Travel Bucket List

If you’re not into the ruggedness of tent camping, then I’ve got the perfect thing for you: glamping. Glamping brings a little glamour to your regular ho-hum camping experience, usually with stylish yurts or canvas tents. Find more info on glamping here!

11. Go to a football game

Whether or not you’re a fan of sports, you can’t deny that catching a fall football game is a ton of fun. Dress up in your team’s colors, pack an extra layer or two, and get an adrenaline rush cheering your team onto victory!

12. Visit a corn maze

Much like hayrides, corn mazes are for all ages these days. Classic corn mazes are great for kids and families, but you can also find much more difficult corn mazes that are appropriate for teens and adults. I love heading to a fall corn maze with a group of friends and celebrating its completion with a trip to the brewery afterwards!

Corn Maze - Fall Travel Bucket List

13. Go horseback riding

I love going for a horseback riding expedition, and there’s no better time to do it than in the fall! It’s like combining leaf peeing and fall hiking in the best of ways—you’re on the move, exploring the fall foliage, but you don’t have to do any of the work! Check your local area for horseback riding spots to enjoy a rustic day outdoors this fall.

horseback riding - Fall Travel Bucket List

5 thoughts on “Fall Travel Bucket List – 13 Must-Do Autumn Activities

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