Top 10 Fall Travel Destinations in the USA

Fall marks an excellent time for a trip filled with beautiful views, delicious food, outdoor activities, and maybe a winery visit or two. With that in mind, here are the top 10 fall travel destinations for soaking up fall foliage and unwinding before winter begins. And don’t forget to pack accordingly! 

Best Fall Destinations in America

Fall Travel Destinations

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1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

What better way to enjoy fall’s changing colors than visiting a national park filled with rolling hills in gorgeous autumnal hues? Stay in nearby Pigeon Forge, TN or Gatlinburg, TN to easily explore all that America’s most visited national park has to offer.

Visiting Great Smoky Mountains in the fall

Be sure to drive through Cades Cove, where you’re most likely to get a peek at local wildlife like white-tailed deer, coyotes, and even black bears!

When in town, unwind with a trip to the Gatlinburg Farmer’s Market for fall treats or sample some wine at an Appalachian vineyard!

2. Salem, Massachusetts - Spooky Fall Travel Destination

New England is always a great place to visit in the fall. Salem is the top choice for history buffs and travelers in search of something a little more spooky.

Many people know this town because of the Salem witch trials of the 1600’s, and the town now embraces it’s sordid past with plenty of activities harkening back to those dark days. Head to the Salem Witch Village for historical tours, candlelit ghost walks, and so much more.

3. Zion National Park in Fall

If you’re in search of fall vacation ideas closer to the west coast, look no further than Zion National Park in Utah. Autumn marks one of the best times to travel to Zion! The crowds are thinner than usual but the weather is perfect for camping, hiking, and exploring the wild red rock landscape.

Fall leaves in Zion Canyon

My top recommendation? Take in the changing fall colors of the park from horseback, you won’t regret it.

Where to Stay: Zion Mountain Ranch

4. Napa Valley, California

Does anything pair better with a nice glass of red than sweeping views of wine country in the crisp fall air? I didn’t think so! Napa Valley is one of the best places to visit in fall for wine lovers and foodies alike.

Napa Valley travel destination for fall

Fill your time dining at Michelin starred restaurants and touring the various wineries of the region. For those who like to be a little more hands-on, some wineries even offer the chance to get involved with the harvest by stomping grapes or picking them from the vine!

Consider splurging on an incredible Hot-Air-Balloon ride that overlooks all of Napa Valley!

Hot air balloon over Napa in Fall

Where to Stay: Napa River Inn

5. Acadia National Park - New England Fall Destination

Acadia National Park on the coast of Maine attracts fall foliage lovers from across the country, and for good reason. This northern fall destination boasts incredible hues of red, orange, and yellow leaves, peaking around late October.

Visiting Acadia in the fall is also a great way to conquer some of the more strenuous hikes in the park that can get too hot and crowded in the high season, like the famed Beehive trail and Precipice trail.

Hiking Beehive Trail in Fall

6. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Visiting Jackson Hole in fall is a great way to avoid the summer crowds and enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons before the mountains are blanketed in snow all winter.

Jackson Hole Wyoming in Autumn

This small Wyoming town offers one of the best fall vacations for outdoor enthusiasts. Not only are you within driving distance of both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, but you can also hit the ski slopes in late fall if you’d like! 

7. Asheville, North Carolina - Quirky Fall Travel Destination

Just on the other side of the Great Smoky Mountains sits North Carolina, home to the laid back, hippy mountain town of Asheville. This town is a great fall vacation idea for those looking to enjoy a small town with plenty of quirks and character.

Destination - Asheville

Peruse the cute shops in downtown Asheville and enjoy seasonal treats from one of the many boutique cafes. For a touch of the upscale, tour the illustrious Biltmore estate, which is currently open for fall activities.

8. Flagstaff, Arizona

If you’re looking for places to visit in the fall that combines the great outdoors with a fascinating history, Flagstaff is a great choice! As the seat of the Colorado Plateau, Flagstaff is deeply connected to a rich and varied Native American history.

Be sure to check out the Wupatki National Monument to see pueblos from almost 1,000 years ago. You can also support local Native American artisans in town by shopping for authentic handmade jewelry and other goods!

9. Hudson, New York

Only a two-hour train ride away from Manhattan lies this upstate autumnal jewel. Hudson is a cool small town and an antique lover’s dream, making it one of the best fall travel destinations for window shoppers, deal finders, and vintage furniture fiends of all kinds.

Visiting Hudson New York

This dreamy little town is perfect for a weekend getaway from the city, or for a longer trip to enjoy all the shopping in town as well as the scenic hiking of the Hudson Valley.

Photo above from: English Wikipedia user Daniel Case

10. Vail, Colorado - Beautiful Fall Aspen Trees

No roundup of the top fall travel destinations would be complete without Vail, Colorado

Travel to Vail, Colorado in Fall

Those yellow leaves are absolutely stunning come autumn, making this cute village one of the best fall vacations through the end of November.

Fall foliage in Vail, Colorado - Fall Travel Destinations

Take a guided fall leaves tour, shop your way through Vail Village, or book a horseback ride for incredible views of all of Vail Valley! 

Where to Stay: The Four Seasons Resort Vail, it was incredible! 

Four Seasons Vail Review

Which of these fall travel destinations are you planning to visit this year? Drop me a comment below or DM me on Instagram, I’d love to know!

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xx Chels

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