Are you looking for a fall weather transition? Fall in Southern California is not very colorful.
The autumn season typically starts in late summer or early fall, when the Santa Ana winds start blowing and pumpkins appear on porches. I’ve always been very curious (and maybe a little envious) of places that have “real” seasons.
If you’re looking for the perfect places to embrace all those fall feelings across the United States, you’ve come to the right place.
From leaf peeping to apple picking, I’ve found some of the best places for autumn getaways.
Check the local events in the area to see what is going on. Many iconic festivals are annual, so do ask around.
Here are the best places to visit during the fall in the United States!
Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze Croton-on-Hudson experiences a thirty-second “great” pumpkin.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Tarrytown, New York
Are you ready to move to the Hudson River Valley? Tarrytown, New York might make your heart sing, as it was the birthplace of Sleepy Hollow and the former home of Washington Irving, who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
When it comes to Halloween, the village goes all out with festivals, parades, and hayrides. Here you can take a guided tour of the historic Lyndhurst Castle and visit Irving’s Sunnyside estate.
You won’t want to miss the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery while you are here!
The nearby town of Croton-on-Hudson is famous for the Great Jack o’ Lantern Blaze, which is a nighttime display of thousands of carved pumpkins in themed designs with music and dramatic lighting.
Apple Cider Donuts
Cold Hollow Cider Mill
Vermont has many sugar maples, which line scenic byways. Vermont is an ideal place to flock to see fall foliage. However, there is more than just leaf viewing! I have heard there is a maple liqueur that is quite tasty. Visit Saxtons River Distillery in Brattleboro to taste it. Try the unique spirits.
Cold Hollow Apple Mill is a fall favorite with fresh-pressed apple cider and apple cider donuts.
There is an ideal spot for cider fans outside the Green Mountain town of Stowe. Foodies will also be delighted, because there are many Vermont-made treats like caramel sauces, jams, and maple candy available at Cold Hollow Cider Mill too.
If you are after apple orchards, there are several historic ones scattered across the state.
You might want to check out Shelburne Orchards (where apple pickers can sample fresh apple cider made onsite), or Champlain Orchards (which is one of the oldest operating orchards in the state).
Moab is located in southeastern Utah. It has beautiful scenery similar to Mars. This is the perfect place for those who love serious adventures, from hiking, biking, jeeping, and climbing.
Because of all the impressive nature and endless possibilities when it comes to outdoor activities, it’s a wonderful place to get away from the world and is the ideal place for a wellness retreat!
I explored Moab in early November and we were very fortunate with the weather. Some days were around 70 degrees and sunny, but the next week there was snow in the forecast.
So watch the weather!
The town has a fun and spooky history. There used to be a lot of witches in Salem, but they were all killed by the Puritans in the 1600s. Today, Salem holds a Halloween festival each year called “Salem on Tour” where kids can dress up as their favorite witches and goblins from Salem’s past.
There is an annual month-long festival full of enchanting activities from ghost tours and haunted houses to costume balls and a parade. Visit the Salem Witch Museum to get some insight into the mass hysteria.
For fans of the movie Hocus pocus is featured in the movie. Look at some of the places featured in the movie!
You will be able to see Salem’s pioneer village, Dennison’s house (closed to the public as it is a private home), and the school located at South Washington Square (it now operates an apartment complex).
Bonus: Boston, Massachusetts
You could visit Boston and Salem during the same trip, since Boston is only about 40 minutes from Salem. You may want to check out Cambridge Brewing Company’s Great Pumpkin Festival which features pumpkin-flavored beer from a number of breweries.
There are many haunted tours that show you the darker side of Boston.
I think Maine is a dream to visit in autumn. Portland, Maine is where I’m going to focus on, because it’s the center of all this.
You’ll want to visit Harvest on the Harbor, which is a fun food-themed fall festival. We’re talking local foods, ciders, spirits, and beers; you name it, you can probably find it here.
After the festival, never forget to take a scenic drive on the 40-mile stretch of the Acadia Byway.
Apple Hill, California
Fall in the Gold Country is all about gorgeous red grapes dangling from vines that are slightly drooping in the air along with tons and tons of apples. From pick-your-own farms to roadside stands featuring different varieties, there is no shortage of apple goodness.
Do you think apple fritters sound delicious? Do you want to make apple butter on crackers?
Cider and more are available, but they are not the main attractions. There are orchards to explore, like Larsen Apple Barn El Dorado Orchards Boa Vista Orchards Abel’s Apple Acres and High Hill Ranch.
Estes Park, Colorado
In Estes Park, you can enjoy the Autumn Gold Festival, which features brew brats, local musicians and some of the most stunning foliage. Dig into funnel cake and corn on the cob while you are there!
During the fall, you might see a number of male elk.
I have heard that locals refer to October as “Elktober.” In honor of this and to educate the public about the animals, Estes Park holds an annual Elk Fest.
Just a short drive from Estes Park you’ll find Longs Peak and Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. If the timing is right, you will be greeted by the most stunning fall foliage.
Bonus: Crested Butte
If you want to travel to Crested Butte (about 5 hours by car from Estes Park) you can sample the hearty stews and brews at the Chili & Beer Festival.
I have always wanted to go to Oktoberfest in Munich, but I haven’t made it there yet. Frankenmuth was the first Oktoberfest outside of Munich that received *the official seal of approval.*
The town is affectionately known as Little Bavaria because of all the timber-frame architecture, many have been seen wearing lederhosen, and they share a good amount of schnitzel dinners. In October, you will find dachshund races pretzel vendors polka dancers and lots of German beer.
While many think of Arizona as the cactus capital, Flagstaff in Northern Arizona is surrounded by ponderosa pine forests.
The aspens begin to change color in October. Flagstaff has its own Oktoberfest too!
Spirit of Halloweentown, St. Helens
I like the Pacific Northwest and Oregon is a wonderful fall getaway. With so many sprawling vineyards, thick forests, and numerous waterfalls the entire state is an autumnal dream.
You’ll find a bunch of pumpkin patches and apple orchards across the state, plus several places making their own cider.
Are you a fan of the movie Halloweentown? Go to St. Helens, where it was filmed, and all of its buildings transform into the movie for Spirit of Halloweentown. You might even see an actor or two!
- A guide to Portland, Oregon.The Best Hotels in the Pacific NorthwestSpots to visit on a Pacific Northwest road trip.
Are pumpkins calling your name?
In Circleville the Pumpkin Show is an important icon.
The tree is filled with more than 10,000 pounds of pumpkins and gourds. You will get your fill of gorgeous fall goods. It’s definitely an impressive sight, because you can also enjoy the many fall foods and fun activities.
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Is it more fall than an Apple Butter Festival? From copper kettles balanced on open flames to the cozy town square Berkeley Springs keeps autumn traditions alive.
For the Apple Festival, cooks compete in contests that award them with long wooden paddles to make delicious apple butters that are sold at the festival.
If you want to go back in time—this is the place!
Say hello to the apple orchards of Pennsylvania! What’s more seasonal than an apple harvest?
The National Apple Festival is held right outside of Gettysburg. It is the perfect place to go apple picking and sample all of the apple treats and cider and listen to live music.
For those who love styling for autumn, autumn in the arboretum is an artistic event.
Pumpkins are a part of an annual event called Autumn at the Arboretum. This event features gigantic pumpkins and squash.
The Art of the Pumpkin is something you won’t want to miss. It highlights all the colors of fall with 15,000 autumn flowers. It’s a fall dream. Each weekend features live bands that play through the afternoon and there are tons of other events going on too.
Do you have a favorite fall event in the United States? What is your favorite place to go? Tell me about it in the comments below!