Oh, fall. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
When you arrive, it’s once again acceptable to wear leggings as pants under a long, cozy sweater. School’s back in session, which means my daytime errands are that much less noisy and crowded. The holidays are quickly approaching, and pies of all varieties are finally back on the menu. And soon, pumpkins will be here — along with pumpkin bread, pumpkin spiced lattes, and all the other wonderful ways our love of that gourd manifests itself.
Fall, there are a whole lot of reasons to love you. But we still haven’t touched on my favorite one: what a perfect time you are for traveling.
Fall Travel Ideas
When you think of the great American road trip, fall might not be the first season to come to mind. That honor belongs to summer, when the long break from school and consistently warm weather bring families onto the highway in droves.
But fall travel is actually super underrated, both in the United States and internationally. For one thing, it’s a “shoulder season” in most areas, which means you’re likely to find many of your travel expenses will be priced more affordably, from restaurant meals to accommodation fees.
Furthermore, the very fact that summer is so much more popular than fall for travelers does the latter season a favor: even popular destinations will be much less crowded come September and October.
Of course, if you’ve got kids, fall travel can be a little bit complicated. You’ll have to either find a sitter who can bring them to and from school, or possibly take them out of school for a few days. (Hey, traveling is educational!)
But if you’re child-free and have some time to spare this autumn, here are some incredible fall travel destinations that are perfect for an RV road trip.
Fall Camping Destinations
So, where are the must-see stops this fall? Here are some of our favorites.
1. Destin, Florida
“What?” you may be thinking. Floridian beach destinations just scream summer, right?
But when you think about it, fall beach vacations actually make a lot of sense. Some of the very best beaches will be blissfully devoid of crowds, meaning you’ll actually get to relax in the sunshine and enjoy the crashing waves without the un-asked-for addition of someone’s boom box. Plus, it won’t be quite as hot and humid as it is in a Floridian July, when just existing can feel exhausting. (But if you’re looking for warm places to visit in October, Florida’s going to be one of your best bets in the USA)!
This northeastern beach town is perfect: it’s got sot sand, emerald waters, and a great balance of city perks and quaint beachside quietude. It’s also far enough north that it’s fairly easy to get to over a long weekend or short fall break… as opposed to the six-hour drive south to the Keys!
2. Savannah, Georgia
Whether you’re looking to fill your fall travel roster with family destinations or romantic getaways, Savannah fits the bill. It’s full of history, so it’s definitely educational if you’re bringing the kids along… but the Spanish-moss-swathed oaks make a fantastic backdrop for a just-the-two-of-us weekend.
While you won’t see quite as much in the way of changing leaves, you’ll get to enjoy this city’s southern charm, walking from square to square without sweating through your clothes.
Besides, who doesn’t want a helping of comfort food as temperatures start to dip? From fried chicken to sweet tea to delicious southern barbecue, Savannah’s definitely got you covered! They’re even home to one of the most famous ice cream parlors in the world, Leopold’s.
Fall Foliage Destinations
For some of us, fall is all about the leaves. We totally get it! Here are a few fall getaway destinations if you’re looking to do some foliage travel.
3. White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire
Everyone knows the northeast is one of the best September and October vacation destinations if you’re looking for fall foliage. The leaf change there is second to none.
This large swath of New Hampshire is perfect if you’re looking for a cheap fall break destination, as there are multiple campgrounds within the park open for dispersed camping, or boondocking, well into the fall months. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful view!
4. Denver, Colorado
Denver is rumored to have more sunny days per year than many areas of Florida, so if you’re looking for a fall destination that combines temperate weather with stunning fall scenery, you can’t do much better than the Mile High City.
Plus, you’ve got lots of time to enjoy the beautiful foliage changes in Denver — according to Denver.org, the city “has one of the longest periods of fall colors of any city in the country.”
“That’s because there are five different climate zones within a two-hour drive of downtown Denver,” the site goes on. “Pick your elevation and you can find yourself at the height of fall colors from mid-September to mid-November.”
Best Places for Fall Travel
Some of the best fall vacations in the US might not be what you think.
5. Your Favorite National Park
Think about it. The summer crowds are gone, the weather is still temperate, and you’ll even get to see whichever park you choose all decked out in fall splendor.
Really, visiting the National Parks in fall is a total travel life hack. Whether you go for Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, or any of the others (there are almost 60 to choose from!), you’re sure to have just as great a time as you would have had over the summer… if not better.
Just be sure to check the weather and campground openings before you hit the road. Some National Parks have seasonal closures in anticipation of foul weather… but even many northerly climes usually don’t see snow until well into October!
So, where will you travel this fall? Which must-see fall destinations did we miss? Let us know! We’re always on the lookout for more beautiful, colorful destinations.