Didn’t get to have a full summer vacation due to lack of funds or various other reasons, but are just dying to plan an escape somewhere? Fall is an excellent time to take a vacation, as it is off-season in many places, which means prices are lower and most destinations are far less crowded. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the amazing fall scenery with its radiant colors and avoid the excessive summer heat. Less stress, less sweating, less bumping into people. Who ever said summer vacations are the best?
There are plenty options when it comes to fall vacations, but it all depends on your budget. You can choose to stay within the country and have a city escape or relax at a mountain cabin, visit Europe, or even more exotic destinations. Here are some ideas:
1. Domestic Destinations
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is gifted with one of the most spectacular fall foliage displays in the country. The leaf shedding season is pretty extended due to the range of elevations in and around Asheville. Visit it anywhere between September and mid-November to enjoy the fall spectacle. There are also all kinds of festival that you can go to during the fall foliage season. For more resources on Asheville, visit www.ExploreAsheville.com.
Watch this beautiful scenic time lapse of Asheville fall foliage to convince yourself:
New York City
New York just bursts with life in the fall. There’s a whole host of events such as theater shows on Broadway, food events, fashion events, concerts, etc. The weather may turn a little crisp (although September is usually still warm), but there’s never a dull moment. Plus, you’ll get to check out the incredible fall foliage.
Salt Lake City
October is one of the best months to visit Salt Lake City. There are a lot of fall festivals, especially around Halloween, Oktoberfest at Snowbird, sports events, and all other sorts of interesting activities. If you are in the mood for outdoor activities, there are a lot of national parks, forests and canyons to explore. Also, there are bird watching areas if you want something more laid-back and more in touch with nature.
Enjoy the cool air and sound of music in the Windy City. September starts with the World Music Festival, followed by the Riot Fest and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. If you visit in October, there is the Great Chicago Fire Festival, which celebrates the amazing resurrection of the city after the Great Fire of 1871.
If you’re really sorry you didn’t get to have a summer city break, San Francisco is the place to go. The actual summer months are quite chilly in SF, but autumn is warm and sunny. Enjoy the opera, theatre, symphony, film festival and green spaces. Check out all the cool events at http://www.sanfrancisco.com/calendar.
Paris is truly magical in any season, and many say it is the most beautiful in the spring, but fall has something special to it as well. There’s a magical energy floating around as people get back to work and school and the city becomes even more alive. Airfares and hotels are cheaper starting from October, so there’s no better time to visit. Fall in Paris will give you a more authentic Parisian feeling, as most locals are away on holiday during the summer. As fall comes, there’s a burst of exhibits, film festivals and other exciting events. It may be quite cold and darker, but there’s certainly something energetic about walking in the crisp air and enjoying the beautiful fall scenery.
Autumn is a great time to visit Ireland. Weather is still favorable during the fall months, but there are definitely less tourists. In September there is the Dublin Fringe Festival, which lasts two weeks and features theater, dance, comedy and visual art events. In October you can enjoy lovely folk music at the Cork Folk Festival.
If you’re into food festivals, October is a great month to visit Italy. Whether you’re into chestnuts, mushrooms, or chocolate, there’s something to satisfy every taste. Celebrate the World Pasta Day and wine harvest celebrations in October. Click here to find out more about Italian festivals and events in the fall.
Greece is perfect to visit in the fall. The scorching sun has turned milder now and the waves of tourists are beginning to fade. One of the best places to visit is Santorini from September through mid-October. In late October or early November some restaurants and hotels begin to close for the season. Set on a cliff, with blue-domed churches and white houses, Oia is a small town in Santorini that you must visit. The sunsets here are famous.
3. Exotic destinations
October is off-season in Hawaii, which means you will find cheaper flights and hotel or vacation rentals rates. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, the Big Island for its incredible volcanic landscape, and Oahu for its historical sites. If you’re feeling more adventurous, don’t miss the Ironman triathlon championships in Kona.
If visiting Thailand in October, try to stick with the Central, North and Northeast regions. Avoid the Southern islands, as it can be really rainy this time of year. Ko Chang (the “Elephant Island”) is a great option for October or November. Restaurant and hotel prices can be very affordable in Thailand.
Many travelers prefer to visit Mexico in the fall. You can find incredible deals in a country that’s already cheap to begin with. The rainy season is over in October in most parts of Mexico. Enjoy Mexico’s beaches, a hike in the mountains, or its diverse fall festivals.
How about you, what destinations do you prefer visiting in the fall? I’d love to hear about them.