Best Cities for Fall Travel
As summer winds down, most folks put away their suitcases, patiently waiting for the following summer's vacation. Poor people. Why sulk in sadness when you can plan an autumn road trip instead? Fall can be a blissful time to visit many cities; crowds diminish, temperatures are comfortably cool (but not cold), and autumn- and Halloween-themed festivals keep locals and travelers occupied. Seasonal sports, like football and hockey, also kick into high gear in the fall, luring fans into stadiums and sports bars in cities where passions run high. It's also the season of spookiness, with ghost tours celebrating Halloween horrors. So start prepping for cool weather fun with our picks for America's best cities for fall travel.
Every October, you can also see rowers cut through the waters in slender skiffs. One of Boston's most popular events, the Head of the Charles Regatta draws more than 8,000 athletes to the city to compete in what is the world’s largest 2-day rowing race. In the autumn, Boston's football, hockey and basketball teams start to heat up, too, as students return to the dozens of metro area colleges. Grab tickets to a Patriots or Bruins game -- football and hockey reign supreme this time of year. And make sure to plan a visit to coincide with Columbus Day; Boston’s Italian North End neighborhood puts on a massive celebration, with a parade, live music and family activities.
Because Savannah is known for its genteel gardens, squares and mansions, plan to spend a fair share of time outside. A good bet is to explore the city via a Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens walking tour, which takes visitors through many of the city's gorgeous historic homes. Set the creepy mood on a Blue Orb Tours walking ghost tour. Or get close to the dead with a visit to the Bonaventure Cemetery, the setting for the famed book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The moss-covered graves are the final resting places of Confederate soldiers, generals, plantation owners and scions of wealthy families.
Once you've gotten your music fill, wrap your head around Nashville's awesome autumn-themed offerings, such as ghost tours, haunted houses, corn mazes and scarecrow exhibits. The Nashville area is home to a fair share of spook-tacular hauntings, such as the abusive Bell Witch, the Body Farm, and even a few alleged spirits at the Grand Ole Opry House, where apparently not all former country stars go gently into that good night.
Still, NoLa's spooky side isn't the only autumn draw to this incredible city. Festivals fill the calendar in October, including Crescent City Blues and BBQ, free, weekly Wednesday concerts in Lafayette Square and the New Orleans Film Festival. Finally, for the sports-minded traveler, check out a New Orleans Saints game at the famed Superdome; 'tis the season.
Autumn festivals include the Old Town San Diego Art Festival, La Jolla Art and Wine Festival and the Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival. To get into the Halloween spirit, head to the Haunted Trail of Terror in Balboa Park, when the urban park is transformed into a maze-like spookfest filled with frightful ghouls and spirits.