Video: Things to Do in October

Take advantage of all fall has to offer with October's best activities!
Credit: Evgeniy Zaharov / iStock / 360 / Getty Images
Credit: Evgeniy Zaharov / iStock / 360 / Getty Images

Go on an Autumn Expedition

There are many destinations that only get better as the air grows brisk, the school year starts and the leaves change colors, such as foliage-rich New England and not-quite-as-crowded Disneyland. Plus, because fall is the “shoulder season” for many beach towns, you can usually snag a good deal between the summer rush and the holiday crowds.

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blue ridge parkway, road trips, fall, foliage, virginia
Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

A meandering 469 miles across North Carolina and Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway is an American favorite made even more spectacular by a breathtaking display of fall colors. It's home to Mother Nature's longest-lasting show of fall foliage, and with thousands of feet in elevation, there are no shortage of scenic overlooks. 960 1280

Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images  

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Worried you'll miss the leaves? Mount Mitchell and Grandfather Mountain change color in early October while areas like Chimney Rock hold out until early November. 960 1280
Michigan's Upper Peninsula Day Drive

Michigan's Upper Peninsula Day Drive

The Mitten's Gold Coast gets most of the attention when people talk about fall colors, but the somewhat untamed beauty of Michigan's Upper Peninsula shines in the fall as well. This short 5-hour loop leaving from Newberry, MI packs in everything you could want in a fall color tour… Trees, beers, and even bears. 960 1280
Michigan's Upper Peninsula Day Drive

Michigan's Upper Peninsula Day Drive

Snap some pictures at the Crisp Point Lighthouse, Tahquamenon Falls State Park (pictured above) and Michigan's only historic cranberry bog, the Centennial Cranberry Farm. 960 1280

By Wfgc (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons  

Columbia River Highway

Columbia River Highway

America's oldest scenic highway traverses the cliffs of Oregon for 75 miles of some of the best views this grand old land has to offer. Constructed in the early 1900’s to give travellers up-front-and-personal access to Mother Nature in all of her glory, Columbia River Highway boasts the title of America's first scenic highway and dons its fall hues in mid-October, when its signature cottonwood, ash, and maple trees begin to turn. 960 1280

Bob Pool/Getty Images  

Columbia River Highway

Columbia River Highway

Starting just east of Portland, the drive is also home to several waterfalls including Multnomah Falls and Horsetail Fall. 960 1280

By Oregon Department of Transportation (WaterfallUploaded by AlbertHerring) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Mid Mitten State

Mid Mitten State

The middle of October is the best time to check out the leaves in the middle of Michigan! Grab some pumpkins and apples at a farm, snap a few perfect photos at a covered bridge (may we suggest Fallasburg Covered Bridge, Pioneer Village & School?) 960 1280
Mid Mitten State

Mid Mitten State

Take a walk through one of the gorgeous parks along this route that loops around central Michigan -- seriously, it doesn't get more autumn-y than that! See our trip itinerary here. 960 1280
Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Winding through the southern Berkshires in western Massachusetts, Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway follows the rivers that brought Native Americans between the Connecticut and the Hudson River valleys. At just 35 miles, this foliage drive is perfect for slowing down and taking it all in. 960 1280
Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Drive this stretch of New England, straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting before the cold sets in and witness the landscape’s change from summer's green to autumn's golds, reds, and scarlets. If you prefer some time outside the car, this route stretches alongside a chunk of the Appalachian Trail. 960 1280
The Rugged and Wandering

The Rugged and Wandering

For the hardcore leaf peepers among us, there’s no better place to take your jeep to experience the changing foliage than Montana. Montana’s backcountry offers the ultimate scenes of America's rugged beauty. See the trip itinerary here. 960 1280
The Rugged and Wandering

The Rugged and Wandering

Take the road less traveled on the Big Sky Backcountry Scenic Byway of Montana or cross the Continental Divide stopping at vistas on Going-to-the-Sun Road. 960 1280
Wisconsin Fall Foliage and Frank Lloyd Wright

Wisconsin Fall Foliage and Frank Lloyd Wright

There's a region in Southwestern Wisconsin that the glaciers never touched, deemed the "Driftless region." Stop along the way in Spring Green, Wisconsin and grab a book and coffee before you tour Wright’s school, Taliesin. 960 1280
Wisconsin Fall Foliage and Frank Lloyd Wright

Wisconsin Fall Foliage and Frank Lloyd Wright

Beyond the beautiful tree-lined roads found on scenic autumn drives, a drive from Madison, WI up to La Crosse, WI through the Driftless is chock full of fall harvest stands and believe it or not … Frank Lloyd Wright iconic architecture. 960 1280
Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive

The Skyline Drive is a 105-mile National Scenic Byway that twists and winds through the over 200,000 pristine acres that makes up Shenandoah National Park. 960 1280

By Maisnam (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive

Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, namely the park's Skyline Drive, is one of the nation's premier fall RV trips for people who want to see fall foliage. In addition to the stunning scenery, Shenandoah offers plenty of other outdoor activities as well. 960 1280
Bald Head Island, NC
Bald Head Island, NC

Bald Head Island, NC

Come September, the already quiet island off the shore of Wilmington, NC, becomes nearly deserted except for the 160 people who call the island home year round. With no cars on the island, you’ll find a peaceful silence that’s hard to find anywhere else. While the weather gets a little chilly, the water is still warm. But for those who would rather stay dry, the world-class golf course, the conservatory’s bird walks and Old Baldy lighthouse round out a relaxing getaway. 960 1280

Stockbyte / Getty Images  

Katy Trail, MO

Katy Trail, MO

The 225-mile Katy Trail runs along the Missouri River for much of the way and cuts right through the state’s wine country. In the 1800s, this area is also where German immigrants settled, bringing their wine-making traditions along with them. There are plenty of adorable B&Bs situated along the trail if you need a rest from a long day of biking or hiking through the dense forests and limestone bluffs. 960 1280

Missouri Division of Tourism  

Boston

Boston

In the fall, Boston is the destination for crisp weather, history and excitement. Hop across the Charles River to explore Cambridge and sit in Harvard Yard for excellent people watching, then recharge in one of the many independent coffee shops, expand your mind in the 82-year-old Harvard Book Store and finally, grab a cleverly named, famous burger from Mr. Bartley’s. We recommend The Big Papi with a side of sweet potato fries. 960 1280

David Fox / Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau  

Cape May, NJ

Cape May, NJ

Cape May is great in the summer, but it’s magical in the fall. Autumn is when monarch butterflies converge upon this beach town for a few charmed weeks during their migration. Stop for brunch at the Blue Pig Tavern in Congress Hall (a favorite spot for President Ulysses S. Grant) before doing some serious shopping along Washington Street or bike riding along Beach Avenue. 960 1280

CapeMay.com  

Lancaster, PA

Lancaster, PA

Pennsylvania Dutch Country, better known as Lancaster, PA, is an idyllic place to visit during the harvest season. There are apple orchards ripe for the picking, corn mazes that hearken back to a simpler time and farmers markets bursting with homemade baked goods and fresh produce. And just 30 minutes northeast, you’ll find “Antiques Capital, USA,” Adamstown, PA, home to over 3,000 antique dealers, traditional Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine and, of course, that Amish charm. 960 1280

www.padutchcountry.com / Terry Ross  

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, WA

Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, WA, is one of the most extravagant Oktoberfests in the US. For 3 weekends in October, visitors descend upon the foothills of the Cascade Mountains to explore the traditional Bavarian village and get their fill of authentic cuisine and imported beer. But even if it’s not October, there’s still much to love about this town, from the Bavarian architecture to the Maipole in the town square. 960 1280

Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce  

Mackinac Island, MI

Mackinac Island, MI

Located in Lake Huron, this island resort is not only a National Historic Landmark, but it is also a portal back in time to when Victorian architecture was prominent and the only modes of transportation were foot, bicycle or horse. Mackinac Island is known for its opulent fall foliage in October, and it is also famous for its fudge. In fact, many of the island’s confectioners have been making fudge for more than a century. 960 1280

Mackinac Island Tourism  

Mill Valley, CA

Mill Valley, CA

Head beyond San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, to the sublime setting of Marin County. This is a prime spot for outdoor enthusiasts, who will never want to go indoors. Take a winding drive into the region’s mountains to visit Muir Woods National Monument. A easy hike through towering redwoods -- that range in age from 400-800 years old -- will leave you breathless. Afterwards, head back down the mountains into Mill Valley, where quaint shops and first-rate cuisine await. 960 1280

E+ / Getty Images  

San Antonio

San Antonio

You can’t go wrong with a stroll (or a cruise) along San Antonio’s famous River Walk in the fall. Tucked just below street level, the River Walk features some of the city’s best restaurants, shops and galleries -- all just steps away from The Alamo. And the Natural Bridge Caverns are only a 30-minute drive away if you’re up for a little amateur spelunking. Take a tour 180 feet underground to see stunning natural formations or head over to Bracken Cave to see one of the world’s largest bat colonies. 960 1280

San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau  

Sedona, AZ

Sedona, AZ

With its surprisingly moderate climate and otherworldly terrain, Sedona is a town full of surprises. The town is considered a spiritual mecca because it’s considered home to a series of vortexes and whirlpools of energy that are believed to facilitate mediation and healing. Whether you believe this or not, stop in one of the many spiritual gift shops for the chance to get your aura read. Or just take a Jeep tour high into the red rocks for a surreal adventure. 960 1280

E+ / Getty Images  

Shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah Valley’s Skyline Drive offers 105 miles of scenic byway surrounded by stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Whether you tackle the sloping, winding road by bike or car, you’ll encounter plenty of quaint Virginian towns along the way. Stop in Staunton’s Red Brick District to check out the arts scene or visit Waynesboro for world-class fishing. 960 1280

Shenandoah Valley Travel Association  

The Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains

Visit the Great Smoky Mountains for a relaxing getaway. Head to Blackberry Farm, nestled in the foothills, for a luxurious stay that’s not to be missed. For travelers looking for adventure, there’s hiking, fly-fishing and horseback riding aplenty in these iconic mountains.
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Tennessee Department of Tourist Development  

Walla Walla, WA

Walla Walla, WA

If you’re looking for a scenic wine tour to kick off the autumn season, skip the tourists of Napa and head straight for Walla Walla, WA, a hot, new destination for wine connoisseurs. Not only is the region home to more than 100 wineries, but Walla Walla was also named “Friendliest Small Town” by both USA Todayand Rand McNally. Head to Maryhill Winery to indulge in wine tasting and live music in the vineyard’s gorge, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. 960 1280

Andrew G. Hayes, Flickr  

Jackson Hole, WY

Jackson Hole, WY

Many people have “see the Grand Tetons” on their bucket list, but they probably never thought they could see them like this. The Jackson Hole Aerial Tram takes you 4,136 vertical feet above Snake River Valley, Grand Teton National Park and the Gros Ventre Range. Did we mention the 360-degree views? But once you’ve recovered from the shock and awe of the amazing views, explore the topnotch restaurants, quirky shops and luxury resorts in town. 960 1280

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort  

Tybee Island, GA

Tybee Island, GA

There’s never a bad time to visit Savannah, GA, and if you head just 30 minutes east to the shore, you’ll find the secret treasure that is Tybee Island. If you’re lucky enough to be on the Island in October, you should experience the annual Pirate Fest when the island transforms into a pirate village. During your stay, climb to the top of Tybee Lighthouse to watch the sun set, but make sure you keep an eye out for incoming scallywags. 960 1280

Visit Tybee  

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia
Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

Cabot Trail is a scenic highway located around the rugged, northern coastline of Cape Breton Island. Locally referred to as "Trunk 30," it passes through Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the Margaree River Valley and along Bras d'Or Lake. Highlights of the drive include the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck, whale watching in Pleasant Bay, quaint fishing villages such as Belle Cote and Dingwall, and the North Highlands Community Museum in Cape North. — Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer
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Thinkstock  

Maryland's Eastern Shore

Maryland's Eastern Shore

While the Delmarva Peninsula is a regular summer getaway for residents of the mid-Atlantic, I personally love it best in the fall. Filled with farmers markets, local festivals and regional parks, the area always has plenty to do this time of year. Entertain the whole family by picking pumpkins at a roadside stand, or get lost in the Breckenridge corn maze. For a more adult venture, tease your taste buds at the Good Beer Festival or Autumn Wine Festival on your way through Salisbury. Then, make the short drive down to Assateague Island to see the wild ponies gallop along pristine coastline. And of course, no fall trip to the Eastern Shore would be complete without one last crab feast along the Wicomico River. — Matt Dewhurst, Interactive Producer 960 1280

National Park Service  

Minneapolis-St.Paul

Minneapolis-St.Paul

You haven't lived until you've seen the Twin Cities in the fall. Take a scenic leaf-peeping drive along Minnehaha Parkway in Minneapolis or Summit Avenue in St. Paul, or head down River Road to see the leaves on both sides of the Mississippi River. Go hiking and biking in nearby Fort Snelling State Park and Afton State Park. Sports venues are popular spots in the fall, too. Watch the season wind down for the Minnesota Twins at Target Field; catch a Minnesota Vikings or University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football game at TCF Bank Stadium; and cheer on runners in the annual Twin Cities Marathon. For shoppers looking for a new fall wardrobe, take advantage of the tax-free shopping on all apparel. — Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer 960 1280

Meet Minneapolis  

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The crowds on Cape Cod, like the summer heat, begin to fade in the fall. It's a great time to explore the cape and enjoy the crisp weather by the sea. I recommend checking out the sites by foot or bike and soaking in the weather on walks along the dunes. While the beach may not be the top priority to visit during the fall, you can enjoy everything from a Cranberry Harvest Celebration to the OysterFest to a Haunted History Tour. While you're there, check out the Wellfleet OysterFest, a 2-day, family-friendly festival that celebrates the oysters, clams and shell-fishing traditions that the town is famous for. — Kristen Kochanski, Photo Editor 960 1280

Peter Lee  

Fontainebleau, France

Fontainebleau, France

This forested region south of Paris is a magical bouldering area that everyone should visit at least once. It has enough rock climbing to last a lifetime, and you can spend hours wandering through the forests playing on the amazing sandstone boulders. During this season, you can see the beauty of the fall foliage, which could rival the best locations in the US. I recommend starting each day at a local bakery to enjoy a pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant), and be sure to grab a baguette, some foie gras and a bottle of Bordeaux to snack on at the boulder fields. On rest days, visit the town of Fontainebleau or take the train into Paris for some sightseeing. — Arthur Hsu, Video Project Manager 960 1280

Moment Open / Getty Images  

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

For me, the ideal vacation day ends with sore muscles, dirty hiking shoes and a warm drink while watching the sun set over an alpine lake. That's why my fall getaway is Jackson Hole, WY. Combine stunning vistas of the Tetons with exciting outdoor activities, take out the tourists, and you have a perfect place to forget that you have to be back at work the next week. — Josh Levin, Digital Operations Manager 960 1280

National Park Service  

Lewes, Delaware

Lewes, Delaware

This quaint coastal town quiets down a lot after Labor Day, making fall the perfect time to stroll the scenic trails and beaches at Cape Henlopen State Park without the crowds. Enjoy the cooler weather, a canal view and some seafood and pub fare with an outdoor table at Irish Eyes, followed by some window-shopping in the local boutiques downtown. My husband always likes to get in a round of golf at nearby Baywood Greens, after which we settle in for a few cocktails on the clubhouse deck overlooking the lush landscape of the 18th hole. If beer is more your style, take the 20-minute drive to Milton, DE, where you can tour the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and visit its tasting room. — Hannah Prince, Digital Copy Editor 960 1280

Baywood Greens  

New Orleans

New Orleans

Spend 1 weekend in New Orleans during the fall, and you will quickly understand why visiting the Big Easy in autumn is a must. This city keeps locals and visitors busy with countless of events from late September through November, including Oktoberfest, the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, the Louisiana Seafood Festival and the Voodoo Music and Arts Experience, a 3-day Halloween weekend concert series. New Orleans also hosts costume events, such as Boo at the Zoo at Audubon Zoo, and fun street events on Bourbon and St. Ann Streets in the heart of the French Quarter. — Rani Robinson, Director
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Kevin Donnigan  

Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas

Seems as though everyone knows someone who's moved to Austin these days, and Austin City Limits is the perfect excuse to crash at their place. The 2-weekend music festival inspired by the PBS concert series has become increasingly popular in its own right, featuring 100-plus impressive acts, an art market and some of the best Austin eats, with vegetarian and gluten-free options, of course. If you're looking to detox after 3 days of nonstop bands and BBQ, pick up a Green Light smoothie from JuiceLand before Zenning out in BFree Yoga's beautiful studio space. — Sara Gilliam, Senior Interactive Producer 960 1280

Getty Images Entertainment  

New York

New York

My favorite time to visit New York is early autumn, when the air is crisp and you can spend all day outside without melting. People-watch at High Line Park, stroll along the Brooklyn Bridge, or take the East River Ferry to Brooklyn with spectacular views of Lower Manhattan and the wind in your hair. End the day at Frying Pan, a multilevel, historic floating bar at Chelsea Piers, for prime sunset viewing with a backdrop of the Hudson River.— Kathleen Rellihan, Interactive Producer 960 1280

E+/Getty Images  

Chicago

Chicago

It's understandable why it's called the Windy City, because once winter rolls around, Chicago turns cold, unpleasant (temperature-wise) and very — you guessed it — windy. But if you're lucky enough to book a flight for the fall, you're in for a real treat. Take in a Bears game at Chicago's famed Soldier Field, or join in the family fun picking pumpkins at nearby Heap's Giant Pumpkin Farm, a 30-acre pumpkin patch where you can cut your favorite straight off the vine yourself. And if you happen to find yourself in town in mid- to late October, take in a few of the upcoming year's best new movies during the Chicago International Film Festival. — Ben Breslerman, Interactive Producer 960 1280

Getty Images Sport  

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