8 Trending Destinations for Your Fall Getaway
There's a lot to love about fall. Here are the trending destinations you've got to visit now that the summer crowds have gone home.
Summer vacation season has long since ended and now is the time to start getting serious about where to go for a long fall weekend. Whether you’re looking for fall foliage, craft beers, music festivals, or you want to hit all the theme park rides that had extra-long lines over the summer (seriously, 120 minutes?), we’ve got you covered. Here’s where to go this fall.
With school back in session, now is a great time to head to Orlando. The hotel rates are low, the weather is still warm, and the brand new Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World is free of the heavy summer crowds. For a quick bite, stop in Woody’s Lunch Box, a new walk-up food counter, for Lunch Box Tarts. Yum. Thrill seekers, book a seat on the Orlando StarFlyer, an epic swing ride at the ICON Orlando 360 complex that debuted in June. Stay at The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando to kayak on Lake Austin or splash around at the new on-site Surfari Water Park.
New Orleans, Louisiana
If you’ve yet to celebrate the 300th anniversary of New Orleans, fall is a great time to do so thanks to fewer crowds and lower humidity. Ride a street car, take a swamp tour, and eat everything New Orleans is known for, like beignets, shrimp po’boys, jambalaya and gumbo. Stop in Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World to see parade floats up-close and learn the history of Mardi Gras. As a bonus, a free slice of King Cake. Stay at the new Eliza Jane Hotel, a magical boutique hotel built within nine historic warehouses. Bringing the kids? Book a family-friendly city tour with French Quartour Kids.
Indianapolis may be best known for its motor speedway, but there’s so much more to see, from an eight-mile cultural trail that’s beautified the city to the world’s largest children’s museum that recently unveiled a massive expansion (making it even bigger). Explore funky art exhibitions at Newfields, like Bes-Ben: The Mad Hatter of Chicago, a collection of more than 60 wildly creative hats. Then settle in at The Inferno Room, a brand-new tiki bar with more than 400 authentic artifacts from Papua New Guinea. Book a stay at the Tiny Urban Escapes, luxury cabins made from shipping containers situated on the edge of Eagle Creek Park.
Get outside to enjoy Denver’s colorful foliage from the Cherry Creek Trail, a 40-mile paved path that’s just right for a bike ride or a stroll. Or, head inside at the Denver Art Museum to take in a new Rembrandt exhibition showcasing more than 100 paintings, drawings, and prints. Settle in next door at The ART Hotel, a boutique hotel that thoughtfully curates each guest room with hand-selected art works. Explore the vibrant craft brewing scene in Denver thanks to nearly 150 breweries that call the state capital home, like Denver Beer Co. and Wynkoop Brewing Company.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
You’ll see gold around every corner in the fall thanks to aspen trees all across Santa Fe. The fall also marks chile harvest season, so plan to experiment with chiles in dishes like the green chile burger at Santa Fe Bite and green chile mac & cheese at Blue Corn Café & Brewery. Get outside for a three-hour ride in a “Pinzie” all-terrain vehicle with Santa Fe Mountain Adventures, which takes visitors outside town to Diablo Canyon, a dramatic desert gorge. Stroll along Canyon Road, home to more than 100 art studios and galleries, then turn in at La Posada de Santa Fe.
California’s Central Coast
Thanks to the re-opening in July of a majestic section of Highway 1, now is the time for a road trip between Monterey and San Luis Obispo along California’s Central Coast. Explore Hearst Castle, which recently re-filled its world-famous (and extremely photo-worthy) Neptune Pool after being drained in 2014 for repairs. Then, of course, there’s Big Sur, which was unreachable via the main highway and once again welcomes guests along this road. Book an e-bike tour with Big Sur Adventures to take in the rugged coastline, then overnight at newly renovated Inn at Morro Bay.
New York’s Finger Lakes Region
New York’s Finger Lakes region is rapidly growing as an award-winning wine destination thanks to more than 100 distinctive wineries spread across the area. Pick up the brand-new Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail Passport for $15 for complimentary tastings at wineries all along the 41-mile wine trail. The region is also a fantastic pick for a fall getaway with its colorful foliage, rolling hills, and postcard-perfect views, which can be taken in by hiking, biking, sailing, or riding in the basket of a hot air balloon. Book a stay in a charming bed & breakfast, like Monier Manor in Naples.
Fall is a great time to explore Austin thanks to an abundance of outdoor festivals, like the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Hop in a pedicab and tour all the murals within a 10-block radius of Sixth Street. You absolutely don’t want to leave without a snap of the famous “Greetings from Austin” mural. Grab dinner in one of Austin’s many delicious food truck parks, then watch the bats emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Stay the night at Lone Star Court, which boasts a decidedly retro vibe, or at the brand-new Fairmont Austin, set in-town amid the greenery of both Waller Creek and Palm Park.