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30 Best Places to Visit in October in the USA

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by Angela Magsajo

new hampshire area covered in fall colors, one of the best places to visit in october in usa.
Photo by Suraj Gattani on Unsplash

From leaf peeping destinations along the East Coast to the warm-weather beach towns of the West Coast, the best places to visit in October in the USA are abounding. The fall season, particularly during October, is the perfect time to visit the most beautiful places in the US. Not only do you get milder weather, but you’ll also find thinner crowds and shoulder-season deals.

 

So, wonder no more about where to go in October, because we’ve got you covered. Add a trip to these United States destinations to your bucket list of fun things to do in the fall!

Best Places to Visit in New York City in October

Although New York City is a year-round destination for many, a trip to one of the best cities in the world during fall is a special experience. Take advantage of cooler average temperatures to stroll down and explore the streets of one of the most walkable cities in the country. You can also take part in seasonal activities and events like Comic Con, Columbus Day celebrations, and Halloween festivities! Here are the best places to visit in October in the city:

1. Times Square

cars and crowds at times square with colorful electronic billboards. 

Photo by Luciano Mortula-LGM on Adobe Stock

Dwindling crowds in the midst of fall make Times Square one of the top places to visit in NYC during October. This means you can take in the bright lights of the massive billboards without jostling into swarms of people. What’s more, you’ll experience shorter lines at the best attractions in the city. Make sure to drop by popular spots in Times Square, such as Madame Tussauds, Broadway, and one or two of the many restaurants in the area. 

 

Tip: If you’re on a budget, opt for Broadway matinee performances since their tickets are often cheaper than evening shows.

2. Rockefeller Center

people on rollerblades skating on the rink in front of rockefeller plaza at the rockefeller center in new york city.

Photo from Rockefeller Center official website

The Rockefeller Center is a cultural landmark in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Packed with shops, restaurants, and famous attractions like the Rockefeller Plaza, Radio City Music Hall, and NBC Studios, the complex is practically a city within a city. Tour the grounds and discover everything there is to know about its history, artwork, and architecture. Afterward, sit and relax by the Channel Gardens which are decorated with autumn hues for the season. The famous ice skating rink isn’t open yet during this time, but you can still glide across the iconic Rockefeller Plaza on rollerblades.

3. Grand Bazaar NYC

people browsing through the clothing racks of an outdoor bazaar.

Photo by hanohiki on Adobe Stock

Shop from over a hundred local vendors when you visit the Grand Bazaar NYC in October. Even though the city’s oldest and largest shopping market is open year-round, a shopping trip in the middle of fall gives you a better opportunity to pick up a diverse selection of seasonal goods. From one-of-a-kind crafts and handmade furniture to trendy fashion accessories and vintage jewelry, there’s something for everyone in the Grand Bazaar. Additionally, there’s also a wide selection of artisanal food for sale, so make sure to come hungry!

Best Places to Visit in Chicago in October

Chicago welcomes the month of October with crisp air, stunning fall colors, and an abundance of events to celebrate the season. Here are some of the must-visit attractions you shouldn’t miss on your October trip to the city:

4. Jack’s Pumpkin Patch Pop-Up

crowd strolling through the jack's pumpkin patch pop-up in chicago, one of the best places to visit in october in the usa.

Photo from Jack’s Pumpkin Patch Pop-Up official website

Families with little ones will certainly enjoy a trip to Jack’s Pumpkin Patch Pop-Up. This outdoor experience not only allows kids and the kids-at-heart to select the perfect pumpkin, but they can also get lost in a corn maze, mine for gems, play carnival games, and many more! Jack’s Pumpkin Patch Pop-Up even has a full bar and an axe throwing area for adults. Truly, this pop-up pumpkin patch is one of the best places to visit in October in the USA if you’re looking for family-friendly fun and excitement!

5. Van Gogh Exhibit Chicago

crowd at the van gogh exhibit.

Photo by MTAPhotos on Flickr

Allow over 400 of Van Gogh’s artworks to take your breath away in this immersive art experience. The Van Gogh Exhibit in Chicago brings his masterful post-impressionist paintings to life through stunning animations projected across the walls, ceilings, and even floors of the exhibit. If you are an artist at heart, this is one of the best places to visit in October in the USA. 

6. Navy Pier

carousel and ferris wheel at the navy pier in chicago, one of the best places to visit in october in the usa.

Photo by f11photo on Adobe Stock

As the city’s premier waterfront attraction, Navy Pier offers plenty of activities for families, friends, and couples. When October rolls around, several Halloween events start popping up in the area, offering both tricks and treats. Catch a screening of classic Halloween movies at the free outdoor theater, stroll through the pumpkin pop-up art installations, or participate in their annual costume contest. Afterward, head over to the Navy Pier Beer Garden to enjoy craft beers and classic American dishes while admiring the stunning views of the city’s skyline. 

Best Places to Visit in Hawaii in October

October is the best time to visit Hawaii if you’re looking for warm places to visit during the cold fall season. Average temperatures throughout the month are still on the warm side, with mostly sunny days. As such, you don’t have to worry about rainfall getting in the way of your tropical getaway.

7. Honolulu

cocktails from the hawaii food and wine festival in honolulu.

Photo from Hawaii Food and Wine Festival official Facebook page

A trip to Honolulu in October allows you to avoid the swarms of summer and winter vacationers. The top thing to do in Honolulu during this time is to attend the multitude of cultural festivals and events, including the sought-after Hawaii Food and Wine Festival. This annual event brings together over a hundred international chefs, winemakers, mixologists, and other culinary personalities for the ultimate experience — featuring wine tastings and cooking demonstrations.

8. Big Island Hawaii

couple on a sunset cruise in the waters of hawaii, one of the best places to visit in october in usa.

Photo by Maridav on Adobe Stock

There’s no denying that the Big Island of Hawaii is among the best places to travel in October if you want a mid-fall beach getaway. The island sees fewer crowds and plenty of clear skies during the day. These conditions are perfect for exploring the island’s many beaches! Make sure to add cruising to your list of things to do on the Big Island of Hawaii since you can find a number of discounted deals on it around this time.

Best Places to Visit in California in October

Spend time in California this October and witness the state’s harvest season, along with the myriad of festivals that accompany it. Mid-fall brings balmy weather to the state, ideal for outdoor excursions. Here are the state’s best vacation spots in October:

9. Joshua Tree National Park

woman hiking along the paved trails of joshua tree national park.

Photo by helivideo on Adobe Stock

Joshua Tree National Park is easily one of the best national parks in California. The park stretches nearly 800,000 acres and sits on two deserts – the Mojave and Colorado. In October, the Colorado and Mojave desert landscapes experience comfortable weather conditions with zero chances of rain, perfect for activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and camping. What’s more, the wind conditions are mild during this month. It’s also the best time to catch a glimpse of the Pegasus constellation and the Andromeda Galaxy while stargazing.

10. Sonoma Valley

one of the vineyards in sonoma county, california bathed in autumn colors.

Photo by Timothy on Adobe Stock

Located within California’s wine country, Sonoma County is among the best vacation spots in the US for couples. Visiting in October means you’re just in time for the county’s harvest season, so you get to sample the best wines in the state. Tour over 400 wineries and witness the intricate process of wine-crafting. You can also dine at one of the 500 eateries in the area, including Michelin-starred restaurants. Besides wine-tasting tours, you can also add a romantic hot-air balloon ride over the valley to your itinerary.

11. Mammoth Lakes

aerial view of rainbow falls in mammoth lakes, one of the best places to visit in october in usa.

Photo by Kit Leong on Adobe Stock

Nestled between the slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada, Mammoth Lakes is a quaint mountain town that offers visitors an idyllic mid-fall getaway. It’s certainly among the best places to visit in the fall for leaf peeping since the Rainbow Falls is bathed in glorious hues of gold, crimson, and orange all through October. Besides that, you can also choose from countless terrains to go hiking, backpacking, or mountain biking

Best Places to Visit in Miami in October

Miami is among the best places to visit in October for a sunny holiday. From pub crawls to historic tours around the city, plenty of activities await you at this warm-weather destination. And we can’t talk about Miami without mentioning its 35 miles’ worth of pristine sandy shorelines! Here are the top events and places in Miami you definitely need to experience this October

12. Miami Carnival

women dressed in sparkly costumes during a carnival celebration.

Photo by peopleimages.com on Adobe Stock

The Miami Carnival is an event that brings the festive carnival traditions of the Caribbean to Florida. Each October, parades featuring steel drums, glittery costumes, and lively dancing take to the streets to celebrate Caribbean culture. Lots of authentic, delicious island flavors can also be found here. One of the highlights of the event includes the King and Queen costume contest, which will have you marveling at lavish clothing decked out with rhinestones, beads, and feathers. The Miami Carnival Panorama Competition is also sought-after, flooding the grounds with echoing bangs of steel drums.

13. South Beach

cars parked in front of one of the clubs and bars along south beach. is one of the main tourist attractions in miami.

Photo by travelview on Adobe Stock

South Beach is Miami’s premier destination if you’re looking for a trendy nightlife scene. Go on a bar/pub crawl along the boozy stretch at Ocean Drive and dance the night away. The month is also a great time for foodies to visit thanks to the South Beach Seafood Festival. Sample all the best seafood in Miami prepared by skilled chefs and culinary personalities during this annual Miami event!

Best Places to Visit in Colorado in October

Rife with stunning fall foliage and lively festivals, Colorado offers some of the best fall vacations in the US during October. The air is crisp and cool during mid-fall, but it’s also around this time that the first snowfall arrives in the state, making it a great destination to visit if you’re looking to jumpstart your winter getaway. With that said, these are the best places to experience Colorado in October.

14. Aspen

pumpkins and other seasonal produce on display at the aspen saturday market during october.

Photo from Aspen Saturday Market’s official Facebook page

Aspen is a prominent ski town in Colorado. Visiting in October means you’ll be surrounded by golden hues while you explore all of the town’s offerings. Just a few of the things you can do during this time include strolling through the downtown area, going on nature hikes, and hitting up the Aspen Saturday Market for some fresh, local finds. In addition, the Wheeler Opera House is also popular among locals and tourists, so don’t forget to check their website for performances and show dates.

15. Denver

art displays at the meow wolf, denver in colorado.

Photo by mark byzewski on Flickr

Denver, Colorado offers the perfect balance of urban and outdoor excursions for all of its guests. You can enjoy nature walks while surrounded by fall colors during the day and when the sun goes down, immerse yourself in the city’s lively nightlife. Foodies will enjoy browsing Denver’s Central Market and its selection of artisanal culinary delights. Meanwhile, art enthusiasts can immerse themselves in a psychedelic art experience at the Meow Wolf. Looking for fall celebrations? The Prairie Harvest Fest will have you going on hayrides and pumpkin picking. Another October event to anticipate is the Candy Crawl, which will have you drowning in treats!

16. Rocky Mountain National Park

snow-covered cliffs of rocky mountain national park.

Photo by Harold Wainwright on Unsplash

October is one of the busiest months for this national park in Colorado. This is due to the Rocky Mountain National Park weather conditions, which generally see clear, blue skies and crisp air with little chance of rainfall. As such, it’s the best time to explore the park’s over 200,000 acres of meadows, hiking trails, alpine lakes, and towering peaks. You can even go snowshoeing and cross-country skiing as early as mid-October at higher elevation areas, such as Bear Lake and Hidden Valley!

Best Places to Visit in North Carolina in October

North Carolina is one of the best states to visit in October. Whether you’re in search of leaf-peeping destinations, spooktacular Halloween events, seasonal fare, or street festivals, the Tar Heel State has it all for you. Discover the best places to travel to in the state during October below:

17. Charlotte

people dressed in medieval costumes at the carolina renaissance festival, one of the october events in charlotte, nc.

Photo from Charlotte official website

Offering a variety of festivals, Charlotte is among the best places to visit in October in the USA’s North Carolina state. The city ushers in the month with the annual Taste of Charlotte, a food festival where you can sample Charlotte’s best culinary offerings. Midmonth, witness dozens of colorful hot air balloons in the sky during the state’s yearly BalloonFest. Charlotte also celebrates the Renaissance Festival which will take you back in time during the whole month. And thanks to the mild weather and gentle breeze the month brings, you can comfortably enjoy everything it has to offer.

18. Chapel Hill

flowers in bloom with a butterfly at the north carolina botanical garden.

Photo from North Carolina Botanical Garden official website

Chapel Hill experiences relatively dry weather in October, making it the ideal time for exploring the town. Head over to the North Carolina Botanical Garden and marvel at the vibrant display of reds, oranges, and yellows. It’s also around this time that the botanical garden also hosts its annual Sculpture in the Garden exhibit which features different artworks by local artists. Go on a walking tour along the historic downtown area to learn all about the town and its history while you visit historic sites, murals, cemeteries, and gardens.

Best Places to Visit in Salem in October

There’s no denying that Salem, Massachusetts, is among the best places to visit in the USA if you want a bewitching adventure this October. Enchantment, intrigue, history, and culture can all be found within the streets of what is dubbed Witch City. Here are the most haunting and historic sites you shouldn’t miss on your visit to Salem.

19. Salem Witch Museum

exterior of the salem witch museum in salem, massachusetts.

Photo by Deyan on Adobe Stock

Learn all about the infamous Salem witch trials of the 17th century at the Salem Witch Museum. The establishment produces dramatizations of the infamous witch hunt, complete with tableaux of trials, hangings, and other tragic events. All things considered, it’s the perfect place to visit if you want to discover the history behind witches, and witchcraft, and how people’s perceptions of them evolved over time.

20. Witch House Salem

exterior of the witch house in salem during october with fall foliage.

Photo by massmatt on Flickr

The Jonathan Corwin House, also known as the Witch House in Salem, was the home of one of the most prominent figures involved in the Salem witch trials. Nowadays, it serves as a museum that provides visitors with a better understanding of the people involved in the witch trials. Hear all about their infamous ghost stories about the area, which will definitely leave you spooked!

Best Places to Visit in New Hampshire in October

New Hampshire should definitely be on your list of where to travel in October! While the state is famous for its picturesque fall colors, it is also great for last-minute beach trips, mountain getaways, and urban vacations. Here are the best places to visit in October in the USA’s New Hampshire region:

21. Hampton Beach

silhouette of a family of four playing in the waters of hampton beach, new hampshire.

Photo by natalia rogers on Unsplash

Looking for the best vacation spots for couples in October? If that’s the case, head over to New Hampshire’s premier vacation destination: Hampton Beach. October brings the year’s last leg of sunny days and cool winds to this vacation hotspot, ideal for hitting the shores before the winter season sets in. Stay at one of the beachfront hotels and be a few steps away from exciting events, such as firework displays, concerts, and movie showings on Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. For a more intimate stay, you can even camp out at the RV campsite of the Hampton Beach State Park, which remains open until the end of the month.

22. Manchester

buildings in downtown manchester, new hampshire.

Photo by AlexiusHoratius on Wikimedia Commons

As the largest city in New Hampshire, Manchester is home to plenty of scenic spots during October — ranging from beautiful parks to a bustling downtown area. Bask in the best fall foliage in the state by visiting areas like Lake Massabesic. Here, a number of outdoor activities await, such as boating, hiking, biking, and picnicking. Want to immerse yourself in the urban atmosphere? Don’t miss out on exploring Elm Street in the downtown area which is home to the city’s best restaurants, bars, and cafes.

23. The White Mountains

fall foliage along new hampshire highway.

Photo by Xavier Ascanio on Adobe Stock

If you’re looking for day trip ideas from Manchester, head up to the White Mountains. Immerse yourself in Mother Nature, adorned with vibrant fall foliage during the month of October. The landscape itself is decorated with rugged mountain ranges, waterfalls, granite walls, and chasms. Apart from that, it is also home to man-made attractions, such as the famous Covered Bridges, water parks, railroads, and even zipline and adventure courses. Experience the White Mountains by either taking a scenic drive through the Kancamagus Highway or riding a train along the Conway Scenic Railroad!

Best Places to Visit in Savannah in October

Savannah, Georgia is one of the best places to travel in October because the month brings a wide range of festivals and events to the city. Coupled with great weather conditions, it’s the best time to visit all the best attractions and take part in the activities in this coastal city. Here are just some of the must-visit places in Savannah in October:

24. Olde Pink House

exterior of the olde pink house restaurant in savannah, georgia, one of the best places to visit in october in the usa.

Photo by Merry N on Fredericksblogger.Blogspot

The bright pink exterior of the Olde Pink House is hard to miss along the streets of the city’s historic district. A staple within the local community, dining at this restaurant is certainly among the best things to do in Savannah, Georgia. Choose from a wide range of traditional Southern fare, including fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, and crispy flounder. After enjoying an elegant meal on the main floor, grab a drink at the candlelit tavern and bar located in the basement.

25. Forsyth Park

perspective shot of a cello player and her sheet music during an outdoor concert.

Photo by Sofiia on Adobe Stock

Forsyth Park boasts a full slate of events during October. One to catch is the annual philharmonic concert, the largest outdoor concert in the city. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets, and watch live musical performances by the Savannah Philharmonic. Or you can hit up the many local food trucks set up in the area. Visiting during the weekends? Don’t forget to check out the local farmers’ market and browse tents filled with local produce and goods.

26. Bonaventure Cemetery

grand spanish moss trees in bonaventure cemetery in savannah, ga.

Photo by Iryna Liveoak on Adobe Stock

If you’re looking for spooky fall vacation ideas this 2022, a trip to the Bonaventure Cemetery should certainly be on your itinerary. The over 100-acre cemetery is a sight to behold during the day, as the towering trees and pathways are lined with flower shrubs. By nighttime, explore the haunting beauty of the cemetery by taking part in ghost tours. Unearth the most intriguing and creepy tales that shroud Bonaventure Cemetery and its residents, including that of Little Gracie Watson whose spirit is said to roam the city.

Best Places to Visit in Sedona in October

Wondering where it is hot in the USA in October? The desert town of Sedona in Arizona is one of the warm-weather destinations in the country. The dry Sedona weather makes it one of the best places to go in October if you’re looking to escape the onset of winter. Here are the best October vacations this town has to offer. 

27. Red Rock State Park

sandstone formations at red rock state park, one of the best places to visit in october.

Photo by Daniel Powell on Unsplash

Home to towering red rock formations, scenic trails, and stunning views of the state, the Red Rock State Park is among the must-visit state parks in Arizona. October is a great time to visit thanks to the spectacular fall colors that shroud the landscape, as well as the pleasant weather throughout the month. These factors make this destination perfect for hiking and other outdoor activities! You can also join guided nature walks to learn the science behind the park’s red rock formations, or go on a wildlife spotting tour. Horseback riding and biking are also popular activities in the park.

28. Sedona Vortex

man standing atop cathedral rock, one of the believed sedona vortices. 

Photo by Tommy Tang on Unsplash

Spend your October long weekend vacation on a road trip to Sedona’s vortices. One of the more extraordinary tourist attractions in the area, the Sedona Vortex collection is spread across the natural beauty of the desert town. Many believe that these vortices emit energy that can heal, recharge, and uplift people. For this very reason, visitors from across the state head to these vortices to relax and meditate. Some of the most popular ones include Cathedral Rock, Chapel of the Holy Cross, Boynton Canyon, and Bell Rock.

Best Places to Visit in Moab in October

Where is hot in October in the USA? One of the places in the county that’s famous for its warm, sunny weather is Moab, Utah. Similar to Sedona, the city is likewise renowned for its red rock formations and a plethora of outdoor activities. Add these must-visit attractions to your list of best vacation spots in the US this October.

29. Arches National Park

close-set of arches at arches national park, one of the best places to visit in october in the usa.

Photo by robnaw on Adobe Stock

Arches National Park is the best place to visit in October in the Moab area if you want to explore landscapes with unique rock formations. Besides the over 2,000 natural stone arches, the park is also home to pinnacles, rock fins, and giant balanced rocks. Witness the stunning beauty of the ancient sandstone by hiking through over 75,000 acres of land. Stargazing is also a popular activity since the park’s night skies are considered some of the darkest in the country. You won’t have trouble spotting different constellations, the Milky Way, and even the rings of Saturn. 

30. Canyonlands National Park

sunset over the rock formations at canyonlands national park.

Photo by Noradoa on Adobe Stock

Explore the wilderness in Canyonlands National Park during October and you’ll be greeted with pleasant weather ideal for outdoor excursions. A gateway to backcountry adventures, the desert landscape offers plenty of adrenaline-inducing activities. Go backpacking through the Canyonlands backcountry, raft down the Colorado and Green rivers, or climb up soaring sandstone towers! Furthermore, you can saddle up and ride to the Island in the Sky to take in the picturesque vistas from the top.

The Best Places to Visit in October in the USA

Where is the best place to travel in the United States in October? With endless options of destinations that offer fantastic October vacations, there’s not just one best vacation spot. But regardless if you want an outdoor excursion, a last-minute beach getaway, or an urban adventure for your October long weekend getaway, there are plenty of destinations to choose from. We hope with this article, you’ll find the best places to travel in October in the USA that are perfect for you!