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The Best Destinations In The US To Visit This Fall


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Brooke Hauser



As the leaves change color and the temperatures grow cooler, fall is the perfect time to embark on a memorable travel adventure. The United States offers a myriad of breathtaking destinations that showcase the beauty of autumn. From picturesque mountains and charming small towns to vibrant cities and renowned national parks, there is something for everyone to enjoy during this enchanting season.


Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, an outdoor adventure, or an opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture and cuisine, the fall season presents endless possibilities. In this article, we will explore some of the best destinations in the US to visit this fall, each offering its unique charm and captivating experiences.


From the stunning foliage of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee to the quaint villages of New England, the US abounds with natural splendor during autumn. You can indulge in outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and wildlife spotting, or simply sit back and relax in cozy accommodations sipping warm apple cider.


For those seeking a touch of luxury and world-class skiing, Aspen, Colorado, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and art aficionados alike. The Pacific Northwest boasts awe-inspiring landscapes, with destinations such as Washington’s Mount Rainier and Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park offering picturesque settings for fall getaways.


Of course, no list of fall destinations would be complete without mentioning the spectacular national parks that span the country. From Yosemite in California to Acadia in Maine, these natural wonders showcase the vibrant colors of fall and provide countless opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting.


The southern states, with their mild temperatures and distinct southern charm, also offer delightful fall experiences. From the historic streets of Charleston, South Carolina, to the breathtaking beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, there is much to explore and discover in the southern region of the United States.


Wine enthusiasts can also indulge in the flavors of fall in Napa Valley, California, home to renowned wineries and scenic vineyard views. And for those seeking a lively and vibrant atmosphere, New Orleans, Louisiana, offers a unique blend of history, jazz music, and delectable cuisine.


Lastly, for a scenic drive through nature’s colorful canvas, the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina is a must-visit destination. The winding road offers stunning vistas of fall foliage, charming small towns, and opportunities to explore the great outdoors.


With so many incredible destinations to choose from, planning a fall getaway in the US promises to be an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of autumn in America.


The Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Nestled between Tennessee and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning vistas, diverse wildlife, and a vibrant display of fall foliage, it is a perfect escape to immerse yourself in the beauty of autumn.


As you explore the various hiking trails in the park, you’ll be treated to a kaleidoscope of colors as the leaves transform into vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold. The Appalachian Trail, which passes through the park, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, showcasing the stunning autumn landscape.


For a truly unforgettable experience, take a scenic drive along the Newfound Gap Road. This iconic route winds its way through the heart of the Smoky Mountains, offering panoramic views of the changing leaves and picturesque valleys. Along the way, be sure to make stops at Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park, and Cades Cove, a historic district where you can explore old homesteads and witness the traditional Appalachian way of life.


In addition to hiking and driving, the Great Smoky Mountains also offer opportunities for camping, fishing, and wildlife spotting. Keep your eyes peeled for black bears, deer, elk, and a wide variety of bird species that call the park home. The fall season is an especially exciting time for wildlife enthusiasts as animals prepare for winter and engage in mating rituals.


If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, consider visiting nearby towns such as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. These charming communities offer a range of activities and attractions, including live music venues, delicious southern cuisine, and unique craft shops where you can browse handmade goods and Appalachian art.


Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, breathtaking scenery, or a glimpse into the rich Appalachian heritage, the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee deliver on all fronts. As the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to fall, this natural wonderland beckons visitors from far and wide to experience the magic of autumn in the heart of the South.


New England

When it comes to picturesque fall destinations, New England is hard to beat. This charming region, comprising six northeastern states—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont—is renowned for its breathtaking fall foliage, quaint small towns, and rich colonial history.


As the leaves change colors, the landscapes of New England transform into a vibrant tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows. The region’s numerous state parks and scenic drives offer endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of autumn. From the stunning coastline of Cape Cod to the rolling hills of Vermont, each destination offers its own unique charm.


One of the most iconic fall experiences in New England is driving along the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire. This scenic byway stretches for 34 miles through the White Mountain National Forest, treating visitors to breathtaking views of foliage, cascading waterfalls, and majestic peaks.


If you’re craving a taste of history, a visit to Boston, Massachusetts, is a must. Explore the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile trail that winds through the city, showcasing significant historical sites such as the Paul Revere House and the Old North Church. As you stroll through the cobblestone streets, you’ll be surrounded by colonial architecture, charming neighborhoods, and the vibrant colors of fall.


No trip to New England would be complete without experiencing the charm of its small towns. Places like Stowe, Vermont, and Kennebunkport, Maine, exude a quintessential New England ambiance. Their tree-lined streets, classic New England architecture, and cozy bed and breakfasts make for an idyllic fall getaway.


For outdoor enthusiasts, New England offers a haven of recreational activities. Hike Mount Washington in New Hampshire, take a scenic cruise along the rugged coastline of Maine, or indulge in apple picking in one of the many orchards scattered throughout the region.


To satisfy your culinary cravings, be sure to sample the region’s delectable fall treats. Enjoy a warm cup of apple cider, savor a freshly baked apple pie, or indulge in a steaming bowl of New England clam chowder. The flavors of fall are abundant in New England, especially during the autumn months.


Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, historical sites, charming towns, or delicious cuisine, New England is the perfect destination for an unforgettable fall getaway. With its picturesque landscapes and vibrant autumn colors, this region will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the beauty of the season.


Aspen, Colorado

When it comes to experiencing the beauty of fall with a touch of luxury, Aspen, Colorado, is the ultimate destination. Known for its world-class skiing, stunning mountain views, and vibrant cultural scene, Aspen offers a unique and captivating fall experience.


As the summer crowds disperse and the temperatures begin to cool, Aspen transforms into a tranquil oasis nestled amidst the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. The changing foliage paints the landscape with hues of gold, amber, and crimson, creating a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities.


One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of fall in Aspen is by embarking on a scenic hike. The Maroon Bells, with their iconic twin peaks, offer a spectacular setting for a day trip. The trails wind through groves of golden aspen trees, leading to breathtaking viewpoints and serene alpine lakes.


If you prefer a more leisurely experience, take a scenic drive along Independence Pass. This winding mountain road offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, vibrant fall foliage, and the opportunity to witness the majesty of nature up close.


Aside from outdoor activities, Aspen boasts a vibrant arts and cultural scene. You can visit the Aspen Art Museum to appreciate contemporary art, catch a performance at the renowned Wheeler Opera House, or explore the boutiques and galleries in the charming downtown area.


Food enthusiasts will be delighted by the diverse culinary offerings in Aspen. From gourmet farm-to-table restaurants to cozy mountain cafes, there is something to suit every palate. Indulge in a hearty meal at one of the local eateries, or sip on a warm drink while taking in the stunning fall scenery from a cozy café.


For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, Aspen is home to several world-class spas that offer a range of wellness treatments. After a long day of exploring, treat yourself to a massage or soak in a hot tub with sweeping mountain views.


Lastly, don’t miss the opportunity to attend one of the many fall festivals and events in Aspen. From the Aspen Film Festival to the Aspen Music Festival, there is always something happening in this vibrant mountain town. These events showcase the incredible talent and creativity that Aspen is known for.


Aspen, Colorado, offers a sublime blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, cultural richness, and luxurious amenities. Whether you’re a nature lover, an art enthusiast, or simply seeking relaxation in a scenic mountain setting, Aspen is the perfect destination for an unforgettable fall getaway.


The Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest region of the United States is a captivating destination to explore during the fall season. With its lush forests, rugged coastlines, and unique blend of urban and natural landscapes, this region promises an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.


One of the highlights of the Pacific Northwest in the fall is its stunning national parks. Olympic National Park in Washington state offers a diverse range of ecosystems, including old-growth forests, pristine lakes, and rugged coastline. Hiking through the vibrant fall foliage, you can witness breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Olympic Mountains.


Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is another must-visit destination in the Pacific Northwest. As one of the deepest lakes in the world, Crater Lake offers unparalleled beauty. In the fall, the surrounding forests become adorned with colors, creating a vibrant contrast with the deep blue waters of the lake.


The Pacific Northwest is also known for its vibrant cities, each offering its unique charm and cultural experiences. Seattle, Washington, famous for its iconic Space Needle and thriving music scene, is a vibrant urban hub surrounded by natural beauty. Explore the trendy neighborhoods, visit the renowned Pike Place Market, and take a ferry ride for stunning views of the city skyline against the backdrop of colorful fall foliage.


Portland, Oregon, is a haven for food enthusiasts, with its thriving culinary scene and abundance of craft breweries. During the fall, the city comes alive with harvest festivals, farmers markets, and the famous Portland Fall Beer Festival where you can sample seasonal brews and enjoy live music.


For those seeking adventure and outdoor activities, the Pacific Northwest offers an array of options. Take a scenic drive along the Oregon Coast, stopping to explore charming coastal towns and enjoy the crashing waves against rugged cliffs. Embark on a whale-watching tour in the San Juan Islands, where you can witness these majestic creatures as they migrate near the shoreline.


Additionally, the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon showcases stunning waterfalls surrounded by vibrant autumn foliage. Explore the numerous hiking trails, witness the awe-inspiring Multnomah Falls, and be immersed in the beauty of nature.


Whether you choose to explore the national parks, immerse yourself in the vibrant city culture, or partake in thrilling outdoor activities, the Pacific Northwest offers a diverse and captivating fall experience. With its breathtaking landscapes, charming towns, and unique blend of urban and natural environments, this region is a true hidden gem for fall travelers.


The National Parks

When it comes to experiencing the beauty of fall in the United States, the national parks stand out as some of the most awe-inspiring destinations. From coast to coast, the national parks offer a diverse range of landscapes and ecosystems, each showcasing the vibrant colors and breathtaking landscapes of autumn.


Yosemite National Park in California is a renowned fall destination, famous for its towering granite cliffs, majestic waterfalls, and picturesque meadows. As the seasons change, the park’s iconic landmarks, such as El Capitan and Half Dome, are surrounded by a palette of golden hues. Visitors can hike through the valleys, bike along scenic trails, and even enjoy the fall colors during a guided horseback ride.


In New England, Acadia National Park in Maine offers a captivating coastal experience. The park’s rugged coastline, rocky shores, and dense forests make for a perfect autumn escape. Hike along the park’s trails, including the popular Jordan Pond Path, to witness the vibrant foliage reflecting in the crystal-clear waters.


Further west, in Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park showcases the dramatic Teton Range and the Snake River winding through the valley. With the backdrop of the jagged peaks, the fall colors transform the park into a breathtaking landscape. Visitors can enjoy scenic drives, take boat tours along Jenny Lake, and spot wildlife such as elk and moose amidst the colorful scenery.


As the nation’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho offers unparalleled natural beauty and geothermal wonders. In the fall, the park’s dense forests and mountain ranges transform into a vibrant tapestry of colors. Witness the famous geysers like Old Faithful amidst a backdrop of fall foliage, and keep an eye out for the park’s diverse wildlife, including bears, wolves, and elk.


In the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park showcases the incredible diversity of the Appalachian region. With over 100 different tree species, the park’s autumn foliage is a sight to behold. Drive along the park’s scenic roads, hike to panoramic viewpoints, and take in the stunning vistas of rolling mountains blanketed in vibrant fall colors.


This is just a small sampling of the national parks that showcase the beauty of fall in the United States. Each park offers its unique charm and natural wonders, providing visitors with endless opportunities for outdoor adventures and awe-inspiring scenic beauty. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast, a wildlife lover, or simply a fan of stunning landscapes, exploring the national parks during the fall season is an experience that will leave you in awe of Mother Nature’s artistry.


The Southern States

The Southern States of the United States offer a unique charm and a warm hospitality that makes them a delightful fall destination. With their mild temperatures, vibrant fall foliage, and rich cultural heritage, these states provide a perfect backdrop for a memorable autumn getaway.


Charleston, South Carolina, is a prime example of the southern charm and beauty that can be experienced in the fall. The historic streets lined with colorful row houses create a picturesque setting as the leaves change color. Take a stroll along the Battery, visit the historic plantations, and savor the flavors of Lowcountry cuisine, all while immersing yourself in the rich history and culture of this Southern gem.


Savannah, Georgia, is another must-visit city in the Southern States. With its cobblestone streets, historic squares, and Spanish moss-draped trees, Savannah has a romantic ambiance perfect for a fall getaway. Take a ghost tour, enjoy a riverboat cruise, or simply wander the charming streets and squares to witness the beautiful fall colors.


In the mountains of North Carolina, Asheville offers breathtaking views of the fall foliage in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike to panoramic overlooks, and explore the eclectic arts scene and local craft breweries in this vibrant mountain town.


The coastal regions of the Southern States also offer captivating fall experiences. The beaches of the Gulf Coast, including Destin, Florida, and Gulf Shores, Alabama, provide a serene escape with warm temperatures, stunning sunsets, and quieter crowds. Enjoy walks along the shorelines, indulge in fresh seafood, and witness amazing fall sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.


Louisiana’s vibrant city of New Orleans is another fantastic option for a fall adventure. Experience the lively atmosphere of the French Quarter, indulge in Creole cuisine, and immerse yourself in the sounds of jazz music that permeate the streets. The city comes alive with fall festivals and parades, including the famous New Orleans Halloween festivities, making it a vibrant and spirited destination.


Whether you’re exploring the historic streets of Charleston, savoring Lowcountry cuisine in Savannah, hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, relaxing on the Gulf Coast beaches, or immersing yourself in the lively culture of New Orleans, the Southern States offer a blend of scenic beauty and rich traditions that will create lasting memories.


With its mild temperatures, vibrant fall colors, and welcoming hospitality, the Southern States provide an idyllic setting for a fall getaway. Embrace the charm, grace, and natural beauty of the region as you indulge in the culinary delights, explore the diverse landscapes, and celebrate the traditions that make the Southern States truly special.


Napa Valley, California

When it comes to fall destinations, Napa Valley in California stands out as a wine lover’s paradise. This world-renowned wine region offers a captivating blend of picturesque vineyards, fine wines, and breathtaking fall scenery.


As autumn arrives, the vineyards of Napa Valley transform into a stunning tapestry of colors. The lush grapevines turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold, creating a picture-perfect backdrop for wine tasting and exploration.


Visiting Napa Valley in the fall allows you to experience the wine harvest season, also known as “crush.” Wineries come alive with activity as grapes are harvested, and the air is filled with the sweet aroma of ripe fruit. Many wineries open their doors to visitors, offering wine enthusiasts the opportunity to witness the winemaking process firsthand and even participate in grape stomping.


Embark on a scenic drive along the Silverado Trail or the iconic Highway 29, lined with beautiful vineyards and wineries. Take in the panoramic views of rolling hills blanketed in vineyards, set against a backdrop of majestic mountains.


Indulge in wine tastings at the multitude of wineries scattered throughout the valley. From prestigious estates producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon to boutique wineries specializing in unique varietals, there is something to suit every palate. Sip on a glass of rich red wine as you savor the flavors of fall and take in the stunning vineyard landscapes.


In addition to wine, Napa Valley also offers a culinary scene that rivals its grape-based attractions. The region is home to a plethora of Michelin-starred restaurants, charming cafes, and farm-to-table eateries. Fall is the perfect time to explore the local farmers markets and indulge in the flavors of the season, with fresh produce and artisanal products abundant.


For a unique experience, consider taking a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards. As you soar above the landscape, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Napa Valley’s colorful fall foliage, rolling hills, and picturesque wineries.


Aside from wine and culinary delights, Napa Valley also offers opportunities for outdoor activities. Explore the area’s hiking trails, take a bike ride through the vineyards, or simply relax in a cozy inn or spa, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and stunning fall scenery.


Napa Valley’s blend of world-class wines, stunning landscapes, and rich culinary experiences make it an ideal fall destination. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, a food lover, or someone seeking a tranquil retreat, Napa Valley offers a delightful escape where you can truly savor the flavors and beauty of fall.


New Orleans, Louisiana

When it comes to vibrant fall destinations, New Orleans, Louisiana, stands out as a city that is rich in history, culture, and culinary delights. Known for its vibrant music scene, unique architecture, and lively atmosphere, New Orleans offers a one-of-a-kind experience during the autumn months.


As the summer heat subsides, the fall weather in New Orleans becomes comfortable and pleasant, making it an ideal time to explore the city’s vibrant neighborhoods. Take a leisurely stroll through the French Quarter, with its charming architecture, lively jazz music, and delectable cuisine. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the area by visiting iconic landmarks such as Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral.


No visit to New Orleans would be complete without indulging in the city’s renowned cuisine. Sample classic dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and beignets at renowned restaurants or try local favorites at street food stalls. Fall is also the time for food festivals, such as the New Orleans Seafood Festival and the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, where you can savor the flavors of the season.


Music is a quintessential part of the New Orleans experience, and the fall season brings a vibrant lineup of festivals and performances. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is a highlight, showcasing local talent and internationally acclaimed musicians. From traditional jazz to blues, funk, and soul, the city’s music scene comes alive with the sounds of fall.


Explore the eclectic neighborhoods beyond the French Quarter, such as the Garden District and Magazine Street, where you’ll find unique boutiques, art galleries, and charming cafes. Take a streetcar ride along St. Charles Avenue, lined with historic mansions and oak-lined streets, and revel in the beauty of fall foliage.


For a spooky and festive experience, the fall season in New Orleans is synonymous with Halloween and Voodoo Fest. Explore the city’s haunted history on ghost tours, witness extravagant Halloween parades, and embrace the mystical aura of Voodoo culture.


New Orleans also celebrates fall with vibrant and colorful parades. The Krewe of Boo parade, held just weeks before Halloween, fills the streets with spooky floats, costumed revelers, and candy for all ages. It’s a fun and family-friendly event that captures the festive spirit of fall in New Orleans.


With its lively atmosphere, rich culture, and mouth-watering cuisine, New Orleans is a captivating destination to visit in the fall. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant neighborhoods, immersing yourself in the music, or indulging in the culinary delights, New Orleans guarantees an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lasting memories of this vibrant Southern city.


The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic road that winds through the stunning landscapes of Virginia and North Carolina, offering one of the most picturesque fall experiences in the United States. As the leaves change color, this 469-mile parkway becomes a breathtaking canvas of vibrant fall foliage, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and road trip aficionados.


Driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway during the fall is like entering a postcard as the rolling hillsides are blanketed in a riot of reds, oranges, and golds. The road snakes through the Blue Ridge Mountains, providing awe-inspiring views at every turn. It’s a journey that offers countless opportunities to stop, take in the scenery, and capture memorable photographs.


Throughout the Parkway’s route, you’ll encounter charming small towns, historic sites, and numerous hiking trails. Take a break from the drive to explore the picturesque town of Asheville, North Carolina, known for its vibrant arts scene and stunning Biltmore Estate. Along the way, make sure to visit the historic Mabry Mill, an iconic photo spot that captures the essence of the region.


Hiking enthusiasts will find plenty of trails to explore, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes. The Graveyard Fields Trail, located near Asheville, showcases waterfalls, open meadows, and unique flora, making it a favorite among visitors. For a more challenging trek, venture out to Linville Gorge and hike to the dramatic Linville Falls.


The Blue Ridge Parkway is not just a road to be admired from behind the wheel. It also offers a gateway to outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, and wildlife spotting. Keep an eye out for black bears, white-tailed deer, and a variety of bird species that call this region home.


As you make your way along the Parkway, be sure to plan for plenty of stops at the overlooks. These scenic viewpoints provide panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys, giving you ample opportunities to witness the sweeping beauty of the fall foliage.


In addition to the breathtaking fall colors, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a year-round destination that offers stunning scenery during every season. Whether it’s the blooming wildflowers of spring, the lush greenery of summer, or the snow-dusted landscapes of winter, this iconic road provides a captivating experience throughout the year.


As you journey along the peaceful and winding Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll be entranced by the beauty of nature’s canvas in the fall. Whether you’re driving its entirety or simply partaking in a portion of the route, the picturesque landscapes and vibrant fall foliage guarantee an unforgettable experience and a true appreciation of the natural wonders of the Blue Ridge Mountains.



Fall is a magical season in the United States, offering a wide range of incredible destinations to explore and experience. From the natural wonders of the national parks to the vibrant cities and charming small towns, there is something for everyone to enjoy during this enchanting time of year.


Whether you’re seeking the vibrant colors of fall foliage, outdoor adventures in picturesque landscapes, cultural experiences, or culinary delights, the US has it all. The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, New England’s quaint villages, Aspen’s luxurious mountain charm, the Pacific Northwest’s awe-inspiring landscapes, and the Southern States’ warm hospitality all provide unique and captivating fall experiences.


Visiting Napa Valley, California, allows wine enthusiasts to indulge in the flavors of the season, while New Orleans, Louisiana, thrives with its vibrant music scene and rich cultural heritage. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers a scenic drive through nature’s colorful canvas, capturing the essence of fall, no matter the time of the year.


Whether you’re exploring the national parks, savoring the flavors of Napa Valley, immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of New Orleans, or taking a leisurely scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the diversity of fall destinations in the United States ensures that there is something for every traveler’s tastes.


As you embark on your fall adventure, don’t forget to embrace the beauty of the season, immerse yourself in the local culture, and savor the flavors and experiences each destination has to offer. Whether you’re capturing stunning photographs, tasting regional cuisine, or simply taking in the breathtaking scenery, these experiences will create lasting memories of the beauty and wonder of autumn in America.


So, pack your bags and hit the road. Fall in the US awaits, ready to welcome you with its stunning landscapes, vibrant colors, and unforgettable experiences. Get ready to explore, discover, and create memories that will last a lifetime.