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The kids are heading back to school; the air is getting crisp, and a few yellow leaves are suddenly tucked into that green canopy. Everything tells us fall is just around the corner. It may be the end of summer but vacation doesn’t have to stop. So, look beyond your timeshare week and check out these fall getaways to keep your vacation season in full bloom.
New England is pretty much synonymous with fall. And as the summer fades, the many New England trees start trying on new colors. Wondering when to go? This handy map shows what’s turning when and where. But you can and should get updates since leaf conditions follow the weather and are vulnerable to storms and temperatures. Take in leaves and history in Concord, MA. Embrace Halloween in Salem, MA. Or consider Litchfield, CT, just a few hours outside of New York City, where you’ll find leaves plus wineries, farms, antiques, and more. Maybe you want to head further north to Vermont or Maine? Go for it! Countless New England destinations are available for enthusiastic vacationers! Make sure to book your room in advance so you have someplace to sleep!
US National Parks are a good bet year-round. But as fall getaways go, it’s a great bet. The changing season brings cooler temperatures in most parks. Explore the Badlands or Yosemite without the scorching heat. And with the kids back to school, the crowds have thinned out. Cruise through Yellowstone without the traffic jams. Or take advantage of the season and check out the fall colors in Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, and Acadia. But don’t forget your layers. It gets cold at night! Looking to visit for free? Read more about A Kid In Every Park program, that provides free passes to all fourth-grade students here.
Our next fall getaway is Napa Valley, CA. However, fall is not the off-season in wine country. Instead, the season brings the grape harvest and stunning colors—on the trees and in the vineyards. Napa offers wine tasting year-round, but in the fall, you can also try your hand at making the vino yourself! The vineyards are busy bringing in the harvest and transforming it into wine. They’ll happily put you to work. Or check out the Napa Valley Wine train. This historic train winds through wine county with stops at major wineries. You’ll travel in luxurious style while dining on epic local cuisine in motion. Looking for something more family-friendly? Head for the St. Helena Harvest Festival featuring food, live music, a carnival, and of course, wine. There’s so much to see and do in Napa.
New Mexico is a state chockful of fall getaway choices. First, you’ll get a two for one! Just 60 miles apart—you can easily check out both Albuquerque and Santa Fe in one trip. Second, the temperatures are more tolerable—not all of us thrive in 100-degree heat. Finally, there’s so much to see and do here in the fall, including the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October which offers once in a lifetime views of spectacular balloons, plus so many other activities. You can also ride the tram up to Sandia Peak for even more amazing views. Enjoy Albuquerque’s Old Town for shopping and food. Or take the kids to Explora, a science museum with over 250 hands-on exhibits.
Don’t miss the amazing Meow Wolf museum if you do bring the kiddos and remember to prepare your answer to the locals’ age-old question: red or green? This alludes to the two colors of peppers that go into the classic southwest hot sauces you’ll find on pretty much everything you order. Pro tip: If you’re nervous about the heat, ask for them on the side!
Can’t truly get away? You’re in luck! It’s fall across the country. Find the best fall activities right in your town. Of course, apple-picking is a perfect fall activity. So, take the kids to a local orchard and enjoy apples right off the tree. Many orchards also provide activities and features like hayrides, corn mazes, and pumpkin patches. You may even be able to catch some late season raspberries. In the Halloween spirit? Go on a ghost tour in your own town. Or bring Napa to you with a quick visit to your local wine store. And don’t forget your state parks! Like National Parks, these, too, feature fewer crowds when there are cooler temperatures. So many memories are waiting to be made, and sometimes the best fall getaway is the one in your own backyard! Click here for more staycation tips.
(Image Source: Pixabay)