Europe, North America

Where To Travel This Fall

Now that Autumn has arrived, let’s talk getting cozy, changing colors, and new travel destinations.

I don’t know about you, but Fall is my favorite time of year and I can’t wait to bring out the sweaters, warm drinks, and walking among the changing leaves. September and October are actually wonderful months to travel: They are far less crowded with tourists, offer plenty of local events, the weather is better, and so are the airline prices. I have previously written about Fall road trip routes, what to pack, and it being a beautiful season to visit the mountains, so while many of the travel publications like to round up their season favorites so I whittled it down to some personal favorites in North America & Europe here:

ZION NATIONAL PARK – The Virgin River flows through Zion National Park in Utah, one of many national parks worth exploring during this colorful season.

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK – Coastal Maine is home to one of the smaller national parks, Acadia, which bills itself as the site with the least light pollution east of the Mississippi River. Accordingly, you must go there for the Acadia Night Sky Festival (September 5-9).

UPSTATE NY (ie. GLEN FALLS) – For nearly 50 years, this city on the edge of the Adirondacks has held the Adirondack Balloon Festival, a hot-air balloon extravaganza that looks straight out of a children’s book. You’ve also got the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival (September 7-9) and the World’s Largest Garage Sale (September 29-30) which is expected to draw more than 500 vendors. I would add the Hudson Valley in NY for part of this too.

VERMONT & MAINE – Live out your Gilmore Girl fantasies with small town charm and changing colors galore in these North East states.

ASPEN & BRECKENRIDGE, COLORADO – Early changing leaves and perfect temperatures beckon you to Colorado. Breckenridge in September for Breckenridge Oktoberfest. What’s advertised as the largest street party in the Rocky Mountains will run from September 7-9. If you can stay for a week, you should, not only to enjoy walking around the adorable downtown but to take advantage of the Breckenridge Wine Classic from September 13-16.

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO – Fall is Festival season in Santa Fe, from the annual Burning of Zozobra, the heated Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown on September 10 is followed by the Fiesta de Santa Fe from September 11-13. The Fiesta, held for more than 300 years, celebrates the Southwestern city’s colonial history with traditional Spanish dancing, mariachi music, religious ceremonies and New Mexican cuisine.The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Festival (September 23-27)

KENTUCKY – For starters, September means the return of the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festivalto Bardstown from the 12th to the 16th. Then, less than an hour away, from September 22-23 you have Louisville’s Bourbon & Beyond

OAXACA – While face paint and costumes are a part of the celebrations, nights in the cemetery are an important aspect of Day of the Dead as well.

GERMANY –  Hello, it’s Munich Oktoberfest! Much copied but never bettered, the original Munich Oktoberfest runs from September 19 to October 4 and will welcome around 6 million beer chuggers from around the world. It’s the world’s largest folk festival — you can tell by all the tourists in dirndls and lederhosen.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Grizzly viewing in Canada –  For most of the year, brown bear (aka grizzly bear) are shy around humans and can be tricky to spot. In Alaska and British Columbia that changes in autumn months when the majestic masters of the forest food chain descend on rivers and streams to gorge on spawning salmon.

FRANCE – The Vougeot Castle sits in a colorful landscape beyond a vineyard in Burgundy, France.

GREECE – The mountain village of Parthenonas is seen through neighboring olive trees, which are ready for harvest in the fall.


Author: Carrie Mitchell

Carrie A. Mitchell is the founder of L’Aventure Travel, the host of the Suitcase Sojourn Podcast, and author of the children’s travel book “To Be We”. Carrie is a global travel and hospitality expert who works with publications, brands and entertainment outlets on a number of travel related projects, from marketing consulting to editorial coverage to hosting & producing content for the web, TV and podcasts. She is always seeking to learn from people and places around the world, and share through her cultural exploration (40+ countries and counting)