What makes a perfect fall trip? Lots of color, for starters but great entertainment and unusual scenery help, too. In the U.S. there are hundreds and hundreds of places that could easily fill the bill of autumnal perfection, but we don’t have that much room!
So here are our picks for six ideal fall getaways. Take a look, then tell us your favorites.
Which trip is travel expert Rick Seaney’s favorite? Listen:
Visit Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in the Berkshires and you’re surrounded by glorious fall color and something more: history. Admire the old buildings like the Red Lion Inn (est. 1773) or take in the ultimate in Americana at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Excellent dining and shopping opportunities too. Learn more here.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers loads of lush color and plenty of outdoor fun including trout fishing or admiring all the waterfalls as you hike the Porcupine Mountains. It may take a bit of effort getting here, but the views of Lake Superior should not be missed. Learn more here.
Getting there: Fly into Green Bay, Wisconsin, and head north.
Texas Hill Country
If you don’t think of fall foliage when you think of Texas, chances are you’ve never been to the Lost Maples State Natural Area in Vanderpool, because it is beautiful in autumn. Plus it’s only 88 miles from San Antonio where you can see a rodeo, visit a farmers market or join an art crawl. And don’t forget to save time for the Alamo. Learn more here.
Getting there: Fly into San Antonio which has featured relatively cheap fares much of the year.
Big Bear is not just a Southern California ski area – it’s also home to some brilliant fall foliage. And a long-running Oktoberfest. And loads of outdoor fun. If the color you’re craving is neon, head North on the I-15 for Vegas. If it’s beaches and movie stars, take the I-10 West to LA. Learn more here.
Jackson, Wyoming, is an intriguing mix of celebrities and cowboys, Old West and New Glitz. Take in the Fall Arts Festival or a live theater production or visit the famed Elk Refuge. If you do nothing else, go stare at the Grand Tetons and your trip will be complete. Learn more here.
Getting there: Jackson Hole’s airport is tiny but it features a fair number of airlines including discounter Frontier. Other choices are Idaho Falls and – if you don’t mind a drive, Salt Lake City (according to one who’s made the 275 mile drive a time or two, “Incredible scenery, totally worth it.”)
Savannah, Georgia, does have colorful leaves in fall but some say there’s even more color in its vibrant fall festivals: a jazz festival, food and wine festival, film festival and even a pirate festival. Did we mention Oktoberfest and fireworks? Or just stroll through this beautiful city with all its lovingly-tended architectural gems and dream. Learn more here.