By Rachel Puryear
Another summer is now behind us, and Fall has set in. The air is crisp, the leaves are changing color. Ice cold beers and barbecues are swapped for hot cider and soup, and the weather is cooling down. For many people, these changes mark the end of travel season – at least until Spring.
However, if you don’t want to wait that long, you don’t have to – there are plenty of places to enjoy in Fall. Plus, an advantage of traveling in Fall is that you don’t have to deal with the big summer crowds – or the heat.
Here are a few places that are great – maybe even at their best – as we head towards the end of the year:
A tree-lined street, with colorful leaves on the ground, and street lamps. By Daniel J. Schwarz.
Asheville, North Carolina
Fall is a season for great comfort food, and Asheville was recently named a top U.S. food city by Travel & Leisure. Bring your appetite, and sample this city’s delicious Southern-Appalachian fare.
Pisgah National Forest, Looking Glass Rock. By Jake Johnson.
That great food will give you energy you’ll need to hike Pisgah National Forest, and enjoy the waterfalls and changing tree leaves. Or, if you’d rather sit back and relax, you can instead take a scenic drive through the park.
If you’ve heard of Vermont’s famous Fall foliage, but haven’t been there to see it yet, this is a great destination for doing so.
Check out Fort Drummer State Park, and Wantastiquet Mountain Natural Area for blazes of red, yellow, and orange leaves. You can also follow Route 30 for a 17-mile scenic drive.
San Diego, California
This coastal city features a warm Mediterranean climate, so it has mild weather year round. You won’t be snowed in here, even in Winter.
San Diego beach and ocean, with palm trees. By Andres Garcia.
San Diego offers beautiful beaches that you can enjoy in all seasons. There’s a huge zoo that the whole family can enjoy. Check out Balboa Park for seeing natural beauty. Enjoy awesome food, with plenty of great Mexican food as well as lots of other cuisines.
Yellowstone/Jackson Hole, Wyoming
If you haven’t been to Yellowstone, it’s definitely a bucket list item for nature and road trip lovers. If you’ve been there in the Summer, though, you know how big the crowds can be.
Early Fall offers beautiful foliage colors in this area, while the skiing season starts in late November – so now is a great time to go and avoid crowds, but also while it’s not super cold yet.
Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone. By Denys Nevozhai.
While you’re seeing Yellowstone, be sure to also visit the nearby park, Grand Tetons National Park. The latter is smaller, and you can see a lot there in a couple of days. If you’re looking for a nearby downtown area, stop by Jackson Hole.
Grand Tetons at sunset. By Nate Foong.
Flagstaff, Arizona/Grand Canyon/Painted Desert
The Grand Canyon is also a must-see, and is worth seeing again, too. Not too far from this park is also the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert (these latter two are a combined park) – these are relatively less visited compared with the Grand Canyon, but are also just as worth seeing.
This area is at a high elevation. Therefore, by going in earlier Fall, you avoid the chill and snowfall of Winter, yet you also avoid the desert heat of Summer – not to mention the Summer crowds!
Grand Canyon, with striking cloud formations overhead. By Omer Nezih Gerek.
For a nearby city with solid dining offerings and all the amenities you’ll need, check out Flagstaff – and don’t miss the observatory while you’re there! Clear desert night skies make for some great viewing of the cosmos.
Colorful hills of the Painted Desert. By Valkyrie Pierce.
Also check out the nearby Wupatki National Monument, to learn about local Native American history and culture, and see pueblos over 900 years old.
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Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to enjoying the beauty of Fall.
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Check out my other blog, too – World Class Hugs, at https://worldclasshugs.com. It’s about celebrating empathic and “HSP” people, overcoming toxic patterns and learning better ways of relating to others, and traveling and nature photos.
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