The Best Fall Destinations For October Holidays and November Getaways

Summer is quickly coming to an end. The official first day of Fall begins on Monday, September 23rd. It’s almost time to pull out sweaters and boots if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. One of the things I love about Fall is the beautiful Fall colors. The Fall leaves change to oranges, yellows, reds, and provide a stunning canopy through cities and forests. If you are thinking about going on some October holidays, to view the eye-catching autumn colors, then check out the list below of some of the best places to visit in October. If you can’t make it to them in October, don’t worry, some of them are the best places to travel to in November as well.

Fingers Lake, New York – USA

Written by Jim Cheney of Uncovering New York. Follow Jim on Facebook here.

Fingers-Lake-New-YorkThe Finger Lakes of New York would be my pick for one of the best destinations during the fall. This portion of central New York is known as the Finger Lakes thanks to a series of long and narrow lakes that are located within the region. These lakes not only give the region its name but are also the reason why the region is such a great spot to visit in autumn.

The steep shores of each lake create a microclimate that is perfect for growing wine, and the Finger Lakes region has become known as one of the best wine-growing regions in North America. During the fall, you can visit these wineries and not only enjoy the beautiful weather, foliage, and fall scenery, but also the bounty of the growing season as its made into the region’s delicious wines.

In addition to wine, the Finger Lakes region is also known for its many amazing waterfalls that dot the hillsides around the lakes. Dozens of waterfalls can be found throughout the region ranging from small cascades to towering drops hundreds of feet tall. Popular spots to enjoy waterfalls include the areas around Ithaca and Watkins Glen. These are a perfect autumn activity as they are usually flowing well and look their best when surrounded by the beautiful colors of autumn.

 

Julian, CA – USA

Written by Alexa Meisler from 52 Perfect Days. Follow Alexa on Instagram here.

julian-cider-houseIf you are wondering where to travel to in October and don’t want to go too far, then Julian is your spot. Located in California’s beautiful Cuyamaca Mountains, Julian is just one hour east of San Diego. The town dates to the late 1800s when it was part of the infamous California gold rush.

Today Julian is best known for apples and their many festivals that honor the apple. The best time to visit is the fall when the temperatures begin to dip and apples are in season. If you time it correctly you will catch some fall colors and enjoy a slice of warm homemade apple pie and apple cider. If you’d rather make your own pie or cider, visit one of the many orchards that offer “U-pick apples,” some of which are organic. The main apple picking season is late July through early October. 

While in town, make sure to take a tour of the Eagle Mining Company, which shares the underground operations and gold milling process. Half the fun of Julian is getting there! Take Highway 67 from San Diego for the breathtaking drive that passes many different farms, pumpkin patches, as well as apple and honey stands. 

 

Nagoya, Japan

Written by Lena Scheidler from Nagoya Foodie. Follow her on Facebook here.  

Nagoya-in-AutumnWhen it finally gets colder around mid-November the leaves in Nagoya start to change color. The lush green of summer makes way to shades of red and yellow, welcoming fall. This makes Nagoya one of the most beautiful places to visit in November.

The best place to visit around Nagoya to experience the best fall has to offer is the Korankei valley. The trees surrounding the valley turn beautiful shades of red. Perfect for a stroll along the river or through the woods. At night the Korankei valley is illuminated which creates a romantic atmosphere you will surely enjoy.

To get to Korankei from Nagoya you can either drive yourself or join a day tour offered on Klook.

After a long day hiking and exploring, it’s time for delicious warm foods like the local Miso Nikomi Udon, Udon noodles in a dark-brown soup made from red Miso paste. This dish is perfect to warm your whole body and soul after a long day of sightseeing.

Other great fall spots in Nagoya include the Higashiyama park and Tokugawa garden. If you want to find more things to do in Nagoya in general, check out this post.

 

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Written by Ellis from Backpack Adventures. Follow Ellis on Instagram here

SamarkandThe best place for a holiday in October is Samarkand. Samarkand is the jewel of Uzbekistan with some of the finest Islamic architecture in the country. Intricate golden tilework and patterns adorn the mosques and madrassahs whose minarets and deep blue domes decorate the skyline. They bring you back to times when Samarkand was one of the wealthiest cities on the ancient Silk Road.

Samarkand is the oldest city in Uzbekistan and is full of history. However, most of its cultural heritage is still considered holy for the Uzbek people. The mosques and shrines are still active places of worship where locals come to pray. This makes Samarkand such an interesting place to visit.

Visiting Samarkand is now easier than ever. In 2018, Uzbekistan introduced a visa-free regime for most nationalities and much work is being done to improve tourist infrastructure. From the capital Tashkent, it is less than 3 hours by comfortable high-speed train to Samarkand.

Fall is, without doubt, the best time for Uzbekistan and Samarkand. The summer heat is gone and the weather is at its best with clear blue skies and pleasant temperatures. It’s also harvesting season and the market in Samarkand is full of melons, plums, peaches, and figs. As the trees turn red and golden it’s not just the Islamic architecture that leaves you in awe, the nature in the parks of Samarkand is equally beautiful. 

 

Copenhagen, Denmark

Written by Derek Hartman from Robe Trotting. Follow Derek on Facebook here.

Copenhagen-NyhavnIf you’re looking for a perfect Autumn travel destination, don’t miss Copenhagen, Denmark. The days get shorter in Europe in October, but in Northern Europe, Denmark still provides plenty of daylight for activities. The climate in Denmark is still moderate in the Fall and locals spend much of the autumn weekends busy outside. All things considered, Autumn in Copenhagen means a ton of fantastic things to do. 

No matter what, you’ll enjoy the Danish capital once the summer tourists and Baltic cruise ship guests have receded for the season. Copenhagen hosts a popular half-marathon in September, which is a great and healthy excuse for a visit. Are you a foodie? Visit in the fall when the amazing New Nordic restaurants of Copenhagen present their seasonal menus with Fall ingredients.

As mentioned, Copenhagen locals spend as much time as possible out and about in the city enjoying the colorful fall foliage. This is simple to do because there are many city-wide festivals throughout the Fall. For example, Culture Night is an event on the second Friday of October. For a whole night, 250 cultural venues open their doors for extended hours and easy access. Passes are available that include entry at each venue and unlimited public transit for about 15€. There is also the World Music Festival in September. It’s a festival designed to raise cultural awareness of the diverse music scenes from around the globe.

Besides annual festivals, some year-round attractions are especially fun in the autumn months. Tivoli Gardens is one of the best examples. For Halloween, the amusement park is transformed into a spooky haunted garden. The rides are given a scary makeover and the entire park is elaborately decorated.

Whatever you’re looking for, Copenhagen is a great autumn destination and you won’t be let down.

 

Hudson Valley, New York – USA

Written by James Ian at Travel Collecting. Follow James on Pinterest here

Minnewaska-State-Park-NY One of the absolute best fall destinations for travel in October is the Hudson Valley. It stretches along the Hudson River from New York City north to the state capital of New York, Albany. It is a great fall destination for autumn holidays for several reasons. Of course, the fall foliage is spectacular. The entire valley turns into a blaze of red, orange, and yellow in October. Because the valley stretches north-south, the color moves southwards over the course of several weeks, which helps provide a greater window to seeing the color at its peak. My favorite spots include Minnewaska State Park and Mohonk Mountain Preserve, though there are many other spots with great fall color in the valley and the adjacent Catskill Mountains (where the elevation change also gives different timing for the color). 

Other fall highlights include the many farms in the area that have u-pick apples and pears. There are even pumpkin patches where you can pick your own pumpkin just in time to carve it into a scary jack o ’lantern for Halloween. If you like jack o’ lanterns, you will love the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson where thousands of pumpkins are carved and arranged in spooky designs. There are also corn mazes, hayrides, and, of course, great farm stands. There are also several cider houses in the area, including Brooklyn Cider House (in New Paltz, not Brooklyn) where you can drink their cider and eat wood-fired pizza. 

No matter what fall activity you love, you will find it in New York’s Hudson Valley.

 

Cape Town, South Africa

Written by Cal Wienburg from Once in a Lifetime Journey. Follow Cal on Facebook here.

Fall-winery-in-Cape-TownIf you’re looking for a great destination for fall vacations in the southern hemisphere, then I would highly suggest Cape Town in South Africa. It is one of the best places to travel in October. Why Fall particularly? It’s all about the weather. Cape Town is known for its gale force winds, also known as the South Easter or the Cape Doctor. While these strong winds can blow at any time, it’s the Summer months that see the windiest of times. Fall in Cape Town is also not too hot or too cold and the days are still quite long, so the beaches are wide open to chill at or sunbathe on. For surfers, the swell starts to pick up around Fall, so the waves are larger and more consistent. 

The Fall foliage is particularly beautiful in the Winelands of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. While the harvest season is over and there is a lack of green, the oranges and reds of the leaves add a sort of romanticism to the air. Sipping an international award-winning wine while gazing over the Fall scenery is a calm way to ease into Winter. You will see that Cape Town is also much less crowded in the Fall. This allows tourists to explore the Mother City at their leisure without the Summer traffic congestion (both human and automotive). Fall is also the time for citrus in the Cape, so you can eat all the naartjies (mandarins) you can handle. 

Note that the temperature does usually drop suddenly when the sun goes down, so you could be relaxing on the beach in a bikini at 4 pm and then wearing a jacket at 6 pm. Live by my mother’s motto and “always take a jacket with you” in Cape Town, it’s notorious for having four seasons in one day. ***Note fall in South Africa is May/June.

 

Warwick, NY – USA

Written by Taylor Taverna from Taverna Travels. Follow Taylor on Instagram here

Warwick-New-YorkLooking for the perfect Fall getaways from NYC? Warwick, NY, located less than 2 hours from New York City is a great option for a weekend Fall adventure. Warwick is a small town in Orange County, NY. During the Fall months the Village of Warwick, as well as the surrounding mountains are bright with Fall foliage colors. Fall in Warwick is all about celebrating the local harvest. You can enjoy a day of apple picking at Pennings Farm or Ochs Orchard. The fresh apple cider donuts with a warm cup of hot cider, or hard cider if you’re looking for something a bit stronger, is the perfect way to celebrate Fall! 

Looking for some fun for the whole family? Head over to Wright’s Farm and you can enjoy pumpkin picking and hayrides. Every year in October the town hosts an Applefest throughout the streets in the town. A full day of food, entertainment, and fun, this one-day event boasts 39,000 visitors each year. 

Warwick also offers several great hikes that are perfect for appreciating the Fall colors. Head up to Bellvale Farms Creamery for the trailhead of a great four miles roundtrip hike with views of Greenwood Lake.

Canberra, Australia

Written by Monique Skidmore from Trip Anthropologist. Follow Monique on Pinterest here.

Canberra_Lake_Foreshore_in_the_FallCanberra is Australia’s capital, the home of parliament, the public or civil service, and the nation’s cultural museums and memorials. It is a purpose-built city designed by the wonderful American architects Walter and Marion Burley-Griffin. Canberra is a garden city, known as the ‘bush capital’. It has no billboards and no front fences in the central areas except for hedges. It has strict height regulations. The Burley-Griffins dammed a river running through Canberra to make a central lake and there are thousands of trees planted around Lake Burley-Griffin.

Adjacent to this central lake is the Parliamentary Triangle in which Parliament House, government departments, and the national cultural institutions have been built. These buildings are surrounded by parks. Along the lake and throughout the parks are deciduous trees that turn Canberra into a riot of colors as the leaves turn in the Fall.

During the Fall (or autumn), you can walk to the nation’s most important sites including New and Old Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library, the Portrait Gallery, the High Court, and the National Science Museum through the glorious fall foliage.

The other spot to walk through wonderful parks is in the inner north and inner south of the city. In the inner south, Kingston and Manuka are adjacent to Lake Burley Griffin. In the inner north, streets such as Torrens, Condamine, and Miller are heavily planted with European and North American deciduous trees and other Fall foliage.

While you are in Canberra, cycling or walking through the rich reds, vivid yellows, and striking orange foliage, head to the national museums, galleries, memorials, and Aboriginal art and history exhibits and spaces. It’s a bit like Washington D.C. Down Under! Fall is the one time of year when Canberra rivals its busier siblings, Sydney and Melbourne, in terms of sheer natural beauty.

Keep in mind the first day of Spring in Australia is September first. This makes Australia one of the best places to travel in October if you are looking for “October sun holiday”. Fall in Australia begins on March 1st. 

 

Denali National Park, Alaska – USA

Written by Jennifer Melroy from National Park Obsessed. Follow Jennifer on Instagram here.
Melroy-Denali-National-ParkDenali National Park doesn’t jump off the page as an obvious fall destination, but few national parks do fall better than Denali.  Fall comes early and is short to this central Alaskan national park. The fall foliage starts to appear in late August and peaks by mid-September. The park’s aspen and birch trees start to turn a golden yellow, and entire valleys will be nothing but a sea of gold. As you increase in elevation and head into the tundra, the landscape turns into a blanket of reds and pinks from the willow trees and other low-lying shrubs.

During the fall, Denali’s wildlife is busy preparing for winter. The park’s grizzly bear will be found sitting on the hillsides enjoying the fall blueberry crop. The bull moose will be in fine form with their massive antlers and be actively looking for a mate. The Dall sheep will start to migrate down from their mountain top homes and into the warmer valleys for winter, and the caribou start their migration to their winter feeding grounds.

Denali is 6 million acres yet only has 92 miles of road. Access to the park is limited to guided bus tours, a hiker shuttle bus, and airplane flights. Most visitors experience the park via the guided bus tour or the hiker shuttle. The Denali Bus system allows visitors to explore the parks without the traffic jams of other parks and minimizes visitor impacts on the developed areas of the park.

To close out its summer season, Denali holds a 5-day event and allows 2,000 personal vehicles to access the full 92-mile Denali Park Road and explore at their own pace.  This special event is called the Denali Road Lottery and is usually held in the second week of September. Learn more about how you can get a Denali Road Lottery Permit here.

Fall Vacation Destinations

When you are considering a fall vacation there are numerous fantastic October vacation destinations around the world, in addition to some of the best places to go in November. If you can’t get to any of these places, next week we will tell you about some other great places to visit this fall.

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