The falling leaves, crisp autumn air and colorful trees can definitely spur any explorer to travel in the fall. And best of all, you don't have to go far to experience it. From coast to coast, there are many US cities that put on a brilliantly colorful display.
Traveling in fall (sometimes referred to as the shoulder season) can have a lot of perks too. First and foremost, if you plan your trip right, you'll be seeing gorgeous scenery and encountering photo ops galore. Blankets of leaves on the ground, multi-colored tress lined in a row, and sun that creates the autumn glow, all come together to create some seriously insta-worthy pics. October and November bring cooler weather as well, which can make hiking, biking or any outdoor activity a little more enjoyable. Aside from the fact that it's pretty on the eye, autumn means kids are back in school, which translates to fewer families in your way, better deals on flights, and cheaper prices for hotels and rental cars.
We've rounded out some of the best fall vacation spots in the US to experience the season. We guarantee even after a quick trip to these cities, you'll never want to "leaf."
1. Boston, Massachusetts
The cool, crisp air and the red, yellow, and orange piles of leaves lying on the ground of the numerous city parks make Boston a great place to visit. Take a stroll on the freedom trail where you will pass by several historical markers about the American Revolution. Or, go to the popular Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which will be much less packed without the summer crowd. There's also a fall foliage tour where a bus will pick you up and take you to the best autumn spots. If you have time, rent a car and visit a couple nearby towns. The old New England style architecture with the changing leaves transports you to another time. Whatever you do, Boston has it, all while having gorgeous scenery around you.
2. Napa Valley, CA
There's no better place to get cozy, drink a glass of wine and admire fall's beauty than in Wine Country. Napa Valley is one of the only places in California where you can drastically see the leaves change. I would list off things to do, but everyone knows you come here for one thing: Wine. Below are the best wineries to experience the fall while corking open a few bottles.
*Here are some of the closest airports.
3. Columbus, Ohio
In the heart of the midwest, Columbus is one of the best places to appreciate the fall beauty. Ohio is famous for their fall foliage with their various types of trees, which result in the immense amount of color. So clearly, Ohio has a lot to offer when taking Instagram-worthy pictures of the changing colors. The city also has many great apple orchards and pumpkin patches. It's a little drive from Columbus, but Lynd Fruit Farm is one of the most popular pick-your-own apple orchards. Stroll through the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to take in the gorgeous scenery, which is voted the 3rd best zoo in America.
4. Traverse City, Michigan
Traverse City is one of top cities in Michigan to experience fall. Their villages, bay area, orchards and wineries combined with the autumn breeze and colorful leaves make it a perfect destination to visit during in autumn. The city is known as the cherry capital of the US, and although Cherry picking season is over in the fall, there are still many local stores that sell cherry based treats. Take a stroll along Traverse Bay, shop and dine throughout Downtown Traverse City, go to one of their numerous apple orchards, or sip on some wine while taking in the gorgeous views.
Mission Peninsula Winery
Explore Downtown Traverse City
Sleeping Bear Dunes (Voted Most Beautiful Place in America)
Grand Traverse Distillery
The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
*Here are some of the closest airports.
5. Denver, Colorado
With a reports 300 days of Sunshine, who wouldn't want to visit Denver in the fall? From the cool, crisp air, warm colors and gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains, Denver would be a perfect place to visit. Plus, with autumn comes pumpkin beer, and Denver is one of the best cities to drink beer all over town. If you want to view the fall foliage in the mountains, make sure to do it in late September, as that's when the colors begin to really pop. If you are into the music scene, definitely check to see if any of your favorite bands are playing at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater.
6. Burlington, Vermon
Forests cover almost 3/4 of the state of Vermont, so you know that calls for a gorgeous fall season. To add to the greatness, Vermont also makes more maple syrup than any other state and more importantly, the city of Burlington is home of the Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Make sure to try their maple syrup at brunch and to stop by to eat a scoop of Half Baked (arguably the best ice cream flavor out there..thanks Ben and Jerry's). When you aren't stuffing your face with the amazing food Burlington has to offer, take a walk along Lake Champlain or ride bikes along the Burlington Bike Path.
Harvest season, the beautiful fall foliage, numerous festivals and the lower prices are all great reasons to travel during the fall. From the California wineries to the apple picking in Ohio, these six cities are perfect destinations for your fall trip. Get traveling!