6 of the Best Places to Visit During the Fall

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back at Starbucks which means it’s officially fall. We put together a list of the best US destinations to make the most of the crisp, cool fall days with lots of fun things to do in the fall, including festive seasonal activities and events.


Boston, MA

Boston Fall 1

In the fall, leaf-peepers flood New England coming to see the stunning foliage as trees catch fire with red, yellow, and orange leaves and to check out the many fun things to do in Boston in the fall.

Explore the scenery a little outside the city and take a Provincetown Ferry out to the Cape’s most beloved town, enjoy the freedom of a Cape Cod bike rental, or hop on board the boat to Nantucket. To get in the spooky, Halloween mood, head to Salem, Massachusetts, known for the witch trials of 1692. With sights like the Salem Witch Museum, Voodoo ceremonies, and trial reenactments, the town has become quite the tourist attraction.

Spend some time in Boston Proper and take a tour of Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, during playoff season, see what happens behind the scenes at Sam Adam’s Brewery (and take home some of their infamous Octoberfest craft beers), or take a leisurely and informative stroll along Boston’s Freedom Trail.

Then, come November, take a trip back in time with a visit to Plimoth Plantation, a 100-acre re-created community of American colonial civilization and Native American life. When Thanksgiving rolls around, you can even enjoy a feast (complete with colonial-era meal offerings and costumed period actors) just like the first settlers did. After dinner, stroll over to the Wampanoag Huts and learn the real history of the Native Americans of Massachusetts from descendants of the Wampanoag tribe.

San Francisco, CA

Fall in Napa Valley

By Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Autumn is the best time to visit San Francisco. The fog of the summer has rolled on through (along with the crowds) and the days are warm, sunny, and clear. It’s the perfect time of year for outdoor recreation, walking tours, and, to experience the delicious fall harvest (wine tour, anyone?).

Take a tour of the city on one of the famed San Francisco trolley cars, and enjoy the many sights, which include Pier 41, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Golden Gate Bridge (just to name a few).

Explore the Golden Gate Bridge up close by cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge with a San Francisco bike rental, or enjoy the view from the water on the Golden Gate Bay Cruise.

Fall is one of the best times to visit Napa Valley and Sonoma with a Wine Country Tour just as the grape harvest begins in September and October. Winery tours and complimentary tastings are part of the experience, and the idyllic wine country scenery is the perfect way experience San Francisco’s beautiful fall weather.

Chicago, IL

The Bean Chicago

Like New England, Chicago’s foliage is a sight to be seen. For some of the best scenery, head to the Chicago Botanical Garden or take a stroll around Millennium Park.

Fall in Chicago is respite between the sweltering hot summers and brutally cold winters, which means it’s also the best time be outdoors. It’s your last chance for the season to enjoy the Architecture River Cruise along the Chicago River or a Skyline Lake Tour with stunning views of the skyline peppered with fall foliage. And before Navy Pier shuts down its seasonal attractions, take a ride on the Ferris wheel or an old fashioned swing ride at the Navy Pier Amusement Park.

New York City, NY


By Jennmcphee (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Although it’s a favorite destination any time of the year, Central Park is a must-see in the fall season. Head to Top of the Rock or ascend the Empire State Building for a bird’s eye view of the foliage that decorates this mid-town urban oasis.

Take a stroll along the High Line, an elevated train line-turned-park for an easy fall outing and be sure to sample some of the seasonal fare being served up at Chelsea Market.

Madison, WI

Fall is the best time of year in this bustling college-town with football games (and crazy tailgates), weekly farmers’ markets (be sure to try the “squeeky” cheese curds!), corn mazes, and more.

For an epic Halloween, get tickets to the annual Freakfest, the region’s largest Halloween party and consistently voted one of the best Halloween events in the US, and put on  your craziest Halloween costume. Visitors can enjoy live entertainment and lots of interesting (or should we say ‘scary’) people-watching.

Acadia National Park, ME

Acadia National Park Gatehouse, Northeast Harbor, Maine

By Jennie Cline (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This beautiful national park features unbeatable views of vibrant fall foliage from vantage points such as Bubble Rock. the Beehive, Cadillac Mountain (best place to watch the sunrise), and the Precipice Trail.

Bring your bike and explore the many carriage trails or pack a picnic for a leisurely stroll and lunch with a view along one of the easier trails in the park. Explore the nearby quaint, New England town of Bar Harbor for boutique shopping and lots of dining options.

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