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Best places to visit in october 2024.

Fall is here, and in many regions the leaves have changed and are ready for their close-up. While in some destinations you'll still have to contend with foliage-seeking tourists, other top getaways in October offer a bit more breathing room after the departure of summer crowds. Taking into account these factors, as well as expert opinion, traveler sentiment and array of sights (among other details), U.S. News chose the best places to visit in October. Have a favorite? Vote below to influence next year's list. 

Yellowstone National Park

Zion national park, british virgin islands, serengeti national park, buenos aires, black forest, asheville, nc, acadia national park.

where travel in october

If "White Lotus" piqued your interest in a Sicilian getaway, but you don't quite have the budget to splurge, plan a trip for October when the summer tourists have gone home. At the start of the offseason, hotel rates in this Italian paradise can drop to almost half of their peak prices. You'll still be able to squeeze in some of the season's last beach days as temperatures typically remain in the 70s. What's more, the streets are likely to be less crowded, so you can easily spend your days sauntering through the region's quaint villages and sampling exquisite Mediterranean cuisine.

where travel in october

If you can handle declining temps (think: 40s and 50s), you'll be rewarded with a wonderful time of year to visit Yellowstone National Park. October sees far fewer visitors than peak summer months, which means you'll encounter less traffic and won't have to jostle for a spot at top attractions like Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring. Plus, you might catch the tail end of elk rutting season and hear their otherworldly bugling. This national park's roads close for the season in November, but keep in mind that some lodging options close earlier, so book your accommodations early.

where travel in october

Pleasant weather, more manageable crowds and fall foliage – what's not to love about Zion National Park in October? Daytime temperatures in the 70s will keep you comfortable for activities like hiking and rock climbing, but pack layers and prepare for cooler temperatures in sunless hiking spots like the Narrows. What's more, leaf peepers won't want to miss taking the Canyon Overlook trail to catch a glimpse of the autumn colors. While fewer travelers tend to visit this national park in October than the summer months, you'll want to avoid peak times like fall break.

where travel in october

Beat the winter holiday rush with an autumn trip to the British Virgin Islands. Though October falls in the middle of the rainy season, this typically means brief squalls rather than days full of rain, and low season travel will mean fewer tourists and great rates on accommodations. The Moorings Interline Regatta also takes place in October, delighting sailors and landlubbers alike with its exhilarating sailboat races and nightly parties. However, these great rewards do come with a bit of risk, as well. Since this island lies in the hurricane belt, you may want to consider travel insurance for a fall trip here.

where travel in october

Summer is undoubtedly the most popular time to visit Iceland's capital, so an October visit will give you access to top sights sans crowds. Take in the city's quirky architecture like Hallgrímskirkja and the Harpa concert hall on a free walking tour before grabbing a craft beer or a bowl of fiskisúpa (fish soup). Temperatures may hover in the 40s, but the area's hot springs and geothermal pools will warm you right up. Plus, as a trade-off for shorter days and cooler weather, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the northern lights this time of year.

where travel in october

October falls within the Southern Hemisphere's spring season, so expect to enjoy long, sunny days and beautiful blooming jacarandas during an October visit to Sydney. Average daytime temperatures rest in the 70s this time of year, meaning you can comfortably check out Sydney Harbour's most famous landmark , the Sydney Opera House, and tour the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. This is also a perfect time to stroll along the coastal walk between the iconic Bondi and Coogee beaches. What's more, October is when two of Sydney's most popular events – the Night Noodle Markets and Sculpture by the Sea – occur.

where travel in october

Serengeti National Park's wildlife-viewing opportunities are incomparable, and visiting in October at the end of its dry season offers certain benefits. October is one of the Tanzanian park's warmest months, with average temperatures sitting in the low 80s. And while you might encounter a few short rain showers toward the end of the month, October is generally still quite dry, meaning you'll find fewer mosquitos and sparse vegetation – which makes it easier to spot animals – during game drives. The best place to catch a glimpse of migrating herds this time of year is in the Northern Serengeti.

where travel in october

Buenos Aires' spring shoulder season promises mild weather and moderate crowds – ideal conditions for exploring this Argentinian capital's charming neighborhoods. Come October, chic Palermo's stately trees, gardens and parks are at their finest, while 70-degree temperatures breathe new life into San Telmo's street fairs and alfresco restaurants. With the money you save on accommodations by avoiding peak tourist season, buy tickets to an opera at Colón Theater, take in a tango show or wine and dine at a parrilla (steakhouse).

where travel in october

Japan may be famous for its spring cherry blossoms, but Kyoto's many beautiful shrines, temples and pavilions shine even brighter among the orange- and red-hued trees that begin to dot the city in October. Strolling the tree-lined Philosopher's Path or taking in the leafy views from the Kiyomizu-dera Temple's verandah will leave you with unforgettable memories of this Japanese city. Plus, if you time your visit around October 22, you can catch two popular festivals, the Jidai Matsuri (Festival of Ages) and the Kurama no Hi Matsuri (Kurama Fire Festival).

where travel in october

For smaller crowds and more affordable accommodations and airfare, consider a tropical escape to Aruba in October. During this low season month, hotels slash their prices up to 50%. Plus, the island experiences some of its warmest weather (think: daytime temps in the high 80s) come October, so you can stretch out and enjoy various water sports on popular white sand shores like Eagle Beach and Palm Beach. Though October can be rainy, showers tend to be brief, leaving plenty of time for fun in the sun. Plus, since Aruba sits below the hurricane belt, storms here are unlikely.

where travel in october

While Germany's Bavaria region and its raucous Oktoberfest celebrations garner a lot of attention every fall, the Black Forest in southwestern Germany offers a quieter escape into nature. Despite its many evergreens, the Black Forest is one of the best destinations in the country for fall foliage. Take in the colors while driving along the Black Forest High Road, riding the Feldberg cableway or boating on Lake Schluchsee. Though you may encounter rain, the Black Forest (the birthplace of Grimm's Fairy Tales), offers plenty of enchanting villages and cozy towns to duck into.

where travel in october

October falls at the end of this Indonesian island's peak dry season, meaning you can enjoy great weather for most of the month without the crowds and high accommodation rates of the busier summer months. Daytime temperatures hover in the high 80s, providing ideal conditions for swimming, surfing and sunbathing at beaches like those in Padang Padang and Sanur. Families on fall break will also enjoy cooling off at the Waterbom Bali water park. What's more, tourist hot spots like Uluwatu Temple and Tanah Lot Temple are less likely to be packed in October, making it a great time for sightseeing.

where travel in october

As one of the first months without summer tourists, and the final one before chilly temperatures arrive in earnest, October in Lyon is a prime time to visit. Travelers can score dinner reservations and settle in for autumnal feasting in France's third largest city, which is widely celebrated for its cuisine. A stroll through Vieux-Lyon, the city's picturesque old town, will also be more pleasant without rubbing elbows with hordes of other tourists. What's more, this month, Lyon celebrates its fame as the birthplace of cinema – the Cinematograph was invented here in the late 1800s – with the Lumière Film Festival.

where travel in october

Nothing beats seeing the vibrant foliage take over Asheville in the autumn. With dozens of deciduous tree species showcasing vivid hues of red, yellow and orange come October, this North Carolina destination is a leaf peeping paradise. A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fall colors and take photos at numerous overlooks. Plus, the mild fall weather is ideal for a scenic hike through the Pisgah National Forest or a stroll around the colorful Biltmore grounds. What's more, with Asheville's booming food scene, you'll be able to cozy up for a top-notch dinner after a day of adventure.

where travel in october

The most beautiful time to visit Acadia National Park is October, hands down. By mid-month, this top attraction in Maine is blanketed by vibrant fall foliage, both along the coast and high atop its many mountains. And starting Oct. 7 every year, Cadillac Mountain (the tallest peak on the North Atlantic seaboard) becomes the first place to see the sun rise in the U.S. Remember to register your car for a trip up the mountain, and bundle up before venturing out to catch a sunrise; it can be quite chilly at the peak early in the morning.

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where travel in october

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

where travel in october


where travel in october

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where travel in october

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The Best Places to Travel in October

By Caitlin Morton

Best Places to Travel in October Neuschwanstein Castle

As much as we love beach lounging in summer and exploring snowy wonderlands in winter, there’s something extra special about traveling during the fall. Aside from fewer tourists and lower prices, October brings harvest festivals, Halloween parties, and the best foliage of the year. (And those warm beaches are still open, if you’re willing to fly for them.) Whether you’re looking to view some spectacular fall foliage or escape to the warm Caribbean this year, these are 10 of the best places to travel in October.

Note: Due to the Delta variant of coronavirus, it’s a good idea to consider extra precautions if traveling this fall. We recommend investing in “ cancel for any reason ” travel insurance and only booking changeable flights and accommodations. It’s also crucial to obtain medical insurance that will cover you abroad, and to research different countries’ case and vaccination rates when choosing your destination.

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Salem, Massachusetts

It’s Halloween this month, so where better to book a trip than America’s unofficial witching capital? Snag a room at The Hotel Salem or The Merchant (they’re both owned by Lark Hotels, famed for its funky makeovers of countless New England inns) and then make your way into town. Salem celebrates its connection to the occult all month with a program of events, including horror film festivals, séances, and a fair with psychics on hand to read your future. (See complete calendar here .)

During the festivities, it’s worth pausing to consider the history of Salem’s witch trials at the 1692 Salem Witch Museum. The museum recreates the trials using actual documents as the basis for its life-size stage sets, and hosts an exploration of witchcraft in all its forms through the ages.

Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is one of the best places to travel in October, as the month signals the height of springtime in the southern hemisphere. That means you can plan on tons of outdoor activities, from walking among spring blooms in Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden to touring vineyards in Franschhoek. You could also spend an entire trip hopping between Cape Town’s best beaches. Camps Bay Beach is worth visiting for the views of Lion's Head and the Twelve Apostles alone, as is Windmill Beach (a 10-minute walk from Boulders Beach) for its warm water and boulders you can jump off.

Stay at Readers’ Choice Awards darling Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel , 15-room Georgian-era townhouse tucked away in a residential street in Gardens (a fashionable neighborhood known for its restaurants, bars, and interior shops). The street-level luxury suites come with their own spacious sun terraces and private pools, making you feel like you’re in an incredibly beautiful private home.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Known as “the most photographed event in the world,” the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (October 2 to 10) does not disappoint, offering families and travelers the chance to get up close with hundreds of seven-story balloons ranging from cute animals to Darth Vader. You'll want to wake up before dawn to get a prime viewing spot for the Mass Ascension, when all the balloons rise together to the tune of "The Star Spangled Banner."

You can crash later that night at Hotel Chaco , a sleek, contemporary property with Native American–inspired art and architecture located in the heart of Old Town. That ideal location and perfect October weather means you can explore all the museums and markets downtown without breaking a sweat.

Del Carmen Island Loreto Mexico

Loreto, Mexico

We’re big fans of the Baja California Sur peninsula in Mexico, with its beautiful scenery and luxury resorts. While most tourists flock to Los Cabos , set your sights on the underrated city of Loreto. Located about 230 miles north of Cabo, the town is best known for its secluded, unspoiled setting on the Loreto Bay National Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

For stress-free planning, book a stay at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at the Islands of Loreto , where guests can enjoy scuba diving tours, cultural city tours, whale watching excursions, kayaking, surfing, and ATV desert tours. After a day spent adventuring, head back and unwind at the 39,000-square-foot Sabila Spa or one of the resort’s five swimming pools.

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Aspen, Colorado

Aspen may seem like a bit of an obvious choice (hello, mountains famously full of yellow leaves), but obvious isn’t always a bad thing. Hotel Jerome is a great place to set up camp, with a huge array of activities on tap for guests looking for an outdoor adventure—think horseback riding in the Rockies, riding a Jeep through alpine backcountry, and stand-up paddleboarding along the Colorado River. The hotel can also arrange day trips to the Maroon Bells, a pair of mountains that is one of the most photographed spots in the entire state. In fact, professionals are known to flock to the shores of Maroon Lake well before sunrise to nab that stunning fall shot.

Best Places to Travel in October Neuschwanstein Castle

The Bavarian Alps, Germany

An autumn trip to southern Germany is about so much more than Oktoberfest (which has been canceled for 2021 anyway). Fall may be the best season to visit the Bavarian Alps , when the weather is perfectly cool and the mountains transform into a technicolor dreamscape. The season is prime for outdoor enthusiasts as well, with areas like Berchtesgaden and Lake Tegernsee lending themselves to some epic scenic hikes. Shutterbugs are never disappointed by the Disney-esque Neuschwanstein Castle, whose white turrets look best against a backdrop of deep reds and oranges.

Spend at least a couple days tucked away in Hotel Bachmair Weissach , a modern alpine property located in the lake town of Tegernsee. With walls adorned with antlers, a cloistered courtyard, plaid carpets, and scalloped wood balconies off each of its 141 rooms, it will fulfill every romantic Bavarian fantasy you can think of.

View from Cherry Tree Hill to tropical coast of Barbados

Barbados made headlines in 2020 when it announced its Welcome Stamp visa for sun-seeking digital nomads. Valid for 12 months, the visa allows anyone earning over a certain salary to live and work remotely temporarily. If you’re not ready to commit to a year-long visit, it’s still worth flying down here in October. Book an oceanfront villa at The Crane , one of the country’s finest resorts, and spend a few days exploring the Bajan rum circuit.

Though it’s now ubiquitous across the Caribbean, rum was formally first distilled at the Mount Gay Rum headquarters in 1703. Head to its visitor center and you’ll be able to learn more of that history, as well as sample a range of great dark and white blends. Then head to Bathsheba Beach on the east coast—one of the best stretches of sand in the world—where you'll find big, surf-able waves and shallow pools carved by the coral reef right off the shore.

Asheville South Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Don't discount the South when it comes to fall foliage, especially the Blue Ridge Parkway and Carolina mountains. Make Asheville your home base for exploring the parkway in both directions: to the south, drive to Pisgah National Forest, filled with waterfalls and fall foliage–covered hills on view from Looking Glass Rock, and to the north, the curving Linn Cove Viaduct hugs Grandfather Mountain, offering some of the parkway’s most iconic views.

Get a dose of the funky lifestyle in downtown Asheville: sample the African-meets-Appalachian food at Benne on Eagle , browse fem theory and queer lit at Malaprop's Bookstore and Cafe , and drink a Strawberry Milkshake IPA at Highland Brewing Company . Stay at Asheville's best boutique property, The Foundry Hotel, for comfortable rooms with exposed brick walls, a chic lobby bar, and a restaurants serving up modern spins on comfort food.


Santorini, Greece

More than two million people visit Santorini each year. To dodge those crowds—and to experience a more authentic side of the island—plan your trip during the off-season in ​​October and November. Visit Red Beach and take in the legendary sunsets in Oia, of course, but then search for some more under-the-radar spots. Only one in 20 travelers to Santorini goes to Akrotiri, an almost perfectly preserved ancient city and archaeological site. Visit some wineries at Vlychada, or hire a guide to take you around Akrotiri.

Then get some rest at Incognito Villa , located at the end of a dirt track on the beach near Monolithos and the airport. It has its own garden and a little pool, and you can walk in either direction along the beach to a taverna. Even in the height of summer, it is amazingly quiet.

Hudson Valley New York

Hudson Valley, New York

If you're looking to totally lean into the cider-sipping, sweater-wearing, pumpkin-picking vibe of fall, look no further than the Hudson Valley. Aside from offering primo leaf peeping opportunities, October is the best time to go apple picking or sample some hard cider made from local produce at Angry Orchard. Alternatively, take in a movie at the Four Brothers Drive-In Theater or celebrate Halloween with the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in the grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor ( advance reservations required). More than 7,000 pumpkins are displayed there each night, including a 25-foot-tall Statue of Liberty, all of which are carved onsite by a team of 1,000 volunteers.

Look to Warren Street in the heart of town for accommodations: either at the retro Rivertown Lodge , complete with wood fire burners and bicycles to borrow, or the relatively new Maker Hotel , filled with one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and a restaurant serving up ingredients sourced from local farms.

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The best holiday destinations in October 

By Sarah James

32 best holiday destinations in October

October can be many things. It can be the dreamy scent of bonfire smoke on restorative air; pumpkins on porches; blazing leaves. Or, Down Under, it might be the abundance of spring – and a fine time to explore new Aussie cooking . In much of Asia , rains and humidity are abating, so both riotous cities and off-grid escapes are at their best. And with the steamy, congested summer a distant memory, it’s the savvy traveller’s time for a classic California road trip , or an in-demand beach break. We’ve got October holiday ideas for sustainable touring, shopping, stays and getting around, too. For more, see our guide to where is hot in October .

Our choices for the best holiday destinations in October

Temperature 27°C high 16°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 4 hours 30 minutes Time difference GMT2  Perfect autumn...

Temperature: 27°C high; 16°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 4 hours 30 minutes Time difference: GMT+2

Perfect autumn beach destination: Europe, a Mediterranean island, but so far south-east it has the climate of the Middle East. Enter Cyprus. A rich history and eclectic culture, a blissful climate and fantastic beaches. Away from the dramatically beautiful coastline and the beachfront hotels is the lesser-explored interior, the Troodos mountains – the Cotswolds of Cyprus – with their vineyards and hillside villages and friendly tavernas.

Where to stay: Anassa is one of our favourite hotels in Europe, particularly for families. For a more adult stay, try the glossy beachside Amavi in Paphos. For more options, see our pick of the best hotels in Cyprus .

Temperature 33°C high 23°C low Season dry Flight time from UK 15 hours 20 minutes Time difference GMT7  Beachy Eden...

Los Cabos, Mexico

Temperature: 33°C high; 23°C low Season: dry Flight time from UK: 15 hours 20 minutes Time difference: GMT-7

Beachy Eden ‘Cabo’ is all about switching off in style. This sun-drenched spot is always hot hot hot: where smart hotels such as the One&Only have restaurants by elite chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten and host birthday parties for starry guests including Jennifer Aniston. In winter, all and sundry come for the weather (it rains in summer). Praise be for October, then, when the mercury’s high but occupancy low. Los Cabos is actually two towns at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula – Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. The latter retains more traditional charm, and has the chicest hotels: mid-century fans will love Thompson’s The Cape. Don’t miss Puerto Raiz in San José del Cabo, an outdoor foodie hub with two restaurants and a distillery, set within 13 acres of orchards and gardens. All produce is sourced onsite – including for the distillery’s spirits and cocktails – while cheese, meat and seafood come from local purveyors in neighbouring Baja towns such as La Paz and Todos Santos.

Where to stay: One&Only Palmilla , an elegant retreat and one of the best hotels in Los Cabos .

Temperature 25°C high 20°C low Season winter Flight time from UK 12 hours Time difference GMT3  It's springtime in...

Mauritius, Indian Ocean

Temperature: 25°C high; 20°C low Season: winter Flight time from UK: 12 hours Time difference: GMT+3

It's springtime in Mauritius in October; the weather is warming up after a long, warm winter. But it's not yet humid or rainy. Huge Indian Ocean-sized flowers are bursting in bloom and animal hoots and chattering come riffling out of the rainforest. There’s not a lot you can do about the carbon-belching flight to Mauritius, but, once you’re there, you can opt for a sustainable stay. Mauritius Conscious Travel offers solar-powered glamping with vegetarian meals sourced from an onsite garden, plus motor-free day trips by sea kayak, mountain bike and climbing rope. If anyone offers you a trip to Mauritius at any other time of year, we urge you not to turn it down. But October is definitely a goodie.

Where to stay: For a private stay, Maradiva is a smart all-villa resort. At Shangri-La Le Touessrok , guests can enjoy exclusive access to a private island. See more of the top hotels in Mauritius .

Temperature 20°C high 12°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 2 hours by plane 6.5 hours  by Eurostar Time difference...

Provence, France

Temperature: 20°C high; 12°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 2 hours by plane; 6.5 hours by Eurostar Time difference: GMT+1

Everybody goes to Provence in summer. But for food, for tranquillity, for scenery, October is deeply delicious, its vineyards a vibrant ochre, morning mists shrouding the glades of the Luberon at dawn. Autumn is the season of wine and truffles and food festivals, when Provence’s slow-paced villages are uncrowded except for locals, markets heaped with harvest spoils. And the weather is still largely warm and dry – ideal T-shirt weather for country walks and bike rides.

Where to stay: Hôtel Crillon Le Brave is a classic favourite; while Coquillade has just reopened after a facelift, a restored Provençal village in the Luberon, with spoiling suites, a destination spa, and its own vineyards.

Temperature 24°C high 15°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 2 hours 45 minutes Time difference GMT1  On Spains...

Málaga, Spain

Temperature: 24°C high; 15°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 2 hours 45 minutes Time difference: GMT+1

On Spain ’s sunniest costa, Málaga’s exuberant young crowd has injected a fresh energy into this little seaside city, earning it a reputation for being a pocket-sized Barcelona , where you’ll find sizzling art and food scenes and late-summer heat. Its charming old town, though small, is packed with buzzy little restaurants and boutiques selling artisan-made fashion and homewares; there’s a museum dedicated to Picasso and a theatre run by Antonio Banderas, both Málaga natives. More modern kicks are found at the regenerated port with its Rubik’s-Cube-like Pompidou Centre. And why not explore Málaga carbon-free – Urban Bicycles rents out the most beautiful handmade mint-green bikes for cruising along the promenade, which runs from the city centre to the beach bars north of the city.

Where to stay: At the 18th-century Palacio Solecio , which opened in 2020 after a full overhaul to become the city’s most beautiful hotel, and the latest in Pablo Carrington’s stable (along with Formentera’s Gecko Hotel & Beach Club and Mallorca’s Cap Rocat).

Temperature 24°C high 16°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 3 hours 40 minutes Time difference GMT2  The more...

The Greek islands, Greece

Temperature: 24°C high; 16°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 3 hours 40 minutes Time difference: GMT+2

The more southerly of the small Greek islands – the Dodecanese and the Cyclades – are still hot and sunny well into October – and there are some sensational beaches on which to enjoy it. Rhodes, with the lovely cobbled Lindos and parties in its ancient ruins. Milos , which has some of the best beaches in the Greek Islands. We love unspoilt Symi, Nisyros and Patmos ; while Santorini and Mykonos are eternal big-hitters. Pick any one, they're all lovely. Or go island-hopping around them all. Just remember: cruise ships are an issue on the Greek islands, disgorging thousands into small port towns and diverting visitors to just a small number of shops and restaurants. If you’re island-hopping, opt to do it by sailboat instead: this is not only more environmentally friendly, but smaller vessels can take you to more off-the-beaten-track beaches, coves and towns.

Where to stay: We have a long list of the best Greek island hotels to choose from. In terms of the newest openings to know about, Once in Mykonos Luxury Resort is a chilled hideaway for young families and dapper partygoers. Another name to note is Oku Kos , which effortlessly combines local culture with relaxation.

Temperature 20°C high 9°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 13 hours 45 minutes Time difference GMT 9  The masses...

Japanese Alps, Japan

Temperature: 20°C high; 9°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 13 hours 45 minutes Time difference: GMT +9

The masses might go mad for cherry blossom season, but arguably Japan ’s most arresting sight is its Alps in autumn. Vibrant reds, oranges and yellows sprawl across the ranges, reflected in jade-green lakes and rivers. Hiking trails get very busy, but the outstanding vistas more than make up for it, and the ever-organised Japanese excel at high-altitude mountain huts, where you can get a private room and bento box-style dinner. Afterwards, the spa towns around Takayama are adept at soothing aching limbs. Upmarket ryokans, such as Fukuji Onsen’s Yumoto Choza, offer both outdoor and indoor hot-spring baths, fine-dining kaiseki dinners and gorgeous traditional rooms with tatami mats and sliding paper screens.

Temperature 33°C high 16°C low Season spring Flight time from UK 16 hours 45 minutes to Perth direct then 1 hour 50...

Ningaloo Reef

Temperature: 33°C high; 16°C low Season: spring Flight time from UK: 16 hours 45 minutes to Perth direct, then 1 hour 50 minutes to Learmonth for Ningaloo. Time difference: GMT+8

Off the coast of Western Australia , the country’s most pristine coral reef has become known as a marine superhighway. Diving and snorkelling trips are technicolour dreams, teeming with fish, turtles and sharks, and Ningaloo Reef is one of only a handful of places in the world where you can swim alongside whale sharks and humpback whales, when they journey alongside the reef on their on their way to feeding grounds in the Antarctic. Or take a boat out as they breach, dramatically, out of the water around you.

Where to stay: Guests can walk straight from their safari tent at Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef – the only hotel in the Cape Range National Park – into the marine-rich waters of the reef. The tented camp’s local guides will unearth the wonders of sea and bush, and arrange experiences such as swimming with whales.

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Temperature 1426ºC Season winter Flight time from UK 13h 30m  Time difference GMT2  Marking the turn of winter into...

Temperature: 14–26ºC Season: winter Flight time from UK: 13h 30m (one change) Time difference: GMT+2

Marking the turn of winter into spring, October is a wonderful month to visit this storied Indian Ocean island. The weather is dry and warm, the nights are cool, the jacarandas are in bloom, and it is egg-laying season for turtles and birthing season for lemurs – poster girls for Madagascar’s unique and diverse indigenous wildlife, which is found in abundance from the country’s ancient forests to its dreamy white-sand beaches.

Where to stay: On cast away fantasy Nosy Ankao off Madagascar’s north coast, Miavana is the best eco-lodge in the country: a five-star private-island resort dedicated to conservation, with expert guides to take guests lemur-and turtle-watching, fishing and diving. Abercrombie & Kent offers the 13-night Classic Madagascar trip from £5,960pp.

Temperature 17°C high 10°C low Season winter Flight time from UK 13 hours 20 minutes Time difference GMT 5.30  This...

Darjeeling, India

Temperature: 17°C high; 10°C low Season: winter Flight time from UK: 13 hours 20 minutes Time difference: GMT +5.30

This month marks the end of monsoon season, and an excellent time to visit India’s most famous hill station as the rain and fog peel back to reveal extravagant Himalayan views. Top of the list should be a sunrise visit to Tiger Hill, to see the frosted peaks of the world’s third-highest mountain, Mount Kanchenjunga, bathed in a peachy glow. The effect is said to be best in mid-October; keep your eyes peeled and you’ll even spot Everest on the left. Other than that, it’s a relaxing time tasting the ‘Champagne of teas’ at local plantations, riding the UNESCO-listed steam railway (affectionately known as ‘the toy train’) and taking afternoon tea in Victorian-style heritage hotels.

Where to stay : Ging Tea House is among the oldest tea estates in the region, from which you can take lovely guided hikes. Or see more hotels across India for gorgeous monsoon views . Do remember that water scarcity is a huge problem in Darjeeling, so look for hotels with responsible practices around conservation (such as rainwater harvesting), and be mindful of how much you use.

Temperature 15°C high 5°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 2hrs 25 minutes Time difference GMT1  Though Austrias...

Vienna, Austria

Temperature : 15°C high; 5°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 2hrs 25 minutes Time difference: GMT+1

Though Austria’s capital is better known for grand imperial palaces and an even grander musical legacy (Mozart and Beethoven), one of the city’s finest assets is its urban vineyards. Forget a designated driver, just take the tram to the pretty outer suburbs, where rows of vines spread across grassy slopes, as skyline views and the Danube stretch out below. October marks the harvest, when the vineyards are at their greenest and winemakers open up their operations to enquiring minds (and mouths). There are several designated wine trails to follow, where vintners hand out samples from both cellar and kitchen, and autumn’s mild, sunny days are ideally suited to frolics in the fields. Where to stay: Park Hyatt Vienna , a magnificently grand stay – one of our favourite hotels in Vienna .

Temperature 27°C high 14°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 10 hours 25 minutes Time difference GMT6  Austins other...

Austin, Texas

Temperature: 27°C high; 14°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 10 hours 25 minutes Time difference: GMT-6

Austin’s other festival happens in October: Austin City Limits , in Zilker Park – an altogether easier shebang to negotiate than SXSW if you’re not in the industry. And autumn brings glorious weather to Texas – blue skies, mild warm days, low humidity – which is just right for a road trip out of the USA’s coolest, weirdest state capital across the high Texan desert to find historical charm in San Antonio and more weirdness, along with knockout art and sensational food, in Marfa. Rent bikes at Lance Armstrong’s Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop , fired up by a farm-sourced, single-origin, Fair-Trade, shade-grown, home-roasted coffee from the shop’s Juan Pelota Cafe.

Where to stay: The Texas-based Bunkhouse group has places to stay in Austin and San Antonio, including Austin’s  Carpenter Hotel  in a former union hall near Zilker Park and beautiful  Hotel Havana  in a riverside house in San Antonio, while avant-garde hotelier Liz Lambert, a true original, is behind the out-there trailer park  El Cosmico  in Marfa.

Temperature 1°C high 5°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 21 hours 30 minutes Time difference GMT 6  Better to be a...

Churchill, Canada

Temperature: 1°C high; -5°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 21 hours 30 minutes Time difference: GMT -6

Better to be a visitor than a resident in Arctic Churchill, which in autumn earns the dubious honour of becoming “polar bear capital of the world”. As the surrounding Hudson Bay freezes, these massive mammals – male polar bears can weigh as much as 10 men – invite themselves over, in search of seals. Great news for wildlife watchers, who can board specially reinforced tundra buggies to get up close to earth’s largest land carnivore; not so great for the people of Churchill, who are apt to find polar bears hanging around like delinquent youths at the local bus stop. The largest groups gather in October. Consider a tundra buggy safari with Frontiers North Adventures , respected locally for thoughtful initiatives including creating the town’s first recycling programme; employing staff and sourcing supplies from within the community; and investing in causes such as Churchill’s Canadian Junior Rangers and non-profit conservation outfit Polar Bears International .

Temperature 25°C high 5°C low Season spring Flight time from UK 21hrs Time difference GMT 4  The worlds driest desert...

Atacama Desert, Chile

Temperature: 25°C high; 5°C low Season: spring Flight time from UK: 21hrs Time difference: GMT -4

The world’s driest desert isn’t the hottest, but it is perhaps the most starkly beautiful – so Mars-like that actual Mars rovers are brought here for test drives. Red canyons and sand dunes, whooshing geyers and steaming volcanoes, salt flats and hot springs stretch out as far as the eye can see. It’s largely devoid of a drinking water supply or any natural shade, so there are few settlements, which means no pollution, explaining why it has also lately garnered buzz as a premier stargazing destination. The fabulously remote Explora Atacama, for example, has a private observatory as well as a spa and bespoke-bred horses. October, shoulder season, offers a holy trinity: empty vistas unspoiled by fellow visitors, lower room rates and temperate daytime conditions. Don’t ignore the highland hamlets and historic sites in the Atacama region – spending your tourist dollars here helps to sustain local and indigenous communities and preserve their heritage. Where to stay: Hotel Wara , a spacious and rambling escape in the desert. Explora Atacama , meanwhile, is a gorgeously rugged ranch turned spoiling escape, with a spa, an observatory and an exemplary restaurant.

Watch a video of a dramatic ride across the Atacama Desert

3. Rome

Rome, Italy

Temperature: 22°C high; 12°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 2 hours 30 minutes Time difference: GMT+1

Tutti Italia is on holiday all month long in August. You might think that would make Rome relatively quiet, with every Roman gone to the beach, but it's not; it's unbearably busy and unbearably hot. July, too, is unbearably busy and hot; so is much of June. May and September used to be quieter, but lots of people realised that and now they are busy too. Winter can be a bit miserable, though Christmas is quite busy. So October, by default, becomes our month of choice to visit Rome , when it is less busy, still lovely and warm, and you can selfie at the Trevi Fountain in that magic late-summer sunlight without quite so many tourists ruining the view.

Where to stay: Hotel de' Ricci , a retro-cool hotel in an artsy neighbourhood and one of the best hotels in Rome .

Temperature 10°C high 2°C low Season autumn Travel time from UK 3 hours by train from London Time difference GMT0  Even...

The Lake District, UK

Temperature: 10°C high; 2°C low Season: autumn Travel time from UK: 3 hours by train from London Time difference: GMT+0

Even when it rains – and it does rain here, a lot – the Lake District must be one of the most wistfully beautiful places in the world. Never more (many would say) than in fiery autumn, when mist and woodsmoke mix in the morning and good days are pin-sharp, bright with red-gold trees and bracken covering the fells. If only someone could capture such beauty in words.

Where to stay: Foodies will love the Michelin-starred restaurant at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House . For a quant village stay, check in to The Black Bull Inn . For a private stay, we love the look of this cosy Airbnb near Ullswater . For more, check out our list of the best Airbnbs in the Lake District .

Temperature 17°C high 7°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 7 hours 15 minutes Time difference GMT5  As above except...

New England, USA

Temperature: 17°C high; 7°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 7 hours 15 minutes Time difference: GMT-5

As above, except with less rain, and leafpeepers (for that is what they call them here) tend to drive to look at the Fall foliage rather than put on walking boots. Combine the fiery Vermont countryside with a Boston city break.

Where to stay: Castle Hill Inn , the best places to watch the boats become silhouettes against the Atlantic Ocean, one of the best things to do on Rhode Island .

Temperature 35°C high 16°C low Season dry Flight time from UK 14 hours Time difference GMT1  You can make a convincing...

Temperature: 35°C high; 16°C low Season: dry Flight time from UK: 14 hours Time difference: GMT+1

You can make a convincing case for Botswana as the world’s greatest safari destination. The government’s “low impact, high experience” mandate makes for more intimate camps; Serengeti-like jeep scrums just aren’t a thing. Then there’s the Okavango Delta, an immaculate wetland wilderness teeming with life. (Conservation is so successful that South Africa relocates endangered rhino here.) Tourism tails off in October because of rising heat, but the flooded Okavango is water-cooled, while a lack of vegetation – munched over the dry winter – puts game-viewing at its peak. Prices drop towards the end of the month, and the new, solar-powered Qorokwe Camp by Wilderness Safaris, sitting on its own lagoon, is a slick pick. A bush walk with the San – the indigenous people of the Kalahari desert – conserves their culture in more ways than one, fostering both education for visitors and employment for the San. But do your research before booking: some tours can be less than respectful. Where to stay: Xigera Safari Lodge , a lodge putting a swish edge on sustainability, or read about the best Botswana safari holidays in the Okavango Delta .

Temperature 26°C high 14°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 2 hours 45 minutes Time difference GMT1  A hot...

Seville, Spain

Temperature: 26°C high; 14°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 2 hours 45 minutes Time difference: GMT+1

A hot destination right now, the winds of change are finally blowing through old Seville – and October is the best time to visit for fresher air, when the winding streets are a little less sultry but no less romantic. Culturally there's a lot happening, from pop-up galleries and cafés to a gastronomic revolution.

Where to stay: For a taste of truly regal extravagance, book in to Hotel Alfonso XIII . For more, see our edit of the best hotels in Seville .

Temperature 29°C high 24°C low Season summer Flight time from UK 18 hours Time difference GMT11  With the summer crowds...

Temperature: 29°C high; 24°C low Season: summer Flight time from UK: 18 hours Time difference: GMT-11

With the summer crowds gone, low rainfall and mellowing prices before the winter holidays, what better time to head for Hawaii? Of course, there’s more to the archipelago than Big Island: Kauai for secret swimming holes and charming local bars; Oahu for top food and surf; and even Maui, with its ever-popular 30 miles of beach, has some hush-hush stuff up its sleeve – seek out the rural artists’ community at Makawao, or go on an agri-visit to Surfing Goat Dairy, a farm on the slopes of a volcanic crater. Given the amount of importing that goes on here – and that goes for hotels, restaurants and shopping chains as much as groceries – shopping local helps the Hawaiian people maintain an identity that is uniquely their own. Buying locally made fashion not only guarantees designs that are true to the culture, but supports master weavers and artisans: see the likes of Hana Hou (Big Island); Native Intelligence (Maui); Na Mea Hawaii (Oahu); and Ohana Shop (Kauai). Where to stay: Four Seasons Resort Lana'i , an alluring escape.

Temperature 18°C high 8°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 2 hours 35 minutes Time difference GMT1  Its not...

Perugia, Italy

Temperature: 18°C high; 8°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK : 2 hours 35 minutes Time difference: GMT+1

It’s not difficult to get excited about a place that holds an annual 10-day festival celebrating the world’s favourite sweet treat. Every October, Umbria’s capital in central Italy hosts cooking classes, exhibitions and (most importantly) tasters to celebrate the town’s most famous export – chocolate. It’s a diabetic’s purgatory, a sweet lover’s dream and a local staple. The Belgians have their pralines, Oaxaca has its drinking chocolate and the Swiss have Lindt – but Perugia is home to baci. The word translates as “kisses”, and the story goes that a young chocolatier created a special sweet for her paramour, wrapped in a love letter and – naturally – sealed with a kiss. Today, baci somewhat seductively resemble a nipple, and still come wrapped in romantic proverbs and poems. Perugia is also a town rich in history and art, set on a hilltop peppered with medieval aqueducts, curious cobbled staircases and views that appear out of nowhere.

Where to stay: Find boutique hotels in Tuscany and Umbria, Italy

Temperature 25°C high 19°C low Season dry Flight time from UK 13 hours Time difference GMT7  Out of this world all year...

The Galapagos Islands

Temperature: 25°C high; 19°C low Season: dry Flight time from UK: 13 hours Time difference: GMT-7

Out of this world all year round – there is no other wildlife like this on earth. However for maximum nature shows, it's peak season for fish and birds from June until the end of October in the Galápagos Islands . It's also when there's least rain. Wait until October and most of the other tourists will have gone back to work; plus the sea should have warmed up a bit in case you were thinking of taking a dip (and you should) to get up close to the phenomenally varied marine life. And while most visitors explore the Galápagos via small cruise ships, it is possible to book land-based tours, where you’ll stay on several islands and take small- boat excursions by day. This means eating at locally run restaurants, visiting land-based businesses (such as farms), and exploring the human history of the islands, too.

Where to stay: Finch Bay , one of the island’s longest-standing hotels as recommended in our expert's guide to the Galapagos .

Temperature 27°C high 22°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 13 hours 30 minutes Time difference GMT7  Yet to draw...

Taipei, Taiwan

Temperature: 27°C high; 22°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 13 hours 30 minutes Time difference: GMT+7

Yet to draw the trend-obsessed like Tokyo , or shoot to relevance like Seoul , the Taiwanese capital is a broadly undiscovered, just-as-thrilling blend of both. From Taoist temples to record-setting skyscrapers, flashy shopping malls to throbbing, neon-lit night markets, it’s a fascinating cultural smash: all cheap street-side beers and grilled cuttlefish on a stick one minute; a bonkers club with a waterfall on the dance floor the next. Towards the end of October the rain stops, humidity dials down and skies clear, so you can take in the glitzy cityscape, best viewed from the 230ft Miramar Ferris Wheel, or the 89th floor of once-world's-tallest tower, Taipei 101.

Where to stay: There’s more bling at the W , where room categories have names like Fabulous and Extreme Wow.

Temperature 31°C high 25°C low Season summer Flight time from UK 12 hours Time difference GMT6  October is the beginning...

Temperature: 31°C high; 25°C low Season: summer Flight time from UK: 12 hours Time difference: GMT+6

October is the beginning of dry season in Vietnam’s north and south, where monumental natural spectacles and buzzing city scenes both abound. Up top, hill station Sapa is the gateway to misty treks; the capital Hanoi is all chaos, condensed-milk coffees on low plastic stools and some of the best food you’ll ever taste. Down at the bottom, the Mekong Delta is a whole world bobbing on canals and streams; and Ho Chi Minh City is where the bohos go – don’t miss The Café Apartment, a nine-storey block stuffed with fairy-lit mini-boutiques and craft coffee stores. High season creeps up in November, so it’s also the last chance for lower rates. In Sapa, the most popular activities are trekking the terraced slopes and staying with hill tribes, and the best way to do both is with Sapa O’Chau . This social enterprise, founded by a single mother from the Black Hmong tribe, is a nonprofit homestay and trekking service, which puts funds back into the community: improving village schools, providing English classes to Hmong guides and street vendors, distributing winter clothes to local children, and more. Where to stay: An Lam Retreats in Ninh Van Bay , one of the best hotels in Vietnam .

Temperature 21°C high 12°C low Season spring Flight time from UK 21 hours Time difference GMT830  Sydney and Melbourne ...

Adelaide, Australia

Temperature: 21°C high; 12°C low Season: spring Flight time from UK: 21 hours Time difference: GMT+8:30

Sydney and Melbourne – so yesterday. It’s Adelaide’s time to shine, and how. The wine-producing Adelaide Hills had long overshadowed South Australia’s coastal capital, but a vital new food scene is changing all that. And thank the Hills’ surrounding farms for fresh finds that Adelaide’s urban rivals can only covet. All that natural bounty is paired with October’s crisp air, as the beginnings of spring slough off winter’s edge. If you fancy getting off-grid, CABN has a number of tiny houses tucked into the South Australian wilderness, less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide’s CBD. These solar-powered minimalist escapes also have composting loos and rainwater catchment, and sit close to conservation parks, heritage bushland and wine country.

Read more about the best restaurants in Adelaide

Temperature 14°C high 12°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 11 hours Time difference GMT8  October is when Northern...

Mendocino, California

Temperature: 14°C high; 12°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 11 hours Time difference: GMT-8

October is when Northern California finally gets its act together, dropping the fog and chilly winds that never fail to surprise under-dressed tourists, opting instead for more Cali-appropriate shimmering sunshine and bright, blue skies. It’s also the ideal time to make the road trip to one of the state’s best-kept secrets, Mendocino County: a thrilling coastal drive 160 miles north of San Francisco, with enough dramatic sea cliffs, lanky redwoods and crashing ocean to put Big Sur to shame. Mendocino town looks like a slice of New England picked up and dropped off on a California headland, and recalls its 1950s bohemian heyday with a surplus of art galleries and no chains. That hippie spirit also lives on in the Mendocino wine region, known for the country’s biggest haul of organic vines. Try a true taste of Mendocino at Harbor House Inn , where the 25-seat dining room hosts an ever-changing, hyper-local menu that has been awarded the county’s first-ever Michelin star. Everything you eat here has been sourced from within a 30-mile radius.

Where to stay: Half an hour up the coast, The Inn at Newport Ranch is a place of wild extremes. Or see more of the best hotels in California for more ideas.

Dubai United Arab Emirates

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Temperature: 35°C high; 24°C low Season: winter Flight time from UK: 7 hours Time difference: GMT+3

Summer is when Dubai hibernates: as the desert city heats up to 40 degrees Celsius and beyond, even skyscrapers seem to perspire, the al-fresco fun packs up and everyone bolts for the AC-cooled inside. But in October Dubai springs to new life: beach clubs reopen, restaurant terraces are jammed and a dip in the Arabian Gulf no longer feels like swimming in a scorching-hot spring. Temperatures in the high 20s also make a desert excursion less like an episode of Bear Grylls ’ Born Survivor. Enough of the world’s biggests and tallests? Poke into the boutiques, galleries and Foster + Partners-designed buildings of the freshly minted Dubai Design District. Where to stay: Al Maha , an exclusive desert haven set within a conservation reserve. See more of our favourite hotels in Dubai for more ideas.


Temperature: 19°C high; 8°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 10 hours Time difference: GMT+5

The remote Himalayan kingdom known for its Gross National Happiness Index, pristine peaks and precariously perched Tiger’s Nest Monastery, makes a point of exclusivity – foreign visitors face a hefty daily tariff for the privilege of stepping within its borders. The payoff, of course, is the rare purity of a nation largely untouched by the outside world. Given that much of Bhutan’s pleasures are found in hikes to sacred mountains and remote temples, the cool mountain air and clear skies of October make it a prime time to visit. The Six Senses Bhutan – comprising five different lodges – adds a touch of luxury to some of the country’s most scenic valleys and forests. The daily tariff ensures that Bhutan only deals in sustainable tourism – limiting visitors in this way protects the kingdom’s culture, land and traditions. But you can make sure the money you spend goes directly to the Bhutanese you meet by shopping in local markets, eating in neighbourhood restaurants and sleeping in heritage properties or homestays.

Where to stay: Read our spa review of COMO Uma Paro, Bhutan .

Temperature 26°C high 13°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 5 hours Time difference GMT2  Perhaps the most...

Temperature: 26°C high; 13°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 5 hours Time difference: GMT+2

Perhaps the most captivating country in the Middle East, Jordan has an embarrassment of spectacular things to see: ancient and awe-inspiring Petra, the Roman city of Jerash, the Dead Sea, the Red Sea, great desertscapes where you can stay overnight in a Bedouin camp. In October there are still bright sunny days that light the rock of Petra up rose-red; but it is cool enough to journey into the Valley of the Moon on camel or horseback by day, and warm enough to sleep out under the starry sky by night. Don’t miss the opportunity to camp out in Wadi Rum. A co-operative of Bedouin tribes runs the majority of trekking and camping trips, and they rely on tourism to hold onto their traditional way of life.

Temperature 26°C high 13°C low Season autumn Flight time from UK 4 hours Time difference GMT2  Turkey's beautiful Aegean...

The Turkish Coast

Temperature: 26°C high; 13°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 4 hours Time difference: GMT+2

Turkey's beautiful Aegean and Bosphorus coasts are still hot in October, the beaches uncluttered by holidaymakers. There's a distinctly Greek feel to these regions, and between the coves you'll find dreamy boutique hotels that are good value for money out of season, and unexpectedly boho fishing villages. Alaçati is one of our favourites; and picturesque Selimiye, an hour from Dalaman, tipped (by us) as the new Kalkan. Likewise Istanbul – too prickly, too hot in summer – is more pleasant to explore out of season.

Where to stay: Mandarian Oriental in Bodrum , a glamorous, starry beach base. Alaçati is a good spot for small boutique hotels – a better bet for eco-friendliness than a sprawling coastal resort. The Stay Warehouse is a super-cool, adults-only converted brewery built from regionally sourced, recycled wood, bricks and glass, and the restaurant serves platters of local fruit, olives and cheese.

Spain Balearic Islands Menorca view of Macarella beach

Temperature: 23°C high; 16°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 2 hours 25 Time difference: GMT+1

Mallorca and Ibiza get the lion’s share of the Balearic spotlight. But little Menorca is just as beautiful. In the summer, this tiny island’s roads are largely closed to private vehicles to avoid congestion and protect the natural environment – especially around the most beautiful beaches. By October, things have calmed down, and most summer tourists have left. More fool them: Menorca is still warm and sunny well into the autumn, and the sea – warmed by the Mediterranean sun all summer – is still pleasant to swim in. In shoulder season, you can explore at your own pace.

Where to stay: at Menorca Experimental , a handsome, pared-back hideout from the Parisian Experimental Group, or at Christine Bedfor , a smart townhouse in Mahon.

Isola Bella in Taormina Sicily

Temperature: 21°C high; 14°C low Season: autumn Flight time from UK: 3 hours 20 Time difference: GMT+1

Sicily’s long been drawing Italo-philes after something a little different to the mainland – more rugged, more fierce – but the White Lotus effect has really ramped up tourism to this little island over the past few years. See what all the fuss is about by planning a trip in October when the oppressive summer heat has finally died down, and the peak-season crowds have melted away. The landscape here is extraordinary; cities plonked at the bottom of smoking volcanoes, glossy islands cast away in the sea, and gently crumbling grandiose architecture that hints at a patchwork of influences from Moorish to Norman. You’ll also find some of Europe’s best food here; fat tubes of cannoli and refreshing granita that you won’t stop talking about even after you leave.

Where to stay: In Palermo, we love Villa Igea (which was featured on our 2023 Gold List ) or stay at Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo , set against the backdrop of Mount Etna.

15 Best Places to Travel to in October If You're Craving a Fall Getaway

Take advantage of the cheap airfare and great deals for these U.S.-based and international locations.

preview for 7 Spectacular Places to Travel in 2023

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If you're wondering where to travel in October , you've come to the right spot. Whether you're looking for a tropical beach with warm weather to help you forget about the looming chilly temps back home or you're hoping to find a cheap (but really cool!) destination in Europe, there are so many different places to explore. So, what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to plan that last-minute getaway (hey, treat yourself!). It's time to start packing !

Nassau, Bahamas

atlantis resort in nassau bahamas

Nassau is home to gorgeous blue waters, cotton candy sunsets and a variety of tropical resorts, giving tourists a large variety of lodging. Make sure to check out local culinary tours and straw markets as well as the rum distilleries. And for those who want to enjoy a more laid-back kid-free trip, the Sandals Royal Bahamian is an adults-only resort with 10 restaurants, eight bars, seven pools AND a private island.

Charleston, South Carolina

rainbow row, charleston sc

The colorful houses on Charleston's infamous Rainbow Row make for a spectacular photo background. Check out this row of 13 historic homes on East Bay Street, just along The Battery , that have been around since 1740. Other top activities include the city's harbor, Frankie's Fun Park (for the kids), farmers' markets, museums and shopping. Luckily, you can still enjoy the warm temperatures of South Carolina in October without any of the harsh summer humidity. Hotels typically start as low as $100 a night and get more expensive the closer you are to the center of Charleston. Airfare starts around $140 for a round-trip ticket .

RELATED : How One Designer Turned a Charleston Fixer-Upper into Her Dream Home

New York, New York

central park during autumn in new york city new york

There's nothing quite like New York in the fall. Enjoy some truly stunning fall foliage in Central Park while walking, biking or boating. Its 800+ acres also has a zoo, where you can get tickets as cheap as $20 . Central Park also boasts eight different restaurants and cafes in addition to the snack carts scattered throughout the park. If you want more of a true-city experience, check out one of the city's 145 museums. See a Broadway show (Wednesday matinees often have the cheapest tickets), experience new cuisines, go shopping, catch a concert and so much more. Bonus: A trip in October also lets you beat the summer crowds and long lines at big attractions, like the Empire State Building or Statue of Liberty .

RELATED : 38 Best Family Vacations That Everyone Will Love, From Babies and Toddlers to Teens

Florence, Italy

florence cityscape and duomo santa maria del fiore at sunset in florence italy

Take advantage of the off-season, and say "ciao!" to Italy. The weather is still warm, while hotels and local attractions are more affordable (and manageable). If you're a whiz at budgeting, you might even be able to find hotel lodging and vacation rentals for as low as $94 per night . October is the perfect time for sightseers to enjoy long walks exploring one-of-a-kind architecture, like the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore Piazza Duomo (pictured here). Honeymooners can have a romantic meal for two with tasty bites from the famous San Lorenzo Market . Meanwhile, festival-goers will love exploring the many food and art festivals going on around the city.

RELATED : The Best Carry-On Luggage to Buy in 2022

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

aerial of costa rican paradise

If you're the kind of person who prefers to spend your vacation primarily in a bathing suit, then you'll want to book a quick flight to Puerto Viejo . October is the month to get the cheapest flights to Costa Rica . Puerto Viejo has everything you could want on vacation — water sports, hiking, zip lining, snorkeling, nightlife, shopping and even animal sanctuaries you can visit. It's the perfect pick whether you're going with your family, girlfriends or partner. The only thing you'll have to worry about is what cocktail you'll be sipping on the beach come happy hour.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

calcite springs and the yellowstone river

If you love fresh air, nature and wildlife, a trip to Yellowstone sounds like the ideal vacay. Not only do hotels in the area start at $90 a night ($15 if you're camping ), but the impending winter means that wildlife is on full display. Bears, wolves, moose, elk, bison, otters and fox can be seen in almost every area of the park. Hike, walk, or fish and spend your time taking photos to show your friends and family when you get back home. Certain camp grounds start to close in October (or earlier) so make sure you check ahead of time to confirm your sleeping arrangements.

Bar Harbor, Maine

rocks and stream in fall foliage wooded area in bar habor maine

You'll have to venture little ways north to find this idyllic spot. Before the temperature drops to a frigid 19°F come December, take a drive up the East Coast to enjoy the picturesque nature of Bar Harbor. The stunning coastal view is only enhanced by the changing leaves, which hit their peak colors around mid-October. The town's quick-and-easy access to Acadia National Park as well as the Bar Island Trail , Lulu Lobster Boat Ride , Atlantic Climbing School , and whale watching make Bar Harbor the perfect place to take the entire family.

Edinburgh, Scotland

the iconic and picturesque circus lane taken at sunrise in edinburgh scotland

As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh has a rustic European beauty that stuns locals and tourists alike. Known for the Edinburgh International Festival and The Fringe , the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival, Edinburgh boasts good weather, smaller crowds and longer daylight hours in October. It's a great time to explore medieval architecture, the Scottish Highlands , Edinburgh Castle , and Inchcolm Abbey while enjoying a sip or two of whiskey between the excursions thanks to the Scotch Whiskey Experience . Lodging can cost as little as $14 , with the most expensive part of your trip likely being airfare. Fun fact: Edinburgh is often known for having a "nutty, toasty" smell that wafts through the streets due to all the local breweries and distilleries.

St. Augustine, Florida

town square and fountain in st augustine florida

If you enjoy the warm weather but don't want to be subjected to humidity, a visit to St. Augustine in October is your ideal getaway. As the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the United States , the city is chock-full of historic landmarks, like the Castillo de San Marcos Monument , the Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Park and the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum . The kids will especially enjoy the Sea Dragon Airboat Adventure , the Alligator Farm Zoological Park and the Tag! Children's Museum of St. Augustine . The only snag about this trip? The closest airport ( Jacksonville International Airport ) is 50 minutes away.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

grand canyon at sunrise in arizona

The gorgeous views and beautiful fall foliage make the Grand Canyon a great vacation in the outdoors before the winter temperatures hit. Since the crowds decrease dramatically after Labor Day, you and the family can go hiking and spend a night or more camping, rafting or simply enjoying a scenic drive. Flights can cost as little as $281 round trip and lodging can cost as little as $15 if you're planning on camping inside the park.

Lake Tahoe, California

sunrise overlooking lake tahoes emerald bay in california

Lake Tahoe rarely has a time of year when it's not busy. But the best time to visit is, you guessed it, October. Roundtrip airfare can be found for as little as $68 , hotels as low as $110 a night and camping for a fee of around $41 per night . In addition to running, walking or hiking one of Lake Tahoe's many trails , you can also go apple-picking at a local orchard, take some pictures of the truly stunning fall foliage in the area or attend a local concert. There's also the annual Freakers Ball Annual Halloween costume party . Occasionally, snow can start falling as early as October or November, but if you're fine with a few flurries then book away.

Newport, Rhode Island

autumn in newport rhode island

Enjoy a relaxing getaway to Newport if you want to enjoy cool fall weather and fun autumn activities. Pick a pumpkin at the Trinity Church Pumpkin Patch while enjoying a homemade pumpkin baked good and live music, take a ghost tour at night through town, or attend one of the many fall festivals like the Rogue Island Comedy Festival , Festa Italiana or Newport Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival . If you're planning a trip with the kids, there's even a Hocus Pocus party on October 5th to celebrate the new sequel, which was filmed in Rhode Island . You can also see the autumn leaves at their most vibrant since peak fall foliage occurs around mid- to late-October in Newport .

RELATED: 20 Stunning Places to See Fall Foliage in New England in 2022

Oranjestad, Aruba

aerial from aruba island with palm beach in the caribbean sea at sunset

The stunning orange sunrises and sunsets in Oranjestad are enough of a reason to vacation in Aruba. Try activities with the kids like cliff jumping, UTV island tours, submarine expeditions, visits to the local animal sanctuary, snorkeling, fishing and so much more. There are also plenty of exciting adult-friendly activities like nightlife barhopping tours and dinner-and-drink sunset sails.

Lisbon, Portugal

lisbon urban skyline

September and October are two of the best months to visit Portugal because you're able to score beach days without large crowds around. With flights priced as little as $293 and a variety of highly-rated yet cheap hotels costing about $72 a night , Lisbon is the perfect vacation for those who want an international trip on a budget. Enjoy local cuisine at the Time Out Market or enjoy a trip around the city to see monuments. Notable attractions include the massive Cristo Rei Christ statue that overlooks the clear blue waters of the Tagus and the Monument to the Discoveries . Other tourist must-sees include the Jerónimos Monastery , Alfama architecture, São Jorge Castle and Belém Tower .

Santorini, Greece

coastline of santorini greece

Santorini is calling for those who want stunning ocean views, fewer crowds and cheap airfare. Smaller airlines often offer roundtrip tickets for as little as $108 per person. Stay at a hotel or cut costs by renting an Airbnb, some for only $100 a night . With wineries, museums, hiking trails, beaches and boat tours, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, the island makes a romantic getaway for those on their honeymoon with its intimate coastal restaurants, sunset sails, hot springs and Virginia's Cave Villas Oia .

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9 Best Places to Travel in October 2023

These are the best places to visit in October in the United States and around the world.

where travel in october

Greg Meland/Getty Images

When there’s a chill in the air and a crimson hue in the trees, you know that autumn has arrived. October is the first full month of the fall season, and it's an invigorating time of year for many travelers. They grab a sweater and head outside for adventures, or hop in the car for a road trip to enjoy the scenery. 

Food festivals, harvest events, an eclipse, and a sky filled with brilliant hot air balloons are a few reasons to plan an autumn trip. If you're able to travel further, note that Kenya's great migration culminates in October, and Istanbul celebrates fall with an art festival. Or head south of the equator if you'd prefer to dodge the cold and enjoy spring beauty instead.

Whatever you're looking for in an fall trip, we've got you covered. Here are our nine picks for the best places to travel in October 2023.

Mendoza, Argentina

Edsel Querini/Getty Images

If you're a fan of Malbec wine, and wouldn't mind drinking it in springtime weather, head to this agricultural region of Argentina, located about 650 miles west of Buenos Aires. The dramatic silhouette of the Andes mountains, plus vineyards and delicious food, make Mendoza an appealing destination. And there’s plenty to do beyond wine tasting and vineyard tours in October. Take a hot air balloon ride over olive groves, grapevines, orchards, and farms; visit craft breweries along the Andean beer route ; and stay in one of 21 villas at The Vines Resort & Spa , set in the Uco Valley. Another accommodation option is SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites , which features excellent cuisine and wines from Susana Balbo Winery . And at Entre Cielos Wine Hotel & Spa , travelers can enjoy Latin America’s only authentic Turkish hammam .

Klamath County, Oregon

JeffGoulden/Getty Images

The total eclipse of April 2024 is inspiring lots of people to book trips to the best viewing spots, but you can experience a similar natural event this year, in Oregon’s Klamath County. A once-in-a-generation annular eclipse will take place on October 14, 2023, and umbraphiles (or eclipse chasers) will be heading to the Klamath Falls area for nearly four minutes of eclipse viewing. You can also celebrate the natural event at EclipseFest23 , too, which will run October 10 to 15 with camping, food, and live music. To extend your trip, add adventures in Crater Lake National Park and Oregon Caves National Monument to your itinerary.

Ojai, California

Courtesy of Ojai Valley Inn

Less than two hours northwest of Los Angeles, Ojai is located in Ventura County among the Topatopa Mountains. October weather is warm and dry, with temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s, so lots of visitors opt outdoors for hiking, golfing, or just relaxing as they wait for Ojai’s famed sunset “pink moment. ” Places to stay include the award-winning Ojai Valley Inn , which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and is hosting the Ojai Food + Wine Festival from October 26 to 29. The four-day event will feature 50 top chefs, 100 wineries, and events such as a grand tasting at The Farmhouse , the Inn’s exhibition kitchen for guest chefs and culinary demonstrations.

Houston, Texas

Courtesy of Marriott Marquis Houston

October’s mild weather attracts visitors to special events and ongoing attractions in Houston. Just south of downtown, the Houston Museum District features 19 museums in four walkable zones: the Houston Museum of Natural Science , George Observatory , Houston Zoo , and Museum of Fine Arts . The annual Texas Renaissance Festival will be held over eight weekends, beginning October 7. There’s also the Wings over Houston Airshow (October 14 and 15) and Oktoberfest Houston (September 30). Stay at Le Meridien Houston Downtown , with an open-air rooftop bar, or Marriott Marquis Houston , which features the Altitude Rooftop & Pool, famous for its Texas-shaped lazy river. Hotel ZaZa Houston offers two locations, one in the Museum District and one in Memorial City . The 36-story luxury Thompson Houston , with a spa and stylish pool deck, is set to open in November.

Sonoma County, California

S. Greg Panosian/Getty Images

In October, autumn colors appear on the grapevines in this California region, creating a colorful landscape in shades of red and gold as the harvest continues. Mild daytime temperatures make it pleasant to be outdoors here, so you can hike in the mountains, stroll along the coast, or ride a bike among vineyards. Beautiful wineries abound here, including Vérité , Ram’s Gate , Sonoma-Cutrer and St. Francis , and you'll find breweries, distilleries, and cideries, as well. To stay among the vineyards and rolling hills, book a room at the elegant Montage Healdsburg . For a coastal stay, consider Timber Cove or the Lodge at Bodega Bay . Hotel Healdsburg , The Lodge at Sonoma, an Autograph Collection Resort , Dawn Ranch , and MacArthur Place are other great options. The latter property is debuting a new spa, fitness center, and pool in late September.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Move over, Denver — Albuquerque is a mile-high city, too. And you can head even higher in altitude on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway , a thrilling ride to the 10,378-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains, where panoramic views await. Sunny weather and mild temperatures in October are the backdrop for the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta , set for October 7 to 15. During this event, 500 balloons float in the clear skies, a sight so incredible it attracts thousands of visitors each year. Stay nearby at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa between the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande River. At the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, the authentic flamenco venue Tablao features world-class performers. About an hour away in Santa Fe, stay at Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection , Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi , or Inn of the Five Graces .

Michela Sieman/Travel + Leisure

A beloved vacation destination in summer, Italy sees fewer tourists in the autumn season, so if you'd like a quieter Italian escape, October is your friend. Naples, popular for Pompei and pizza, is home the National Archaeological Museum and the ruins of Herculaneum. Stay at the five-star Romeo Napoli overlooking the Gulf of Naples with a heated rooftop pool and views of Capri and Mt. Vesuvius. The Capri Palace Jumeirah is a luxury option in Anacapri. The Puglia region in the south offers stunning beaches, wineries, and the conical houses called trulli .  In Salento, Palazzo Daniele ’s eleven luxury suites are housed in a 159-year old family palazzo with original frescoes and mosaic flooring. Masseria Torre Maizza in Fasano features ancient olive groves, a rooftop bar, and a private beach club. On the Amalfi coast, the elegant cliffside Borgo Santandrea now offers four new suites and a renovated beach club experience. And set among Montepulciano’s vineyards in Tuscany is Borgo San Vicenzo , a 21-room luxury property. If you're headed to Rome, stay at the elegant Hotel Eden .

London, England

Gautier Houba/Travel + Leisure

Like Italy, London is quieter in the post-summer months, but there's still plenty going on. West End theaters have a full schedule of hit shows, and Oktoberfest at London Bierfest , set for October 19 and 20, is a Bavarian-style party in the heart of the city, complete with music, brimming beer steins, and German food. If you can't make that one, take a look at other Oktoberfest events scheduled this month. London Cocktail Week is set for October 12 to 22 and recognizes the city’s cocktail scene, and the Bloomsbury Festival (October 13 to 22) celebrates the area’s history and culture. Halloween is fun in London, too. Excellent hotels throughout the city include The Standard , The Connaught Hotel , DUKES London Mayfair , Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane , Hotel Café Royal , Brown’s Hotel , and Flemings Mayfair . The Dorchester enhanced its opulent style with renovations completed early this year. And if you like Beaverbrook Town House in Chelsea, and are looking to stay a bit outside the city, consider sister property Beaverbrook , a famed country house set in Surrey.

Boston, Massachusetts

Violet Smirnova/Travel + Leisure

Colorful fall foliage draws visitors to Boston every year. Whether you're strolling the historic streets of Beacon Hill, wandering along the Freedom Trail , or enjoying the waterfront, those East Coast leaves will have you looking up. You might also marvel at the annual Head of the Charles Regatta (October 20 to 22), when more than 11,000 local and elite rowers take to the Charles River, with spectators watching from river banks and bridges. Autumn also brings Oktoberfest celebrations throughout the city as early as late September, and events include a parade, live music, and beer gardens. Visitors can get into the Halloween spirit with a Haunted Boston Walking Tour , which includes a stop at Boston’s oldest cemetery. Stay at the Hotel Commonwealth near Fenway Park, the Hyatt Centric Faneuil Hall , or the Hotel AKA Boston Common . The Four Seasons Hotel Boston recently reopened after a major design update. 

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She Saves She Travels

28 Best Places to Visit in October in USA (You’ll Love)

Posted on Published: August 23, 2023  - Last updated: January 5, 2024

There’s nothing quite like a fall vacation. The hustle and bustle of the summer is gone. Most tourist destinations are like sleepy ghost towns waiting for the rush of holiday travelers. So if you’ve ever wondered where’s the best places to visit in October in the USA – here’s your list.

best places to visit in October, fall foliage with mountains and lake at sunset

This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, see my  disclosures .

Traveling in the fall, and more specifically, October cannot be beat. It’s the shoulder season for many destinations across the states. That means less crowds and affordable prices. And bonus – beautiful fall colors across much of the USA!

Traveling in the fall is one of the best times to take a vacation. But not every spot is equally as great. That’s why this list of the best fall vacations in the US is highlighting cool spots you’ve seen before, and even better destinations you haven’t heard of. 

maroon bells colorado best places to visit in October USA view of mountains with bright yellow trees and lake reflection

And by the way…I’m continually checking places off my travel bucket list . However, I haven’t been everywhere yet (working on it!) so I enlisted some travel blogger friends for help creating this epic list. 

Save money on travel with points: Check out the best credit card offers to save big money by using rewards points for flights and hotels. They’re so good; I regularly have 2-3 in my wallet and book most of my travel with points!

Map of the best fall vacations in the US

This list is covering a lot of the country! From the west coast to the east coast and some spots in between, this map shows a visual, which can be useful when planning your fall getaway.

Best places to visit in October in USA

October is a fabulous time to travel, and these are some of the most ideal spots in these gorgeous United States to see. From popular fall foliage spots to destinations you’ve never heard of, let’s dive into the list!

1. The Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina to Virginia

best places to visit in October USA winding road with bright red orange and green trees

Average temp:  high 62, low 41

Stretching 469 miles from the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the entrance to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia (where it turns into the equally scenic Skyline Drive), the Blue Ridge Parkway is widely regarded as one of America’s most scenic roads.

More than 15 million people using the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) each year, making it the most visited of all the national park units in the United States. So it’s also arguably the most popular!

The BRP’s origins date back to 1935, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the historic initiative part of his New Deal. It was designed to improve American infrastructure and create jobs as a means to accelerate the nation’s economic recovery after the Great Depression.

It took until 1966 to construct the majority of the road, and another 21 years to finish the picturesque stretch from the Linn Cove Viaduct to Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. 

The result is an epic and iconic road trip that dazzles with spectacular colors in the fall, when the leaves turn to sun-speckled gems in red, orange, and golden hues. It’s by far one of the most scenic fall drives in the US!!

An autumn drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway takes you through the Jefferson, George Washington, Nantahala, and Pisgah National Forests; numerous impressive state parks (including NC’s Mount Mitchell State Park, the highest peak east of the Mississippi); and countless hiking trails, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and streams. 

There are also some 200 breathtaking BRP overlooks as well as charming mountain towns such as Banner Elk, Boone, and  Little Switzerland . 

The best of the parkway’s landmarks include Grandfather Mountain State Park, the Linville Gorge Wilderness, Looking Glass Rock, and Julian Price Memorial Park. Each offers opportunities to savor the splendor of America’s wilderness at its most pristine, preserved by FDR for future generations.

Recommended by Bret Love and Mary Gabbett of Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide

2. Bend, Oregon (one of the most underrated and best places to visit in October USA)

places to visit in October in usa view of blue lake water with cabin and bright trees and blue sky with reflection

Average temp:  high 62, low 33

While Bend, Oregon is a fantastic destination year-round, the fall is a great time to visit this Central Oregon town. You’ll find far fewer crowds than in the summer months and the crisp autumn air is perfect for many outdoor adventures.

Bend is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, and October is a great time to experience Oregon’s high desert. Cooler autumn temperatures make it the perfect time of year to hit the nearby trails.

There are a variety of  hikes in Bend, Oregon  for all skill levels and in a diverse range of settings, from pine forests to snowcapped peaks to juniper and sage dotted deserts. You can also get out onto the water on a SUP or kayak or cruise through some of the famed Bend mountain biking trails.

A fun fall activity is to head to nearby Smith Rock State Park for beautiful views and a lovely riverside walk. Once you’ve had your fill, head to the ranch just outside the park that has a large pumpkin patch, food trucks and festive games for all ages.

October is the perfect time of year to hop around the different breweries around town to sample the local brews. If you’re a real craft beer enthusiast, you may want to participate in the Bend Ale Trail, which is run by the local tourism board. Collect stamps at each brewery you visit for a prize!

Recommended by Katie Diederichs of Go Wander Wild

3. Mammoth Lakes, California

mammoth lakes california in the fall view of a lake with bright orange tree leaves and white mountain behind

Average temp:  high 60, low 30

One of the best places to visit in October in USA is  Mammoth Lakes . It’s located in Eastern California and is one of the most underrated places to visit in the USA in the fall. The beautiful colorful trees with the mountains in the background make this a wonderful place to stay in October. 

June Lake Loop is one of the best spots to experience the fall colors. There are many lakes to explore on the loop like Silver Lake, June Lake, Gull Lake, and Grant Lake.

The whole loop is filled with stunning yellow Aspen trees, and there are many spots to explore with these beautiful trees. Make sure to stop by Silver Lake Cafe for lunch and watch the stunning views of Silver Lake while you eat.

Another great spot to see fall colors is Convict Lake which is located southeast of Mammoth Lakes . The yellow Aspens are situated at the mountain base, so it is best to walk the whole loop.

You can also visit many of the lakes that are located in Mammoth Lakes Basin. They include lakes like Twin Lakes, Lake Mamie, Horseshoe Lake, Lake Mary and Lake George. It’s a magical area to explore in the early cool fall morning. 

There are so many yellow colors in Mammoth Lakes. It is probably one of the most underrated areas to experience fall foliage, and one of the best places to visit in the US in October!

Recommended by Michelle of The Wandering Queen

4. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (one of the best October vacation destinations)

creek with snow yellow foliage on trees and mountains in distance

Average temp:  high 46, low 29

Colorado’s Rocky Mountain is one of the most beautiful (and popular) national parks in the country.

Located about 2 hours away from Denver, this park takes time ans effort to explore with countless trails, waterfalls and even one of Colorado’s most popular “fourteeners” Longs Peak. 

Rocky Mountain National Park is pure magic during fall, when the incredible golden colors come out in full display. The best time to see them is from mid-September through early October. 

Another thing you should know about visiting RMNP during the fall is that weekends still might be busy, as more people come to take pictures and see thousands of amazing golden-hue Aspen trees. Crowds begin to dissipate in the fall, and if you want the ultimate experience, try to plan your visit for weekday. 

To see the fall colors in their full glory, take a drive along the Trail Ridge Road that is open from Memorial Day until late October. The alpine highway is a perfect way to enjoy the the fall scenery at RMNP without getting out of the car. In fact, the Trail Ridge Road is one of the top Colorado bucket list activity!

Still, try to explore some trails. Take a hike or two to enjoy the fall colors , and if you plan on doing a more challenging trail at a higher altitude, make sure to bring some layers . Temperatures begin to drop in the fall, and it’s a good idea to bring a jacket with you, especially if you plan on camping here. 

Note: through most of October, the park requires a timed entry permit. Plan your trip in advance and grab your permit here .

Recommended by Daria of The Discovery Nut

5. Door County, Wisconsin

door county WI with bridge town and brightly colored trees

Average temp:  high 56, low 41

Door County, Wisconsin likely isn’t the first spot to come to mind when thinking of amazing fall colors in the United States. However, the colors here are breathtaking , and there are many wonderful activities to enjoy in Door County during fall! 

The colors begin changing during the end of September, and visitors hoping to see the leaves during their peak color should plan to visit the area in mid-October. 

To see some of the best fall colors in Door County, try hiking in Peninsula State Park, Whitefish Dunes State Park, Cave Point County Park and The Ridges Sanctuary, just to name a few spots.

For those looking for a less active leaf-peeping experience, be sure to take a drive along Highway 42. You can also see the leaves from above at viewing platforms, such as the newly constructed Sturgeon Bay Maritime Museum Lighthouse Tower. 

Fall is also a great time to visit the apple orchards in Door County. Be sure to stop by Wood Orchard Market, where you can get awesome seasonal products such as their special apple cider donuts! 

With the cooler fall temperatures, cozying up to a fire during a traditional Door County fish boil is one of the best  things to do in Wisconsin  at this time of year. Fish Boils are fun to watch and delicious. Each boil master makes theirs a little differently but, you can count on all recipes using white fish and various vegetables and spices boiled in a large kettle over an open fire.

Door County is an underrated destination, and definitely one of the best places to visit in October USA!

Recommended by Lindsey of Have Clothes, Will Travel

6. San Diego, California

california shoreline with ocean trees grass and buildings along coast

Average temp:  high 74, low 61

Listen, San Diego has amazing temperatures most of the year, so there’s not really a ‘bad’ time to go. However, as someone who’s traveled to San Diego many times in the fall, I can truly say that October is a fantastic time to visit this amazing city!

Less tourists visit San Diego in the fall, so there’s not as many limitations to amazing activities because of overcrowding. For instance, the San Diego Zoo is a fantastic spot to explore. It’s really enjoyable in the fall when you can see what you’re there to see, instead of waiting all the time.

An amazing activity in the San Diego area is kayaking in La Jolla Cove in October. Other top things to do include Balboa Park, Old Town San Diego and Coronado Island.

By the way, here’s an idea of how to spend a weekend in San Diego if it’s on your short list!

Recommended by me – Nikki of She Saves She Travels 

Book a photo shoot: The best souvenir, booking a photo shoot while traveling preserves memories of your vacation! I love Flytographer because the photo sessions are fun, easy and affordable. you can get $25 off if you book through this link or use the code SSST.

7. Oahu, Hawaii (top of the list for warm places to visit in October in USA)

warm places to visit in October in usa view of beach looking down with palm trees and blue water

Average temp:  high 84, low 69

The island of Oahu has beautiful weather throughout the year but fall is one of the best times to visit. At this time of year, you can expect fewer crowds around the island, plenty of days with clear blue skies and the island is still really warm so you can spend your time lying on the beach.

While it may be hotter in the summer months, the fall actually offers a more enjoyable temperature so you can get out and explore the island. 

One of the highlights of any visit to Oahu is exploring the many beaches dotted around the island. The most beautiful beach on Oahu is Lanikai Beach , which is a palm tree lined stretch of brilliant white sand and crystal-clear blue water.

As it’s on the east side of the island the water is usually quite calm so it is ideal for swimming, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. If you are feeling energetic you can kayak out to the Mokalua Islands which are just a few hundred metres from shore. 

Another great activity is to explore Kualoa Regional Park, which is where scenes from Jurassic Park were filmed. You can explore the park on foot or take a quad bike tour. The mountains here are unique with their deep ridges and tropical green coverings.

During a visit to Oahu you can also snorkel, surf, hike, visit local farms to try fresh fruit and so much more. It’s an amazing island and the weather in particular makes this a perfect fall getaway.

Recommended by Luke of Wild About BC

8. Acadia National Park, Maine (a top choice on this list of best places to visit in October in USA)

best places to visit in October USA view of multicolored fall foliage with ocean in distance

Average temp:  high 55, low 38

Acadia is among a very small group of US national parks with two genuine ‘peak’ seasons. Summer is naturally congested in Acadia, but fall is equally as busy and because of the spectacularly beautiful Autumnal foliage lighting up the park.

But striking colors aren’t everything and the fall season is loaded with other benefits in Acadia National Park. 

Hiking conditions are cooler in September and October, which comes in particularly handy when climbing both of Acadia’s adrenaline pumping hikes – Beehive Trail and Precipice Trail.

Beehive and Precipice are the two outstanding hikes but there are a dozen other trails without ladder climbing elements. All of which summit with remarkable views over the Gulf of Maine, gorgeous lakes, tiny islands and of course mountain sides covered in vibrant orange, yellow, red and green trees.

Epic sunrises are one of Acadia’s greatest assets and from the summit of ultra-popular Cadillac Mountain, you can be among the first people in the US to see the sun rise over the eastern horizon. In fall, sunrise is over an hour later than in summer, which means a slightly less agonizing alarm time.

To see the richest and most vivid colors, simply get stuck into all of the  best things to do in Acadia National Park , including hikes, lakes and carriage roads.

Pro tip: Be sure to book Bar Harbor accommodation a long way in advance to avoid missing out and always be out in the park early, parking spaces are limited and fill quickly each day.

Without a doubt, Acadia National Park is one of the best places to visit in October in USA.

Recommended by Mark and Kristen of Where Are Those Morgans?

9. Moab, Utah

arches national park hikes photo of large orange arch with desert scene behind on partly cloudy day

Average temp:  high 74, low 41

Moab, Utah is an adventure city in the Southwest USA. With countless national parks, state parks and recreation areas surrounding Moab, it’s truly an amazing place to vacation.

It makes this list of the best places to visit in October in the USA because the weather usually hasn’t turned too wintry yet to enjoy the outdoors. And in the summer, Moab is packed with tourism!

If you love hiking, October is the perfect time to explore Arches National Park by foot or hike Canyonlands National Park . There’s also white water rafting, canyoneering, wineries and breweries and so much more.

Visitors should still book accommodations as far out as possible to get the best pricing. And be sure to book any tours in advance since Moab is a hot spot!

Related: 30 Cool Things to Do in Moab, Utah

Best October vacation destinations

Some amazing spots have already been covered, but some of the best fall foliage in USA continues…

10. Asheville, North Carolina

beautiful waterfall surrounded by orange and yellow fall foliage in Asheville NC

Average temp:  high 68, low 46

Asheville, North Carolina is one of the best places in the US to experience fall.  The mountains are blazing with red, orange, and yellow leaves, the weather is perfect and the orchards are open. 

While it may be the busiest time of year, it’s well worth the visit, but try to time it for a weekday visit instead of the weekends.

Be sure to spend some time walking around downtown Asheville and wandering the shops of the hip West Asheville area.  Visiting the Biltmore Estate is also a must-do. 

There are so many amazing places to eat in Asheville, you’ll be able to try new, delicious food for every meal. Tupelo Honey and Gan Shan West are great options.

One of the best things to do in Asheville is driving part of the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway and the best time to  drive the Blue Ridge Parkway is fall . There are tons of hikes to waterfalls nearby like Linville Falls, Looking Glass Falls, or Moore Cove Falls. 

Visiting Asheville in the fall makes all of these things even better than they normally are because you get to see them surrounded by stunning fall foliage, and who doesn’t love that?  

Recommended by Megan of Red Around the World

11. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington (a PNW fave on this list of best places to visit in October in USA)

mount rainier in autumn with large mountain trees and fall foliage best places to visit in the US in October

Average temp:  high 47, low 33

Within the Pacific Northwest, Mount Rainier National Park boasts vibrant autumnal colors not only on the leaves of its famously grand trees, but also from the wildflowers, succulents, and other fauna carpeting the park’s rolling valleys.

If you’re looking for some of the best spots to see the fall colors, head to the Skyline Trail Mount Rainier, a 5.5 mile hike that takes you up close-and-personal with Mount Rainier and meanders through meadows aflame with autumnal foliage, from the vibrant red of scarlet paintbrush to the flaming orange of elderberries. 

Alternatively, check out Naches Peak Loop, a part of the Pacific Crest Trail that traverses colorful subalpine valleys bursting with autumnal colors while snowy Mount Rainier looms overhead.

For a lower impact way to enjoy the fall foliage, take a scenic drive through the Chinook Scenic Byway. It’s a 107 mile road that will take you through both Mount Rainier National Park and Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest.

This drive provides a gorgeous tour of rushing waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and of course, panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains’ beautiful fall colors.

With stunning autumnal foliage, world-class hiking, and a variety of activities for all types of travelers, Mount Rainier in the fall is a fantastic place to explore. 

Recommended by Jessica of Uprooted Traveler

12. Boston, Massachusetts

statue in fall foliage with city in distance in downtown Boston MA

Average temp:  high 62, low 47

Fall is the ultimate time to visit New England. From “leaf-peeping” in parks to crisp weather and apple-picking, it’s no wonder that visitors flock to the region from all over the world. If you’re seeking a combination of a city break and a fantastic fall destination, consider Boston.

Boston is teeming with history, green spaces, restaurants, and quaint neighborhoods to charm any visitor. Known as the “Cradle of the American Revolution,” don’t miss the Freedom Trail .

It’s a 2-mile, largely flat walking path that traces various sites of historical importance, such as the site of the Boston Massacre, the beginning of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride, and the Battle of Bunker Hill in Charlestown.

The Trail kicks off at the beautiful Boston Common, the oldest city park in the U.S., dating back to 1634! As you walk, you will also discover other lovely fall destinations, such as the Beacon Hill neighborhood, with its cobbled streets and romantic buildings. Be sure to stop at Acorn Street, said to be the most-photographed street in the U.S .

For some Victorian splendor, visit Copley Square and the Back Bay, gazing up at its two beautiful churches and the Boston Public Library – certainly one of the city’s most picturesque places. In particular, the Library’s Bates Room, with its glowing lamps and vintage books, will give you major “back-to-school season” vibes.

Nearby, the Commonwealth Avenue Mall has gorgeous trees in blazing fall colors – one of the best places to check out fall foliage in town . There are also a variety of parks to discover if foliage is what you seek, including the Fens, the Emerald Necklace parks system and the Public Garden. 

Boston is certainly one of the best places to travel in October in USA, especially if you love history!

Recommended by Tegan and Alex of Why Not Walk Travel Guides

13. Napa Valley, California (a favorite of these fall vacation ideas)

Napa valley california in autumn view of winery with fall foliage and road with hills

Average temp:  high 77, low 47

It’s without question that the beautiful  Napa Valley  region in California is one of the most beautiful fall travel destinations in the USA. The normally vibrant green of the grapevines turns to shades of yellow, gold and orange in Napa Valley. And as the weather cools, the leaves start to fall, leaving a carpet of orangey gold underfoot.  

Napa Valley is actually a region featuring a collection of towns in between the vineyards and rolling hills. The area is a really easy drive from the best things to do in San Francisco , and will take around 1.5 hours. Having a car is a great idea in Napa Valley so that you are able to hop between wine tastings and towns at your leisure.  

For a spectacular view, Artesa Wines is a great choice for a wine tasting as the large-windowed cellar door sits stop a hill providing great panoramic views of the surrounding valley.  

Auburn James, just outside St Helena, is also a beautiful winery to stop in at, with a gorgeous tasting room. It is worth noting that booking in advance for your tastings is always a good idea and usually involves a small payment.  

Once you’ve finished your wine tastings, head into the township of St Helena for dinner at the Farmstead – a stellar farm to plate restaurant pairing local wines with delicious food.  

Recommended by Emma of Emma Jane Explores

14. Chicago, Illinois

chicago bean large reflective art installation with city skyline people and red trees in autumn

Average temp:  high 62, low 50

If you’re looking for the best place to visit in October USA, look no further than Chicago!  This fun city is vibrant and full of fall foliage! Plus, there’s a ton of things to do, indoor and out.

While you could spend a week in the city, a Chicago 3 day itinerary would be just about perfect. 

A must-see is Millennium Park and the world-famous “Bean.” October is the  perfect time to witness the ever changing colors of autumn against the Chicago skyline.  The Bean is sort of like the cherry on top of that whole experience!

If you’re into museums, Chicago has so many options to choose from. The Art Institute of Chicago is located downtown within walking distance of many other main attractions. Enjoy works by Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and so many others!

You can  visit the Willis Tower Skydeck , where you can walk out on a ledge over 100 stories up (indoor, don’t worry!) and see the city below.  Another perfect activity is the Navy Pier,  where you can walk, dine and even join in on fun activities like a mirror maze or giant Ferris wheel!

With typically mild weather conditions in Chicago, it’s one of the best US cities to visit in October! Daytime averages in the 60s and nightly about 50 degrees, layers will be your friend!

Pro tip : stay near downtown or within a short metro ride to the city center. It’s a relatively walkable city so be prepared with your cute walking shoes !

Recommended by me – Nikki of She Saves She Travels

15. Kauai, Hawaii (another favorite on this list of best places to visit in the US in October)

kauai view of the napali coast rugged Ridgeline with colorful fauna and deep blue ocean

Average temp:  high 76, low 60

It sounds cliché, but Hawaii is such a gorgeous destination that it’s always worth the visit! However, as someone who has been to this beautiful island chain many times, visiting in the fall is one of my very favorite times to go.

Kauai is one of the best places to visit in October in the USA because it’s the shoulder season so it’s more affordable. Hiking trails and parking lots are generally less full, making it a great time to vacation on this island.

Highlights in Kauai in October

  • See the Waimea Canyon and NaPali Coast. It’s absolutely stunning! 
  • Helicopter tour of the island . Since 80% of it isn’t drivable, this is the best way to see this gorgeous place.
  • Hike the first 2 miles of the Kalalau Trail . You’ll have to get advanced reservations to enter the park, but it’s a breathtaking experience!
  • Hike the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail in southern Kauai near Poipu. This is and easy walk and offers ocean views nearly the entire way.
  • Snorkel on Anini Beach. It’s one of the most calm spots on the island and a great spot to see sea turtles! (Just be sure to respect Hawaiian culture, keeping your distance from sea turtles and not walk on the coral.)

For the best places to eat in Kauai, it’s easier to get reservations for restaurants (which is recommended for Kauai since it’s a smaller island) in October.

Hands down, Hawaii is one of the very best states to visit in October, and Kauai is phenomenal!

16. Lutsen, Minnesota (an underrated and absolute best fall vacations in the US)

best places to visit in October USA vivid red yellow and green trees

Average temp:  high 52, low 34

A fabulous, unknown place to many for enjoying fall leaf color and waterfalls can be found on the North Shore along Lake Superior in Minnesota. The North Shore is a special place and is only 2 hours north of Minneapolis-St Paul airport.

Duluth is where the journey begins, but for the full experience continue northward two more hours to Lutsen, Minnesota.  It’s truly one of the best places to visit in October in USA!

Let’s go! Start the adventure in Canal Park in Duluth, MN with the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge in the backdrop, while you explore the lighthouse pier and the newly renovated Lakewalk. Your drive will continue with must-see stops at Gooseberry Falls, Splitrock Lighthouse and Temperance River State Park.

Great accommodations can be found in Lutsen or Grand Marais, which are centralized for hiking and lots of activities in the area. An aerial gondola ride over the Poplar River and up the Moose Mountain is an experience not to miss to see the best fall leaf colors !

The window for peak fall color on the north shore varies anywhere from mid-September to early-October. However, the fall colors continue to be stunning in different types of forests at times beyond that window.

If you haven’t yet experienced the North Shore of Minnesota in the fall it’s one to add to your list! There are so many things to do and places to stay, it’s easy to find hotels on the North Shore MN as well.

Recommended by Michelle of Almost There Adventures

17. Portsmouth, New Hampshire

halloween scene with scarecrows pumpkin heads and city corner behind

Average temp:  high 58, low 46

Welcome to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the town National Geographic Travel has crowned “America’s Greatest Small Town.”

Portsmouth is the crown jewel of New Hampshire’s Seacoast and is perfectly situated within an hour from the White Mountains and an hour from Boston. Its location makes it the perfect New England destination for leaf peeping .

Downtown historical Portsmouth is very unique as it has colonial homes dating back to the 17th century. The most famous historical portion of the city is located in the south end. Strawbery Banke, an outdoor history museum, is New Hampshire’s oldest neighborhood to be settled by Europeans.

When visiting Portsmouth, be sure to check out all the small businesses downtown in an area of the city known as Market Square.

Portsmouth has more restaurants per capita than any other small town in the United States and is also home to dozens of charming boutiques. These boutiques come to life during the autumn with their seasonal decor and gift offerings.

Be sure to swing by Cup of Joe cafe for a cozy cup of salted caramel hot chocolate or their signature pumpkin spice latte. Lastly, the best thing about Portsmouth, NH is it’s a very walkable town, meaning no car is needed to explore this charming downtown this upcoming autumn season !

Recommended by Nicole of The Abroad Blog

18. Eastern Sierra, California

lakeshore with waves yellow and orange trees with large cabins best places to visit in October USA

Average temp:  high 62, low 38 (varies)

The Eastern Sierra of California is a fabulous fall getaway destination in the USA. Fall color here is considered second only to New England , so you know you are in for a visual treat if you visit when the colors are at their peak!

From Lake Tahoe in the north to Bishop and Lone Pine in the south, the region is ablaze with foliage colors in the fall. You’ll be mesmerized by the show of yellow, oranges, and reds put on by aspens, willows and cottonwoods. 

Taking a  Highway 395 road trip  is a great way to enjoy fall in the Eastern Sierra. If you prefer to have a base, Mammoth Lakes and Bishop are the largest towns in the area, and make for good bases from which to explore the beauty of the fall foliage all around you.

Doing scenic drives to enjoy the colors is the top thing to do in the fall. There are numerous paved and dirt roads you can drive. Both Inyo and Mono Counties offer the most beautiful drives. If you plan to drive the dirt roads, bring an appropriate vehicle.

The region is also known for its numerous spectacular lakes, so get out onto the water to enjoy the colors on the banks. Boating or kayaking is offered at many lakes. You can also go hiking, to view the colors up close: there are many legendary Eastern Sierra hikes from which to choose.

The Eastern Sierras are certainly one of the beset October vacations USA for lakes, mountains and hiking.

Recommended by Dhara of Roadtripping California

19. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia (another underrated destination on this list of beset places to travel in October in USA)

best October vacations usa view of mountains with green trees and red bushes on partly could day

Average temp:  high 58, low 39

You’ll hit gold if you visit Shenandoah National Park during the autumn . . . plus orange, red and burgundy.

Shenandoah’s trees shed their green attire. Autumn’s palette paints the forest rusty orange, reddish yellow, and burgundy. Woodland creatures abound, including black bears, deer, wild turkeys and bats.

Located less than two hours from Washington DC, Shenandoah National Park attracts hikers and drivers. It’s also a favorite for singles and families to spend a weekend. But book your reservations early for either the park campgrounds or the Skyland Resorts and Big Meadows hotels, as they routinely sell out for the weekend.

The best time to visit is Monday through Thursday as the 105-mile Skyline Drive can turn into a traffic jam in October at peak foliage times. Skyline Drive weaves its way across western Virginia. Speed limit is 35 mph.

Your best bet is to enter the enter at the Front Royal Entrance, stop at the Dickey Ridge Visitors Center to get a panoramic family portrait and then head down the road. Stop at a convenient parking lot so you can hike through forests, scale rocky ledges, explore Appalachian Trail stops and watch waterfalls.

Or you can spend 3 hours traveling the entire length of the park on Skyline Drive. It ends at Rockfish Gap Entrance Station, which is also the northern entrance to the  Blue Ridge Parkway .  Shenandoah National Park features 200,000 acres of protected land. Stony Man and Hawksbill peaks exceed 4,000 feet.

This beautiful fall destination is the perfect getaway for families, couples, solos or even a friends’ trip!

Recommended by By Terri of Female Solo Trek

Fall vacation ideas

From big cities to wide open spaces, there’s still plenty more places to see on this mega list of the best place to visit in October in the US!

20. Austin, Texas

water falling over rock into pond on cloudy day

Average temp:  high 82, low 60

What a perfect city for a fall getaway! As someone who’s visited Austin a few times, I can honestly say October was my favorite! The weather is way better (i.e. way less hot) than during peak travel season.

Visiting Austin in the fall is the perfect time for outdoor adventures. There’s so much hiking in Austin, plus fall festivals, outdoor drive-in movies, pumpkin patches and more.

If you love being on the water, Lady Bird Lake is a great spot for kayaking or stand up paddle boarding. For easy hiking in Austin , consider McKinney Falls State Park, Barton Creek Greenbelt or the popular Mount Bonnell.

Of course there’s live music all over Austin, and let’s not forget the mural hunting, either. Whether you’re going for Insta-worthy shots or just happen to walk by them on your way to get epic cone at Amy’s Ice Cream, you’re bound to find some fun artwork in the downtown area.

October is the perfect time of year to spend a weekend in Austin .

21. Newport, Rhode Island

lighthouse along ocean at dusk best places to travel in October in USA

Average temp:  high 62, low 53

One of the best fall vacations in the US is definitely Newport, Rhode Island. The area has peak fall foliage throughout October.

It’s a small town located on Aquidneck Island and is surrounded by beautiful beaches and sea cliffs. During the fall, you can walk around and enjoy outdoor activities without the crowds.

The majority of people drive to Newport from somewhere on the east coast. If you’re visiting from further away, you can fly into Providence, Rhode Island, only 45 minutes away. 

One of the best  things to do in Newport  is see the history of the area on the Cliff Walk. You can walk 3.5 miles past the Breakers, one of the Newport mansions, around sea cliffs, and past a few beaches.

Newport’s mansions are renowned for their architecture and history. Some of the mansions were constructed in the early 19th century. Walk around the Wharves (Bannister’s and Bowen’s) in the evening for a variety of food and shopping. 

Newport has lots of delicious places to eat. For breakfast, head to Cru Cafe near the Audobain Museum – a great way to start the day is with their blueberry stuffed French toast!

Your New England vacation wouldn’t be complete without some seafood. At the Lobster Shack, you can find fresh seafood. You can stay at the Marriott Newport if you want to stay in the heart of Newport. The hotel is within walking distance of the wharves. 

Recommended by Pamela of The Directionally Challenged Traveler

22. Aspen, Colorado (a top choice for best places to visit in October in the US)

Average temp:  high 58, low 31

Perhaps one of the most beautiful fall foliage settings is in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The town of Aspen is perfect for a fall getaway because it’s surrounded by mountains and gorgeous aspen trees. I’m convinced it’s the among the best places to visit in October in USA.

Unlike some other destinations on this list which get vibrant reds and oranges during the fall, aspen trees turn a gorgeous yellow color. And when you get a mountainside full of them, it’s like eye candy!

A gorgeous day trip from Aspen is Maroon Bells Park. The feature is the mountain peak of Maroon Bells, which are surrounded by a lake and gorgeous aspen trees in the fall.

You could spend the day hiking the trails near the Maroon Bells if you love hiking and exploring the outdoors on foot. Note: you’ll want to plan ahead for this one, as reservations are now required to visit. Get your Maroon Bells reservations here .

Other things to do in Aspen include the Silver Queen Gondola, drive Independence Pass, visit the Ashcroft Ghost Town, and of course, shopping and dining in Aspen.

So whether you’re making the fall foliage in Aspen the focus of your trip or you’re combining it with an epic Colorado road trip , Aspen will surely be a highlight for a fall vacation!

23. New York City, New York

New York City skyline with pink sky and buildings lit up

Average temp:  high 64, low 50

New York City is amongst the best places to spend fall in the United States. The city is known for its beautiful fall colors and even a bit of Indian summer if you’re lucky.

New York can get very hot during the summer so the fall is the perfect time to enjoy the city without the heat. Fall is a lot more comfortable for sightseeing and you’ll love the views of the city. 

If you’re traveling with older kids, this New York weekend itinerary with teens is the perfect mix of activities.

Head to the Highline Park which is a former elevated railroad track that has been converted into a walkway. It’s the perfect way to see the city without having to deal with the traffic and busy streets! 

For an even better view of the city, you need to go all the way to the top of the One World Trade Center . This modern skyscraper is a must-see and truly the best place to take pictures of the city.

Afterward, head to the river for an evening cruise. There are tourist boats that will take you around the Hudson and East River.

However, for a more affordable option just take the ferry to Jersey or Staten Island. The ride won’t be as long but tickets only cost a few dollars and you’ll get to avoid the tourist crowds.

A trip to New York City is one of the best October vacations USA and one you’ll remember for a lifetime!

Recommended by Victoria of Guide Your Travel

24. Zion National Park, Utah (another favorite on this list of best places to travel in October in USA)

Zion national park large canyon looking down with trees and road best places to visit in October USA

Average temp:  high 66, low 39

Zion National Park is simply stunning any time of year. However, it’s especially amazing to visit this national park in the fall.  With dwindled crowds and less intense weather to worry about, Zion is a great idea for a fall vacatio n!

If you want to hike the infamous Angels Landing, advanced planning is required, as the permit application process is during the summer. But, if you happen to get a permit for the hike, October is a phenomenal time to do it!

Of course, there are many things to do in Zion without hiking this challenging trail.  The much easier and yet equally rewarding Canyon Overlook Trail is a fun one, and can be completed for most fitness levels . At just a mile, this trail offers absolutely incredible views of the park!

A place for all ages, this park is magnificent for those young and old. An itinerary for Zion with kids includes other simple hikes like the Riverside Walk. Go further into the canyon by hiking The Narrows!

If you’re looking for a scenic drive in October, the Zion Mt. Carmel Highway Scenic Drive is incredible.  You won’t get the traditional vivid colors like some of the other destinations on this list of the best places to visit in October in US, but instead you’ll get amazing desert landscape and massive canyon views. So fun!

Be sure to pack plenty of water, layers for varying weather, hiking snacks and hiking gear like grippy hiking shoes , trekking poles and a hiking backpack .

Zion is absolutely one of the best places to go in October in USA, and a spot you’ll love!

Recommended by Nikki of Inspired Routes

25. Las Vegas, Nevada

best places in US to visit in October - Las Vegas strip with tall buildings at sunset

Average temp:  high 83, low 46

Las Vegas is the perfect destination to visit all year round but fall is a great time to visit. Temperatures begin to cool after the summer and so do the crowds. Plus, visiting mid-week will get you cheaper hotel rates, too. 

Because temperatures are cooler, it means you can take advantage of some of the best outdoor attractions in the city, perfect for those visiting  Las Vegas for the first time .

Enjoy a Gondola ride at The Venetian, watch the Bellagio fountains or watch the volcano erupt outside The Mirage.

Rent a car or join a tour to visit the nearby national parks; Grand Canyon is the most popular day trip option from Las Vegas but October is a fantastic time to visit Death Valley, Red Rock Canyon and Bryce Canyon.

Alternatively, head to the unusual Magic Mountains or explore ‘The Neon Museum’ , a gallery of old signage from Vegas hotels of the past. 

In the Bellagio hotel, you’ll find the gorgeous Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. This is one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas and a great indoor activity to enjoy.

Each season, the gardens get transformed and the fall display is the most breathtaking. Expect oversized pumpkins, woodland creatures and tall, entertaining trees. 

For more natural fall colours, head to one of the nearby parks ; Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs, Paseo Verde Park and Gilcrease Orchard are top choices for this time of the year. 

We recommend staying at The Cosmopolitan; it’s an elegant, stunning hotel and rates are normally super high but drop during the Autumn time.

Recommended by Katie of Creative Travel Guide

26. Washington DC (Rock Creek Park)

stone bridge with fall foliage over river

Average temp:  high 69, low 46

Washingtonians and visitors don’t even have to hop in a car to enjoy peak fall foliage in a forest. Rock Creek Park is situated in the nation’s capital.

It’s the nation’s third oldest national park. Rock Creek Park was authorized in 1890.

Come October, the oaks, American beech and tulip trees suddenly change into the colors of the sunset—golden, orange and red. The 1,754-acre park features hikes for the hardcore as well as weekend adventurer.

If time permits, hike the two primary trails – Western Ridge Trail and Valley Trail. They run side by side. Imagine walking along a ladder laid on the ground.

Half-day hikes include Boulder Bridge, Milkhouse Ford, Rapids Bridge and Chestnut Oak/Mountain Laurels.

Or, devote a fall weekend to exploring Rock Creek Park . Tramp around the Civil War fortifications, watch interpreters at the Peirce Mill and Barn and visit the horses.

Bring a carrot or pull on your boots to ride a horse at the Rock Creek Park Horse Center, which is the only public riding facility in Washington DC.

Families will definitely want to visit the Nature Center and Planetarium. There are picnic areas scattered across Rock Creek Park, so fill a basket with ciders, sandwiches and apples.

Recommended by Terri of Female Solo Trek

27. Siesta Key, Florida (another favorite warm place to visit in October in USA)

white sand beach teal water red lifeguard stand

Average temp:  high 85, low 67

A Florida beach may not come to the top of mind when thinking about the best October vacation destinations. However, it’s the perfect time to go! And what better way to end this list than one of the top-ranked beaches in the USA!

Siesta Key, Florida is home to turquoise water and some of the finest white powder sand you’ll ever step foot on. While you won’t see much fall foliage here, you’ll see wide open beaches and affordable prices, compared to the peak summer season and those looking for a winter escape.

Fall is the ideal time to visit Siesta Key. The weather is very comfortable and the water is still warm enough to enjoy.

From excellent restaurants, shopping, kayaking and beaching, there’s seriously so many things to do in Siesta Key. Whether you’re looking for a fall getaway as a couple, family, solo or friends trip, you’ll love spending time in Siesta Key!

While a bit unconventional in terms of fall colors, this is still one of the best places to visit in October in the USA.

28. New Orleans, Louisiana

city streets of New Orleans at night with blurred people and lights

Average temp:  high 81, low 62

New Orleans is one of the top warm places to visit in October in USA. It’s a fantastic walking city so it’s an ideal location to visit in the fall when the summer weather has cooled a bit and the crowds have left.

New Orleans is a very family friendly city , even in the French Quarter, or a great destination for a romantic getaway or a fun girls’ or boy’s weekend. 

A trip to New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without exploring the French Quarter. Here you can aimlessly walk along cobblestone streets, poking your head into cute shops, or eating your way through delicious food.

One of the must-try treats is a beignet, a cross between a french pastry and a doughnut. They are easily found in the French Quarter. 

If you’re curious about the history of this area, take one of the many walking tours that will ultimately take you to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Here you will learn all about the ghosts, the after-life and even voodoo, themes found all over New Orleans.

A fantastic experience is visiting the National WWII Museum, a short walk from the French Quarter.

This is an exceptional interactive museum that focuses on the United States’ role in Asia and Europe during WWII. It’s a thrilling experience that will grab the attention of anyone even those that aren’t normally interested in history or wars. 

There are countless exciting activities to do within a short drive of New Orleans. You can visit a plantation, like Oak Alley Plantation, and learn about slavery and a difficult part of US history. The drive there is beautiful and exploring the grounds is a lovely thing to do in the fall.

In addition, you can take a swamp tour which is a lot of fun. You hop on a bayou boat and explore some of the many surrounding swamps filled with crocodiles and other wild creatures.

October is the perfect time of year to visit New Orleans due to the cooling weather and reasonable crowds.

Recommended by Nicole of Go Far Grow Close

Best places to visit in October in the USA

winding road with red yellow orange and green trees best places t visit in the US in October

Whew! What a list. I hope you’ve found enough inspiration for your fall getaway – or 2! With so many amazing spots in the USA to choose from, I’m sure you can’t go wrong!

Let’s recap those destinations again, in a much more condensed list…

Best fall vacations in US

  • Blue Ridge Parkway, NC to VA
  • Bend, Oregon
  • Mammoth Lakes, California
  • Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
  • Door County, Wisconsin
  • San Diego, California
  • Oahu, Hawaii
  • Acadia National Park, Maine
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Mount Rainier National Park, Washington 
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Napa Valley, California
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Kauai, Hawaii
  • Lutsen, Minnesota
  • Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • Eastern Sierra, California
  • Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
  • Austin, Texas
  • Newport, Rhode Island
  • Aspen, Colorado
  • New York City, New York
  • Zion National Park, Utah
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Washington DC (Rock Creek Park)
  • Siesta Key, Florida
  • New Orleans, Louisiana

So, have you decided? Comment below with your fall vacation plans!

By the way, if you’re planning to rent a car for your fall getaway, check out the discounted rates on Discover Cars . I routinely save 10% – 30% on rentals. They search top car carriers to find the best deal, at no extra price to you! Here’s that link again to search rental cars .

Related content: 28 Underrated Destinations in the USA 32 Best Places to Visit in September in USA (Unique and Cool Ideas You’ll Love) 30 Incredible Warm Winter Vacation Spots in the USA 35 Swoon-worthy Beach Vacations 26 Best Beaches on the Gulf Coast 100 Romantic Vacations in the United States

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28 incredible fall destinations in the USA with three images of mountains and fall foliage

Sunday 27th of August 2023

I have actually visited quite a few of these in the autumn (I am from the UK!) I am pleased to say. There are still a few more to tick off though. Fall is my favourite season for visiting the US. I would especially love to see Aspen in the fall. I have only ever seen it in the winter. You have whetted my appetite for another fall road trip!

Monday 28th of August 2023

Oh yay Jane! I'm so glad to hear you've visited so many spots in the US during the fall season. Such a spectacular time to travel! Hope you get to cross a few more off your list soon :)

I've been to Kauai in October and you are correct, it's a great time to go! Warm, sunny and not too crowded either.

haha yes! Although there may not be a bad time to go to Kauai....🤣

Saturday 26th of August 2023

Love this entire listicle! All these places must be stunning during autumn and I'd love to visit some day. Thanks for sharing this!

You're so welcome Kelly. Glad you enjoyed the list!

This list is amazing. I completely agree with Bend, OR as one of the best underrated places to visit! I really want to get out to the northeast at some point to see the fall colors, they look incredible. Thanks for the inspiration.

Oh yay Sophie, so glad you found some inspiration here. The PNW is so stunning in the fall and worth the trip 🧡

Sunday 24th of October 2021

Such an exhaustive list Nikki! I am really glad that I stumbled upon your blog today. Hope to tick some of this list in the next few years though. Kudos on this article and stay safe! :)

Thursday 28th of October 2021

Thanks so much Darryl! It was fun putting an extensive list together. I hope you get to see many of the places on this list!

The 10 best places to visit in October

Jordi Lippe-McGraw

Editor's note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

As summer gradually gives way to autumn and the vibrant colors of fall adorn the landscape, there's an allure to explore beyond home. Not to mention, many of the summer crowds have thinned out, making it easier to explore some destinations.

Whether you're someone who appreciates nature, enjoys delving into history, or savors culinary delights, there's a destination prime for visiting during this time. So, where should you go?

From countryside getaways to bustling havens, these are the 10 best places to visit in October.

Marrakech, Morocco

where travel in october

In October, autumn truly settles in, marked by a drop in daytime temperatures that cools off even more during the night. The crowds remain low this month since summer vacations have ended, students have returned to school, and the celebratory holidays haven't fully begun.

October is the harvest month and the ideal time for a culinary-focused adventure. Morocco, known for its saffron production, predominantly carried out by Berber women, peaks during this time. These women start their work early in the morning, hand-picking the delicate saffron strands before the sun's rays cause the flowers to bloom. Stroll through the medina to sample the freshest produce, like saffron, apples and dates. Or venture into the nearby Ourika Valley or Atlas Mountains to understand the process up close. October provides the perfect opportunity to delve into this rich aspect of Moroccan culture.

TPG tip : For an uber-luxurious stay, the Royal Mansour Marrakech should be your pick. Rates start at $2,500 or 170,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per night. The property recently introduced a cooking school offering two-hour workshops. For a less expensive option, stick with Le Méridien N'Fis. You can get a room here for $134 or 15,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Breckenridge, Colorado

where travel in october

At 9,600 feet above sea level, this historic mining town is among the first in North America to welcome the stunning fall colors. The splendid aspen trees undergo an early transformation into brilliant gold due to the high elevation, filling the landscape with dazzling hues.

Adventure seekers can embark on one of the premier fall drives along Boreas Pass, where the blend of golden aspens with views of the Blue River Valley and the Tenmile Range is a sight to behold. French Gulch Road also offers beautiful scenery with historic mines and abandoned town sites surrounded by vibrant colors. Fall is an excellent time to go fly-fishing in Breckenridge, with the gold medal status Blue River running right through the town. The combination of golden scenery, the sounds of the river, and perfect cool temperatures make it a sensory experience, and Breckenridge Outfitters provides various classes and guided excursions to suit all skill levels.

Related: Why Breckenridge, Colorado, should be at the top of your fall travel list

TPG tip : Stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Breckenridge. Rates start at $157 or 47,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Beaufort, North Carolina

where travel in october

Beaufort is a must-visit destination in October, thanks to cooler temperatures that offer a pleasant break from the summer heat. While you're exploring North Carolina 's cultural pursuits and gorgeous landscapes, don't miss the community oyster roasts, where you can enjoy oysters, chili, hot dogs, and beer for your ticket price. Also, check out local events in September and October, including the annual Beaufort Pirate Invasion and the 37th Annual North Carolina Seafood Festival in nearby Morehead City.

TPG tip : Book a room at the Beaufort Hotel on the banks of Taylor's Creek for around $200 or 13,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per night.

where travel in october

Paris is a sublime destination for travelers in October, filled with cultural enrichment, festive events and pleasant weather.

Once the summer crowds have dispersed, the city comes alive with unique attractions. Art lovers will be drawn to the Joann Sfar retrospective at the Museum of Art and History of Judaism (known as the "mahJ"). The exhibit begins Oct. 12 and showcases the intriguing works of the renowned French comic book artist.

Additionally, the Musee d'Orsay will host an exhibition devoted to Van Gogh's last two months in Auvers-sur-Oise from Oct. 3 through Jan. 28, 2024. For a spirited celebration, the Grape Harvest Festival in Montmartre, running from Oct. 11 to 15, offers traditional wine-making activities, concerts, food, wine tastings and a grand group picnic. The festival attracts over half a million visitors each year. Also, the Musee National de la Marine reopens in mid-October after seven years of renovation. The museum unveils life under the sea with over 900 restored items.

Related: Paris Pocket Guide: What to see, do and eat in the City of Light

TPG tip : Stay at the Kimpton St Honoré Paris for around $695 per night or Holiday Inn Paris - Gare de l'Est for $288. Both take IHG One Rewards points, with the Kimpton costing 120,000 points per night and the Holiday Inn at 59,000.

Douro Valley, Portugal

where travel in october

Italy's vineyards and Napa's renowned wineries often steal the spotlight for wine harvesting. However, Portuga l's Douro Valley emerges as a captivating contender, especially in October. This is when the grape harvest is in full swing, creating an enchanting experience for wine aficionados. As the world's oldest demarcated wine region, the Douro Wine Region Valley stretches its charm to Barca de Alva, where river-carved valleys have been artfully transformed into terraced vineyards, weaving a narrative of natural beauty and human craftsmanship.

With the schist mountains ablaze in fiery-hued vines, October paints a picture of generations of viticultural wisdom. The sun-drenched terraces infuse the grapes with warmth, creating the distinctively delicious sweet wines the region is celebrated for.

TPG tip : Stay in the heart of the wine region at Octant Douro for around $340 a night (or 27,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points).

where travel in october

Bermuda becomes an exciting place for art lovers in October. It's called Art Month, and the island's artists show off their talents in many ways. You can join art workshops on the beach or have fun painting in beautiful caves. There are also interesting art tours and talks about art. You'll see unique exhibits, too, with artworks from local and international artists.

Additionally, the weather in October is typically pleasant, with warm temperatures and less humidity, making it an ideal time to explore Bermuda's beautiful beaches, landscapes and outdoor activities. The tourist crowds are also thinner compared to the peak summer months, allowing for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.

TPG tip : When visiting, what better hotel to visit than an art museum in its own right? Hamilton Princess is known as "The Pink Palace" and boasts a remarkable 325-piece art collection. Book a stay there for around $1,200 a night. Or, also use your Accor Live Limitless (ALL) points .

Related: 7 Florida hotels that feel like the Caribbean

where travel in october

Does it get any better than Scotland in the fall? From Oct. 27 to 29, enthusiasts can revel in a peerless whisky experience at the annual Dornoch Whisky Festival . Against the stunning backdrop of the Highlands, indulge in some of the finest spirits the world has to offer. Also, the weather is comfortably cool, perfect for exploring historic castles, serene lochs and charming villages. Cultural events like the Highland Games showcase Scotland's traditions, while the possibility of witnessing the northern lights adds an extra layer of excitement.

Related: How to spend 1 day in Edinburgh

TPG tip : Stay in a modern castle , miles from the royal grounds of Balmoral Castle, at Hilton Grand Vacations Club Craigendarroch Suites Scotland from $205 or 101,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

where travel in october

As Barcelona 's summer heat gives way to autumn, tourist crowds subside, and a more genuine local vibe emerges with residents returning from vacation. Queues at cultural landmarks shrink, and reservations at wineries and restaurants become easier to obtain.

Don't miss special events like the 48-Hour Open House event Oct. 21-22, where over 200 buildings and museums offer free entry. A unique Miro-Picasso exhibition will open at both Fundacio Miro and Museu Picasso to mark the 50th anniversary of Picasso's death, providing insight into the relationship between Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. Also, rooftop concerts at Gaudi's Casa Batllo will also continue throughout the month, enriching the city's cultural scene.

TPG tip : On Passeig de Gracia in the heart of the Gothic District, Almanac Barcelona (available for around $400 or 27,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per night) serves as the perfect starting point for exploration. The property also offers enticing features such as a panoramic rooftop terrace for soaking up the last rays of sunshine, a vegetable-centric restaurant and an art collection curated by local artists.

Clearwater, Florida

where travel in october

During the autumn, Clearwater 's weather is still warm and sunny, making it perfect for swimming and sunbathing without boiling. This coastal destination offers many enjoyable events and festivals throughout the fall months too. Notably, the vibrant SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival , a showcase of local art within public spaces, will grace the city Oct. 12-23.

Additionally, on Oct. 19-22, music enthusiasts will delight in the annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday , a highly anticipated event at the newly revitalized Coachman Park. This year's headliners include The Beach Boys and Gladys Knight. Visitors also have the opportunity to explore various attractions during their stay.

Related: 13 of the best beaches in Florida

The iconic Pier 60 is also a popular hub for fishing, strolls and capturing spectacular sunsets this time of year. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a must-visit. Guests can interact with rescued dolphins, and the area is also known for being home to America's top-ranked beach.

TPG tip : Stay near all the action at Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach. Rates start from $256 or 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night.

where travel in october

October in Austin is the perfect month to visit as the city is filled with events that showcase the city's dynamic spirit.

For example, the renowned Austin City Limits festival takes center stage at Zilker Park over two weekends — Oct. 6-8 and Oct.13-15. The event features an eclectic mix of music, art and culture. Simultaneously, the 12th edition of the F1 Grand Prix adds to the excitement, drawing racing enthusiasts to the Circuit of the Americas.

Beyond these major attractions, Austin's neighborhoods come alive with unique shops, eateries and cultural gems (all without summer heat), making October the perfect time to experience the city's vibrant atmosphere and diverse offerings.

TPG tip : The Bunkhouse group's Carpenter Hotel is right near the action at Zilker Park. Rates start from $350 or 23,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per night.

Related reading:

  • Key travel tips you need to know — whether you're a beginner or expert traveler
  • The best travel credit cards
  • The 18 best places to travel in 2023
  • 6 real-life strategies you can use when your flight is canceled or delayed
  • 8 of the best credit cards for general travel purchases
  • 13 must-have items the TPG team can't travel without

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Lapa Lange Game Lodge, Namibia

The 11 best places to travel in October 2024

From ice hockey to international balloon fiestas, bask in some serious adventure at one of the best places to travel in October

October is a fantastic time to travel, no matter where you are in the world. Leaves in the Northern Hemisphere are turning gorgeous shades of orange and red, while down south, spring is settling in nicely. The weather is pleasant – not too hot, not too cold – and when the peak-season crowds have dissipated, accommodation, flights and activities tend to be a lot more reasonable. 

From internationally famous events to forward-thinking sustainable travel via ice, earth and sky, the best places to travel in October are Hall of Fame destinations. So, whether you’re after somewhere cheap and hot or down to explore a thrilling new city, dust off your passport and get a bag packed  – the time to travel is now.

RECOMMENDED: ✈️ The best places to travel  every month of the year 🧳 Full guide to the  best places to travel 🏘️ The world's  coolest neighbourhoods 📸 The best  cities for culture  right now

Need more inspo? Check out our   latest travel guides , written by local writers. 

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Best places to travel in October


1.  Türkiye

It’s an obvious summer vacay hotspot, thanks to long stretches of beach and scorching temperatures, but head to Türkiye in the autumn and I can tell you that you’ll appreciate it for a little more than its warmth. The Hagia Sophia really shines when surrounded by crispy orange leaves, and Istanbul’s alleys are a little easier to explore when it’s slightly fresher than 30C. But October is versatile, and with temperatures still teetering around the mid-twenties, it’s plenty warm enough for a swim and a sunbathe. 

Average temp in Oct: 25C/77F

📍Discover the best places to visit in Türkiye

2.  Valencia, Spain

Valencia might’ve been named World Design Capital back in 2022, but it’s still a darn dazzling place.  The aesthetically brilliant southeastern Spanish port city is home to fantastic art museums, contemporary galleries and dazzling architecture. Explore the stark white buildings at the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, including the uncannily stormtrooper-helmet-esque Palau de les Arts opera house and wander the modernist El Cabanyal barrio, with its tiled facades. 

Average temp in October: 18C/64F

📍Discover the best  things to do in Valencia 


3.  Philippines

Adventure travel, including diving, has grown in popularity over recent years, and the Philippines’ 7,000 islands get top marks for underwater adventures. Head to Palawan’s Coron Bay for mind-blowing wreck diving, while Anilao is one of the world’s best spots for biodiversity, meaning you might just see something that’s not even been named yet. More experienced divers can also try blackwater diving here, where you’re tethered to a boat line in the pitch-black ocean at night, with a torch, for an altogether more space-like experience. Visit once the rainy season’s out of the way, in the second half of October, to make the most of its beautiful beaches. Food more your jam? As Filipino cuisine takes root in global cities like New York and London, maybe it’s time to go eat the good stuff at the source, from vibrant ube (purple yam) ice cream to Lechon (roast suckling pig).

Average temp in October: 27C/82F

📍Discover the best  things to do in the Philippines


4.  Bhutan

With more than 70 percent of its land covered by forest, this Buddhist kingdom is the world’s only carbon-negative country, absorbing far more of the stuff than it produces. Travel is tightly controlled to make sure tourism remains low-impact, so it isn’t cheap—though the $200-a-day fee to be there includes all your accommodation, food and a guide (which is worth it because there’s a mythical story behind pretty much everything you encounter here). Go to get lost in pristine nature, breathe in lungfuls of clean Himalayan air and feel extra smug knowing you’re eating right too.

Average temp in October: 22C/72F

Bosnia and Herzegovina

5.  Bosnia and Herzegovina

Summers in Bosnia and Herzegovina are mighty hot, and the winters get pretty darn cold. You can do the maths from there, and October might be the best time to visit this remarkable country. The number of tourists drops dramatically, meaning more space to wander the enchanting old towns of Sarajevo, Mostar and the rest. Travnik’s charming collection of mosques sparkles a little brighter, while Banja Luka cements its spot as the country’s best night out. More and more people are waking up to the magic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so make a point of visiting this October to see for yourself. 

Average temp in October: 11C/52F

New Mexico

6.  New Mexico

There is more to New Mexico than desert and a certain Netflix show. Every October,  Albuquerque  hosts its eye-popping International Balloon Fiesta, where you can spot hundreds of technicolour hot air balloons making their spectacular ascent. Maybe it is the seemingly endless skies and epic sunrises that make it a prime location, but it has become the world’s largest balloon festival and the most photographed event on Earth. Make time to visit  Santa Fe , in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, for a mix of Spanish colonial architecture and earth-coloured historic adobe neighbourhoods, plus a comprehensive Georgia O'Keeffe Museum dedicated to her artistic legacy and American modernism.

📍Discover the best  things to do in New Mexico

Timisoara, Romania

7.  Timisoara, Romania

This under-the-radar city, with its large public squares, leafy gardens and restored pastel-painted art nouveau architecture, makes an attractive city break that’s a far cry from the tower blocks other Romanian cities are known for. Timisoara was Romania's ‘first free city’, home of the country’s 1989 revolution to overthrow the communist dictatorship (brush up on the history at the Museum of the 1989 Revolution). Its independent spark lives on in live music venues, from intimate jazz bars to the grand opera house.

Average temp in October: 19C/66F

San Francisco

8.  San Francisco

San Francisco has never been one to conform, even to weather norms: for warm, sunny SF days, you’re better off visiting in spring and fall rather than summer. Time your visit for October, so once you’re done with the classics— Golden Gate Bridge ,  Alcatraz  and the adorably blubbery sea lions at  Pier 39 —you can soak up the vibes at the  Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival . In true independent San Francisco spirit, the festival is entirely non-commercial (no ads or sponsorship banners), free to visit and BYOB. Held in the  Golden Gate Park , it’s become a beloved SF institution since it was first held in 2001 and has attracted acts including Emmylou Harris and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant.

Average temp in October: 14C/57F

📍Discover the best  things to do in San Francisco


9.  Namibia

Namibia has been growing in popularity as a destination since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent their honeymoon there last year, and the boom in bookings has sparked a flurry of new lodge openings. Some of the best are making the most of the country’s stargazing opportunities in and around Africa’s only International Dark Sky Reserve (such as the sleek & Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, with a resident astronomer, and Kwessi Dunes, with open-roofed stargazing rooms in each of its chalets). It’s possible to camp in the reserve too, but book in advance as the limited spaces tend to fill up fast.

Average temp in October: 21C/71F


10.  Toronto

Toronto is one of the most exciting cities on the planet, with thrilling nightlife nestled next to gourmet restaurants and some of the finest live music venues on the continent. What makes October the perfect time to visit? Hockey, that’s what. Sure, Maple Leafs fans have suffered more than enough misery over the last half decade-plus, but the regular season isn’t a problem these days. The 2022 Toronto Maple Leafs season gets underway with an away game against Montreal Canadiens on October 12, with the home opener coming the next night against Washington Capitals. Don’t expect to get tickets, but watching a game in a Toronto bar is a bucket list experience.

📍Discover the best things to do in Toronto


11.  NYC

It’s pretty much always a good time to visit NYC—at  Christmas , you get the snow and ubiquitous festive decorations. In spring, you get the  Central Park  cherry blossom. In summer, you get the long evenings in the feelgood heat, and then fall brings a burnt amber hue to everything. This year, save it for  Halloween  when the annual  Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade  kicks off in Manhattan, shedding NYC’s pooches in a ghoulish new light as pups and their owners come dressed in ever-more outlandish costumes.

📍Discover the best  things to do in New York

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Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled

20 Amazing Places to Visit in October in the USA

There is no question about it: Fall in the USA is iconic! Surprisingly, it isn’t just the foliage that makes it so. I think October is the perfect time for an American Adventure for several reasons, and New England doesn’t hold all the cards either! Here are my favorite gems to explore during this month…

1. Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry West Virginia

Nestled in the bend where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers converge, the historic town of Harper’s Ferry is old America at its finest! 

This month is filled with color as the trees begin to turn, and I discovered charming colonial streets, old-fashioned treats, and a rich history. I also recommend visiting the museums to learn about John Brown’s Raid in 1859, when abolitionists attempted to use the town’s armoury in a failed slave revolt.

Numerous trails took me to the nearby woodlands or up onto the Appalachian Trail, where I saw magnificent views over the quaint old town, the two converging rivers, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Often referred to as ‘almost heaven,’ when I visited, I could see why Harper’s Ferry’s appeal has survived the centuries. It has lots of charm and is steeped in fascinating history and fall foliage, which easily rivals Connecticut! 

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 171 Shoreline Drive, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425. 
  • Average temperatures – 20 degrees

My favorite highlights…

  • Enjoying a segway tour, a zipline and an aerial rope course at the Adventure Center.
  • Hiking the easy Murphy-Chambers Farm loop, which took my past lots of history.
  • Going on the fun and spooky Harper’s Ferry Ghost Tour.

2. Asheville, North Carolina

Fall in Asheville USA

From September to early November , temperatures in Asheville are still reasonably warm, so this is a great time to explore the incredible fall foliage. I’m a huge fan of this scenic city, which has also been used in several films, including The Hunger Games and Dirty Dancing; I even saw where the famous lift scene is said to have taken place (Lake Lure)!

I suggest heading out into nature on the well-marked tracks and trails around the Pisgah National Forest or trying Whitewater rafting on the French Broad River. Less adventurous types can take a more refined stroll through the magnificent Biltmore Estate .

It also has strong roots in Appalachian Folk and Bluegrass, and it hosts many festivals and famous residencies at The Orange Peel, where bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Band Of Horses once recorded.

I highly recommend taking the Blue Ridge Parkway Scenic route, which passes through the town.

  • Visitors Center Address:   36 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
  • Average temperature  – 20 degrees

My highlights…

  • Trying delicious Farm-to-Table cuisine at the chic eatery Rhubarb.
  • Admiring the wonderful fall colors and panoramic views at the Swinging Bridge located on Grandfather Mountain.
  • Sip on a pumpkin-spiced latte and enjoy a freshly baked muffin at the cozy World Coffee Cafe.

3. New England

New England during the Fall USA

At the start of the Fall season (between the end of September and mid-October), the northern states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont hit their peak of autumn colors! 

I love Vermont for its super-cute white clapboard towns, elegant town squares, and historic Peacham, which has been declared Vermont’s most iconic village. I also suggest taking a day hike to Lake Willoughby or Quechee Gorge to watch the sunset at Lake Champlain before exploring Burlington.

I love New Hampshire’s scenic White Mountains and historic towns such as Amherst, which are filled with fine colonial architecture.

Maine has the largest stretch of Coastline in New England and is dotted with gorgeous little fishing villages such as Lubec and the picturesque Stonington.

I suggest you get off the beaten track and head for Northern Maine, where the abundance of nature in places such as Baxter State Park and Moosehead Lake Parks took my breath away! 

  • Region: the area is a northeastern region of the US and includes Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
  • Average temperature – 15 degrees

My personal highlights…

  • Taking a hot air balloon ride where I saw a unique view of the Connecticut fall foliage.
  • Taking a ride on the Lake Winnipesaukee Foliage Train ride, which took me from New Hampshire to Plymouth and I also dined an onboard buffet lunch.
  • Dining on a homemade breakfast at Polly’s Pancake Parlor.

4. Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah

Monument Valley Arizona

I love Monument Valley’s spectacularly strange landscapes, and I personally prefer to visit during the autumn months, when temperatures are pleasant and the summer crowds have gone.

It encompasses The Navajo Tribal Park and the iconic Colorado Plateau, home to imposing sandstone Buttes rising in massive, eerie formations from the sandy ground.

I love that the Valley is instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever watched a Western. Many early classics were filmed here, including Stagecoach and Once Upon A Time in the West.

I visited most of the Buttes independently, but Hunts Mesa and Mystery Valley required a Navajo guide for safety.

  • Visitors Center Address:   U.S. 163 Scenic, Oljato-Monument Valley, AZ 84536
  • Average temperatures – 21 degrees
  • Hiking the Wildcat Trail which took me around some of the valley’s best scenery.
  • Catching a breathtaking sunrise over the unique landscapes.
  • Taking a driving tour around the area and photographing the magnificent views.

5. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Fall - best places to visit in October

I personally think fall is the perfect time to visit this vibrant city. September and October are usually mild, and it’s the driest time of year. Even in this bustling metropolis, I could see the gorgeous fall colors in the parks, green spaces, and along tree-lined avenues.

I loved the city’s excellent craft breweries, such as the hip Marz Community Brewing , which served delicious ales alongside tavern-inspired delicacies. I also enjoyed tasting pumpkin pie in a gourmet bakery, a pumpkin-spiced oat milk latte in a cozy coffee shop and visiting a pumpkin patch.

I suggest catching the 24-hour horror movie bonanza at the Southport Theater, enjoying some famous Chicago Blues, immersing yourself in the city’s thriving arts scene and discovering the vast array of outdoor public art from icons like Dali and Calder.

  • Visitors Center Address:   301 E Cermak Rd, Chicago IL 60616
  • Average temperature – 17 degrees
  • People-watching at the Riverwalk, a buzzy spot filled with bars, shops, and restaurants.
  • Dining on banana blossom tacos at Boom Plant-Based Kitchen.
  • Sipping on a Lychee and Elderflower Martini at The Rooftop at Nobu Hotel. 

6. Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania

Allegheny Forest in October

The Allegheny National Forest is one of the most famous places in northwestern Pennsylvania to observe fall foliage. Leaves start to turn here in late September and transform into a sea of gold by mid-October.

I loved strolling the breathtaking Kinzua Skywalk to see the views. Originally the Kinzua Viaduct, once the highest bridge in the world, I saw uninterrupted views of the valley below through a glass floor 301 feet high! 

I recommend hiking along the unique Hector Falls or climbing up the hewn stone steps to Rimrock Overlook, a sequence of viewpoints elevated 200ft above the forest offering views over Kinzua Bay and the Allegheny Reservoir.

  • Visitors Center Address: 80 East Corydon Street Bradford, Pennsylvania 16701, McKean County
  • Canoeing on Allegheny Reservoir and relaxing on Kinzua Beach, which surrounds it.
  • Biking along Jakes Rocks Overlook and Mountain Bike Trail.
  • Exploring the free Zippo/Case Museum, filled with interesting facts from Hollywood and music.

7. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores, Alabama

The fall offers much more manageable temperatures and less humidity, but it’s still warm enough for swimming in The Gulf of Mexico, bathing on the extensive white sands of Orange Beach, and exploring the water sports and theme parks. 

I loved hiking and biking on the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails in Gulf State Park and catching the changing colors under the canopies of leaves. Just watch for snakes, alligators, armadillos, bobcats, and eagles!

  • Visitors Center Address: 3459 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
  • Average temperature  – 27 degrees
  • Discovering the National Shrimp Festival.
  • Playing a round of fun mini golf.
  • Riding the famous Ferris Wheel and seeing breathtaking views.

8. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park

The Rocky Mountain National Park Spans 415 miles of protected countryside and encompasses Trail Ridge Road, the highest stretch of unbroken paved road in America, which took me up to The Continental Divide.

My favorite beauty spots here were Grand Lake, Emerald Lake, and the historic Keyhole Route up Longs Peak, the highest and most dangerous mountain in the park. This month, the foliage is stunning.

I also highly recommend driving to some of the nearby townships. One of them is Estes Park, a quaint mountain town that offers plenty of shopping and dining and an aerial tramway with amazing views of the imposing Stanley Hotel (which inspired Stephen King’s classic The Shining! ).

  • Visitors Information – 1000 Highway 36, Estes Park, CO 80517-8397
  • Average temperature – 8 degrees
  • Driving along Trail Ridge Road, the highest paved road in the US National Park and seeing breathtaking views.
  • Hiking the scenic Emerald Lake Trail.
  • Photographing gorgeous Alberta Falls.

9. Austin, Texas

Austin October

I love Austin for its cool hangouts, laid-back vibes, fantastic live music scene, and the South by Southwest Music Festival .

During the summer, temperatures average 36 degrees, so I much prefer visiting this month when the temperatures are more tolerable and the fall foliage bathes the streets and parks in color. I also love the seasonal festivals, including Oktoberfest, Dia De Los Muertos, and Halloween, with craft beer, carnival and creepy haunted houses!

I always walk down historic 6th Street to enjoy down-home dining, good ale, and live music beneath the romantic lights reflected on the canal. When I cross the little footbridges that span the water, I find quirky delights, from weird museums to secret speakeasies! 

I suggest exploring the breathtaking McKinney Falls State Park or Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. For some Texan tradition, head out to one of the corn mazes or pumpkin patches at a local farm!

  • Visitor’s Center Address: 111 Congress Ave. Suite 700, Austin, TX 78701
  • Average temperature  – 28 degrees

My must-do highlights…

  • Visiting Mohawk and catching live music.
  • Learning two-step dancing at Broken Spoke.
  • Seeing incredible artwork, crafts, and homewares by local makers at the Pecan Arts Festival.

10. Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park, Utah

I personally think this is the best month to enjoy the iconic landscape when daytime temperatures average a pleasant 21 degrees instead of the summer highs of 36 degrees.

The Arches National Park is instantly recognizable, and the ‘Delicate Arch’ (otherwise known as the Old Maid’s Bloomers!) has become a symbol of the entire state of Utah.

This place always fascinates me. This prehistoric landscape has more than 2000 unique natural stone arches, which began to form around 65 million years ago and continue to change and erode minutely as each day passes. I think there is no other place like this in the world, so put this on your bucket list!

  • Visitors Center – Moab, UT 84532
  • Average temperature – 21 degrees
  • Driving the 19-mile-long Arches Scenic Drive and stopping to admire several of the many scenic sights.
  • Hiking to the Delicate Arch and grabbing an Insta-worthy shot featuring the picturesque mountains in the background.
  • Taking part in the free Ranger-Led program and learning more about the park.

11. Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

Blue Ridge Parkway Fall

I love this stunning route! The Blue Ridge Parkway, which traces 469 miles along the mountaintops south of Asheville, North Carolina, to the Virginia State Line and Great Smoky Mountain National Park, took me past many Appalachian beauty spots. I also love trying to spot the diverse wildlife here, such as black bears, river otters, cougars, bald eagles, and elk.

I explored hidden caves and cliffs on the rugged Grandfather Mountain and felt brave enough to cross the mile-high swinging bridge, the highest of its kind in the country!

I suggest heading for Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, or the refreshing Skinny Dip Falls for wild swimming. Taking in the fiery fall foliage from vantage points like Linn Cove Viaduct or the Richland Balsam Overlook (the highest elevation point on the parkway), and if you want to stay a while, I suggest one of the quaint towns such as Asheville, Banner Elk, Black Mountain, or Woodfin.

  • Visitor Center Address: 901 E. Cary St. Suite 900. Richmond, VA 23219
  • Average temperature  – 13 degrees
  • Seeing the stunning Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls via the Appalachian Trail. 
  • Experiencing world-class wine tasting at one of the local vineyards.
  • Cathing live music at the Blue Ridge Music Center.

12. Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff, Arizona

I love visiting this gem when the summer crowds have dispersed, the scorching temperatures have dropped, the trees are alight with color and the weather is crisp and clear!

The famous Route 66 took me directly through this vibrant historic city, and I found it the perfect base for exploring Grand Canyon National Park and Walnut Canyon, which are filled with ancient cave dwellings and the red sandstone homes of the Pueblo tribes.

I also loved visiting the nearby Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments. The contrast between the ancient arid landscape and the soaring heights of the San Francisco Peaks was truly stunning!

My other favourite highlights included the craft breweries, live music, fantastic independent stores, and the nationally acclaimed Museum of Northern Arizona . 

  • Visitors Center Address:   1 E Rte 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
  • Indulging in epic amount of pretzels and beer at the excellent craft breweries.
  • Hiking the stunning Red Mountain Hiking Trail. 
  • Watching the starry night skies at The Lowell Observatory.

13. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming 

Grand Teton National Park

As an outdoor lover, I can’t get enough of this place! There are 200 miles of unspoilt mountain paths to explore, as well as the Snake River. I go hiking and boating, and you can also go climbing while enjoying the stunning crystal lakes and alpine landscapes. 

There are numerous well-marked trails to explore all the beauty spots, and I always try to spot elk, bears, owls, and colorful native birds along the way.

I suggest taking the Jenny Lake Ferry across the water and hiking up the stunning Cascade Canyon and along the shimmering shoreline of Lake Solitude. For something a little more adventurous, try the Death Valley Trail and take in the fantastic views of Glacial Phelps Lake.

For the best chance of spotting elk, moose, and grizzly bears, head out to the relatively flat Two Ocean Lake Loop. Just ensure you are equipped with bear spray!

  • Park Headquarters address: 103 Headquarters Loop Moose, WY 83012
  • Average temperature – 11 degrees
  • Taking a scenic drive up to Signal Mountain and seeing the picturesque panoramic views overlooking the park.
  • Discovering the Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point located on the western side of Jenny Lake. 
  • Hiking along the trail from String Lake to Leigh Lake (okay for all ages and ability levels).

14. Maui, Hawaii

Maui in October

I personally think this is a perfect destination for a fantastic fall break. You’ll avoid the crowds, and the weather is warm enough to enjoy the idyllic stretches of sandy beaches and turquoise waters. 

I highly recommend hiking to the top of the Iao Valley State Monument (believed to be a sacred place where ancient indigenous people performed rituals), exploring Haleakala National Park, viewing the waterfalls, and discovering the stunning Kipahulu Coastline.

For an unforgettable experience, hike up to the summit of the dormant volcano at sunrise or sunset to take in glorious views over the unique landscape.

Highlights of my trip included ‘Aloha Fridays,’ a fun street party where I sampled local delicacies at the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival (which takes place this month).

  • Visitors Center Address: 427 Ala Makani Street, Suite 101, Kahului, HI 96732
  • Average temperature  – 25 degrees
  • Taking a helicopter tour of this magnificent island.
  • Snorkelling at Honolua Bay, a protected marine sanctuary.
  • Going on the thrilling Northshore zip line, which took me over towering eucalyptus trees.

15. Door County, Wisconsin

Door County Wisconsin

Door County is the easternmost county in Wisconsin and is often known as the ‘Cape Cod of The West’.

It is located on a picturesque peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. I love this gorgeous spot for its long shoreline, pretty harbor with bobbing boats, and rare limestone beach.

Five state parks across Door County provide amazing opportunities for trekking, biking, and water sports—especially when the trees are glowing with colors! I also suggest visiting some of the eleven lighthouses, including the historic Cana Lighthouse, built in 1859. 

On my trip, I visited the local fall festivals, such as the Egg Harbor Pumpkin Patch Festival and the Fall Festival in Sister Bay. I also loved its laid-back towns, friendly locals, craft brews, and delicious seasonal cuisine.

  • Tourist Center Address: 1015 Green Bay Road, Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Average temperature – 14 degrees
  • Camping under the stars at Peninsula State Park.
  • Attending the Fall Festival and getting involved with fun activities.
  • Stopping by the Peach Barn Farmhouse and Brewery for local produce and tasty craft beer.

16. Big Sur, California

Big Sur Autumn

This place always wows me when I visit! The whole stretch of Big Sur draws crowds in summer, so I recommend visiting this month instead, as there are fewer tourists, but the weather is still warm.

I loved visiting Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, where the cascading McWay Falls throw rainbows on the cliff face above the twinkling Pacific Ocean. I also spent hours watching the noisy elephant seals and sea lions hanging out on the rocky outcrops.

Staying overnight in Big Sur can be extremely expensive, so I recommend exploring the coastline from sunrise to sunset and finding accommodation just outside the area. 

  • Visitors Center Address: 47555 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920
  • Average temperatures – 23 degrees
  • Visiting Point Lobos Natural Reserve, one of my favorite state parks in California.
  • Taking a shot of the Insta-worthy Keyhole Arch  on the magnificent Pfeiffer Beach.
  • Driving over the iconic landmark, Bixby Creek Bridge and admiring the enchanting views.

17. The Berkshires, Massachusetts

Berkshires Autumn

I personally think The Berkshires are just as enjoyable to visit in the fall—the summer crowds are gone, and the colored foliage adds a new kind of magic.

I love hiking and biking through the many State Forests, such as Bear Town or Tolland, home of the serene Otis Reservoir. I also love visiting the delicious farm-to-table eateries here.

If you prefer your views from above, then I would suggest heading for Knife Edge or Squaw Peak and Devils Pulpit, situated within the stunning 503-acre Monument Mountain Reservation . 

My favorite highlights include the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge (the most extensive collection of his paintings worldwide) and The Emily Dickinson Museum near Amherst. 

  • Visitors Center Address: 1Berkshire PO Box 4829, Pittsfield, MA 01202
  • Average temperature – 16 degrees
  • Watching a concert under the stars at the open-air venue Tanglewood .
  • Hiking through Mount Greylock, home to the highest point in the state and great observation points.
  • Going boating on Windsor Lake.

18. Las Vegas and Grand Canyon

Las Vegas October

This month is a great time to visit Las Vegas to avoid the unbearably hot summer temperatures. I also always find great hotel prices at this time of year.

Halloween is a big deal in the city, and I suggest going on a fun ghost tour in the nearby abandoned mining town of Goodsprings, which is very Scooby-Doo!

All the usual adventures are still available, such as helicopter and hot air balloon rides over The Grand Canyon or the famous Strip by night, and the lovely autumn light is a bonus, too! 

Back in town, I loved going on a romantic gondola ride along the Venetian Grand Canal and watching the live shows. Of course, you can also hit the slot machines, which will swallow your dollars any time of year without discrimination!

  • Visitors Center Address: 495 S. Main St. Las Vegas, NV 89101
  • Average temperature – 29 degrees
  • Capturing an unbelievable Instagrammable shot of the Grand Canyon at sunset.
  • Going for a Grand Buffet at the MGM Grand, the long food counters were incredible!
  • Watching the Fountains of Bellagio.

19. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston Fall

Summer is the rainy season in Charleston, so this is a great month to visit. Temperatures are mild, humidity drops, and I always find plenty of excellent hotel deals.

Charleston is the oldest planned Anglo-American town in the country, and I love that its streets are lined with elegant colonial buildings and antebellum manor houses. The very first shot of the Civil War was fired here at Fort Sumter, and relics of the period can be found all around the city.

My favorite areas are the Georgian architecture of Rainbow Row, the stunning Waterfront Park and the elaborate Pineapple Fountain. I also love just walking down Broad Street and browsing its independent shops, boutiques and biscuit-tin-pretty buildings! 

  • North Charleston Visitor Center Address: 4975-B Centre Point Drive (800) 774-0006.
  • Average temperatures – 24 degrees
  • Paddleboarding on Shem Creek.
  • Cruising around in a PediCab bike taxi.
  • Walking over the Ravenel Bridge over Cooper River and seeing gorgeous views of Charleston Harbor.

20. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ohio

This relatively new National Park is a hidden gem sandwiched between the cities of Akron and Cleveland along the banks of the Cuyahoga River. I’m a big fan of this tranquil paradise, home to well-marked trails, canal paths, and The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway .

I love the magnificent Brandy Wine Falls, which cascades down a 60-foot drop and feeds the many more minor falls surrounding it. I also loved the intriguing Ice Box Caves and the spectacular Ledges Overlook, where I saw breathtaking views of the fall foliage.

Long-distance hikers can enjoy exploring the park’s 125 miles of trails, while those who prefer a gentle stroll can tackle shorter routes. Alternatively, I recommend a relaxing shop at Szlays Sweet Corn and Farmers Market .

  • Address: 7104 Canal Rd, Cleveland, OH 44125
  • Hiking the scenic Ledges Trail and Pine Grove Trail Loop. 
  • Checking out the local produce at Cuyahoga Valley Farmers’ Market.
  • Taking Insta-worthy shots at the Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook.

where travel in october

Beth Pinches - writer and photographer Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children’s theatre troop, lived as an au pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa danced in Cuba and road-tripped down America’s west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. Other places she loves include Croatia, Finland, Japan and India. In between adventures, travel writing and performing she resides peacefully with her family, cats and ukulele. Find Beth on Linkedin or  Facebook . Hotel Reviewing Experience - Asked by many tourist boards and many high-profile travel brands to formally review hotels including Visit Jersey , Visit Sweden , and Israel Tourist Board. Also travelled around the world scouting out and reviewing all the most unique hotels in the world, check out our Instagram page for photos . Listed as a top UK travel journalist . Portland Reviewing Experience - Lived in Portland for 6 months and spent many months scouting out all the coolest spots.

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road into monument valley

Vacation Inspiration : The Best Places to Visit in October

This is one of the last months left of the year to take advantage of the great outdoors.

The fall season is fast approaching and with that comes the anticipated chill. While October still graces us with pleasant days and mild, brisk weather, it's also one of the last months of the year we have left to take advantage of the outdoors. That means now is the time to visit that national park (where summer crowds will have thinned out), or to take that trip through wine country (for harvest season). And, of course, the biggest appeal of travel in October: the foliage! From the stunning buttes of Monument Valley to the ancient wonders of Athens, here are our top ten destinations for a perfect alfresco getaway.

Tuscany, Italy

valdorcia, siena, tuscany road of cypresses in a farmhouse at sunset

Monument Valley, Arizona

where to go in october monument valley 2020

Everyone is already familiar with Monument Valley—it has made several cameos in films, from John Ford's Westerns to Forrest Gump —and it was probably your desktop screensaver at one point. But there is really no way to describe the magnitude of this Navajo Nation Tribal Park when seen in real life. It may be a journey to get there—five hours by car from Phoenix, six and a half from either Las Vegas or Salt Lake City—but it is located within the Grand Circle, home of the highest concentration of national parks (Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell). The point is, don't skip it on your southwestern road trip—tack it on to a Moab visit (see below) or add it to your Grand Canyon itinerary. The Navajo-owned View Hotel is right inside the park, and every room has a balcony with panoramic views of those soaring buttes. Make sure to wake up early to watch the sun rise over the valley—an unforgettable sight—and stay up late enough to stargaze from your terrace—also unreal. Opt for a Starview room, which is farthest from the lobby, for maximum stargazing potential.

Read Reviews The View Hotel

where to go in october moab utah arches national park 2020

The cinematic landscapes of this southeastern Utah town have made it a Hollywood favorite. You'll recognize scenes from HBO's Westworld at Dead Horse Point State Park, which is also where the ending of Thelma & Louise takes place, as well as the opening sequence of Mission: Impossible II . The real life events of 127 Hours happened inside Canyonlands National Park, while Arches National Park is seen in 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade . But Moab is hardly all style and no substance. Its abundance of national and state parks, diverse topographies, and incredible vistas provide a wealth of things to do and see. Get to Arches' Delicate Arch in the afternoon to watch as the sunset turns it fiery red; elsewhere in the park, you'll come across ancient petroglyphs left by the Ute tribe, who have lived in the area since the year 1,000. Take your pick of hundreds of miles of hiking trails at Canyonlands. Whitewater raft and kayak down the Colorado River. See dinosaur tracks at Bull Canyon Overlook and Copper Ridge. Go mountain biking, do an ATV tour, the options are endless. Make home base the Sorrel River Ranch , a 160-acre resort that hugs the Colorado River and affords panoramic views of Moab's sandstone buttes and mesas, and where the hot tub and spa will be a blissful treat after a long day of adventure.

Read Reviews Sorrel River Ranch

Sea Island, Georgia

where to go in october 2020 sea island georgia

The private resort , located right in between Jacksonville and Savannah, is one of the prettiest and most polished of Georgia's barrier islands. It's only open to residents of the gated community or guests of its three hotels, and even though Sea Island is just five miles long, there is plenty to do. The grande dame hotel is undoubtedly the Cloister, a 1920s Mediterranean-style gem where President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara spent their honeymoon and where their son, President George W. Bush, hosted the G8 summit in 2008. Here you'll find a 65,000-square-foot spa, a stellar restaurant, three pools, and a private beach. Those who prefer golf over swimming should book a room at the Lodge, which has three golf courses and a state-of-the-art golf performance center frequented by PGA pros. In between there are endless activities to fill your days, including falconry, boating, horseback riding, and clay shooting.

Read Reviews The Cloister at Sea Island

Read Reviews The Lodge at Sea Island

More: The Complete Guide to Sea Island, Georgia

North Adams, Massachusetts

Nature, Natural landscape, Leaf, Sky, Mountain, Hill, Tree, Mountainous landforms, Autumn, Wilderness,

While the Berkshires offer plenty to see, do, and experience in the summer, the region also shines just as brightly in the fall. October brings peak “leaf peeping” season and the best way to take in the foliage is by renting a car for a 63-mile drive along the Mohawk Trail that culminates in North Adams. So is hiking to the summit of Mount Greylock, which, at 3,489 feet, is Massachusetts's highest point. Though it lays claim to the title of “smallest city in the state,” North Adams has plenty to offer. For starters, there’s the largest contemporary art museum in the country—the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (better known as MASS MoCA)—and a plethora of bookshops, cafes, and galleries. Book a room at The Porches Inn , a B&B that's a stone’s throw from the museum. Or for a luxurious throwback, stay farther south at the Blantyre in Lenox, a grand Tudor-style mansion-turned-hotel that has been around since 1902.

Read Reviews Porches Inn

Read Reviews Blantyre

Athens, Greece

buildings against sky during sunset

The energy of Athens in the summer is undeniable, but so is the fact that it is very hot during that time of year. Which is why October makes for an ideal month to visit the Greek capital. With temperatures in the 70s, the weather is just sublime and sunny, and there will be far fewer crowds to contend with at the legendary 2,470-year-old Acropolis (which you can visit during the day, whereas in the summer heat you would have to go super early or at dusk). Stay in the center of all the action at the stately and majestic Hotel Grande Bretagne , which has one of the best rooftop views of the Parthenon. It's also walking distance to the city's top attractions, from the restaurants and bars (Papadakis, Seychelles, the Clumsies, all not to be missed) to the shopping (upscale Kolonaki, the Monastiraki flea market) to the museums (Benaki and the National Gallery).

Read Reviews Hotel Grande Bretagne

Napa Valley, California

where to go in october napa valley 2020

October is a prime time to visit the country's most famous wine region—it's harvest season, the temperature, in the mid-70s, is much more pleasant, and the leaves and vines have turned beautifully golden. The wineries (some of the highlights: Silver Oak , Opus One , Ovid , and Robert Mondavi , which recently launched a custom tasting experience featuring reserve wines from its highly prized To Kalon vineyard) are obviously a hit but interestingly, vineyards make up only about 9% of Napa Valley. Much of the rest is protected by the Land Trust, providing plenty of outdoor recreation such as hiking and mountain biking. The Francis House in Calistoga is one of the area's most unique stays. Originally a landmark 19th-century French Second Empire-style mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it has been meticulously restored and transformed into a five-key luxury inn. Or, book one of the 11 rooms at the Milliken Creek Inn , in Napa, which just underwent a complete redesign and has a prime perch on the banks of the Napa River.

Read Reviews The Francis House

Read Reviews Milliken Creek Inn

More: T&C Travel Guide: Napa Valley and Sonoma County

Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

where to go in october 2020 great smoky mountains tennessee

Straddling the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the U.S. (it recorded 12.9 million visitors in 2019). In the shadow of its mountains, forests, hiking trails, and waterfalls is Blackberry Farm , the much beloved Relais & Châteaux resort in Walland, Tennessee, that has amassed a cult following for its focus on Southern hospitality, artisanal back-to-the-roots programming, and gastronomic brilliance. In 2019, proprietor Mary Celeste Beall opened a sister property, Blackberry Mountain , located 20 minutes away on 5,200 acres (Blackberry Farm has 4,200) and with more of a focus on outdoor activities and adventure. Prefer to glamp? Head to Under Canvas , a brand known for luxe campgrounds near national parks. This one is just minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains park entrance and has amenities like daily housekeeping, a fire pit for s'mores, and organic bath products.

Read Reviews Blackberry Farm

Read Reviews Blackberry Mountain

Read Reviews Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains

More: Introducing Blackberry Mountain, the Idyllic New Resort from Blackberry Farm

Asheville, North Carolina

where to go in october 2020 biltmore asheville nc

At the height of the Gilded Age, while members of the Vanderbilt dynasty were building spectacular residences in Newport , Manhattan, and upstate New York, George Washington Vanderbilt II, a grandson of Commodore Cornelius, instead decided to build his country home in North Carolina after falling in love with Asheville's scenery on visits there with his mother. The result, of course, is the Biltmore , an opulent French Renaissance-style chateau with 250 rooms, 4 acres of floor space, and 125,000 acres of land (today, the estate occupies a modest 8,000). As it is still owned by George's descendants, Biltmore is the largest private residence in America. The house and grounds are open for tours and exhibits, and can be rented out for weddings. There are also three hotels on the estate for overnight stays. Its most famous attraction aside, Asheville has a lot to offer on its own. The city has a thriving arts and music scene and lots of restaurants and breweries. There is plenty of nature, too: the Blue Ridge Mountains are next door to the east, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is to the west, and the incredibly scenic Blue Ridge Parkway (a beauty in the fall), which runs from Virginia down to Cherokee, North Carolina, cuts right through the city.

Read Reviews The Inn on Biltmore Estate

Read Reviews Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate

Barnard, Vermont

where to go in october 2020 vermont

We don't need to state the obvious: Vermont is gorgeous in the fall. Twin Farms , quite possibly the state's most idyllic and bucolic hideaway, used to be the home of novelist Sinclair Lewis. He bought the 18th-century farmhouse, and its 300 acres of land, with his wife Dorothy in 1928, and she continued to live there after their divorce until the '50s. Today, the 20-room retreat works hard to maintain the intimacy of a home. You might start your day with a round of tennis or outdoor yoga, then take a chef-made box lunch for a bike ride to nearby Woodstock or for a picnic in the woods. In the afternoon, curl up with a book and a glass of wine by the fire pit, taking frequent breaks to enjoy the foliage all around you. Then take a canoe out on Copper Pond for a serene paddle. After dinner, play a game of chess in a corner by the fireplace before retreating to your room for a nice soak in the clawfoot tub before bed.

Read Reviews Twin Farms

More: Incredible Spots to See Fall Foliage in New England

Headshot of Leena Kim

Leena Kim is an editor at Town & Country , where she covers travel, jewelry, education, weddings, and culture.

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The Best Places to Visit in October for Couples: Weather & Travel Guide

The Best Places to Visit in October for Couples

  • Sheryl Nance-Nash is a freelance writer specializing in travel and personal finance.
  • She has reported and written for publications like Fodors, Conde Nast Traveler and the Wall Street Journal.
  • Travel is what feeds her adventurous spirit.

October is the perfect time for a romantic getaway . The weather is like Goldilocks in much of the Northern Hemisphere— not too hot, not too cold . Depending on the destination, airfare, hotels and attractions may be less expensive than summer's peak travel prices. October also happens to be one of the best months for all sorts of festivals, from food and music to beer (read: Oktoberfests). Destinations also tend to be less crowded and quieter as the kids are back in school. The big question is: What are the best places to visit in October?

Coming up with a list of places to visit in October is not a heavy lift, as options abound. Whether you're looking for a traditional beach vacation or you're hoping to embrace recent travel trends , like sustainability or slow travel, we've got you covered.

Tuscany, Italy

The romantic rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy

No doubt Tuscany is one of the most romantic places in the world, and part of the magic lies in the beautiful rolling hills. It's also one of the best wine regions on the planet. Make your way there in October when flights and hotels are likely less expensive compared to peak travel rates during the summer. There are also less crowds. We'd call that a win-win.

Things to Do: You'll appreciate fall's cooler temps if you choose to take a three-hour guided hike of the Cinque Borghi (Five Villages), where you'll be wowed by the Tuscan Forest with all its red, orange and yellow foliage. Consider a quick side trip to Lucca. Hop on bikes to ride along the walls that encompass the city. Do pack a picnic of those infamous Italian flatbread sandwiches and Tuscan wine as you'll surely find an idyllic spot for lunch along your ride. Wine tasting and truffle foraging are a must.

Places to Stay: Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort and Spa , Grand Universe Lucca , Monteverdi Tuscany , Milu Hotel and Relais Ortaglia .

Marrakech, Morocco

A gorgeous autumn sunrise in Marrakech, Morocco

Autumn really hits in October as temperatures start to get lower during the day and cool off even further at night, offering the perfect excuse to get a little closer to your honey. Marrakech is one of the best places to visit in October, as there are numerous spots where you can cozy up with your honey. While Marrakech is known for its vibrant souks, there are peaceful oases like the Menara Gardens , too. October is quieter than the summer rush, and it's before the hubbub of the holidays. It's also harvest month, so the ideal time for a foodie-focused trip.

Things to Do: Stroll through the medina for the freshest produce, from saffron and apples to dates, or head to the nearby Ourika Valley or into the Atlas Mountains to learn about the harvesting process firsthand. October is a time of special events. The annual Dates Festival offers food, music, dancing and camel racing, and the MOGA Electronic Music Festival offers traditional Gnawa music, dance, art and electronic music.

Places to Stay : Royal Mansour Marrakech , Riad Luciano Hotel and Spa , Sol Oasis Marrakech , Riad Kniza and Riad Houdou .

Muskoka, Canada

The gorgeous autumn leaves of Muskoka, Canada

Muskoka's expanse stretches from the wilderness that is Algonquin Park in the east to the Georgian Bay in the west, and it's a couple hours drive north of Toronto. It's nature at its best, and is ideal for a romantic escape and road trip getawway . The destination is especially vibrant in October with the canvas of color brought about by the fall foliage. Another plus is the guilt-free retail therapy you can indulge in at the area's thrift and antique stores.

Things to Do : The Bala Cranberry Festival is in October. Go ahead and partake in the cranberry plunge at Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery. Put on waders and dip into the cranberry marshes—you two will bond over the experience. There's something romantic about trains. Hop on the Scenic Train Ride from the Muskoka River to the Fairy Lake station. For water fun, take a cruise, kayak or canoe. If you're the adventurous type, go treetop trekking. Enjoy high tea at The Blue Willow Tea Shop .

Places to Stay : Touchstone Resort , Residence Inn Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf , JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort and Spa and Windermere House .

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland on a cozy October morning

Perhaps it's no surprise that Zurich has been called one of the happiest cities in the world. Switzerland has storybook romance written all over it. With the stunning Swiss Alps, lakes, cascading waterfalls, cuter-than-cute villages and striking architecture, the mood is set for a walking hand in hand, can't take your eyes off each other type of trip. It's one of the best places to travel in October, as you can enjoy all of its beauty before the skiers take over Switzerland.

Things to Do: Hike in the Canton of Zurich. This time of year, it's awash in red, orange and yellow trees much like the Zurich Botanical Garden , with its autumn flowers and plants from around the globe. In October, Zoo Zurich is also especially nice, and with the cooler temps, you're likely to see more animals at play. For water lovers, there's Lake Zürich, Käferberg and Greifensee, which are ideal for a stroll, bike ride or picnic. Art enthusiasts will get their fix at the Kunsthaus Zurich , the country's biggest museum.

Places to Stay : The Dolder Grand , Hotel Schweizerhof Zurich , Widder Hotel , Storchen Zurich and Zurich Marriott Hotel .

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Aerial views of the sea around Bora Bora, French Polynesia

French Polynesia definitely tops the bucket list for couples seeking that perfect honeymoon or anniversary trip in an exotic, sun-drenched locale. Head straight to Bora Bora for romance, luxury and all of the sunbathing you could ever want. What you won't get is crowds—Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than Bora Bora gets in a year.

Things to Do: Bora Bora is infamous for its overwater bungalows and fab resorts. You could stay in a resort without ever leaving—The St. Regis, for example, offers a "Lagoonarium" full of tropical fish and other sea life, plus candlelight massages in a gazebo. When you two are ready to explore, the diving and snorkeling is epic. There are pearl shops, boutiques and galleries. Most everyone hits the legendary Bloody Mary's Bar for its cocktails and seafood.

Places to Stay: Four Seasons Bora Bora , The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort , Conrad Bora Bora Nui and InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa .

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia on a cozy autumn October morning

The city's Spanish moss, colonial architecture and beautiful gardens are downright dreamy. In Savannah, you'll feel like you're smack dab in the middle of a romance novel. Go ahead and write your own story. There will likely be a tale or two worth telling in a fun city where you can take your cocktail to go.

Things to Do: During October, some of Savannah's signature events include Oktoberfest and the Savannah Film Festival. If you're in the mood for spooky stuff, Savannah is known for its ghost tours. You'll always remember a moonlit stroll in Forsythe Park or an evening carriage ride through cobblestone alleyways. Foodie couples will be in heaven with excellent restaurants like Cha Bella , a farm-to-table spot with the freshest ingredients, and a.Lure , which serves up contemporary Southern fare. Show yourselves some love at Spa Blue .

Places to Stay : Perry Lane Hotel , Andaz Savannah , JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District , River Street Inn and The Marshall House .

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain on a cozy October morning

Barcelona can be overrun with tourists in sweltering summer, but fall is another story. The milder temps offer ideal honeymoon weather and are perfect for spending time in the city's many parks and green spaces. The locals return home from their time spent traveling in the summer, so you'll mix more with them instead of Sarah and Joe from Kansas and get a more authentic experience. Fewer crowds in Spain's second largest city means less lines everywhere, plus dinner reservations at the city's best spots will be much easier.

Things to Do: Find out the date of the annual 48-Hour Open House Festival. It's in October and much beloved, as more than 200 iconic buildings and museums open their doors for free admission. October also means there will likely be rooftop concerts at Casa Batllo , one of the legendary architect Gaudi's masterpieces. Beer lovers will want to time an October visit around Oktoberfest. Check out the city via a rented bike. The terrain is flat and there are bike lanes. See a flamenco show—they are quite romantic. The music alone makes you believe love conquers all.

Places to Stay: Almanac Barcelona , Seventy Barcelona , H10 Madison , Serras Barcelona and Hotel REC Barcelona .

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sunrise over Albuquerque, New Mexico

Fall is a great time to visit New Mexico. Locals call it the "magical season." The changing colors of the Aspen trees in October are said to be something special, and that's just where the magic starts. Albuquerque is the state's largest city and known for its turquoise doors and quirky spots like the American International Rattlesnake Museum , which has the largest variety of live rattlesnakes in the world.

Things to Do: What's more romantic than an early morning balloon ride with Champagne? Albuquerque is all about hot-air balloons. In October, the city is home to the nine-day Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta , the world's largest balloon festival. Keep the good vibes sky high with a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway , where you go from the city to the Sandia Mountains. You'll remember those views long after you've gone home. When you're ready to chill, there's the St. James Tearoom . Walk hand in hand around historic Old Town. Take a day trip to Santa Fe.

Places to Stay: Hotel Parq Central , Sandia Resort and Casino , Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town and Hotel Chaco .

San Ignacio, Belize

The sun rises over San Ignacio, Belize

There's nothing like a little jungle fever to fan the romantic flames. Head to Belize for romance and adventure. Belize is about exploring—with its extensive coral reefs ideal for diving and snorkeling—and making like Indiana Jones exploring the more than 900 Mayan temple sites. October is shoulder season, so you'll have fewer crowds and you can find discounts on hotels and attractions.

Things to Do: Your days will be as adventurous as you want. Explore the ruins of Xunantunich. Climb to the top of El Castillo, a 130-foot temple where you'll see sweeping views of Belize and Guatemala. Keep the mystery going with a canoe ride through Barton Creek Cave . The cave's natural formations tell a story about burial grounds, human sacrifices and ancient Mayan life. If you want to skip the cave but still canoe, wind your way through the Macal River and marvel at the magic of the Maya Mountains. The exotic birds and iguanas on the riverbanks are a bonus. San Ignacio is a small town, but has a restaurant and nightlife scene that is surprising. The fun hardly stops when the sun goes down.

Places to Stay: San Ignacio Resort Hotel , Maya Mountain Lodge , Table Rock Jungle Lodge and Mystic River Resort .

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia on a sunny October morning

For the couple looking for a far-flung romantic getaway, add Sydney to the list. October is a good time to visit, as it's within the Southern Hemisphere's spring season—meaning you can soak up long, sunny days and all of spring's glory, like the blooming jacarandas. You'll love the temps, which are about 70 degrees, so not too hot or too cold, ideal for scoping out all the yachts in the infamous harbor and people-watching at dozens of beaches.

Things to Do: No trip to Sydney is complete without a visit to the Sydney Opera House or The Royal Botanic Garden. The great weather is ideal for strolling from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach. For a bit of a thrill walk, bike or climb to the peak of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Check out the Art Gallery of New South Wales and its vast collection of Australian and international art. In October, there are signature events like the Night Noodle Markets—where Hyde Park becomes the epicenter of a lively Asian street food festival—and Sculpture by the Sea, one of the world's largest public sculpture exhibitions.

Places to Stay: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney , Little National Hotel Sydney , PARKROYAL Darling Harbour , The Fullerton Hotel Sydney and Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney .

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont on a romantic autumn day in October

For postcard-perfect photos of fall foliage, choose Stowe. Don't expect mega, all-inclusive resorts (even though Stowe is Vermont's largest town). The charm here lies in quaint inns and boutique hotels. It's also for foodies, with lots of organic, locally produced food. In October, it's quieter than in the winter when folks descend on the "Ski Capital of the East." This small town is something truly special, and we guarantee it'll take you only about five minutes to reach the same conclusion.

Things to Do: You know you'll be leaf peeping, but there's plenty else to make you two happy. Go hiking in Smugglers Notch State Park. Bike the Stowe Recreation Path or take a horseback ride. If you're looking for something more low key, pick pumpkins and walk through a corn maze. Visit the Gold Brook Covered Bridge. For amazing views of the foliage, take a gondola ride up Mount Manfield. If you're in the mood for warm apple cider and donuts, make your way to Cold Hollow Cider Mill.

Places to Stay: Green Mountain Inn , Topnotch Resort , Talta Lodge, a Bluebird by Lark and Basin Harbor .

Honeymoon by a greek island beach ios pool villa

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  • Last Updated On
  • May 30, 2023

30 Best Places to Visit in October in the USA

Claire Allard

As the leaves turn golden and the air grows crisp, the allure of an autumnal adventure calls. 

Welcome to our curated guide to the best places to visit in October in the USA. 

We’ve traversed the country, from the vibrant foliage of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the bustling streets of New York City, to bring you the ultimate fall travel guide. 

Each destination has been handpicked, not just for its seasonal beauty but for its unique appeal to families. 

We’ve also rated each location based on its family-friendliness, safety, affordability, accessibility, and educational value. 

Whether you’re seeking a tranquil retreat amidst nature, a cultural city break, or a thrilling outdoor adventure, our guide has something for everyone. 

So, gather your loved ones, pack your scarves and sweaters, and prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey through America’s most captivating October destinations

Best Places to Visit in October in the USA Compared

So, pack your bags, get your cameras ready, and head out to explore all that America has to offer. 

This article will provide you with the inspiration to plan a fantastic trip.

Editor’s Choice

where travel in october

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

The Blue Ridge Mountains are a magnificent mountain range that runs through several eastern states.

  • Family-friendly Activities: 4/5
  • Safety: 4/5
  • Affordability: 5/5
  • Accessibility: 4/5
  • Educational Value: 5/5

#2nd Best Choice

where travel in october

Eastern Sierras, California

Eastern Sierras is a mountain range that stretches from the border of Nevada in the north to Lone Pine in the south.

  • Affordability: 3/5
  • Accessibility: 3/5
  • Educational Value: 4/5

#3rd Best Choice

where travel in october

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Pictured Rocks is a stunning lakeshore known for the dramatic multicolored Pictured Rocks cliffs.

  • Family-friendly Activities: 3/5
  • Safety: 5/5
  • Affordability: 4/5

Here are the top 30 places to visit in October in the USA.

1. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina (Editor’s Choice)

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway, NC 28803 (828) 298-0398 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Ratings Criteria

  • Beautiful picture-worthy scenery
  • Wildlife and nature encounter
  • Some areas are closed

If you are seeking the best US destinations in October, look no further than the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains.

When the autumnal hues in the Blue Ridge region reach their most resonant peak in mid-to-late October, the landscape is at its most picturesque.

The rocky mountains have a lot to offer, including waterfalls, wilderness regions, and beautiful views.

There’s also wildlife, including black bears, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and many different birds.

You can rent a lovely mountain cottage and spend the evening roasting marshmallows in front of a bonfire.

Recommended Hotel: Stonebrook Lodge

2. Eastern Sierras, California

Eastern Sierras, California

Eastern Sierras, CA (800) 845-7922 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Breathtaking natural beauty
  • Outdoor recreational opportunities
  • Limited amenities and services

The Eastern Sierras burst with color in the fall, making them one of the best places to go in October and to enjoy autumn in California.

The sparkling, bright yellow Aspen woodlands here are charming.

Famous sights in this mountain range include Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Mount Whitney, and Yosemite.

While skiers appreciate Mammoth for its winter paradise, like a California winter vacation, the fall season is also spectacular.

Once you visit, you’ll quickly realize why Eastern Sierras is the perfect vacation place to welcome autumn.

Recommended Hotel: Empeiria High Sierra Hotel

3. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, MI 49862 (906) 387-3700 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Beautiful rock formation and mountain ranges
  • Plenty of trails with various difficulty
  • Bad weather will affect the experience

This stunning place should be on everyone’s bucket list for magnificent fall vacations.

The name Pictured Rocks comes from the high sandstone cliffs that flank its rugged shoreline.

This national treasure runs about 42 miles along Lake Superior’s coastline in Michigan’s wild and mountainous Upper Peninsula.

No matter the season, it’s a nice spot to visit, but October is incredibly stunning.

And the fall colors in Pictured Rocks are stunning, making this one of the best places to travel in October.

The trees along this road and throughout the park turn gorgeous colors of red, orange, and yellow in the autumn.

Recommended Hotel: Comfort Inn & Suites Munising – Lakefront

4. North Cascades National Park, Washington

North Cascades National Park, Washington

North Cascades National Park, WA 98284 (360) 854-7200 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

With its unique flora and family-friendly hiking trails, North Cascades National Park is an excellent alternative to Eastern Sierras and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. 

Washington’s North Cascades National Park is a vast ecosystem of conifer-clad mountains, glaciers, and lakes.

Washington is one of the best states to visit in October because it’s home to the breathtaking North Cascades National Park.

Not only does it have stunning autumn foliage, but it also boasts a particular variety called larch that isn’t seen in most of the country.

Larches are a conifer tree species with golden pine needles that drop in late September and early October.

These peculiar species resemble deciduous trees with leaves more than other pine-needle trees since they retain their foliage for most of the year.

Plus, there are many hiking areas in North Cascades to see larches and the fantastic autumn view.

Just be sure to get there early to beat the crowds on these family-friendly walks so you can enjoy the larches.

Recommended Hotel: Mt Baker Hotel

Related: Best Places to Go in September in the USA

5. New York City, New York

New York City, New York

New York, NY (212) 639-9675 Visit Website Open in Google Maps

New York City , nicknamed the Big Apple, is the most populated city in the United States and is undoubtedly one of the top cities to visit in October.

You can pick some fresh pumpkins to carve at the Queens Fall Festival and stroll through Central Park to enjoy the colorful fall beauty surrounding you.

Plus, you can get a head start on Halloween by dressing up as your favorite superhero and attending New York City’s legendary Comic Con.

To fully get into the spirit of the season, visit SERRA by Birreria, a rooftop bar and restaurant atop Eataly in the Flatiron neighborhood, to take in the autumn scenery.

Recommended Hotel: InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel, an IHG Hotel

Related: Top NYC Restaurants

6. Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park, CA 95389 (209) 372-0200 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Yosemite National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and is famous for its gigantic, old sequoia trees and Tunnel View.

In October, the number of tourists to Yosemite National Park is half that of an average summer day.

As a result, Yosemite Valley parking is simpler, and popular hiking trails are less congested.

October is an excellent time to come due to fewer tourists, mild weather, and a spectacular display of autumn colors.

Furthermore, daytime temperatures are typically 60-70 degrees, making Taft Point, Sentinel Dome, and Glacier Point perfect for hiking.

Exploring the shoreline of Yosemite’s Tenaya Lake near Tioga Pass is also a perfect way to make the most of your fall vacation.

Recommended Hotel: Kildrummy Lodge

7. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier National Park, WA 98304 (360) 569-2211 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Mount Rainier in Washington is one of the oldest national parks and has the most prominent peak in the Cascade Range.

While there are many gorgeous fall foliage places in the United States, Mount Rainier National Park erupts with bright autumnal colors.

Not only do the leaves on its towering trees fall, but so do the shrubs, succulents, and other plants that carpet its undulating valleys.

What’s more, the most breathtaking scenery the Cascade Mountains have to offer can be found in Snoqualmie National Forest.

Recommended Hotel: Alexander’s Lodge

8. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 (307) 344-7381 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Wyoming’s Yellowstone is a volcanic hotspot with majestic gorges, rushing rivers in the mountains, lush woods, hot springs, and erupting geysers.

While Yellowstone is in the mountains and many of the trees are evergreen, the fall colors are spectacular in early October.

Yellowstone’s natural scenery changes when the warmer temperatures start to cool, giving you a rare chance to see the park as winter draws near.

In addition, there are several pockets of aspen trees scattered across the park.

Their vivid yellow leaves sparkle in the autumn sunlight, especially at sunrise and sunset, when the warm colors give the park an orangey glow.

Recommended Hotel: Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch

Related: Where to Eat in Yellowstone

9. Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley, CA (707) 251-5895 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

California’s Napa Valley is the pinnacle of picturesque wine country and renowned world-class wine.

This valley’s wine area is a delight in October because the vineyards change color from a lush green to a combination of yellow, red, and orange.

Furthermore, the harvest season is at its peak and busiest from mid-September through mid-October.

And during fall, Nappa’s weather is gorgeously sunny, with only a few clouds in the sky, making it one of the best warm places to visit in October.

Just beyond the town center, unwind with a cellar-door wine tasting at the renowned Auburn James winery.

Lastly, stop by The Farmstead, a paddock-to-plate restaurant, to end a fantastic day tasting delectable wines and enjoying the autumn views.

Recommended Hotel: Archer Hotel Napa

10. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, NC (828) 258-6101 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Asheville , nestled in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is a magnificent city that draws outdoor enthusiasts worldwide.

With its moderate weather and stunning fall colors, nothing surpasses Asheville in fall.

Plan your October weekend getaways in Asheville to experience the magic of autumn in the mountains.

Walking about Asheville is one of the finest ways to experience the crisp fall mountain air and changing foliage because October has excellent hiking weather.

Moreover, there are numerous fall activities in Asheville where you can harvest as many pumpkins and apples as you like.

You can also take a trip to Craggy Gardens, Looking Glass Rock Overlook, or up Mount Mitchell for breathtaking vistas of the multicolored peaks.

Recommended Hotel: The Omni Grove Park Inn – Asheville

Related: Dining in Asheville

11. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, GA Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Savannah is a Georgian coastal city famed for its antebellum architecture, manicured parks, and horse-drawn carriage rides.

October is the perfect month to take advantage of Savannah’s renown as one of the nation’s most haunted cities.

Fall foliage spills over the gates of private gardens around the city, and pumpkins decorate the entryway of magnificent estates in the Historic District.

River Street Sweets, for example, lines its gates with yellow and orange flowers to welcome people inside, where you can buy frightful goodies for your youngsters.

Plus, October is filled with a wide variety of celebrations and activities.

The Savannah Jazz Festival, Wag-O-Ween, and Savannah PRIDE are among the events available to visitors.

Recommended Hotel: JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District

Related: Must Try Restaurants in Savannah

12. Bennington, Vermont

Bennington, Vermont

Bennington, VT (802) 442-1037 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Bennington is a historic city in Vermont famous for its monuments, galleries, museums, and historic sites.

This quaint city is the best place to visit in October in the USA.

Because it is frequently disregarded as the ideal fall vacation spot, this hidden gem in southern Vermont is even more of a treasure.

Bennington is a charming, unique town, and October, in particular, brings this sleepy community to life.

Thanks to the cool fall air, you’ll find The Apple Barn & Country Bake Shop, the perfect place in town to purchase fresh apple cider.

They even hold enjoyable fall activities like apple bobbing and tractor rides and occasionally plow their cornfield and convert it into a maze.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn Bennington

13. San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, CA Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

San Francisco is Northern California’s commercial, financial, and cultural hub, and its full name is the City and County of San Francisco.

Due to the heavy fog San Francisco experiences for most of the year, it is often referred to as “Fog City.”

However, when autumn approaches, the clouds clear, and the sun shines, making San Francisco a fantastic fall vacation spot.

Fleet Week in San Francisco takes place in October, and it is a sizable multi-location event that honors and celebrates the US naval and marine forces.

Additionally, the tantalizing SF Street Food Festival also takes place in October.

The event, held in the Central Waterfront district, features over 50 of the city’s greatest chefs.

Recommended Hotel: Fairmont San Francisco

Related: Top Restaurants: San Francisco

14. Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida

Miami, FL (305) 416-1450 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Miami is one of the most well-liked holiday destinations in the world, boasting a fashionable nightlife , beaches , art galleries, and top-notch hotels .

With an average daily high of 83 degrees Fahrenheit, October is no exception to the high temperatures that prevail throughout the year.

The best thing about going in October is you can skip all the summer visitors.

Plus, you can enjoy Miami’s October festivals.

The South Beach Seafood Festival, which takes place from the 20th to the 23rd of this month, is one of the most well-known events.

Miami also hosts the Water Lantern Festival on the second of the month, which is perfect for a romantic getaway.

Recommended Hotel: SLS Brickell

Related: Food Places in Miami

15. Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, MA (978) 745-9595 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Salem is a city on the north coast of Massachusetts, above Boston, known for its renowned witch trials.

Due to its stunning foliage and the annual Haunted Happenings Festival, Salem is a must-see destination for autumn enthusiasts.

While witches and magic undoubtedly pique visitors’ interest to some extent, Salem is also home to stunning old architecture, lovely green spaces, and top-notch museums.

To take advantage of the Haunted Happenings Festival, which takes place in October.

All ages can enjoy extravagant costumes, street performers, small shops selling witch-themed clothing, handcrafted soaps and candles, and more.

It’s no wonder why Salem is the best place to vacation in October in the USA.

Recommended Hotel: Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites

Related: Places to Dine in Salem

16. Aspen, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen, CO (970) 920-5000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Aspen, located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, is a ski resort town and a popular outdoor recreation spot.

This stunning city is one of the most popular fall foliage destinations in the United States.

The vibrant fall foliage against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains and bluebird skies is simply breathtaking.

Cooler weather, fewer visitors, and lower lodging rates make October a particularly appealing time to visit this mountain village.

Make your visit during the first week of the month when the fall colors are at their fullest if you want to view the fantastic aspen tree valleys surrounding this town.

Recommended Hotel: The Gant

17. Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, VT (802) 865-7000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Burlington is a small but populated city in the northwestern state of Vermont.

October is a beautiful time to visit Vermont’s thriving metropolis of Burlington.

Reds, oranges, and yellows are rampant on the hillsides as the fall foliage reaches its height.

Within the municipal limits, there are various hikes to see the brilliant colors. The best views are from the trek up to the tower at Ethan Allen Park.

With breathtaking views of the Adirondack highlands across the lake, rent a bike and peddle along Lake Champlain on the Burlington bike route.

Sailing on the Spirit of Ethan Allen is another opportunity to view the leaves.

The boat goes on Lake Champlain, providing beautiful views of the Adirondack and Green Mountains.

Recommended Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Burlington Vermont

Related: Best Food Places in Burlington

18. Door County, Wisconsin

Door County, Wisconsin

1015 Green Bay Rd, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 (920) 743-4456 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Door County , located between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, is recognized for its extensive shoreline and several parks.

While fall seems to halt time in other areas, Door County is alive with enthusiasm as it celebrates the colors of fall, which include gold, crimson, russet, and more.

Pumpkin Patch in Egg Harbor, where locals and tourists enjoy food carnivals, rides, and art, is one of the most popular festivals in October.

Furthermore, local orchards and farm markets are ready to sell products for a colorful fall season.

This city’s colorful hues and vibrant celebrations make it one of the best October vacation spots.

Recommended Hotel: Homestead Suites – Fish Creek

Related: Restaurants to Try in Door County

19. Las Vegas NV

Las Vegas NV

Las Vegas, NV (702) 229-2273 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Las Vegas is the 25th most populated city in the United States and is well-known for its nightlife .

There’s nothing like getting dressed up and attending outrageous Halloween parties.

Luckily, Las Vegas provides a stunning celebration for Halloween in October.

Whether you’re traveling to Vegas with children or just for an adult-only Halloween party, there are many different Halloween plans available.

And Las Vegas in October means relief from the summer heat and fewer crowds, so you can enjoy a free walking tour of the downtown area .

If you don’t feel like walking, there are plenty of alternative options in the city, such as bus trips, notably The Big Bus Night Tour.

So, if you’re thinking of having the best birthday trips in October, Las Vegas is for you.

Recommended Hotel: Las Vegas Hilton At Resorts World

Related: Popular Restaurants in Las Vegas

20. Albuquerque NM

Albuquerque NM

Albuquerque, NM (505) 222-4357 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Albuquerque , the largest and most populated New Mexico city, is in the high desert.

You’ll love to visit Albuquerque during the fall season.

The weather has cooled off from the summer heat, making it ideal for fall events such as the world’s largest ballooning event.

Thousands of people flock to Albuquerque every October to watch the world’s largest hot-air balloon festival.

Going up in a balloon and seeing the other balloons launch from a bird’s eye view is a magical experience to share with your friends and family.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites Albuquerque Airport

Related: Must Eat Restaurants in Albuquerque

21. Acadia National Park ME

Acadia National Park ME

Acadia National Park Bar Harbor, ME 04609 (207) 288-3338 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Acadia National Park is a Maine coast recreation area characterized by woods, rocky beaches, and glacier-scoured granite peaks.

A few weeks before October is a slower month for visitors and brings a welcome sense of serenity to Acadia, with delightfully moderate temperatures to boot.

Things pick up again in mid-October when fall foliage reaches its peak, and the park is clothed in vibrant oranges and yellows.

Experience a stunning fall scene as you hike and stroll around the national park.

Plus, this place gets the least amount of tourists in October, so you’ll enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

Recommended Hotel: Bluenose Inn – Bar Harbor Hotel

Related: Best Places to Visit in November (USA)

22. Sleepy Hollow, Hudson Valley

Sleepy Hollow, Hudson Valley

Sleepy Hollow, NY (914) 366-5100 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The Hudson Valley is an area of New York State that runs from Westchester County to Albany along the Hudson River.

The fall season is hectic in the region, with live music, fall walks, seasonal vacations, craft fairs, day outings, and more.

Because the Hudson Valley is most known as the site for Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, October is the perfect time to visit.

Because peak foliage begins sooner in the Hudson Valley than in NYC, you’ll have more time to enjoy all of the hues.

There are other festivals and festivities to commemorate Halloween and the fall season.

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, with over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins, is not to be missed.

Recommended Hotel: Castle Hotel & Spa

23. San Diego CA

San Diego CA

San Diego, CA (619) 232-3101 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

San Diego is a city on California’s Pacific coast renowned for its coastlines, parks, and warm climate.

Fall is one of the most incredible times to visit San Diego because of the clear blue skies, steamy Santa Ana breezes, and comparatively affordable hotel costs.

With children returning to school, days continue to be warm and bright long into October, and beaches and famous attractions become significantly less crowded.

This is also the season for significant events such as the Ocean Beach Oktoberfest and the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival.

With swells and barrels off the La Jolla coast and beneath Sunset Cliffs attracting surfers to town in droves, October also offers some of San Diego’s greatest surfing conditions.

Recommended Hotel: Pendry San Diego

Related: Top Places to Eat in San Diego

24. Portland OR

Portland OR

Portland, OR (503) 823-4000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Portland , Oregon’s largest city, is noted for its parks, bridges, and cycling lanes. It is located on the Columbia and Willamette rivers.

Don’t know where to travel in October with your family?

October is an excellent time to visit Portland’s thriving theater scene.

Halloween celebrations, a trip to Sauvie Island’s corn maze, and the Wedge Festival all offer exciting things to see and do near you.

However, since this is also the busiest travel period, you’ll need to make your reservations at least a few months in advance to guarantee availability and the most competitive pricing.

Recommended Hotel: Sentinel, a Provenance Hotel

Related: Must Eat Places in Portland

25. Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry, WV (304) 535-2030 Visit Website Open in Google Maps

The Historic Town of Harper’s Ferry is old America at its finest, nestled in the bend where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers merge.

This city has magnificent hues in October as the trees begin to turn.

Here, you may find a variety of trails that will take you outside the city and through the beautiful fall woodlands.

And if you are looking for cheap places to visit in October, Harpers Ferry provides some good deals during the fall season.

Recommended Hotel: Clarion Inn Conference Center Harpers Ferry

Related: Best Eats in Harpers Ferry

26. New England

New England

New England, NH (603) 766-0606 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

New England is a northeastern region of the United States that includes the states of Maine, Vermont , New Hampshire , Massachusetts , Connecticut , and Rhode Island .

The best time to travel to New England is when the foliage is vibrant in the fall.

With its beautiful hues, it’s no wonder it’s one of the must visit places in the USA in October.

The northern states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont reach their best autumn foliage during the start of the fall season.

Vermont is the place to visit if you want to see traditional white clapboard villages, beautiful town squares, and lush surroundings.

If you’re looking for a little more wilderness, visit Lake Willoughby or Quechee Gorge, or watch the sunset over Lake Champlain before visiting Burlington.

Recommended Hotel: The Newbury Boston

Related: Great Restaurants in New England

27. Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Navajo Parks & Recreation Bldg Hwy 264, Postal Loop Road, Bldg 36-A Window Rock, AZ 86515 (928) 871-6647 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Monument Valley is a red-sand desert region on the Arizona-Utah border, notable for the tall sandstone buttes of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

Monument Valley’s strikingly bizarre terrain is best explored in autumn, particularly in October.

This month is usually when temperatures are favorable, and there are fewer tourists.

So, if you don’t know where to go in October, visit Monument Valley.

Recommended Hotel: Quality Inn Navajo Nation Capital

28. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, IL Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Chicago , one of the biggest cities in the United States, is located on Lake Michigan in Illinois and is renowned for its daring architecture.

Chicago offers the best October vacations.

The weather is usually pleasant, but major sights are less crowded than in the summer.

In addition to the magnificent fall foliage, October provides new fall and Halloween-themed activities such as visiting pumpkin patches and corn mazes.

Recommended Hotel: Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

Related: Best Food Spots in Chicago

29. Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania

Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania

Marienville, PA 16239 (814) 723-5150 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

The Allegheny National Forest, located in northwest Pennsylvania, is one of the most popular locations for seeing fall foliage.

The leaves begin to turn here in late September, and by mid-October, the woodland has transformed into a sea of gold.

What better way to see the trees ablaze with color than from the beautiful Kinzua Skywalk?

For unmatched vistas of Kinzua Bay and the Allegheny Reservoir, consider hiking along the unusual Hector Falls trail or ascending the hewn stone steps to Rimrock Overlook.

No wonder people say Allegheny National Forest offers the best trips in October for sightseeing.

Recommended Hotel: SureStay Hotel by Best Western Marienville

30. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores, AL (800) 745-7263 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Gulf Shores is noted for its beaches, trails, pier, golf courses, and zip line over the dunes.

If you are looking for the best places to visit in October in the USA, head to Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Along the pearly white shoreline, there are countless ways to celebrate the Halloween season.

On weekends, head to Foley’s Town of Terror for twists, turns, and other haunted home horrors.

Children can enjoy kid-friendly train rides, pony rides, a bounce house, pumpkin decorating, a haunted labyrinth, and other activities throughout the day.

There are also various festivals to attend in October, such as the Festival of Flavor and the Coastal Birdfest.

Recommended Hotel: The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel

Related: Top Gulf Shores Restaurants

Traveler’s Guide 

Comparing destinations: which one is right for you.

When choosing a destination to visit, compare each locations pros and cons, and consider your preferences and budget. 

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic drive through the Appalachian Mountains, offering breathtaking vistas and charming mountain towns. 

However, it can get crowded during peak seasons.

The Eastern Sierras, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, boast awe-inspiring alpine landscapes and a range of recreational activities like fishing and hiking.

But the high elevation may pose a challenge to some travelers

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior showcases unique rock formations, hidden waterfalls, and pristine beaches. 

If you’re going here, keep an eye on unpredictable weather conditions.

Alternatively, you can check out North Cascades National Park in the Pacific Northwest, which captivates visitors with its rugged peaks, glaciers, and amazing hiking trails.

However, remote location and challenging terrain might be less suitable for young children or individuals with mobility limitations.

How I Picked The Destinations 

As a well-experienced family travel writer, I have valuable insights to help you make informed choices. 

I personally visited and experienced all these places, both for pleasure and work. 

So trust me when I say I’ve got the inside scoop. 

In compiling this list of sweet destinations, I’ve considered budget, accessibility, and family-friendliness. 

So, I’ve got you covered whether you’re looking for an affordable place with easy access perfect for kids or just want something that ticks off all the boxes.

Our Rating Method

I rate these destinations based on the following criteria.

  • Family-friendly Activities: This criterion evaluates the family-friendly activities of every location. Does it offer kid-friendly events and activities? What entertainment options are available? Are there attractions for the whole family? Does it have public parks or zoos? I ask myself these questions when rating family-friendly activities. 
  • Safety: I use this to assess safety. Are the public spaces well-maintained? Does it have low crime rates? Is it safe for families? I consider these factors when evaluating safety. 
  • Affordability: I use this to evaluate affordability. Are there budget-friendly activities and entertainment options in the area? Does it have free attractions? Are there discounts and deals for tourists? I consider these questions when rating affordability. 
  • Accessibility: This criterion assesses accessibility. Does it have an efficient public transport system? Are the roads well-maintained and easy to navigate? Are there free parking spaces in popular areas? Are the popular attractions wheelchair accessible? I ask myself these questions when assessing accessibility. 
  • Educational Value: I use this to evaluate a destination’s educational value. Does it have kid-friendly museums? Does it have public libraries or visitor centers? Are there historical buildings and landmarks? Are there opportunities to experience and learn more about the area’s culture and traditions? I consider these factors when rating educational value. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the best us cities to visit in october.

The best US cities to visit in October include New York and Miami. 

Is California Nice In October?

Yes, California is generally nice in October with pleasant temperatures, especially in regions like Southern California and the Bay Area.

where travel in october

October is one of the best months to explore the United States. 

I hope our list of the best places to visit in October in the USA has inspired you to consider some new destination ideas. 

I was mesmerized by the alpine landscapes of the Eastern Sierras, and we spent a lot of time fishing in crystal clear lakes. 

Pictured Rocks was truly breathtaking, especially if you explore its shoreline by boat or kayak as we did. 

North Cascades National Park’s rugged beauty and endless hiking opportunities left me speechless. 

But after exploring countless captivating destinations, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina, emerged as our top pick. 

Its stunning fall foliage, wildlife encounters, and family-friendly activities offer an unbeatable combination. 

The affordability and educational value further enhance its appeal. 

Whether you’re roasting marshmallows by a campfire or exploring the picturesque trails, Blue Ridge Parkway promises a memorable family getaway. 

During my visit to Blue Ridge Parkway, I was captivated by the vibrant fall colors painting the landscape. 

My family and I spent a day hiking, spotting wildlife, and picnicking amidst the breathtaking scenery.

So pack your bags and set off for an unforgettable autumn adventure in the heart of nature.

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Best places to travel in October 2024 & 2025

Whether you’re looking for spring blooms, autumnal foliage or prime wildlife-viewing opportunities, you’ll find plenty of destinations to choose from if you’re planning to travel in October. Below are just some of the places we feel are at their best at this time of year, along with our suggestions on the best things to do there.

You could make the most of excellent hiking conditions in New Zealand, go whale watching in South Africa, or indulge in fresh produce during harvest time in Japan or Italy. And, in many of our chosen countries, you’ll be visiting outside the busiest times of year.

Festivals and events around the world in October

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Spain tends to bask in its last rays of sunshine in October, with temperatures still reaching a pleasant daily average of around 70°F. Add to this dwindling visitor numbers and you have an excellent month for exploring the country’s historic cities on foot, whether you want to tour the streets of Madrid, soak up Barcelona’s Art Nouveau architecture or delve into the history of Seville. Temperatures tend to be cooler in northern regions like the Basque Country, so if you’re looking to spend time on a beach, you’re better off heading south to Andalusia.

  • Don't miss: Ávila and Segovia
  • Flight time: 7 hours 40 upwards dependent on airline (New York to Madrid)
  • Time difference: UTC +1
  • October Temperature (Day): 66 to 79°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 1 to 5in, varies by region
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Roman aqueduct, Segovia

Mild days make October a comfortable month for exploring France’s cities and countryside. You might experience some inclement weather, but crowds will have dissipated around major attractions and the country’s vineyards are heavy with grapes ready for harvesting. You can spend a day hopping between chateaux, tasting the vintages of different wineries while surrounded by fields of red and gold, or enjoying the sights of Paris with fewer visitors to contend with. Your visit might fall during Paris Fashion Week or, on the first Saturday of October, Nuit Balance — a night-time art festival across Paris’s museums and galleries.

  • Don't miss: Médoc wine tour
  • Flight time: 7 hours 20 upwards dependent on airline (New York to Paris)
  • October Temperature (Day): 61 to 70°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 3 to 5in, varies by region
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Place des Vosges, Paris

3. Portugal

The weather in Portugal during October is generally still warm, particularly further south, with more comfortable temperatures for exploring and hiking than in the summer. That said, you should be prepared for the occasional downpour. Like in France, Portugal’s vineyards are ready for harvesting, making it an exciting time to visit the country’s wineries for a tasting. Beaches are quieter and there are fewer visitors in Lisbon and Porto, making it a great time for a city break. And, if you’re in the countryside, you can admire the fall colors coating the landscape.

  • Don't miss: Portuguese country cooking class
  • Flight time: 7 hours upwards dependent on airline (New York to Lisbon)
  • October Temperature (Day): 59 to 64°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 2 to 4in, varies by region
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Vineyard, La Rioja

With the countryside and city parks dappled in rich browns, flaming oranges and deep reds, and visitor numbers thinned from the summer months, October is one of the best times to visit England. Moorland is carpeted in vivid-purple heather, and while low clouds and rain are possible at some point during your trip, crisp, sunny autumn days showcase the country at its finest. After a bracing walk, you can cozy up beside a roaring fire in a traditional country pub. Or, if you’re sticking to the cities, you can soak up the sights with fewer people around to interrupt your experience.

  • Don't miss: North Lakes explorer
  • October Temperature (Day): 32 to 104°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 0 to 24in, varies by region
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Pulteney Bridge, Bath

5. Scotland

Much like England, Scotland’s main draw in October is its autumnal foliage, with the Highlands being particularly beautiful at this time of year. The weather is unpredictable, but that’s the case whenever you visit Scotland, and with fewer visitors you’ll find your own place of solitude as you explore the country’s lochs, glens, mountains and islands. It also means attractions are quieter in cities like Edinburgh, whose pubs and bars become welcome retreats on cooler days.

  • Don't miss: Castles and palaces of Edinburgh's surrounds
  • Flight time: 6 hours 30 upwards dependent on airline (New York to Glasgow)
  • October Temperature (Day): 52 to 55°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 6 to 11in, varies by region
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Kilchurn Castle

With days still warm and the sea still retaining the summer sun’s heat, October is an excellent time to visit Greece, and offers good value. Fewer people will be crowding around the country’s ancient sites, museums are still open but less busy and beaches will be quieter. You might experience some rain at this time of year, but most days are still soaked in sunshine. It’s a good month for hiking along the coast or among the country’s hills, which take on the golden glow of autumn. And, with it being harvest time, you’ll find plenty of fresh food to eat.

  • Don't miss: Hike to the monastery of Agia Matrona
  • Flight time: 9 hours 30 upwards dependent on airline (New York to Athens)
  • Time difference: UTC +3
  • October Temperature (Day): 68 to 73°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 2 to 3in, varies by region
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The Acropolis, Athens

While you’ll be lucky to avoid rain at this time of year, October in Ireland brings fresh air, beautiful autumnal hues across hills and woodland and a clutch of vibrant music and food festivals in Cork and Kinsale. A feeling of peace descends as visitor numbers fall, making it a good time to explore Dublin and Belfast’s historical and cultural attractions, tour whiskey distilleries or sample local food. Whether you’re sightseeing in a city or hiking in the countryside, you can end your day in a pub to warm up by the fire.

  • Don't miss: How to see traditional Ireland
  • Flight time: 6 hours 30 upwards dependent on airline (New York to Dublin)
  • October Temperature (Day): 54 to 57°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 3 to 6in, varies by region
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Connemara coast

8. Argentina

Wildflowers in full bloom, waterfalls in peak flow, whales visible off the coast and uncrowded city streets: October is one of the best months to visit Argentina. You’re there before the summer heat kicks in, making it a good time to hike in the Lake District, where you can see brilliant flowers carpeting valleys and lining glassy lakes. You can also explore Buenos Aires while enjoying mild temperatures and fewer visitors at its key attractions. In Mendoza, you can stroll through vineyards, sampling vintages as you go. And, you can take a boat trip from the Peninsula Valdes to see southern right whales, which are present from June to November.

  • Don't miss: How to spend two weeks in Argentina's Lake District
  • Flight time: 11 hours upwards dependent on airline (New York to Buenos Aires)
  • Time difference: UTC -3
  • October Temperature (Day): 50 to 77°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 1 to 4in, varies by region
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Bariloche, Argentina

As the monsoon season ends, October heralds the return of warm, sunny days, particularly in the north of India. The south can experience showers, but this creates vivid-green landscapes and freshens the air, making it a great time to explore outdoors, albeit with a waterproof jacket to hand. Average temperatures fall between 20°C and 30°C (68°F and 86°F). Despite the pleasant conditions, visitor numbers are still lower than in the coming months of November to January, so you can enjoy popular sights without the crowds. Your visit might also fall during Diwali, when everywhere is illuminated with candles, lights and fireworks.

  • Don't miss: An expert guide to experiencing festivals in India
  • Flight time: 15½ hours (Washington DC to New Delhi)
  • Time difference: UTC +5:30
  • October Temperature (Day): 50 to 97°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 0 to 13in, varies by region
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Leh Monastery, Ladakh, India

10. Australia

In the midst of Australia’s spring, October is warm but not sweltering. Its landscapes are often covered in a vibrant layer of wildflowers as a result of occasional storms in the more humid north, which also add to the lushness of the country’s rainforests and wetlands. It’s a good time for viewing wildlife whether you’re in the north or the south of the country, and conditions are excellent for following hiking trails through national parks and along the coast. We recommend taking the opportunity to explore the Blue Mountains’ well-marked trails before the summer visitors arrive.

  • Don't miss: Driving vacations in Australia: beyond the Great Ocean Road
  • Flight time: 20 hours upwards dependent on airline (New York to Sydney)
  • Time difference: UTC +7 to UTC +11
  • October Temperature (Day): 59 to 100°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 0 to 6in, varies by region
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Windjana Gorge, Devonian Reef National Parks

11. New Zealand

As spring dawns, days get warmer and snowmelt feeds waterfalls and makes rivers ripe for white-water rafting. You can still expect rain, as with any time of year in New Zealand, but this isn’t a country you visit for the weather. With warm layers and a waterproof jacket to hand, you can take advantage of New Zealand’s mountainous landscapes, glistening fiords and volcanic parks without the same level of visitors that summer brings, driving quiet roads and enjoying the pick of hotel options.

  • Don't miss: Ask the experts: where to go walking and trekking in New Zealand
  • Flight time: 18 hours 30 upwards dependent on airline (New York to Wellington)
  • Time difference: UTC +12
  • October Temperature (Day): 59 to 73°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 2 to 23in, varies by region
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Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

Autumn is unmistakable in Japan, with forests donning coats of bright red, blazing orange and warm gold. For the best displays during October, head to more northerly or high-altitude regions like Hokkaido. The weather is cooler than the summer, but still mild enough to enjoy time in the outdoors, making this a popular month for travel in Japan as people balance national parks with museums and galleries. October is also prime harvest time, so wherever you dine you can enjoy fresh, seasonal produce straight from the fields. You might also come across harvest festivals that range from low-key events to vibrant parades.

  • Don't miss: Traditional Kyoto Cuisine Walking Tour
  • Flight time: 14 hours upwards dependent on airline (New York to Tokyo)
  • Time difference: UTC +9
  • October Temperature (Day): 23 to 73°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 2 to 10in, varies by region
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Flower fields of Furano and Biei, Hokkaido

While China’s vast size means its climate varies by region, October is generally warm and dry. Visiting at this time means you’ll find a comfortable window between the humid conditions of summer and the cold winter months. We recommend avoiding the first week of October, when a national holiday means travel gets busy. But, the rest of the month is a good time to visit to enjoy autumnal displays in city parks and across rural landscapes, as well as mild temperatures and little rain.

  • Don't miss: The Great Wall of China: taking a quieter path
  • Flight time: 14 hours upwards dependent on airline (New York to Beijing)
  • Time difference: UTC +8
  • October Temperature (Day): 64 to 84°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 1 to 7in, varies by region
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Great Wall, Beijing

14. South Africa

Whale watching, wildflowers and wildlife viewing are all at their peak in South Africa during October, making it one of the best months to combine regions. Temperatures begin to heat up across the country, but the rains have yet to fall in the north. It means safari areas like the Kruger are still dry, making wildlife easier to spot as animals gather around vital water sources. Along the coast, southern right whales have yet to migrate south, so you can often see them breaching offshore. And, the country’s renowned wildflowers are still in bloom, covering the west coast’s dry and dusty landscape in a colorful carpet.

  • Don't miss: Whale watching in South Africa
  • Flight time: 20 hours (New York to Cape Town)
  • Time difference: UTC +2
  • October Temperature (Day): 72 to 86°F, depending on region
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Lion in the Kruger

With the heat of summer now faded, October makes for a more comfortable time of year to explore Italy, and you won’t see as many visitors flocking to the country’s attractions. As well as enjoying quieter city breaks in Rome and Venice, you could venture into the countryside, where harvest is in full swing. It’s a particularly good time to dine on a bounty of fresh mushrooms, olives, truffles and chestnuts. And, with festivals dedicated to food and wine taking place across the country, you can taste your way through its rolling hills, rustic towns and villages and verdant valleys.

  • Don't miss: Truffle hunting and tasting lunch
  • Flight time: 8 hours 25 upwards dependent on airline (New York to Rome)
  • October Temperature (Day): 48 to 63°F, depending on region
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Gondola, Venice

16. Thailand

While the weather can be difficult to predict in Thailand during October — it depends on the length of the monsoon season — lower humidity and fewer visitors arguably make this a more comfortable time to visit. For the best chance of avoiding rain, aim for the end of the month. That said, the odd downpour shouldn’t affect your trip too much, and creates lush, green landscapes in the north, where you can explore forests and waterfalls. If you’re planning to relax on the beach, be prepared to balance sunshine with heavy showers — staying on the mainland rather than one of the islands gives you a better chance of settled weather.

  • Don't miss: Trekking in Thailand: four of the best trails
  • Flight time: 23 hours (New York to Bangkok)
  • Time difference: UTC +7
  • October Temperature (Day): 86 to 90°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 5 to 14in, varies by region
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Waterfall in the Doi Inthanon National Park

Enjoying the warmth of spring, Chile in October sees brilliant wildflowers coating its central and northern regions, mild days ripe for exploring and a smattering of rain here and there. While southern Patagonia is still feeling winter’s chill, you’ll begin to experience less rain and longer daylight hours, so as long as you wrap up, it’s a good time for hiking. Elsewhere, the Atacama Desert is a year-round destination, while in cities like Santiago you’ll be rubbing shoulders with fewer visitors than you would during the upcoming summer months, and should get more for your money.

  • Don't miss: What to do in Chile: our highlights guide
  • Flight time: 15 hours upwards dependent on airline (New York to Santiago)
  • Time difference: UTC -4
  • October Temperature (Day): 54 to 81°F, depending on region
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Torres del Paine, Chile

As Peru reaches the end of its dry season in October, wildlife viewing in the Amazon rainforest and the country’s cloudforests is at its best and trekking conditions are excellent. The Sacred Valley trails will still be relatively crowd-free compared to the summer (though booking in advance is still required), and you can usually enjoy bright, sunny days with clear blue skies, along with mild-to-warm temperatures. Along the coast, surfers can pick up the early summer swells, or you can simply relax as temperatures in the north become increasingly pleasant.

  • Don't miss: Machu Picchu & the Amazon Rainforest
  • Flight time: 10 hours 30 upwards dependent on airline (New York to Lima)
  • Time difference: UTC -5
  • October Temperature (Day): 70 to 84°F, depending on region
  • October rainfall: 0 to 0in, varies by region
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The Sacred Valley

More ideas by month

Koh Kong National Park, Cardamom Mountains

Adventures of Alice

october travel destinations

31 Places to Visit in October: The Best October Getaways

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where travel in october

Are you wondering where to travel in October? Well, it’s an absolutely wonderful month to explore – especially in Europe and the US . It’s shoulder season in a lot of countries so prices are lower, and the weather is quite often still pleasantly mild. There are so many amazing places to visit in October.

There’s also Halloween , beer festivals, and beautiful fall foliage that makes everything from big forests to tiny English villages come alive with reds and oranges. Can you tell that autumn is my favourite time of year?

The beautiful views over Trogir, Croatia when we visited in October - it's one of the best places to visit in October

As well as being beautiful, it’s also the ideal time to travel. It’s shoulder season across most of the world, so airline prices are down. Hotel prices are also down, and the summer crowds have left! This is the main reason I love October getaways as opposed to the peak summer months. Most of my favourite trips (especially around Europe and the UK ) have been during this month.

31 Best Places to Visit in October

From visiting some of the most gorgeous beaches to a safari, chasing the Northern Lights or a European city break . if you’re wondering where to travel in October, here are the 31 best October travel destinations in the world. 

1. Budapest, Hungary

Average Temperature: 16 ° C – 8 ° C

A beautiful European city, Budapest oozes charm and nostalgia. It’s also grown significantly in travel popularity in recent years and it’s easy to see why! With its beautiful Parliament Building to the surprising cheapness of everything, it’s no wonder travellers are packing their bags and heading off to Hungary!

budapest is one of the best autumn city breaks

As well as the Parliament Building, make sure to visit the Fisherman’s Bastian, and Mattias Church, and take a dip in Budapest’s famous thermal baths. There’s easily enough to do in Budapest to fill a weekend. However, there are also plenty of trips you could take outside the city or to neighbouring countries if you want to stay a little longer.

2. Dalaman, Turkey

Average Temperature : 25 ° C – 14 ° C

An area known for its stunning coastline, natural beauty, and ancient ruins, the Dalaman region of Turkey is one of the best places to visit in October. It’s so much less crowded, but you can still enjoy great weather. We visited Antalya in October and the weather was perfect for exploring and sightseeing.

dalaman is one of the best places to travel in october

Some of the top attractions in Dalaman include the Dalyan Delta, where you can take a boat tour through the stunning wetlands and see the famous Lycian tombs carved into the cliffs. There’s also lots of history scattered around the Lycian way – visit the town of Fethiye to see more rock tombs. For beach lovers, the stunning beaches of Ölüdeniz and İztuzu are well worth a visit.

3. Paris, France

Average Temperature : 17 ° C – 10 ° C

Paris is one of those places where you can travel almost all year round. From fireworks from the Eiffel Tower to lazing in the Jardin des Plantes under the heat of the summer sun, you can’t go wrong with the French capital . However, there’s a reason this is one of the best places to travel in October.

paris is one of the best places to travel in October

Warm weather, fewer tourists (meaning fewer queues), and the French autumn festival season is just hotting up. You could watch spectacular fountain shows at Versailles, see a new ballet or Opera performance or see the gardens in full bloom at Giverny.

Plus, don’t forget a trip to the Louvre . Also, see the spectacular views from the top of the Eiffel Tower and go on a dinner cruise along the River Seine. You could even take a trip to Disneyland and see their delightful Halloween spectacle.

4. Greek Islands, Greece

Average Temperature: 25 ° C – 15 ° C

An idyllic, island-lovers paradise, Greece is a great place to visit from spring through to Autumn. Athens is also a great place to travel in Autumn as the weather makes exploring the gorgeous Acropolis much more bearable.

Lindos, Rhodes

However, in October, your choice of travel destinations in Greece is endless. Santorini’s whitewashed buildings and peaceful beaches always make for a popular choice. The history of Rhodes is also well worth a visit. Or you might prefer to explore somewhere a little more romantic and a little less touristy , like Kos or Milos.

Visit Mykonos for the vibrant nightlife and even more gorgeous beaches. Plus, it’s one of the best places to go in October because you’ll find much fewer crowds and much cheaper prices! Tempted? I don’t blame you.

5. Mexico City, Mexico

Average Temperature : 24°C – 10°C

One of the best times of year to visit Mexico City is in October. In late autumn, Mexico City is a vibrant and culturally rich city that doesn’t have the heat of peak summer. The weather is generally warm (but not too hot) and less busy than the peak times of December to April . Plus, if you visit towards the end of October, you may even have a chance to see the Day of the Dead festivities .

the palace of fine arts in Mexico city

This festival is one of the biggest draws of visiting Mexico City in autumn. The Day of the Dead festival, or Día de los Muertos, takes place on November 1st and 2nd. The city’s streets and plazas are filled with colourful decorations, traditional altars, and people dressed in elaborate costumes, as locals honour their loved ones who have passed away. It’s a fascinating experience and a worthy addition to your bucket list.

Aside from this, visit the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a stunning building that hosts exhibitions and performances; the historic centre of the city, where you can see landmarks like the Zócalo, the Cathedral, and the National Palace; and the many museums and galleries that showcase Mexico’s rich cultural heritage. I recommend the Museum of Anthropology because it’s amazing!

6. Reykjavik, Iceland 

Average Temperature : 7°C – 2°C

If you want a more wintery destination and love dramatic scenery, potentially snowy landscapes and glaciers, Iceland is the place for you . The country is packed full of natural wonders including the infamous Blue Lagoon, the breathtaking Northern Lights and sometimes active volcanoes .

Reykjavik is one of the best places to travel in October

Pair this with whale watching, magnificent churches, funky nightlife and some slightly questionable food (fermented shark, anyone?) and you’re without a doubt in for the trip of a lifetime!

7. Algarve, Portugal

Average Temperature : 24°C – 15°C

The gorgeous south of Portugal has beautiful beaches framed with limestone cliffs, a warm climate all year round ( even in February, the coldest month in Europe ), and charming towns.

One of the biggest reasons that the Algarve is one of my favourite places to go in October is that it is much less crowded than during the peak summer season. This place gets packed in summer! The autumn means that you can enjoy the region’s stunning beaches and natural beauty with far fewer tourists.

Visit the beaches of the Algarve in october

Explore the historic town of Lagos, with its charming cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, and stunning coastline. Visit the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a wetland area with a variety of bird species and walking trails, and the town of Portimao , which is known for its beautiful beaches and gorgeous harbourfront.

Plus, while you’re in the Algarve, don’t forget to sample their cuisine – fresh seafood, grilled meats, Portuguese wine, and pastel de nata!

8. Yosemite National Park, USA

Average Temperature : 22°C – 5°C

Visiting Yosemite National Park in October can be a wonderful choice for travellers looking to enjoy the stunning fall foliage, mild weather, and fewer crowds compared to the peak summer season.

The park’s trees turn vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red. The mild weather makes it a great time for hiking and exploring the park’s many trails and landmarks without getting too hot and bothered. And without fighting loads of other people for a good photo spot. You might even have iconic landmarks like the Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Falls all to yourself!

where travel in october

The weather in Yosemite in autumn can be variable, with temperatures ranging from around 5°C (40°F) to 20°C (68°F) during the day, and dropping down to below freezing at night. It is important to pack warm layers and appropriate gear for hiking in changing weather conditions. Nonetheless, with its beautiful scenery, and variety of outdoor activities, Yosemite is one of the best places to visit in October.

9. Munich, Germany

Average Temperature : 14°C – 5°C

Who can resist endless beer and bratwurst ? If that sounds like you, then you’ll love Munich! Easily one of the best places to visit in October, the German city is known for its famous Oktoberfest. The huge folk festival typically lasts between 16-18 days and usually attracts around 6 million people each year.

oktoberfest germany is one of the best things to do in october

As well as in Munich, there are similar events on a smaller scale all across the country . So it’s a great time for a little bit of a German road trip too. Prepare for plenty of eating, drinking, partying, dizzying fairground rides, colourful parades and traditional folk dress-up. Easily one of the best places to travel in October.

10. Paphos, Cyprus 

Average Temperature : 26°C – 16°C

One of the places in Europe that’s still pleasantly warm when autumn hits, Paphos is one of the best places to travel in October. Full of stunning beaches and plenty of fascinating ancient Greek history, a trip to Cyprus will stick in your memory.

where to go in october - Paphos is a great choice

There’s plenty of natural beauty including springs and deep gorges to explore. Avakus Gorge is one of my favourite hikes in Europe . So, whether you’re a fan of history, or adventure or would just like to relax by the waves sipping cocktails, Cyprus will give you a bit of everything.

11. The Lake District, England

Average Temperature : 12°C – 5°C

Although England can be known for its rather dreary weather, even with the downpours, the Lake District is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK . In October, it comes alive with an abundance of wildlife.

the autumn scenery at the lake disctrict

The gorgeous rainbow of autumn colours makes it even more special. Just 3 hours from London by train, the Lake District will make for an incredibly peaceful weekend . Go walking through the wilderness and bracken fens to getting on the water at Lake Windemere.

Or hike to the top of Scarfell Pike , England’s tallest mountain peak. Either way, there are plenty of things to keep you entertained. Plus, with the kind of beauty, you’ll see there, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

12. San Fransisco, USA

Average Temperature : 21°C – 13°C

I love San Fransico and the hilly, foggy, city is easily one of the best places to visit in October. The weather here is typically mild (up to 20°C (68°F)) which makes it a great time to explore the city’s many neighbourhoods, landmarks, and attractions. Additionally, the fall foliage in parks like Golden Gate Park and the Presidio can be stunning during this time of year.

seals at fishermans wharf san fransisco

While in San Fransisco you absolutely have to visit the Golden Gate Bridge. Alcatraz Island, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Painted Ladies are also well worth a visit. And, if you have time, explore the city’s diverse neighbourhoods, such as Chinatown, Haight-Ashbury, and the Mission District, each with its own unique character and attractions.

13. Split, Croatia

Average Temperature : 20°C – 14°C

Located on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, Split is one of the best places to visit in October. The gorgeous old town was one of my favourite places in Croatia .

split croatia is one of the best october travel destinations

The city’s other top landmarks, like the Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are ideal in October since the weather is mild enough to be able to enjoy them but hot enough to wear a T-shirt! The decrease in crowds is also pretty nice.

In addition to the Diocletian’s Palace, visitors can also explore other cultural attractions such as the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments, the Gallery of Fine Arts, and the Ivan Meštrović Gallery. The city also has a vibrant culinary scene, with many restaurants and cafes offering plenty of delicious dishes.

14. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Average Temperature : 31°C – 25°C

For the perfect dose of wildlife, amazing temples, and delicious food,  Cambodia  is one of the top October travel destinations. It’s just emerging from the rainy season, so expect a few scattered showers. But also expect average temperatures hovering just under 30°C and lots of colours in the countryside.

temples in siem reap cambodia

As well as the unmissable Angkor temples, pay a visit to one of the wildlife centres and you may even be in with a chance of seeing sun bears, leopard cats, and wild elephants. Just make sure your trip supports sustainable tourism and whatever you do, don’t ride the elephants!

Average Temperature : 25°C – 18°C

Malta is a great October getaway. The warm weather makes it a great time to explore the Dingli Cliffs, the Blue Lagoon, and the Blue Grotto. The island is rich in culture and you can explore ancient Megalithic Temples, wander the maze of cobbled streets in the old town, and explore the museums.

The capital, Valletta, is a vibrant city with plenty of rich history and architecture. Be sure to visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the Grand Master’s Palace, and the National Museum of Archaeology. I recommend taking a trip to Gozo too – you won’t regret it!

Malta is one of the best places to visit in October

Autumn falls between the peak summer season and the winter season in Malta. And, although you can visit the island all year round and still experience warm weather, it’s one of the best places to visit in October because you’ll still get the best weather. Plus, fewer crowds make exploring the island more pleasant and hotel rates and other costs are usually lower too.

16. Luxor, Egypt

Average Temperature : 35°C – 19°C

If you love history, Luxor is easily one of the best places to visit in October. This city in southern Egypt can get extremely hot in the summer. When we visited it was about 40 degrees and almost unbearably hot. The autumn months will make seeing this historic city much easier.

Luxor is one of teh best places to visit in October

Some of the best places to visit are the Valley of the Kings, the Karnak Temple Complex, and the Luxor Temple. You can also take a hot air balloon ride over Luxor for a unique and memorable perspective of the city and its surrounding desert landscape.

If you enjoy getting out on the water, I also recommend a cruise along the River Nile River. Many tour providers offer this and it gives you a chance to take in the beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere. After you’ve spent some time on the river, head into the vibrant city to barter over local crafts, spices and textiles with the locals.

17. Florence, Italy

Average Temperature : 21°C – 11°C

Florence, the capital of Tuscany in Italy, is one of the best places to travel in October. This gorgeous city is full of stunning architecture and within easy day-trip distance of other popular Italian destinations like Pisa , and Cinque Terra .

florence is one of the best october travel destinations

Florence is fascinating . You could spend hours exploring the main Piazza alone with its stunning Cathedral and Baptistery. Also, visit the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia Gallery for a deeper dive into the culture.

The Italian gem is also known for its beautiful fall scenery, with the changing leaves adding a vibrant splash of colour to the city’s already picturesque streets and piazzas.

18. Izmir, Turkey

Izmir is a wonderful Turkish city, rich in cultural attractions. The Archaeological Museum is great, and the Izmir Clock Tower is really scenic. I also highly recommend visiting the nearby Ephesus , one of the ancient wonders of the world, and our reason for visiting Izmir in the first place.

It’s absolutely magnificent, and if you’re wondering where to go in October, you can’t go wrong with Izmir. It will be so much more bearable (we visited in June so trust me on this one!).

Konak square, Izmir

In the autumn, the weather in Izmir is generally warm but not overly hot like in the summertime. With an average temperature of around 25°C, it’s a great time to explore the area. Konak Square, the Asansor and Izmir Agora are all fascinating.

19. Bruges, Belgium

Average Temperature : 15°C – 9°C

Bruges is an absolutely wonderful choice during the autumn months. It’s the perfect time to explore this enchanting city with its cobbled streets, winding canals, and historic charm.

Bruges is one of the best places to visit in October as the autumn foliage transforms the city into a haven of red and gold. The pleasant, crisp weather makes it ideal for strolling through the quaint streets, eating every Belgian chocolate you can find, and enjoying the local beer.

the canals of Bruges, Belgium

Plus, you’ll find that the crowds have thinned out compared to the busy summer months. With fewer crowds and lower hotel prices, Bruges becomes an ideal destination for an October getaway. It’s also easy to explore other parts of Belgium from Bruges – you can get a train directly to Brussels and Ghent , making this a great month for exploring the country.

20. Vienna, Austria

Vienna , in autumn, takes on a special kind of elegance. The city’s grand architecture, historic coffeehouses, and cultural treasures blend harmoniously with the changing foliage. The air is crisp, and the city is transitioning into the shoulder season, so you’ll find a quieter and more authentic experience.

best things to do in vienna

You can enjoy a warm apple strudel in a classic Viennese café while admiring the golden leaves in the city’s parks. What’s more, Vienna’s cultural scene is in full swing, with music festivals and art exhibitions galore. Vienna in October is a delightful blend of cultural richness and autumnal beauty.

21. Devon and Somerset, England

Average Temperature : 15°C – 8°C

To tell the truth, I’m an English girl through and through and I love exploring my own country. Devon and Somerset are two of my favourite areas (as well as Dorset , Cambridge , and London ) but this time of year, these English gems are awash with autumnal beauty.

The beautiful city of bath in Somerset

Imagine wandering through quaint villages, their thatched roofs adorned with russet leaves, and exploring the rugged, windswept coastlines with dramatic cliffs and hidden coves. The countryside comes alive with the scent of crisp, fallen leaves and the promise of cosy pubs serving hearty stews and roast dinners.

It’s the ideal time to enjoy West Country cider and traditional cream teas while taking leisurely walks through exploring historic sites like Bath or the wild beauty of Dartmoor National Park . You’ll also find much fewer tourists around, so you’ll likely have many of these beautiful places to yourself.

22. Rome, Italy

Average Temperature : 22°C – 12°C

Rome without the mad tourist crowds? I must be joking, right? But nope, if you want a chance to visit the Colosseum without queuing for an hour, Rome is one of the best places to visit in October.

where travel in october

Rome in October is a great fusion of ancient history and the beauty of autumn. It’s the ideal time to visit iconic landmarks, such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the Vatican, and the weather is just right – not too hot, not too cold.

You’ll have the chance to explore the city’s charming neighbourhoods and bustling piazzas, all while enjoying the rustling of leaves under your feet. And don’t get me started on the food – indulging in bowls of authentic pasta and gelato is an absolute must!

23. The Canary Islands, Spain

Average Temperature : 26°C – 20°C

The Canary Islands in October are an idyllic destination for those in search of some late-year sun. With pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds compared to the summer months, you’ll find these Spanish gems at their most inviting. And, the warm but not scorching weather is just perfect.


The volcanic landscapes, lush forests, and dramatic coastlines take on a new, beauty in the autumn. Whether you’re hiking through the rugged terrain of Tenerife’s Mount Teide or unwinding on the pristine sands of Gran Canaria , the islands offer a diverse range of activities.

Plus, with the summer crowds gone, you’ll find a more tranquil and laid-back atmosphere, perfect for exploring local markets and savouring authentic Canary Island cuisine. October in the Canaries is like an extended summer with just a touch of serenity.

24. Edinburgh, Scotland

Average Temperature : 13°C – 6°C

If you feel like walking through a Harry Potter film set in the autumn, then I highly recommend a trip to Edinburgh . Now, of course, I can’t promise you that it won’t rain. But I can promise that the city’s iconic architecture, from the medieval Old Town to the elegant Georgian buildings of the New Town, looks even more majestic against the golden autumn leaves.

Beautiful views over Edinburgh

The crisp air carries the promise of cosy evenings by the fireplace in traditional Scottish pubs, sipping on whisky and eating hearty stews. With fewer tourists around, you’ll have a chance to explore the city’s nooks and crannies, visit the haunted underground vaults, and enjoy the rich culinary scene, from haggis to buttery shortbread, just before it gets busy again in winter !

25. Petra, Jordan

Average Temperature : 29°C – 13°C

For undeniably beautiful wonders that you won’t see anywhere else on the planet, head over to the Middle Eastern gem that is Jordan. Despite being surrounded by conflict, Jordan remains a peaceful country.

The locals and some of the friendliest and most generous in the Middle East. Most definitely one of those destinations that will take you by surprise. Be sure to visit the incredible sight of Petra, where the sunbeams will give the walls a light pink glow.

petra jordan is one of the best places to visit in October

Travel to the Roman city of Jerash, float in the Dead Sea and explore some of the greatest desert landscapes in the world.  Plus, this is another of the best places to travel in October where you can stay in a traditional Bedouin camp underneath the stars.

26. Chobe, Botswana

Average Temperature : 36°C – 21°C

Possibly one of the world’s greatest safari destinations, Botswana will both delight and captivate you. Although it’s certainly much hotter in October (the south is slightly cooler than the north), that gives you a higher chance of seeing wildlife at watering holes.

safari in botswana

The Chobe River is a particularly popular place, as you’ll have a chance to see herds of wild elephants. Then there’s the Okavango Delta, a beautiful wetland wilderness teeming with many different species. Plus, prices also drop at the end of the month, making it one of the best places to visit in October.

27. Transylvania, Romania

Average Temperature : 18°C – 6°C 

If you’re interested in the more underrated (and much less crowded) travel destinations in Europe, Romania should definitely be on your list. The home of Bram Stoker’s Dracula inspirations, the country boasts one of the best Halloween celebrations in the world. You can actually spend a night partying inside Dracula’s Castle!

transylvania is one of the best places to visit in october

However, if you’re not tempted by the vampire side of Romanic, there are still plenty of towering Gothic churches and medieval towns to explore. Romania’s autumn colours can rival that of New England, so you’ll be greeted with a rush of fiery red and gold making it one of the best places to visit in October. Make sure to pack for a cooler escape as it can certainly be chilly at this time of year.

28. Marrakesh, Morocco 

Average Temperature : 28°C – 15°C

The cultural capital of Africa is much more bearable once the scorching heat of summer has subsided. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still get warm temperatures, but you’ll also be able to leave your air-conditioned hotel room without feeling like you’re going to melt.

Morocco is known for its colourful markets, exotic spices and distinct pottery and ceramics. You’ll definitely be able to find some wonderful souvenirs to bring home.

Morocco is one of the top places to visit in october

But as well as material things, you’ll also find the endless Sahara Desert, towering sand dunes, the Atlas Mountains, wild beaches and authentic Bedouin camps beneath the stars. It’s easy to fall in love with Morocco, and it’s one of the best cities to visit in October.

29. New England, USA

Average Temperature : 20°C – 11°C

A favourite travel destination for the classic beauty of autumn foliage and multi-coloured leaves, New England is one of the best places to visit in October. The USA is a great place to travel in the fall. But nowhere puts on an autumn spectacle quite like New England.

new england fall foliage

From Maine to Rhode Island, the state comes alive with amber and gold. Simply taking long, relaxing walks through the crunchy foliage might be exactly what you need to prepare yourself for the busy festive season ahead!  Alternatively, hire a car and plan a fun road trip through the state, stopping at as many autumn festivals as you can find along the way.

30. Hanoi, Vietnam

Average Temperature : 29°C – 22°C

You can’t beat a trip to South-East Asia ! With mouth-wateringly delicious food, super cheap prices and exceptional coffees, Vietnam is definitely one of the best places to travel to in October. There’s also plenty to keep you entertained from long, white beaches to fascinating historical monuments and Buddhist temples.

Hanoi is one of the best places to travel in october

Plus, as the country was previously French territory, there are also some really beautiful colonial villages to explore. So, whether you fancy the hectic, frenzied lifestyle of Ho Chi Minh or the chilled beach vibes of Hoi An, Vietnam is a great choice for autumn travel.

31. Mauritius 

For lazy beach days, hot sun, tropical island vibes , and dreamy ocean cabins, Mauritius sums up a lot of people’s holiday goals. If you’re wondering where to travel in October, you can’t go wrong with the Indian Ocean.

They’re just coming out of their winter meaning their near-perfect beaches and forest greenery are at their lushest. But Mauritius is not all lying around on beaches, however.

Maritius is one of the best places to travel in october

For the more active types, there’s also loads of natural beauty to explore as well as water sports, snorkelling and scuba diving. The Black River Gorges National Park is an absolute must-see.

Famed for its stunning waterfalls, there’s a tonne of wildlife to spot including wild boar, monkeys and plenty of colourful wild birds. You could also hike to the top of Le Morne Brabant, visit Tamarind Falls, or go on a boat trip to Ile aux Cerfs, one of the many beautiful islands surrounding Mauritius.

My favourite tools for finding cheap travel

  • SKYSCANNER – For amazing flight deals.
  • BOOKING.COM – For affordable hotels and accommodation.
  • SAFETY WING – For affordable, reliable travel insurance.
  • DISCOVER CARS – For cheap car hire around the world.
  • OMIO – For trains, coaches, and transfers.
  • GET YOUR GUIDE – For attractions and tours.
  • AIRALO – For a global eSim that keeps you connected.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you make a purchase. But, I only recommend products and companies that I use and love.

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Alice Smith is a full-time travel blogger and content creator and the founder of Adventures of Alice. Following an unexpected redundancy from her career as a Content Marketing Specialist, she embraced her passion for exploration and turned her hobby of travel blogging into a full-time career.

From her roots near Cambridge, UK, she's ventured to over 30 countries since 2016. With a passion for the outdoors and a knack for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, Alice is on a mission to show that budget travel can still be luxurious and that every destination, no matter how touristy, holds hidden gems.

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10 Best Places to Travel in October

Prepare yourself for a month of spirited traditions and natural transformation..

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Ah, October. The Goldilocks time to travel, when everything’s just right. Weather, crowds, and prices are all moderate, and the only thing over the top is the schedule of events and festivals.

We’ve scoured the world for the best this month, whether you want to chop your way through the home of karate, immerse yourself in an alternative Day of the Dead, or even tackle some hikes in an unexpected European mountain range. Here are 10 top places to travel in October.

1. Arcadia, Greece

Village in mountain-covered pine forests

Come to Greece in October and visit Dimitsana, one of the villages found in Arcadia.

Photo by ollirg/Shutterstock

October is great for . . . an alternative outdoor vacation in the heart of the Mediterranean.

To Renaissance writers, the Arcadian ideal was a shorthand for earthly paradise. To modern travelers, the IRL Arcadia can offer much of what they dreamed, located in a quiet corner of Greece in the Peloponnese that’s easily overlooked by those rushing to fly and flop on one of its many islands.

Pause, though, and dawdle on the mainland and you’ll be rewarded by a different vision of the country. Come here in fall to go mountain biking, horse riding, or even mushroom foraging; the Menalon Trail here was the first in Greece to earn “leading quality” status from the European Ramblers’ Association, a mark not only of its high-caliber maintenance but also its sustainable impact on local communities. Follow its almost five-mile length via shepherds’ tracks and steep valleys, and you’ll see why the ancient Greeks considered this area the home turf of Pan, the untameable god of the wild.

There’s ample centuries-old human history here, too, whether cliffside monasteries Prodoromos and Philosophos that date back to the Byzantine era or villages like Bytina and Dimitsana. And don’t leave without picking up a jar of fir-tree honey, a signature product of this region thanks to the millennia-old fir forests that cover the 6,500-foot-high Mount Mainalo.

Where to stay: Manna

  • Book now: Manna

Come to this mountain retreat for a Greek riff on wellness, surrounded by fresh mountain air in a property originally built as a sanatorium in the 1920s and rebooted as a 32-room boutique hotel that opens this fall.

How to get to Athens

If you can, hop on the affordably priced Fifth Freedom flight that Emirates operates between New York and Athens—those throwbacks are always a bargain—or try the Delta service from Atlanta or American from Chicago, both of which are seasonal and end this month. It’s a 2.5-hour drive to the Peloponnese from there.

Four women wearing traditional Dia de Los Muertos sugar skull masks participate at the famous Hispanic celebration. People at Day of The Dead festival in South Texas

Día de los Muertos has its roots in Mexico, and is celebrated to honor the lives of ancestors and cycle of life and death.

Photo by Moab Republic/Shutterstock

2. San Antonio, Texas

October is great for . . . celebrating border culture, both haunted and hungry..

Don’t assume you need to cross the border to immerse yourself in a swirling, impactful celebration of Dia de los Muertos—the largest such gathering stateside is right here, a nod to San Antonio ’s close cultural and geographical connections to Mexico .

For two days, October 28–29, expect the city to celebrate the afterlife via a special Day of the Dead river parade and the usual trappings of a citywide festival—think live music and entertainment, food and craft stalls plus a huge, open altar exhibition. Expect bunches of marigolds ( cempasúchil ), paper cutouts, and the chance to nibble on pan de muerto.

The Tasting Texas Wine & Food Festival coincides with this celebration, running on Maverick Plaza from October 26 to 29, which includes special dinners at restaurants around the city as well as stand-alone events like Southern Hospitality, a chance to graze buffet-style on the best the city’s chefs have to offer.

Where to stay: Thompson Riverwalk

  • Book now: Thompson Riverwalk

The two-year-old, 162-room hotel, housed in a 20-story building right above the River Walk in the emerging Arts District has two noteworthy F&B spots—a swanky restaurant by local chef, and James Beard finalist, Steve McHugh, and a casual rooftop restaurant for maximum views, the Moon’s Daughters.

How to get to San Antonio

There’s direct service from the West Coast on AA, Delta, and Southwest, or try JetBlue or United from the Tri-State area.

Forest land against a coast during golden hour

The island of Dominica is located on the Eastern Caribbean Sea.

Photo by Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

3. Dominica

October is great for . . . celebrating the Caribbean’s musical heritage. For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, October 27–29 will mark the return of the country’s World Creole Festival . Anchored by Windsor Park Stadium in the capital, Roseau, it’s intended to champion music indigenous to this island, which also has influences from both Great Britain and France. It caps Creole heritage month and draws more than 10,000 visitors from around the globe to hear music like bouyon, which emerged on the island in the 1980s and has become popular across the entire Caribbean region.

While you’re here, don’t miss the local rum, which comes spiked with bois bandé, a local bark said to have aphrodisiac qualities. Also, take time to loll in the hot springs around Wotten Waven—a dip or two here is said to be skin-rejuvenating.

Where to stay: Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort

  • Book now: Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort

Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort is an unusual all-inclusive option, as its rates don’t just bundle F&B; activities like lionfish catching and hikes to the likes of Trafalgar Falls and Titou Gorge are also gratis.

How to get to Dominica

American Airlines services Dominica nonstop from MIA at least twice weekly this month, a new connection that’s unlocked the island for a quick weekend getaway.

Red Japanese castle with red and white striped courtyard

Visit Okinawa and you can see sights like Shuri Castle in Naha.

Photo by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

4. Okinawa, Japan

October is great for . . . experiencing a martial art in its spiritual home.

In Japan ’s tropical answer to Hawai‘i, October 25 is Karate Day or heiwa no bu , the martial art of peace. The sport is said to have originated here, when the islands were an independent kingdom for several centuries apart from the Chrysanthemum throne, and there are more than 400 dojos on the main island now. Come to learn a few moves from the free demos all along Kokusai Street in the capital of Naha.

Even better, this is the ideal time to be outdoors here, as the temps hover comfortably in the high 70s or low 80s; it’s the end of the beach season, so you can find a few secluded sand spits somewhere on one of the 6,000-plus islands that comprise this corner of the country. Take a one-hour boat ride from Naha for a day trip to Aharen Beach.

Make sure to stay up late, too, for some impressive live music in the venues around the island. Thanks to the longtime U.S. military base here, the tropical island cluster has become the hard rock hub of the country, producing a slew of its best riff-strikers like metal legends Taia.

Where to stay: Halekulani Okinawa Resort

  • Book now: Halekulani Okinawa Resort

This 360-room outpost of the luxe Hawai‘i hotel was one of the first true high-end properties to open here in some time when it debuted in summer 2019. Japan’s pandemic-induced border closures have kept it as pristine as it was within weeks of opening.

How to get to Okinawa

Head to HND, the handier, international hub in Tokyo that has elbowed aside onetime focus NRT: Look for flights there from JFK on ANA or JAL, plus LAX on American, among others. The flight time is just under three hours from there to Okinawa.

White bear searching for salmon in river, Pacific Coast, BC, Canada

Sonora Island is within the Great Bear Rainforest, a temperate rain forest in British Columbia.

Photo by Lynn A/Shutterstock

5. Sonora Island, British Columbia

October is great for . . . spawning salmon and the grizzlies that love them.

For the first two weeks of this month, you can still arrange a grizzly bear tour and see these beasts roaming their natural habitat, snacking at will on a salmon or two. Half of Canada’s entire population of grizzlies lives in B.C., which vastly increases your chance to spot them; expect to see adults and cubs in ample numbers.

Those salmon are a stand-alone appeal for humans, too: The chilly rivers teem with spawning fish through the beginning of this month, whether coho, steelhead, or pink—all five main species pass through the waters here. Stand on the waterside and watch with awe, or head out on a boat for a catch-and-release fishing session on the river.

Where to stay: Sonora Resort

  • Book now: Sonora Resort

Sonora Resort is a glamorous ranch-style hotel set in a rugged countryside ideal for any get-up-and-go traveler with its own indoor tennis court, nine-hole putting green, and fly fishing ponds. Its 88 rooms are spread through a dozen, widely distributed lodges, maximizing both privacy and connection to nature.

How to get to Sonora Island

The closest hub is Vancouver, which has nonstop service from the East Coast on JetBlue and Air Canada, and flights from LAX and ORD, too on American and United. From there, the best connection is a 50-minute puddle jumper—book a seat with the hotel’s reservations team and fight for a seat with the best chance of taking a few snaps of the jaw-dropping views en route.

Sigatoka river in Viti Levu, FIji Islands

Viti Levu is Fiji’s largest island.

Photo by Viktor Hejna/Shutterstock

6. Viti Levu, Fiji

October is great for . . . glorious weather and national celebrations.

Sure, the weather is warm here this month—expect it to hover around 80 degrees during the day, with much lower humidity than in the summer—and the rainfall low before the wet season properly starts. Come this month, though, for a chance to immerse yourself in the country’s culture, as it celebrates Fiji Day on October 10.

This marks the date when the nation emerged from British rule in 1970, and locals will dress up in period costumes dating back to the 1870s, when it was first annexed on October 10, 1874, to reenact the Deed of Cessation. There is a military parade—brace yourself for some ear-splitting cannon blasts—as well as a celebration of the dual cultures that dominate Fiji today: native Fijian and Indian. Expect market stalls filled with headpieces and sarongs, plus lots of music and parades.

Where to stay: Nanuku Resort Fiji

  • Book now: Nanuku Resort Fiji

The 500-acre private estate sits on the south coast of Viti Levu, the largest of the 300 or so islands in this nation, and operates much like a safari camp on a luxe all-inclusive basis. Its sustainability efforts, under the Batiwai Project umbrella, are world class.

How to get to Viti Levu

Head to Fiji on the country’s national carrier with direct flights to Nadi, the main airport, from LAX and SFO.

Scenic Mohawk Trail highway hairpin turn in autumn, Massachusetts, USA. Fall in New England. Aerial drone shot.

The Mohawk Trail is more than 60 miles long and includes stops like Western Gateway Heritage State Park and Natural Bridge State Park.

Photo by haveseen/Shutterstock

7. Western Massachusetts

October is great for . . . the ultimate fall foliage adventure.

Sure, travelers may assume the only place worth visiting in Massachusetts in October is Salem, but why not head a little west instead and shuck off the shuddery associations? Better to focus on some of the leaves on the slopes of the Berkshires: Usually, it’s at peak for the first couple of weeks this month, as the oaks, maples, and more change colors before carpeting the ground. The best route to follow is the Mohawk Trail , a 63-mile track taking in 50,000 acres of state parks and forest that opened in 1914, the first such scenic trail in the region.

On the first Sunday of the month, North Adams hosts a downtown parade celebrating the season. Don’t worry if you can’t make it that weekend: You can still hike the 14-mile or so Ashuwillticook Rail Trail or the shorter round trip of 5 miles on the Keystone Arch Bridges Trail; both once carried trains but have now been repurposed for walkers. Stop off, too, at Mass MOCA , the installation-heavy museum en route, as well as the so-called Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, right at the end of its blooming season heavy with dahlias, roses, and asters.

Where to stay: Warfield House Inn

  • Book now: Warfield House Inn

The family-owned, 14-room property in Charlemont is on its own 180-acre mountaintop preserve and working farm. During the summer it’s renowned as a wedding venue, but by fall it’s well suited for a hike around the grounds.

How to get to Western Massachusetts

There’s an airport in Bradley, Connecticut, served by Frontier from Atlanta, Breeze from Fort Myers and Raleigh-Durham, and several other low-cost carriers. For Northeasterners, Amtrak’s service to Springfield or Pittsfield is the handiest.

Sunset over White Pine Range of Mountains in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in White Pine County outside Ely, Nevada

While in Ely, travelers can visit the nearby Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Photo by Dominic Gentilcore PhD/Shutterstock

October is great for . . . a star trek.

On October 14, 2023, the biggest celestial event of the year will take place, a solar eclipse—and the first of its kind in 11 years. It’s what’s called an annular eclipse, where the moon is just far enough from the Earth that it doesn’t entirely obscure the sun, but rather creates a dazzling ring of fire effect as it moves. It will be visible in much of the western USA, but one of the best spots to enjoy it will be Ely, Nevada, which sits directly in the path of totality—there, the eclipse will last for around 3.5 minutes starting from 9:24 a.m.

The area is celebrating its status as an eclipse spotter’s favorite via a five-day Ring of Fire Eclipse Festival , which starts on October 11. It will feature UFO events at the local White Pine Museum and the chance to ride the Nevada Northern Railway to view the eclipse, accompanied by NASA-affiliated interpreters.

Where to stay: Hotel Nevada

  • Book now: Hotel Nevada

Dating back to 1929, this 64-room property was a celebrity favorite as it has hosted guests like actor Jimmy Stewart, singer Charlie Rich, and actress Ann Rutherford. It has just undergone a much-needed upgrade after a recent renovation.

How to get to rural Nevada

The easiest option for most visitors is Salt Lake City airport in Utah, a 3.5-hour drive away—it’s one of Delta’s main hubs, and the carrier connects it to most major cities across the country. If you’d rather not drive that far, check the once-daily commercial flight from SLC to EKO, operated by Delta subsidiary Skywest.

Sunrise over Rockford Common in the New Forest National Park in Hampshire

England’s New Forest National Park covers more than 200 square miles.

Photo by Helen Hotson/Shutterstock

9. London, United Kingdom

October is great for . . . classic cocktails and country walks.

Instead of the New England countryside, consider heading to England’s New Forest this fall. The name is a misnomer, an almost millennium-long holdover from William the Conqueror’s time, who called it the Nova Foresta. Today, it’s one of the largest undeveloped tracts of pasture and forest in the entire country at more than 71,000 acres. There are some 140 trails and walks quilting the countryside from which you can enjoy the fall colors: Don’t miss the quarter-mile-long Knightwood Oak trail, named after a redwood-like oak tree at its heart whose trunk has a 24-foot circumference.

Head back to the capital for London Cocktail Week, October 12–22, which hits its 13th year in 2023. Pick up a wristband for £15 (around US$19), and then ricochet between more than 300 bars in the capital, where you’ll score cut-price drinks as an LCW insider when you flash that band. Expect the same assortment as last year, including master classes, special pop-up venues, and chances to meet master distillers.

Where to stay: Chewton Glen

  • Book now: Chewton Glen

Did someone say tree house? There are 72 standard rooms here, but the real appeal is the 14 spots that allow you to crash amid the canopies 35 feet above the ground, indulging your inner kid.

How to get to London

There are budget carriers like Norse and Play, offering cut-price no-frills trips from the East Coast. Also consider JetBlue’s new service from BOS and JFK—there’s even a daytime flight from the latter, which means you don’t need to worry about struggling for shut-eye on a red-eye.

The Negev is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel.

Israel’s Negev desert region is found in southern Israel.

Photo by Alexander Ingerman/Shutterstock

October is great for . . . indie culture in an alternative setting.

Come in the first week of the month to enjoy the four-day Tamar Festival , which runs October 2–6 and coincides with the joyous festival of Sukkot. Its name, which means “date,” is intended to symbolize the end of the harvest season, and the eclectic programming showcases creatives of all kinds at several sites at the foot of Mount Masada. Concerts take place in the evening and at sunrise.

From October 12 to 14, indie music festival InDnegev is held out in the wilds of the Negev Desert in the country’s southern reaches. Think of it as the Middle Eastern answer to Glastonbury or Woodstock, a chance to enjoy more than 100 shows featuring both well-known names and upcoming performers. It started in 2007 and has grown ever since, drawing around 12,000 fans each year. The lineup in 2022 included Afghan Whigs and Tess Parks, as well as local talents like Evyatar Banai and Shlomi Shaban.

Where to stay: The Beresheet Hotel

  • Book now: The Beresheet Hotel

This 111-room five-star resort sits right in the Negev Desert, overlooking the Ramon Crater, the 24-mile-long so-called erosion cirque, created millions of years ago when this land was under water—take a thrilling Jeep tour to see it up close.

How to get to Israel

It’s easy to reach Israel from American’s main hubs, with flights on Delta, El-Al, and United from Miami, Los Angeles, NYC, and San Francisco.

Orange sand desert with rock formations

The Boutique Adventurer: Luxury Adventure Travel Blog focussed on Emerging Destinations for those over 35

27 Best Places to Visit in October in the USA for Stunning Fall Colors

By: Author Amanda OBrien

Posted on Last updated: 19/03/2024

Fall paints the states of America in vivid colour as luscious green leaves turn over to red, orange, and yellow. With the dramatic change, October kicks off the beginning of the spooky season, which means Halloween, pumpkins, hay rides, and more. It is a perfect time to visit the United States.

This is the time when people swap out their usual coffees for pumpkin spice lattes, and the summer heat is replaced by a crispness in the air. Whether you’re looking for  sunny US destinations  in fall or want to embrace the season of change, there’s plenty for you to do.

So, get ready to have a look at some of the best places to visit in October in the USA.

27 Best Places to Visit in October in the USA

Find the best events and activities to do in October right here, from exploring the great outdoors in Wyoming and Minnesota to cosy fall activities in New England. Whether it’s apple picking, getting lost in a corn maze, or going on a scary ghost tour, you’ll be sure to have a great time this fall. 

1. Las Vegas, Nevada

things to do in vegas besides gamble

Sin City is definitely a bucket list location, and taking a trip to  Vegas in October  is great for many reasons. 

If you enjoy the outdoors, check out  Red Rock Canyon . It’s a beautiful spot that stands out in the desert with a pop of red colour. It’s perfect for hiking, especially in the cooler seasons. Valley of Fire is another must-see for the outdoor lovers. This state park is filled with amazing rock formations made from Aztec sandstone. 

The annual Las Vegas Food and Wine Festival happens in October and is great for the foodies. If you’re feeling the spooky season, go on a  haunted ghost tour . There are a few, and you can choose a walking or bus adventure. Your trip may include stops at haunted hotels, casinos, and iconic landmarks like the High Roller. 

Next Read:  The best pumpkin patches in Las Vegas

2. Albuquerque, New Mexico 


Photo by  cajunbutton  on Pixabay.

If you’re planning a visit to Albuquerque in October, check out the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. Thousands of people from all around the country gather to witness this magnificent event. Get ready to see over 500 hot air balloons take to the sky and fill it with an array of colours. This could be the best time of year to visit Albuquerque. 

Explore one of the  USA’s most diverse cities  without the heat. The annual New Mexico Brew Fest takes place this time of year and is a lot of fun. Over 70 breweries come together to showcase what this state has to offer. 

If you’re looking for something spooky, take an  Old Town ghost tour . Learn about the history as you explore the neighbourhoods, listen to the ghost stories, and hear about all the paranormal encounters. 

3. Sleepy Hollow, New York 


Photo by  Steven Van Elk  on Pexels

A town known for its ghost stories, especially one in particular, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. A headless horseman and a missing man? It sure sounds interesting. And you can enjoy your October in this small town built on Washington Irving’s iconic short story. 

The annual Jack O’Lantern Blaze takes place this time of year at the Van Cortlandt Manor and is an absolute must. Make your way through the 18th-century land as you enjoy the beautiful set-up of over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins. Each section tells a story or depicts a beautiful scene. 

Another fun activity is the Sleepy Hollow Haunted Hayride and Block Party. Enjoy all the jump scares on your hay wagon ride as you make your way down Albany Post Road. Don’t forget to visit the Old Dutch Church and cemetery. 

4. San Diego, California 


Photo by  Lucas Fonseca  on Pexels

San Diego is a great place to visit in October. The weather is perfect, and the crowds are minimal. This city doesn’t shy away from its Halloween activities, and it’ll be pretty hard not to be in the festive spirit. 

The Birch Aquarium, Seaworld, and the  San Diego Zoo  all offer Halloween-themed adventures. It’s a great way to see these wonderful sights while celebrating All Hallows’ Eve. The annual La Jolla Art and Wine Festival also occurs this time of year and is an absolute must. Enjoy the works of over 150 artists while enjoying the delicious wine and tasty food. 

If you’re a film enthusiast, check out the San Diego International Film Festival. This five-day event screens over 100 films from around the world. 

Next Read:  The best pumpkin patches in San Diego

5. Portland, Oregon


Photo by  MOHANN  on Pixabay

Fall in love with the fall foliage in Oregon’s largest city. If you enjoy the outdoors, Portland is one of the best places to visit in October. Enjoy breathtaking hikes while being surrounded by the various shades of autumn. 

Portland loves all things Halloween, and you’ll find plenty to do in this rainy city. From corn mazes to pumpkin patches and, of course, haunted houses, the fun-filled opportunities are endless.  The Spirit of Halloweentown  is great fun and includes some spooky stories, movie locations (think Twilight), and a ton of jack-o-lanterns. 

If you’re a beer lover, you must attend one (or all) of the days at  Fresh Hop Pop-Up Beer Fest . For 17 days, you can expect a rare seasonal beer with special tappings. 

6. Chicago, Illinois 


Photo by  juergen-polle  on Pixabay

Paying a visit in October is also worthwhile since the city embraces fall. You can admire the colours of autumn as the leaves change shades, and exploring Chi-town on a  river cruise  is a popular activity for tourists and locals alike. Pay a visit to The Bean, Millennium Park, and the Chicago Riverwalk for some of the best fall foliage. 

As things cool down, apple picking and pumpkin patches heat up. Harvest your own delicious apples, and depending on where you go, enjoy corn mazes, sunflower fields, and playgrounds. Another must-do is pumpkin patches. Walk about as you view hundreds of pumpkins in different shapes and sizes. 

The Lincoln Park Zoo has its annual Fall Fest in October, and it is a lot of fun. Every weekend, they offer something new, like musical entertainment, story time, pumpkin carvers, and a pumpkin patch. 

You might enjoy reading my article on best places to visit in the USA on your first trip.

7. Asheville, North Carolina


Photo by  adrimarie  on Pixabay

If you want to explore the outdoors this October, Asheville has one of the best fall displays. Since this town sits in the mountains, you can expect dramatic fall foliage. 

The Asheville Oktoberfest takes place this time of year and is a little taste of Europe in the heart of the US. Celebrate German culture with delicious food and tasty beer. There are competitions, music, and other entertainment. 

Take a scenic drive to enjoy the welcoming of autumn. Some great spots to visit are the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Biltmore Estate. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, pop in at the WNC Nature Center. Here, you’ll find various animals, such as red wolves, black bears, and otters. There’s also a special Halloween event called Boo at the Zoo. 

8. Aspen, Colorado 


Photo by  Abhardphoto  on Pixabay

Before this town becomes a snow heaven, it’s a fall paradise. Enjoy breathtaking hikes while enjoying the yellow-speckled hills of Aspen. The golden aspen trees are actually how this city got its name. 

Take advantage of the fall harvest by visiting the Aspen Farmers Market. Enjoy fresh organic produce along with arts and crafts. Don’t forget to taste the apple cider. If you’re visiting in early October, be sure to visit the annual Oktoberfest. Dress up and join in the festivities celebrating German culture.

If you’re looking for something a bit more spooky, try one of the  nighttime ghost tours , which is spooktacular. 

9. Maui, Hawaii


Photo by  hmmunoz512  on Pixabay

If you’ve been dying to visit Hawaii, October can be a great time. The cooler temperatures mean everything is a lot cheaper, from flights to accommodation. The weather this time of year is still great, and you’ll still be able to watch some  beautiful Maui sunsets .

Walk along black sand beaches and take a stroll through lush bamboo forests. Go chasing waterfalls while you enjoy beautiful hikes. Snorkelling and scuba diving should also be high on your list, as it’s one of the best things to do in Maui. 

The annual  Maui Fair  kicks off this time of year and is great fun for everyone. Think rides, games, live entertainment, and yummy food. 

PS: Halloween in Lahaina is one of the island’s biggest events of the year and is a must-do.

10. Stowe, Vermont


Photo by  1778011  on Pixabay

Enjoy New England’s finest. Stowe fully embraces fall, and you can expect to get the full experience. Enjoy it all, from beautiful autumn colours painting the town to local breweries and, of course, handcrafted cheeses. 

Enjoy a cooler hike and outdoor activities, and then in the evening, cosy up next to a fire with some apple cider. Take part in Oktoberfest at the Von Trapp Family Lodge. There’ll be contests, great food, and lots of beer. Take in the view from Mount Mansfield, and if you’re feeling adventurous, visit the Great Vermont Corn Maze. This is the largest corn maze in New England and offers quite a challenge. 

11. New York City, New York 


Photo by  Marta Wave  on Pexels

No matter what time of year you go, there’s always something happening in New York. You can check out  New York’s historic attractions , such as Times Square, Central Park, or Top of the Rock. Perhaps the local festivities are more your vibe. Simply put, there is never a bad time to go. 

The annual Oktoberfest NYC takes place and is definitely a must. This is the perfect place to dress up and celebrate German culture with authentic beer and mouth-watering food. 

Visit the Beetle House, a Tim Burton-inspired bar, for a spooky experience. Enjoy the Halloween decor and specially brewed cocktails. If you’re a fan of the movies, you will definitely love this location. 

Head to Greenwich Village on October 31 for the annual Halloween Parade. Watch as people parade in their costumes, and feel free to join in if you’re dressed up. 

12. Salem, Massachusetts 


Photo by  12019  on Pixabay

Salem is the spookiest of all the towns. This witchy city is constantly in October mode and ready to give its visitors a good scare. If you’ve heard of the Witch Trials, well, Salem is where it happened. So naturally this would be one of the best places to visit. 

Make your way through the town as you explore all the themed shops. You’ll find everything from crystals, Halloween-themed decor, eerie costumes, and even an aura photo booth. As October hits, Salem has a bunch of themed events leading to Halloween. Visit the Salem Psychic Faire & Witches Market and attend the Zombie Walk. 

You can’t go to Salem without going on a haunted tour. There are a few to choose from, but you definitely should go at night. Don’t forget to visit the Salem Witch Museum to learn more about this spooky town. 

13. Bar Harbor, Maine 


Photo by  FrankyFromGermany  on Pixabay

This New England town is famous for its fall foliage. As things cool down after a busy summer, you can expect fewer crowds and more freedom to explore this picturesque town. 

Visit the Acadia National Park trails for some fall hiking. Enjoy the scenery as you spend time with Mother Nature. In the evenings, don’t forget to look up for some of the best views of the Milky Way. Another great outdoor adventure is whale watching. Take to the sea to get a glimpse of these majestic creatures. 

Learn more about the history of the town with a  walking tour . One of the best ways to see any city is by foot, and you’ll discover all the hidden gems. 

14. Orlando, Florida

orlando-october best places to visit in october in the usa

Photo by  eduneri  on Pixabay

You may be wondering why the Sunshine State is listed among the best places to visit in October, but Orlando makes the cut. The weather is cooler, the days are quite enjoyable, and peak season is over, which means more affordable accommodation. 

If you love Halloween, this is a great late October destination. Disney World goes all out for the spooky season, from decor and events to themed food at each park. Visiting an amusement park means a lot of walking, and since the weather is milder, it makes for a much more comfortable trip. 

If you’re looking for more themed park adventures,  Universal Studios  is another must. You can also expect the full spooky experience, with haunted houses, scare zones, and live shows. 

15. Memphis, Tennessee 


Photo by  BruceEmmerling  on Pixabay

Welcome to the Home of the Blues and Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Memphis offers an unforgettable experience, and in October, it’s even better. Less crowds and heat means more freedom to explore without breaking a sweat.

Enjoy the classics like Graceland, Beale Street, and the National Civil Rights Museum. Don’t forget to check out one of the many live music spots for an authentic experience. Memphis embraces the Halloween season, so expect corn mazes, haunted houses, hayrides, and other spooky events. 

The city also has great fall foliage and offers a few tours to explore the many shades of autumn. Choose a bike, bus, or walking tour and learn about the city’s history while admiring the fall colours. 

16. Nashville, Tennessee 


Photo by  mana5280  on Unsplash

Another Tennessee city known for its bustling music scene is the hometown of the country genre, Nashville. As the seasons change, the weather becomes more pleasant, with a certain crispness in the air. 

Explore the city and discover the many bars, food joints, and live music acts. Some October highlights include the Fall Family Fun Festival, which runs for the whole month. This event includes a corn maze that’s been named Tennessee’s #1 Corn Maize seven years in a row. 

If you’re looking to get your pumpkin on, visit the Cheekwood Harvest and Pumpkinfest for more Halloween fun. If you’re a foodie, don’t forget to check out the  Nashville Cultural Festival , which includes delicious treats from around the world. 

17. Jackson Hole, Wyoming 


Photo by  MikeGoad  on Pixabay

This town is known for its scenic landscape full of mountains and breathtaking open lands. In October, Jackson Hole becomes the perfect fall setting, covered with various shades of brown, orange, and green. 

There’s tons to do in this town, like visiting the famous national parks, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Visit the National Elk Refuge to see these beautiful animals in their habitats. Enjoy more of the outdoors with a horseback ride, which offers stunning views of the surroundings. 

After all the exploring, relax at the Granite Hot Springs. If you’re looking to soak up the atmosphere, take a scenic drive. While there are plenty of routes to take, Moose Wilson Road is popular to enjoy the warm-tone foliage. 

18. Savannah, Georgia 


Photo by  Ashley Knedler  on Unsplash

Get ready for a spooky adventure in what’s known as one of the most haunted cities in the USA. Savannah is one of the best places to visit in October for many reasons. The weather is perfect, and it fully embraces the Halloween season. 

There are plenty of events to attend in October. The annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival takes place and promises some of the best seafood cuisine. Another fun one is Savannah Pride, which features a masquerade, parades, music, and great food. 

If you’re looking for a scare, go on one of the many  ghost tours  around the city. If that’s a bit too scary for you, there are also some amazing pumpkin patches and corn mazes. 

19. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 


Photo by  Kelly  on Pexels

Oktoberfest, fall foliage, and cool temperatures are just a few things to expect in Philadelphia this month.

Visit a pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect squash for carving or for the ultimate fall photoshoot. The apple orchards are not to be missed either, for delicious apples and tasty cider. The Philadelphia Zoo gets festive with their annual Boo at the Zoo, which is great fun for all. 

If you’re seeking more spine-chilling thrills, Terror Behind the Walls is highly recommended. This event takes place at an abandoned penitentiary and is hands down guaranteed to scare. Make your way through the ghostly prison while enjoying themed bars, tours, and live performances. 

20. Cleveland, Ohio


Photo by  Lance Anderson  on Unsplash

Welcome to Cleveland, the city that not only rocks but is one of the best places to visit in October. You can expect to see some of the best fall foliage without having to travel too far from the city centre. 

The Metroparks are really the stars of the show. Cleveland has 18 of these special parks, which include hiking trails, waterfalls, and golf courses. October brings many themed events, such as Corn and Pumpkin Weekends and the Trick or Treat Fest at the Cleveland Zoo. 

For a more spooky itinerary, visit the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft & Magick, which showcases special items collected by the “father” of the modern Wicca movement.

21. New Orleans, Louisiana 


Phoetol by  Harold Wainwright  on Unsplash

New Orleans  is a fantastic place to visit any time of year. The streets are always bustling, and there’s such a rich history and culture. What makes a visit in October especially great is the cool weather that comes after summer and the start of the spooky season. 

New Orleans is known for its many festivals, unique music, creole cuisine, and ghostly urban legends. Start things off with a mysterious  ghost tour  of the city. Make your way to eerie cemeteries and haunted hotels, or learn about the voodoo history of the city.

If you’re a foodie, don’t miss the annual  Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival . This is a free outdoor event that takes place in October and combines two great things: Blues and Barbeque. 

22. Boston, Massachusetts


Photo by  Abdullah Almutairi  on Pexels

Boston is a great place to visit in October since the weather cools down and most of the crowds have seemed to disappear. As it’s the end of the whale watching season, you can still get a peak at these beautiful sea creatures without fighting for the best spot on the boats. 

This time of year, visitors can enjoy the annual Oktoberfest. There are a few venues that host the event, so you can take your pick. If you’re a sports lover, Boston is the place to be. There are plenty of games in October where you can watch the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, or Boston Bruins in action. 

Visit a vintage store for an authentic Halloween costume. Next, visit a pumpkin patch and corn maze for some fall fun. Take the  ghosts and gravestones tour  for the ultimate spooky adventure. 

23. Burlington, Vermont


Photo by  Michelle_Raponi  on Pixabay

It’s safe to say that New England is quite popular in the fall season. Burlington is a fantastic spot for those looking to embrace the cosy weather. 

Expect beautiful fall foliage and mountains that turn red and yellow. There are plenty of events in October, and many of them happen around Lake Champlain. Attend fun events while fall colours serve as your backdrop. 

Top Tip: When at Lake Champlain, go on a cruise, kayak, or paddleboard for even more majestic views. 

Make your way down Church Street Market. Here, you’ll find plenty of boutiques, cafes, and art galleries. Support the local businesses and do some shopping, and if you’re a Ben & Jerry’s lover, don’t miss the factory, which is just a short drive away. 

24. Seattle, Washington 


Photo by  Caio  on Pexels

Seattle is a popular destination all year round. People come for the Twilight vibes, coffee, sightseeing, and beautiful outdoors. The weather is cool but not too cold, and it’s not so crowded compared to the summer months. 

As it’s known as the Emerald City, it’s surrounded by beautiful lush forests. In October, the leaves change colour, and the vivid green becomes an array of fall foliage. It’s really beautiful to see, so going on a short walk or hike should be high on your list. 

If you enjoy beer, don’t miss the Pumpkin Junction for delicious pumpkin beverages. Also happening this time of year is Oktoberfest, which celebrates German culture. 

Looking for something spooky? Visit the  Georgetown Morgue , a haunted house in an actual historic morgue. 

25. New Haven, Connecticut 


At this point, it should come as no surprise that another New England state has made the list. While New Haven usually attracts visitors for its Ivy League University, October makes this city even more delightful. 

If you’ve watched Gilmore Girls, you’d know exactly what vibes to expect during fall. Beautiful autumn colours line the streets, people are dressed in cosy wear, and it’s warm beverages galore. New Haven is known for their fun fall fairs like Smoke in the Valley, Guilford Fair, and Shoreline ArtsTrail Open Studios Weekend. 

Enjoy the change of season with pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and apple picking. And if you’re looking for something spooky, check out the  New Haven ghost walk . 

26. Sonoma, California 


Photo by  SoCali  on Pixabay

For those who enjoy sipping on fine wine and exploring the vineyards, Sonoma is the perfect spot to visit in October. As things cool down, you can pleasantly enjoy sipping on some liquid gold on a wine based road trip without burning in the hot sun. 

This time of year, you’ll also find great events, such as the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. It’s also the perfect opportunity to visit the Sonoma Coast State Park for amazing hikes and outdoor adventures. Since this city is known for its wine, you absolutely have to take a  Sonoma wine trolley tour . Enjoy a wine tasting and sample grapes that are native to this region and take a bottle home to savour the flavour. 

And Sonoma isn’t too far from the amazing Yosemite National Park, also a great place to visit in October. 

27. Lutsen, Minnesota


Photo by  Avinash Murugappan  on Unsplash

This is probably one of the most underrated spots on the list, considering Lutsen is beautiful this time of year, and there’s plenty to see and do. While it may be a little cooler than other spots, it just makes an October visit even cosier. 

For those on the hunt for the ultimate fall foliage, Lutsen is the ideal location. The luscious area turns bright red, orange, and yellow. Make your way up Moose Mountain with the Summit Express Gondola. Once you’re at the top, go for a scenic hike and enjoy the views from above. 

For more outdoor adventures, Cascade River State Park is another perfect setting. Waterfalls, hiking trails, and wildlife spotting are just a few things to expect as you make your way through the state park.     

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Visit in October USA

No matter which season you prefer, no one can deny that fall definitely brings its own beauty along with an abundance of fun activities. 

Whether you prefer to peek at the fall foliage and cosy up by a fireplace or get out there and explore pumpkin patches and apple orchards in small towns, October is the month to do it all. Maybe you’re looking to get your scare on with haunted houses, ghost tours, or attending a Halloween event. 

Whichever you decide on, there is something for everyone.

Next Read: If nature walks are your go-to, have a look at my experience of  Yosemite in October . 

IMG 2300 scaled

Amanda O’Brien is the creator and editor of The Boutique Adventurer. She has visited 80 countries and is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers as well as the IFTWTA. She is passionate about wine had has just completed Level 3 of the WSET. Born in Australia, she lives in London.

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The 20 Best Places to Travel in the World in October

Snowdonia, Wales

Knowing when to travel is just as important as knowing where to go. Some of the best destinations that you could ever experience during the offseason are an absolute nightmare during peak travel months like June, July and August. What if you want to travel around the world during the month of October? Are there certain places that are better than others? Without a doubt, the answer is a resounding yes. If you're wondering about the best places to travel in the entire world during this particular month, you definitely don't have to wonder anymore. Below are 20 of the best destinations for travel during the month of October. There's no doubt that after you visit one (or more) and these magnificent locations, you’ll want to make it an experience that you get to enjoy on an annual basis.

where travel in october

20. Lucerne, Switzerland

If you've always had a desire to hike around the Alps, then this is definitely the perfect time of year to do exactly that. What makes October the perfect time for such an activity? It all comes down to the weather. Typically, the weather is far more agreeable during this time of year. That makes outdoor activities like hiking a far more interesting prospect. While you're there, don't forget to take advantage of Lake Lucerne. You can enjoy its beauty from the shore or get on a boat and see it all up close from a first-hand perspective.


19. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Croatia doesn't get enough credit. It is truly a beautiful country, but unfortunately it's one that a lot of people tend to overlook. October is also the perfect time to visit, especially if you want to go hiking through one of the many national parks there. Of course, you can also go sailing or even swim in the Adriatic Sea . If you're more into exploring some of the country's nightlife, take a trip into Dubrovnik and party to your heart's content. It doesn't matter what you love to do, you can find more than you can probably find time to squeeze in here. Thanks to loads of fun unique to the country and literally hundreds of waterfalls, it's also one of the most beautiful locations you will probably ever see.

North Island Seychelles

18. Seychelles Islands, East Africa

This is another tropical area that is absolutely magical. You can do all kinds of outdoor activities here as well, including swimming, hiking and bicycling. You even have the opportunity to interact with some of the region's giant tortoises. This is hands down one of the most calming areas in the entire world, much of it untouched by human hands. While people have been coming here for some time, the area has not been ruined by the presence of more people than it can comfortably support in any one given time. That by itself makes it special. While you're there, consider exploring the Ste Anne National Marine Park as well as Cousin Island.

Hong Kong

17. Hong Kong, China

The truth is, there is virtually nothing you can't do in Hong Kong. That's true during the month of October or virtually any other time of year. The thing that makes visiting Hong Kong during October so appealing is that it is the end of the rainy season. As a result, you can enjoy decent temperatures and sunshine almost every day throughout the month. That gives you the perfect opportunity to get out and explore everything that the city has to offer. The only problem you'll likely have is finding a way to fit it all in, given the amount of time you have to work with.

Aberdeen, Scotland

16. Aberdeen, Scotland

What if you or someone in your family absolutely loves halloween? Scotland is definitely a place you need to visit during the month of October. They have all kinds of festivals related specifically to halloween, as well as a number of music festivals that occur during the same month. As such, you'll probably have something different to do every night. While you're there, you can also enjoy seeing Edinburgh Castle or going hiking. By the way, the country offers some absolutely spectacular views of the Northern Lights during October. For many people, that's reason enough to go all by itself.


15. New York City, New York

There's just something special about visiting New York City during the month of October. For starters, all the leaves in the area start to turn these beautiful, vibrant colors of orange, yellow and gold during the month. Imagine sitting in Central Park, enjoying a picnic lunch and people watching while you're surrounded by this much beauty. It's something that every person should really allow themselves to experience at least once in their lifetime. If that's not enough to get you in the mood to go, October is the time that New York City holds a number of festivals for different types of street art. It's an electrifying time of year that makes the city feel even more magical than usual.

Wiltshire, England

14. Wiltshire, England

This is another place that you absolutely must visit if you love watching the Autumn colors take over the leaves. Some might even argue that it's better than New York City. If you really want to enjoy it to the fullest extent possible, consider visiting Stourhead House & Gardens. It’s one of the most beautiful locations that you'll ever see in your entire life. As a matter of fact, it's a National Trust location and one that shouldn't be missed. Enjoy spending time outdoors here, with literally hundreds of trees surrounding the pristine lake. Once you come here, you'll probably find yourself wanting to come back again and again.

Prague, Czech Republic

13. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is just such a beautiful city in its own right. During the month of October, that beauty is taken up by several notches, thanks in large part to all the colors of autumn that grace the city. One of the best places to see a beautiful, panoramic view of the city is the Hanavsky Pavilion. While you're there, don't forget to walk along the Vltava River. Of course, it's imperative that you take in some of the fine dining experiences as well as cultural and educational opportunities that the city is well known for.

Seoraksan National Park, South Korea

12. Seoraksan National Park, South Korea

This National Park is only a couple of hours away from Seoul and it is truly one of the most beautiful places in the entire country. They have dozens of waterfalls to wash your troubles away and it's also a great place to go hiking. The weather is typically good there this time of year as well. Perhaps the best thing about the park is that they have various hiking trails ranging from those that can be easily tackled by small children, older adults or even people with certain mobility issues, as well as more challenging options. In fact, they even have a few hikes that will take several days to complete.

Stowe, Vermont

11. Stowe, Vermont

Life has a tendency to slow down in this particular town and it does so even more during the month of October. That makes it a great place to visit if you're looking for an opportunity to do exactly that, slow down. It's easily one of the most beautiful towns in the entire state during this time of year. It's also a place that has a very “country” vibe to it. As a matter of fact, they don't have loads of shops like you might expect to see in New York City. Instead, they have a single General Store, a church and a few other buildings. That being said, you can rent a cottage there and decide whether you want to stay warm by a fire or go out and challenge yourself on some of the area's famous hiking trails. Consider Stowe Pinnacle or Sterling Pond. If you're in the mood for mountain climbing, you're in luck. Vermont's tallest mountain peak just happens to be located here. All you have to do is look for the trail to Mount Mansfield and be sure that you're up for the challenge.

Berlin, Germany

10. Berlin, Germany

Every October, the city hosts the Berlin Festival of Lights . It's one of the most spectacular sights you will likely ever see, as the entire city is transformed into a shining spectacle where various stories are told through light and sound. It really is unlike anything you'll probably ever experience at any other point in your life and it's something that you will never forget.


9. Dublin, Ireland

In addition to the city's natural beauty and history, this is the place to be if you love festivals. They have three main festivals during the month of October, starting with the Ireland Music Week Festival. Immediately after that festival ends, you can enjoy the Dublin Theater Festival and from there, move on to the Bram Stoker Festival.

. Jasper National Park of Canada

8. Alberta, Canada

Alberta has the second largest Dark Sky Festival in the entire world. If you're not familiar with it, it gives you the opportunity to enjoy photographing the stars without man-made light getting in the way. It truly is an amazing experience. During the festival, you can also see light shows put on by drones, hear talks from scientists as they discuss the constellations, and even hear performances from symphony orchestras.

Hitachinaka, Japan

7. Hitachinaka, Japan

Travel to Hitachi Seaside Park where you can enjoy an entire sea of crimson, thanks to the kochia flower. It is truly one of the most amazing things that you will ever see because it does indeed look like you're overlooking the sea (if only the sea were red). There are literally hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of these pom-pom like flowers planted along elaborate walkways that snake throughout the park. The weather is typically beautiful and you can enjoy everything that Japan has to offer while simultaneously taking in this beautiful sight that is only available during the Autumn months.

Mauritius, Africa

6. Mauritius, Africa

There are all kinds of things that you can enjoy here. The one thing you'll quickly notice in this tropical region that truly is a paradise is that there is definitely no shortage of adventures to be enjoyed. If you go here during the summer, you'll have to deal with the rainy season and the temperatures are uncomfortably warm. During October, all of that changes. The temperatures start coming down (but definitely not too much), the rain usually stops and most importantly, the humidity levels stop being so high that you feel like someone threw a wet towel over your head when you walk outside. In short, it's the perfect time to visit what you might actually start to think of as a perfect location. What can you do here? Go scuba diving at Blue Bay Marine Park or explore Martello Towers. If you prefer, you can check out some of the underwater waterfalls that are absolutely breathtaking or you can traipse around Black River Gorges National Park.

Sardinia, Italy

5. Sardinia, Italy

The first thing you'll notice if you travel to Sardinia during the month of October is that the weather is spectacular. During the daytime, it's still warm enough to enjoy time spent on the shore, but not so hot that you can't go hiking or bicycling without being completely miserable. The nights are cool, lending themselves to a chat by the fire. While you're there, hike through the mountains or even go horseback riding. By all means, don't forget to visit Gorropu Canyon.


4. Reykjavik, Iceland

There is one reason and one reason only that people tend to flock to Iceland during the month of October. It's the perfect time to see the green Northern Lights. It is truly a spectacle to behold. If you’ve only had the opportunity to see this gorgeous phenomenon in photographs, you're doing yourself a disservice by not going and experiencing it firsthand. It will truly be something that you will remember for the rest of your life.


3. Mykonos, Greece

People come here in droves during the summer months, but it's actually better to visit during the month of October. If you do, you don't have to put up with so many tourists and you get temperatures that are typically in the 70s during the hottest part of the day, a far cry from temperatures that easily stretch into the 90s during the summer. Of course, there is plenty to do here. Take a walk through the city, enjoy a boat ride and of course, enjoy some of the best food and wine you'll ever have. It's also a great place (and time) to enjoy the local culture, as you’ll meet some of the friendliest people that you'll ever run across on any of your travels.


2. Oahu, Hawaii

Of course, there is always plenty to do in Hawaii . Take a boat ride, go swimming, snorkeling, or hiking. The temperatures are still warm enough that you can do all of these things during the month of October. During this same time, they also happen to have a couple of festivals you might be interested in attending. They include the Honolulu Pride Festival and Parade as well as the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival.

1. Snowdonia, Wales

The beauty of Snowdonia during the month of October is breathtaking. Make sure that you bring an umbrella, as they do tend to get a lot of rain during this time of year. That being said, it's worth it. If you're really ambitious, you can tackle climbing Mount Snowdon itself. If you prefer, enjoy the Autumn walk along the Nant Gwynant Valley. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the ruins at Cwm Llan and eventually, make your way to the village of Craflwyn.

Liz Flynn

Written by  Liz Flynn

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A first timer’s guide to Prince Edward Island

May 25, 2024 • 8 min read

where travel in october

Experience a colorful slice of island life on your first visit to Prince Edward Island © Peter Unger / Getty Images

Long sandy beaches backed with red cliffs. Freshly caught lobster, oysters and clams. Toe-tapping music at lively kitchen parties or local pubs. And plenty of outdoor adventures, from cycling to kayaking to hiking. In the Gulf of St Lawrence, on Canada’s eastern shores,  Prince Edward Island  (PEI) may be the country’s smallest province, but there’s plenty to see and do.

Besides its natural setting, PEI’s other claim to fame is a series of early 20th-century novels about a feisty red-haired girl. Lucy Maud Montgomery set the Anne of Green Gables books around her PEI hometown of Cavendish, and several island attractions can tell you more about the noted author and the beloved Canadian character she created. 

You can visit Prince Edward Island as part of an Atlantic Canada road trip – the nearly 13km-long (8-mile) Confederation Bridge connects PEI to the mainland – or come for a peaceful beach escape. Bring your bathing suit and your appetite too. PEI’s nickname is “Canada’s food island.” 

Here's all you need to know to plan your first trip to Prince Edward Island.

A row of shops with colorfully painted storefronts set on a slight incline

When should I go to Prince Edward Island?

PEI shines under the summer sun, its short peak season running from late June into September. The weather is typically warm, with temperatures hovering around 20–25ºC (70–80ºF), prime time for beach-going, hiking and picnicking. With cooler mornings and evenings, the weather stays temperate into October, as the leaves take on their autumn reds and golds. Fall brings food fests too, including the  Fall Flavours Festival and the  PEI International Shellfish Festival .  

Many island businesses are seasonal, opening in May or June and closing in September or by the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in October. Prices are typically somewhat lower in the shoulder months of May, June, September and October. Expect more rain and varied temperatures in both fall and spring, although you might have mild, sunny days too, which are good for hiking, bicycling and island exploring. 

The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June to November, although the worst storms have previously hit the maritime provinces in the fall. Expect snow anytime between November and April, with fierce winter winds making the temperatures feel much colder than the average ranges of -11ºC to -3ºC (11–26ºF). 

Planning a longer trip?  These are the best times to visit Canada

How much time should I spend on Prince Edward Island?

If you have a long weekend, start in Charlottetown , exploring the province’s historic capital, and learn about its role as the “the birthplace of Confederation,” creating the union that would become the country of Canada. Have a drink overlooking the waterfront, then grab a bite from one of the vendors in  Founders Food Hall . Your next stop is Cavendish on the island’s north shore, where several sights tell you about the Anne of Green Gables story. Then explore the beaches of  Prince Edward Island National Park , perhaps taking a hike through the Greenwich dunes before dinner at  Dalvay by the Sea , a historic summer home turned inn. The next day, go kayaking or cycling. Dig into a traditional lobster supper, ending your trip with music in a local pub. 

To explore more of the island, plan a one-week road trip. After your time in Charlottetown, Cavendish and the national park, drive west for an Indigenous cultural experience on  Lennox Island , a Mi’kmaq community. Circle the island’s west side, sampling the spuds at the  Canadian Potato Museum , stopping for a lunchtime concert at the Stompin’ Tom Centre  and spending the night in the West Point Lighthouse . Returning to Charlottetown, stop off in the village of Victoria by the Sea for a lobster roll or freshly steamed mussels. If you have more time, continue east to Souris for a cruise on a lobster boat. 

A long, narrow road bridge runs from the shoreline across the sea and stretches into the distance beyond the horizon

How do I get to Prince Edward Island?

You can fly non-stop to  Charlottetown Airport (YYG) from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa year round, and seasonally from Calgary and smaller Canadian cities. For more flight options, consider jetting into Nova Scotia’s  Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ), which has non-stop flights to additional Canadian, US and European cities. It’s a three-hour drive or bus trip from Halifax airport to PEI over the Confederation Bridge.  Maritime Bus can take you to Charlottetown from Halifax airport or from other destinations in Nova Scotia and neighboring New Brunswick. 

Although PEI has no train service, Canada’s national rail carrier, Via Rail , can bring you from Montreal or Quebec City to Halifax or to Moncton, New Brunswick. From there, take the bus or rent a car to continue to the island. 

How do I get around Prince Edward Island?

In compact, walkable Charlottetown, most attractions are along the waterfront or in the historic center.  T3 Transit , the island’s public transit service, runs buses to Charlottetown Airport and around the city. T3 Transit’s rural routes provide limited service between Charlottetown and other island destinations. While services are infrequent, the fares are fantastic value – only C$2 to travel anywhere on the island – if you can align your travels with the bus schedule. 

PEI is relatively flat, making it a good destination for cyclists. Following the route of a decommissioned rail line, the  Confederation Trail runs 273km (170 miles) through the island center, and you can also cycle the Island Walk, which takes you primarily on less-busy roads. 

A sloping boardwalk leads down to a sandy beach, where many people are relaxing on the shorefront and swimming in the sea

Top things to do on Prince Edward Island

Go to the beach.

PEI has dozens of them. Some of the best stretches of sand are along the north shore in Prince Edward Island National Park, but there are sandy beaches around the island.

Dive into a novel

Learn the story of Anne of Green Gables , one of Canada’s most beloved fictional characters, and her creator Lucy Maud Montgomery at sights like  Green Gables Heritage Place or Anne of Green Gables Museum . 

Catch your dinner with a fiddling fisherman

JJ Chaisson is a lobster fisher and musician. Along with his wife Julie, he runs  The Fiddling Fisherman , taking guests out on their family fishing boat for a lobster dinner, accompanied by music from Chaisson’s fiddle. 

Learn about Indigenous culture

Take a food, music or art workshop in the First Nations community of Lennox Island. You might learn to bake bannock – a biscuit-like bread – over an open fire, get an introduction to traditional quill work, or craft your own moose-hide drum. 

Clap along at a ceilidh

Drawing on Irish, Scottish and maritime traditions, a ceilidh (pronounced KAY-lee) is part concert and part kitchen party, blending lively fiddle music, singing, dancing and storytelling. These musical events take place in pubs, community halls and concert venues across Prince Edward Island. 

Read more:  12 exciting experiences in every corner of Canada

A person walking on a wooden bridge across a stretch of water, leading towards a lush green landmass

My favorite thing to do on Prince Edward Island

My favorite thing to do on PEI is walk, following sections of the  Island Walk , a 700km (435-mile) route around the entire isle. Modeled after Spain’s Camino de Santiago (though without a pilgrimage history), the Island Walk has 32 sections of 20–25km (12–15 miles) each, which take you along PEI’s sandy beaches and into its forests, above its red cliffs and through its small towns. You can walk for a day, a week, or more, listening to the splash of the surf, the chirps of the birds and the quiet sounds of island life. 

If you’d like help planning an extended walk, contact  Go for a Walk: Island Walk Coordination Service and  Outer Limit Sports , local outfits who can organize a walking itinerary, provide luggage transfer services and arrange accommodations. You can cycle the Island Walk, too. MacQueen’s Bike Shop  in Charlottetown rents bicycles and provides trip-planning services for cyclists.

How much money do I need for Prince Edward Island?

While PEI isn’t as pricey as major Canadian cities like Vancouver or Toronto, it’s not inexpensive either, especially during the summer high season. The island has only a few budget lodgings, with dorm beds starting at C$50 and basic doubles around C$120. Many traditional inns and B&Bs fall into the midrange, beginning around C$150 per night. If you’re watching your loonies, consider a cottage or motel room with a kitchen where you can prepare some of your own meals. 

Take public transit if you can. T3 Transit fares for adults are only C$2 a ride, whether you’re traveling within the capital or across the island, and kids ride free. Neither Uber nor Lyft currently operate on PEI, but  Kari , a local rideshare company, provides service, primarily in the Charlottetown area. Depending on the season, car rentals in Charlottetown range from C$50 to over C$100 per day. 

Some sample food and drink prices around PEI:

  • Coffee: C$3–4
  • Craft beer in an island taproom: C$8–10
  • Pound of PEI mussels: C$14–18
  • Lobster roll: C$27 and up
  • Traditional lobster supper:  C$50–60 per person 

Several people linger outside a seaside lobster restaurant, where a busker is playing a guitar

Wear the lobster bib 

Many seafood restaurants give you a bib to wear if you’ve ordered a whole lobster. Don’t be shy – tie it on to protect your clothes. Eating a lobster can be a messy business. 

Pack layers and rain gear   

While the weather is generally temperate from spring through fall, it can get breezy and cool by the shore or in the evening and it can rain at any time. Keep a light jacket or sweater in your day pack. PEI winters are cold, damp and often snowy. Not only do you need warm jackets, hats, gloves and boots, but be prepared for winter travel conditions, including snow-covered roads and high winds. 

It’s colder on the water 

If you’re heading out on a lobster boat or other cruise, remember that it’s chillier on the water, even in summer. Bring a jacket or clothes you can layer.   

“Ask an Islander” 

If you want to know more about Prince Edward Island or have a question while planning your trip, “Ask an Islander.” On the website of  Tourism PEI , the provincial tourism organization, you can post a question and a local resident will answer your query.

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Blinken Travels to Eastern Europe as Russia Presses War in Ukraine

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken aims to show support for Moldova, which is under threat from Russia, and plans to attend a NATO meeting in the Czech Republic.

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Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, with his hand raised to his mouth.

By Edward Wong

Reporting from Washington

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken plans to spend this week showing U.S. support for nations facing a hostile Russia in visits to Moldova and the Czech Republic, where he is scheduled to attend a meeting of NATO foreign ministers that will discuss how to bolster Ukraine.

Mr. Blinken, who made an overnight stop in Kyiv more than two weeks ago, flew into Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, on Wednesday to meet with Maia Sandu, the nation’s president, who is running for re-election. Ms. Sandu has advocated for Moldova to join the European Union, and she has scheduled a referendum vote on E.U. membership on the same day as the general election in October.

She is expected to run against a pro-Russia candidate, and U.S. and European analysts say Moscow is likely to try to interfere in the election, as it has in other votes in Europe. The Biden administration has spoken publicly of Russian agents carrying out such interference using a variety of means, from hacking to boosting campaigns over social networks to doling out money to favored politicians.

U.S. officials said Mr. Blinken would speak with Ms. Sandu and other top officials about potential threats to the country’s democratic processes, as well as efforts to wean the nation off electricity generated in the pro-Russia separatist region of Transnistria. Moldova recently ended its reliance on gas imports from Russia.

“I anticipate he’ll have a robust package of support for Moldova’s transition, both energy independence or less dependence on sources to the east but also on support for democracy against Russian threats,” James O’Brien, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, said in a phone call with reporters on Friday.

Mr. Blinken plans to announce more details of American aid to address these issues during his visit, Mr. O’Brien said.

He added that the secretary’s message would “highlight Moldova’s progress in its path toward European integration, its solidifying its democracy, and the threat posed by the Russian interference in its internal processes.”

About 1,500 Russian troops are in Transnistria, which is in the east of Moldova and borders Ukraine. U.S. officials are watching closely for any signs that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia might try to annex the territory. Russia officially says it seeks a special status for Transnistria.

In the Czech Republic, which State Department officials now call Czechia, following the lead of the country’s government, Mr. Blinken plans to attend a two-day planning session of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and meet with Czech officials.

The NATO session in Prague, the nation’s capital, is aimed at preparing for the 80th anniversary meeting of alliance leaders in Washington in July. The group is not expected to declare that Ukraine is joining NATO now, an aspiration that President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated repeatedly both before and after Russia’s full-scale invasion, which began in 2022. However, NATO officials in Prague are expected to work out the details for a substantial show of support for Ukraine’s progress toward joining NATO, and those will be announced in July, Mr. O’Brien said.

Russian troops are pressing an offensive in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. The Ukrainian war effort has been flagging in large part because of a shortage of weapons and munitions, and there are fewer citizens able to join the fight. President Biden recently signed into law a bill passed by Congress, despite some Republican opposition, that grants new tranches of military aid to Ukraine, as well as to Israel.

However, Russia is producing munitions at a rapid rate, and U.S.-led sanctions against the nation have not crippled its military industrial capabilities, as Americans officials had once hoped. Mr. Biden and his aides say China has played a decisive role in bolstering Russia through the sale of dual-use equipment and other exports that have allowed Moscow to strengthen weapons production. Mr. Blinken is expected to highlight China’s support for Russia in his discussions with NATO counterparts in Prague.

An earlier version of this article misstated the country that borders Transnistria. It is Ukraine, not Russia.

How we handle corrections

Edward Wong is a diplomatic correspondent who has reported for The Times for more than 24 years from New York, Baghdad, Beijing and Washington. He was on a team of Pulitzer Prize finalists for Iraq War coverage. More about Edward Wong

Our Coverage of the War in Ukraine

News and Analysis

U.S. and allied intelligence officials are tracking an increase in low-level sabotage operations in Europe  that they say are part of a Russian campaign to undermine support for Ukraine’s war effort.

Some American-made, precision-guided weapons supplied to Ukraine have proved ineffective on the battlefield , their accuracy badly diminished by Russian jamming efforts.

Ukraine has begun releasing prisoners to serve in its army , part of a wider effort to rebuild a military that has been depleted by more than two years of war and is strained by relentless Russian assaults.

Zelensky Interview: In an interview with the New York Times, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine challenged the West  over its reluctance to take bolder action.

Striking a Chord: A play based on a classic 19th-century novel, “The Witch of Konotop,” is a smash hit among Ukrainians who see cultural and historical echoes  in the story of what they face after two years of war.

Europe’s Defense Industry: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine jolted Europe out of complacency about military spending. But the challenges are about more than just money .

How We Verify Our Reporting

Our team of visual journalists analyzes satellite images, photographs , videos and radio transmissions  to independently confirm troop movements and other details.

We monitor and authenticate reports on social media, corroborating these with eyewitness accounts and interviews. Read more about our reporting efforts .

Morning Rundown: What the Trump jury has asked to rehear as it deliberates, Denver’s shift on migrant support, and Boeing ready to retry spacecraft launch

Are Russia and North Korea planning an 'October surprise' that aids Trump?

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is increasingly concerned that the  intensifying military alliance  between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un  could vastly expand Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities and increase tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, six senior U.S. officials told NBC News.

U.S. officials are also bracing for North Korea to potentially take its most provocative military actions in a decade close to the U.S. presidential election, possibly at Putin’s urging, the officials said. 

The timing, they said, could be designed to create turmoil in yet another part of the world as Americans decide whether to send President Joe Biden  or former President Donald Trump  back to the White House.

“We have no doubt that North Korea will be provocative this year. It’s just a matter of how escalatory it is,” a U.S. intelligence official said. 

North Korea says it tested a new hypersonic intermediate-range missile that uses solid propellants

U.S. intelligence officials accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 election to help elect Trump. The Biden administration had tense relations with Russia, which collapsed after it invaded Ukraine in 2022.

After the publication of this story, Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesman, said “the only ‘October surprise’ will be the look of shock” among reporters when Trump wins re-election.

With Putin expected to visit North Korea to meet with Kim in the coming weeks, U.S. officials expect them to solidify a new deal to expand transfers of military technology to Pyongyang. 

“2024 is not going to be a good year,” said Victor Cha, senior vice president for Asia and Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s going to be a bit of a roller coaster.”

A burgeoning alliance

U.S. intelligence officials believe Putin is providing North Korea with nuclear submarine and ballistic missile technology in exchange for Pyongyang’s sending Russia large amount of munitions  for its war in Ukraine, the senior U.S. officials said. North Korea provides Russia with more munitions than Europe provides to Ukraine, including millions of artillery shells.

Officials are also concerned that Russia might help North Korea complete the final steps needed to field its first submarine able to launch a nuclear-armed missile. 

In September, North Korea unveiled a submarine , based on an old Soviet model, but U.S. officials said Pyongyang was most likely exaggerating its capabilities. They said the submarine still needed additional technology before it could deploy or launch a nuclear-armed missile. 

Despite repeatedly offering to begin talks without any conditions, the U.S. has had no significant dialogue with the Kim regime for three years, the officials said. The administration reached out to North Korea again this year, but it did not respond.

A Russian artillery unit fires a D-30 howitzer toward Ukrainian positions on Jan. 26, 2023.

U.S. officials said they do not have an entirely clear understanding of the types of technology Russia is supplying North Korea. Unlike weapons transfers that can be physically tracked, sharing of military technology is not as easily detected. 

“The higher-end Russia technical assistance comes in forms that are very difficult indeed to monitor,” a senior administration official said.

U.S. officials cautioned that the North Korean ammunition is most likely old and unreliable. But North Korea sent the artillery at a time when Ukraine was struggling with stockpiles and had to ration ammunition, so the influx gave Russia an advantage on the battlefield.

The officials said that in exchange for the ammunition it is providing Moscow, North Korea wants Russia to provide it with ballistic missile parts, aircraft, missiles, armored vehicles and other advanced technologies.

In recent months North Korea has continued to advance its missile program, including testing a solid-fuel engine for a hypersonic missile and other incremental advances that together have made its missile program more reliable, U.S. officials warn. 

Pyongyang has long sought a long-range ballistic missile able to fly thousands of miles and then re-enter the atmosphere with the payload intact. U.S. officials warn that Russia could now be helping it achieve the final steps. A nuclear-capable missile with survivable re-entry vehicles would present a significant challenge for U.S. missile defense systems. 

U.S. officials also said there has been increased activity at one of the North Korean nuclear test facilities, which could indicate preparations for another test. Satellite images published in April by Beyond Parallel, a project examining the Korean Peninsula at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, showed activity at Tunnel No. 3 at the Punggye-ri nuclear facility.

The group said that “both the United States and South Korea have assessed North Korea as having completed all the required preparations for conducting a seventh nuclear test from the tunnel.”

The Biden administration has been expecting a nuclear test from North Korea for some time. The U.S. recently prepared contingency plans for how to respond if Kim takes aggressive actions in the demilitarized zone with South Korea or shells South Korea’s border islands, which he has not done since 2010. 

“We are going to be ready and prepared,” the senior administration official said, noting the administration’s coordination with South Korea and Japan .

U.S. officials said they are also concerned that Moscow could help North Korea with its domestic manufacturing of weapons and even create a defense industrial base partnership. 

An 'October surprise'?

Whether or not Putin encourages Kim to take provocative actions designed to create a so-called October surprise in the U.S. presidential election, a second senior administration official said Russia might hesitate to such a step. The official said China , which has also grown closer to Russia and helped Putin wage his war in Ukraine , typically does not want instability in the region.

Still, U.S. officials concede there is much about the Russia-North Korea alliance — and where it could go from here — that they do not know. Increased tensions in the Asia-Pacific region would come after two wars have broken out since Biden took office: one in Ukraine and the other between Israel and Hamas . 

Trump has argued that both wars are a result of Biden’s leadership and would not have happened were he in office. Biden White House officials vehemently dispute that claim.

The increasingly close relationship between Putin and Kim represents a major shift from when Russia worked with the U.S. in the past to try to rein in North Korea. Now, Moscow is using its veto power on the U.N. Security Council to give Pyongyang cover to evade sanctions enforcement measures intended to constrain its nuclear program. 

“This is an enormous shift,” the second senior administration official said.

where travel in october

Courtney Kube is a correspondent covering national security and the military for the NBC News Investigative Unit.

where travel in october

Carol E. Lee is the Washington managing editor.

Trump told donors he will crush pro-Palestinian protests, deport demonstrators

Trump has waffled on whether the Israel-Gaza war should end. But speaking to wealthy donors behind closed doors, he said that he supports Israel’s right to continue “its war on terror.”

Former president Donald Trump promised to crush pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses, telling a roomful of donors — a group that he joked included “98 percent of my Jewish friends” — that he would expel student demonstrators from the United States, according to participants in the roundtable event with him in New York.

“One thing I do is, any student that protests, I throw them out of the country. You know, there are a lot of foreign students. As soon as they hear that, they’re going to behave,” Trump said on May 14, according to donors at the event.

When one of the donors complained that many of the students and professors protesting on campuses could one day hold positions of power in the United States, Trump called the demonstrators part of a “radical revolution” that he vowed to defeat. He praised the New York Police Department for clearing the campus at Columbia University and said other cities needed to follow suit, saying “it has to be stopped now.”

“Well, if you get me elected, and you should really be doing this, if you get me reelected, we’re going to set that movement back 25 or 30 years,” he said, according to the donors, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail a private event.

Trump has waffled publicly about whether Israel should continue its war in Gaza, saying “get it over with … get back to peace and stop killing people.” Major Republican donors have lobbied him in recent months to take a stronger stance backing Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The private New York meeting offers new insight into his current thinking. Speaking to wealthy donors behind closed doors, Trump said that he supports Israel’s right to continue “its war on terror” and boasted of his White House policies toward Israel.

The former president didn’t mention Netanyahu, whom he resents for acknowledging Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 and hasn’t spoken to in years.

Trump has offered few policy specifics about how he would treat Israel in a second term. He cast doubt on the viability of an independent Palestinian state in a recent Time magazine interview , saying he was “not sure a two-state solution anymore is gonna work,” adding: “there may not be another idea.” A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the end goal of U.S. policy under Democratic and Republican presidents for decades.

Trump’s campaign did not respond to detailed questions about The Washington Post’s reporting. “When President Trump is back in the Oval Office, Israel will once again be protected, Iran will go back to being broke, terrorists will be hunted down, and the bloodshed will end,” Karoline Leavitt, the campaign’s national press secretary, wrote in an email.

Both Trump and Biden have struggled with the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the campaign trail. Biden’s base is deeply divided on the Israel-Gaza war , but Trump’s rhetoric on the subject has limited his ability to capitalize on his opponent’s problems.

Trump has repeatedly claimed in public statements and interviews that Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which sparked the Gaza war, would have never happened if he were president.

But he has also criticized Israel’s approach to the war, albeit in somewhat confusing terms. In a March interview with the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, Trump said, “You have to finish up your war. To finish it up. You gotta get it done.” In April, he argued the war was bad for Israel’s image, telling conservative talk show radio host Hugh Hewitt that Israel is “absolutely losing the PR war.”

Trump took a different tone in the meeting with donors. Instead of saying it was time to wrap up the war, he said he supported Israel’s right to continue its attack on Gaza.

“But I’m one of the only people that says that now. And a lot of people don’t even know what October 7th is,” Trump said.

Trump repeatedly listed for the donors everything he believed he had done for Israel in the White House. He moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, bucking decades of U.S. policy. He recognized the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in 1967, as an integral part of Israel after what he said was a five-minute conversation with David Friedman, his ambassador there.

He also polled the room if they liked Friedman.

“So I did Golan Heights. You know that’s worth $2 trillion, they said, that piece, if you put it in real estate terms. But it’s worth more than that. It is,” Trump said, according to donors present.

Israel, Trump argued, needs his help. Street demonstrations for Israel get smaller crowds than his rallies, he said. In Washington, and particularly in Congress, “Israel is losing its power,” he added. “It’s incredible.”

The former president repeatedly expressed frustration that Jewish Americans did not vote for him as much as he believes they should, the donors said.

“But how can a Jewish person vote for a Democrat, and Biden in particular — but forget Biden. They always let you down,” he said, referring to Democrats.

Trump has made similar comments in public, occasionally triggering backlash. Some Jewish Americans have said that his rhetoric evokes the antisemitic idea that American Jews are more loyal to their religion or to Israel than to the United States.

Several influential Republican donors, including Miriam Adelson, have pressed Trump to publicly express support not only for Israel but also for Netanyahu, its embattled leader.

Trump never mentioned Netanyahu at the roundtable. But he has frequently complained about Netanyahu in public — particularly after the Israeli prime minister acknowledged Biden’s victory in the 2020 election even as Trump was still fiercely challenging the results.

“Bibi Netanyahu rightfully has been criticized for what took place on October 7,” Trump told Time, referring to the Israeli government’s failure to prevent the surprise attack, in which Hamas militants killed about 1,200 Israelis and took 253 hostage. He also recalled that he had “a bad experience with Bibi,” claiming that Israel had planned to participate in the 2020 U.S. strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani but backed out at the last minute.

Trump’s annoyance with Netanyahu dates to his time in the White House and his frustration that he felt he did not get enough credit for what he did for Israel and its leader when he was in office, John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, said in an interview.

“He doesn’t like Netanyahu … it’s because Bibi is one of the premier democratic politicians in the world in terms of getting publicity about himself and Trump resents that,” said Bolton, a frequent Trump critic. “Trump fundamentally sees Netanyahu as getting credit for things Trump thinks he ought to get credit for.”

Until the 2020 election, the two leaders had a close working relationship, according to one person familiar with their relationship, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the leaders’ private conversations. But Trump was “taken aback” by a video Netanyahu made congratulating Biden on his victory. Trump, this person said, thought the video was a “little too cordial.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a Trump ally and sometimes critic, didn’t directly address Trump’s comments about Israel when asked about them in an interview. But he offered a broad assessment.

“We can have our opinions about our allies but I think they’re in the middle of a fight for their life, there’ll be plenty of time for the accountability to be had,” he said. “The best route to deliver that accountability will be the Israeli people.”

Trump and Netanyahu’s relationship will “continue to prosper and flourish” if they’re both in office at the same time again, Matthew Brooks, chief executive of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said in an interview.

“He’s giving the Israelis a blank check to go in and do what they need to do to destroy Hamas and eliminate the threat in Gaza from Hamas. And what he’s also saying, which is actually true, he said ‘but do it quickly’ because time is not Israel’s ally right now,” Brooks said.

“President Biden stands against antisemitism and is committed to the safety of the Jewish community, and security of Israel. Donald Trump does not,” James Singer, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said in a statement earlier this month.

Top Trump allies recently visited Israel for meetings with Netanyahu and other officials in a delegation headed by Robert O’Brien, another of Trump’s former White House national security advisers. The trip was organized by the pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and the group did not come bearing messages from Trump or speaking on behalf of the Trump administration, said Ed McMullen, who served as U.S. ambassador to Switzerland under the Trump administration.

The group watched gruesome footage of the Oct. 7 attack and toured parts of the country where Israelis had been killed or kidnapped, making for an “educational visit that was life-changing,” McMullen said. The group is likely to debrief Trump on the trip at some point, he added.

At the donor roundtable, Trump said he had studied Jewish history and had thoughts about this moment in U.S. history.

“And you know, you go back through history, this is like just before the Holocaust. I swear. If you look, it’s the same thing,” Trump said. “You had a weak president or head of the country. And it just built and built. And then, all of a sudden, you ended up with Hitler. You ended up with a problem like nobody knew.”

Election 2024

Get the latest news on the 2024 election from our reporters on the campaign trail and in Washington.

Who is running?: President Biden and Donald Trump secured their parties’ nominations for the presidency . Here’s how we ended up with a Trump-Biden rematch .

Presidential debates: Biden and Trump agreed to a June 27 debate on CNN and a Sept. 10 debate broadcast by ABC News.

Key dates and events: From January to June, voters in all states and U.S. territories will pick their party’s nominee for president ahead of the summer conventions. Here are key dates and events on the 2024 election calendar .

Abortion and the election: Voters in about a dozen states could decide the fate of abortion rights with constitutional amendments on the ballot in a pivotal election year. Biden supports legal access to abortion , and he has encouraged Congress to pass a law that would codify abortion rights nationwide. After months of mixed signals about his position, Trump said the issue should be left to states . Here’s how Biden’s and Trump’s abortion stances have shifted over the years.

where travel in october


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