There's a chill in the air and the leaves are finally starting to change color and fall to the ground. While many are in getting into the swing of school and searching for their next Halloween costume, you may be ready for a fall getaway. If you love fall, here are some of the most unique autumn getaways you can visit this season without emptying out your bank account:
Bar Harbor, Maine
Photo Credit: James Kaiser
Bar Harbor is one of the best places in the U.S. to see those splendid fall colors. The array of colors in Acadia National Park will take your breath away! If you want to witness an abundance of oranges, yellows, and browns - try hiking or biking the trails on top of the summit of Cadillac Mountain. You can also take a drive up the Acadia Byway. Keep in mind that mid-October is the prime time to see all of the colors blossom, but you might have to fight crowds and rising travel prices since this is one of the busiest seasons.
Tennessee's Smoky Mountains
Photo Credit: Cabins of the Smoky Mountains
Tennessee's Smoky Mountains offer wonderous foliage starting in early October. Be sure to visit Gatlinburg, not only for its beauty during this season but for its entertainment and activities. In the heart of the city, tourists can enjoy shows, shopping, and family activities that everyone can enjoy, such as go-carting, sightseeing, and more! If you want to get out of the city, hike the 11-mile trail along Cades Cove. You will see views of stunning waterfalls, creeks, and beautiful landscapes.
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Photo Credit: Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau
If you want views of 100+ waterfalls, visit Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Vibrant colors line the hills and ridges, converting tunnels and roads into marvelous wonders. AMoung all the beauty, there are plenty of activities the entire family will love! Here you will find everything from The Richard & Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum to the Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park & Zipline.
Photo Credit: Fine Art America
Put on your scarf and boots and take a stroll around scenic downtown Bend. Let the streets enchant you as you shop the day away and meet the colorful locals. If you are in the mood for free, outdoor activities - there are countless hiking trails and activities that all nature-lovers and exercise-fanatics are sure to enjoy. If you are a beer coinsurer, hit the Bend Ale Trail for some one-of-a-kind beer tasting and unique pumpkin themed brews.
Western Connecticut's Litchfield Hills
Photo Credit: Leisure Group Travel
Set in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains, the Litchfield Hills look like something off of a postcard. Take a relaxing drive on Route 7 to see a lush array of autumn foliage and visit Kent, which was awarded the #1 Fall Foliage Town in New England by the Yankee Magazine. If you want to get a glimpse of the state's highest waterfalls, visit Kent Falls State Park for walking trails leading up to the peak.
Taos, New Mexico
Photo Credit: National Geographic
If you have a passion for art, Taos, New Mexico is the perfect fall getaway for you. Many artists call Taos home and offer plenty of galleries and paintings. From outdoor recreation to arts and culture, there is something for everyone in this town. Not only will the views enchant you, but the culture will leave you wanting more.
Photo Credit: Breckenridge
Fall is one of the most stunning times of the year, and is the perfect season for golden aspens and spending time in the outdoors. You can explore outdoor activities like mountain biking, fly fishing, hiking, shopping, and exploring, all in the heart of Breckenridge, Colorado. Set in the Rocky Mountains, Breckenridge is a great fall getaway for anyone who is looking to escape the constant hustle-and-bustle of big cities.
Adirondack Mountains, New York
Photo Credit: Pinterest
If you have an unwavering love for nature, take a trip to the largest natural wilderness region in the Eastern U.S.! We're talking about the one and only, Adirondack Mountains. The 170-mile Olympic Trail, which connects Lake Champlain to Lake Ontario provides an abundance of colors and wildlife. Be sure to stop by Lake George for entertainment options, shopping, and fall activities including Freedom Park.
Black Hills, South Dakota
Photo Credit: Adventure Cycling Association
The Black Hills are the home to the beloved National Landmark, Mount Rushmore! Enjoy family fun and scenic drives through Spearfish Canyon State & National Forest Service Scenic Byway. On this trip, you can view spruce, birch trees, aspens, and oaks embedded in the hills and cliffs of this windy road. Family activities include a trip to Four Mile Old West Town or the Zipline at Rushmore Tramway Adventures.
Photo Credit: Leavenworth
Leavenworth is a Bavarian-style town and one of the best destinations for fall foliage. Take a trip down Highway 2 to view all of the lush trees and colors. Or venture down Highway 97 to Blewett Pass to find some beautiful huckleberry bushes. You can also enjoy white water rafting, mountain biking, camping, or golfing well into the fall months.
Now that you're dreaming about your fall getaway, you may think these locations are out of your price range. However, with a little research, you can save big on any travel destination now and during the holidays. Here are a few quick tips for saving on your holiday vacation:
1. Be Flexible: Don't be restrictive with your travel dates or destinations. Airfare, hotels, and activities can drastically change in price depending on the time you choose to go. Many travel sites will give you the option to expand your search for the best possible flight price. Try sites like Expedia to get your search started!
2. Set Up Travel Alerts: Sites like Kayak and Skyscanner let you set up flight notifications for when prices on flights and hotels drop or increase.
3. Monitor Your Travel Plans: Holidays can get hectic and flights may get canceled. Downloading an app like Service can help you stay on top of your itinerary. They will even contact the airline on your behalf if your flight gets canceled
4. Keep Track of Your Travel Budget: It's easy to overspend while on vacation. Apps like Trail Wallet can help you track all of your travel expenses in more than 200 currencies.
5. Cut Down on Transportation Expenses: Transportation expenses can quickly add up. Using an app like Uber or Getaround can help you save, while getting you to all of your faraway destinations. This app is similar to Airbnb but is used for cards around your local area. It's about 30 cents cheaper than other car rental companies, which can add up to some substantial savings.
6. Walk When You Can: You may also want to try to walk as much as possible in order to save on gas money. Any destination is different on foot than transit, so bring your walking shoes and start exploring a new city.
7. Bundle Hotel and Airfare: You may be able to get a slightly better discount if you book airfare and accommodations together. Try sites like Expedia or Apple Vacations to find the best deal!
8. Pack Light: A lot of airlines are charging for any extra bags. That means, the more luggage you have the more it's going to cost you. Not to mention, nobody likes to lug a heavy suitcase around the airport. Do your best to pack light.
9. Avoid Peak Season at All Costs: Everyone wants to visit their families during the holidays, however, it may be best to take a raincheck and schedule a family function at another time. This may also give you time to research other travel destinations.
There are plenty of ways to save on travel this fall and throughout the holiday season. Do your research and find the best destination that will match your budget!