The Best Fall Travel Destinations in the United States for the Entire Family

Fall is such a beautiful season.

There’s nothing quite like crunchy leaves beneath your feet, or a hot drink accompanied by a crackling fire. Enjoy the coziness of this season and visit some of the best fall travel destinations in the United States. Let’s take a look at some places we recommend taking the family.

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The Best Fall Travel Destinations 

Without a doubt, the weather is the most anticipated aspect of fall. Everything seems so much pretty in this season. The changing of the leaves creates a beautiful scenery when you walk through any city. Just because it’s cold outside, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things to do. Why not visit a new destination to make unforgettable memories? We’ve searched the Internet for the best activities for the entire family in beautiful cities in the United States. Here’s what we found.

1. ​San Francisco

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San Francisco is one of the best fall travel destinations for numerous reasons. Firstly, head to the famous Golden Gate Bridge. This is more fun up close and even more so in the fall. You can ride a bike and explore the Marin Headlands on the other side. Alternatively, head there in the morning when it’s peaceful and quiet. Absorb the fresh air and watch the world go by. Another great activity during the fall is to ride the cable cars. Beat the hills and explore the major tourist areas, such as Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. There are only 3 of the original 23 routes remaining, so make sure you don’t miss out.

Whilst the rest of the country is cooling down, San Francisco remains warm and offers an array of outdoor activities for tourists and locals. If you consider yourself a foodie, head to the many farmers markets. These are filled with early winter squash, eggplants, artichokes and many more cultural foods. This is a great time to explore outside and watch the world pass you by and meet some locals. With a friendly atmosphere, there’s a festive mood in the air which is contagious.

Thanks to warm, bright days and limited winds, fall is one of the best times to spend your time outdoors in San Francisco. Catch a boat. Hike the Marin Headlands’ coastal trails, or pack a picnic for the Ocean beach. For a more relaxed activity, light a bonfire as the sun goes down. There are so many things to do and places to visit in the fall which is one of our favourite reasons to visit San Francisco in the fall.

2. New York

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There’s no way we could talk about the best fall travel destinations and not reference New York. The city thrives during this season and people from all around the world travel to NYC for its cheerful spirit. If you love shows, then fall is the best time of year to head to Broadway. Fall brings new culture and sports and the place is buzzing with new plays and musicals. As a result, you can expect the seats costing higher, but it’s totally worth it for the contagious spirit.

Alternatively, opt for simplicity in the city that never sleeps. Stroll through Central Park to absorb yourself amongst the red, orange and yellow leaves. Cover yourself in a thick, comfortable scarf with a hot drink in your hand. The city’s parks pop with autumn hues which creates a blissfully romantic setting. Specifically, the New York Botanical Gardens provide a show of fall colours. On the other hand, visit Fort Tyron Park for sweeping views of the Hudson River. At the same time, make the most of medieval art and fantastic architecture. There’s truly nowhere else in the world which achieves was New York does in the fall.

New York is magical in the fall. The city really comes alive with festivals during this season. For example, the New York Film Festival kicks off in October and the city is filled with celebrities. On the other hand, head to a hilarious Comedy Festival in November to enlighten your mood. Finally, to really set the mood for fall, don’t miss out on a skating experience. New York prides itself on numerous ice rinks – such as the Rockefeller Center. For the beginning of October, the tickets are reduced so get in there quickly to score a discount.

3. Boston

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Boston is one of the best fall travel destinations to visit in your lifetime. This city has one of the best collections of American furnishings, craftwork and art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. As well as regular holdings, they often put on exciting special exhibits only in the fall. As a result, it’s a great spot for art lovers to visit. Opening in fall this year, is the ‘Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork’. This particular exhibit showcases the rise of crafts which began in the beginning of the twentieth century.

Also, another great activity to engage in is a bike ride. Radiating with a crisp, cool air, Boston is the perfect place for many outdoor activists to bike. Take a beautiful ride with the Urban AdvenTours for a fully guided tour of the city. At the same time, inhale the fresh, clean air and enjoy the weather. This is a great activity for children and adults, as well as a great way to stay active and healthy on vacation. As well as a bike ride, stay fit by opting for a walk around the area. Boston is a particularly beautiful place to visit at this time of the year thanks to the fantastic views of the foliage. With such a spectacular away of yellows, browns, reds and oranges, so much beauty surrounds you.

Finally, make sure you head to the Charles river for the Charles Regatta rowing competition. This event brings people from all over the region to witness the most talented rowers in the country. Spend time by the river where others gather to enjoy delectable food and refreshing drinks. This event is free to get in, so make the most of it.

4. ​San Diego

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San Diego is another of the best fall travel destinations to spend time with family. There are plenty of outdoor events and activities to keep you occupied and make the most of the vacation.

From November 1, the annual Di de los Muertos is celebrated in the Historical Old Town. This is a free event which includes a traditional candlelight procession starting from 6pm. Along with others, you travel down San Diego Avenue to El Campo Santo Cemetery. This celebration continues throughout the following weekend with street food, vendors and family-based activities. Also, many Old Town restaurants provide special menus and live music for the entire family.

For a day out with family in the beautiful crisp air, make sure you take a trip to the historic town of Julian. This is famous for its stunning fall colours and nature. Visit the U-pick farm to pluck apples from the trees and make your way downtown to look through the innovate gift stores. Before leaving the area, we recommend stopping by at a local pie shop for a freshly baked pumpkin/apple pie.

As of September each year, you can visit several spooky attractions in the area – including a haunted hotel. Visited this hotel based downtown and find your way back out for a spooky experience. Named as one of the top 13 haunted houses in America, it’s great for those who love being scared. On the other hand, enter the Haunted Trail in Balboa Park for a scary stroll through a haunted Plantation. Walk along Bourbon Street in for a night you’ll never forget. Finally, enjoy some of the world’s best wine creations at the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. This yearly occurrence features cooking classes, celebrity chef dinners and more.  

5. ​Washington, D.C.

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There’s an array of festivals and events in Washington, D.C. and ample opportunities to get to know the culture here. For example, Oktoberfest is a celebration of German culture. In the region, there are numerous German fall festivals celebrating popular bear and more than 300 different types of ales and lagers. Also, with live music, family-friendly activities and food stalls dotted around, it’s a long-lasting day and night out. If hectic crowds and fun-filled activities are your thing, then you’ll also love the annual food festival in Georgetown. This also holds live music and children’s activities; it’s a great way to witness judges tasting over 70 dishes.

There’s a real sense of community and togetherness in Washington, D.C. in the fall. Specifically, the H Street Festival is an annual occasion showcasing local arts and entertainment. This features more than 500 artists with 14 stages showing an array of talent. With performances lasting all day, there are so many things to see and learn. Also, with shopping, cuisine and art exhibits, you’ll walk away feeling you’ve learn something too. There are even public events and seminars with local entrepreneurs advising the audience of tips.

Finally, don’t miss out on the annual Taste of Bethesda. Here, you can sample foods from more than 50 restaurants and engage in four stages of live entertainment. Alternatively, visit the children’s zone for face painting, food decorating and the chance to win prizes. Also, adults can enjoy the classic car show as well as delicious cuisine to learn about and try. Located outdoors, it’s also a great way to breathe in the fresh air and make the most of the beautiful fall season.

6. ​Dallas – Fort Worth

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Dallas is another great location for the best fall travel destinations. We love the amount and variety of things to do here for the entire family. No matter your interests, there’s something for everyone in Dallas in the fall. You can’t visit Dallas without taking a trip to the State Fair of Texas. Make the most of a day filled with livestock competitions, live music, fried foods, rides and more.

Alternatively, enjoy the simple things in life by journeying around the outdoor spaces in Dallas. Hike through the Trinity River Forest. Alternatively, spend the day picnicking at White Rock Lake or strolling through the many parks in Dallas. Additionally, there’s an array of guided outdoor adventures to comfortable show you around the area.

If traditional activities are more in your interest, then you’ll love Autumn at the Arboretum. This is a tradition in Dallas where people across the nation visit the Pumpkin Village for a joyous walk and for excellent photograph opportunities. Each year, the Village features a unique theme to keep guests on their toes.

Just because it’s fall doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a swim. The Epic Waters Indoor Water Park is a great place to get your summer fix in cold weather. With the choice of 11 slides, it’s a unique waterpark which is ideal for the entire family.

Lastly, before it gets too cold to spend time outdoors, enjoy dinner and drinks in an outdoor patio in Dallas. Every neighborhood offers numerous restaurants and bars with patio spaces. Watch the sun set over the city with loved ones. What better way is there to enjoy the crisp fall air?

7. ​Yellowstone National Park

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There are so many things to do in Yellowstone National Park during the fall. During this time of year, the temperatures are more comfortable than the summer heat or winter freeze, and the fall colours shimmer through the park.

Best of all, wildlife is active and there’s no better time of year to visit Yellowstone than during this season. If you love wildlife, you’ll appreciate spotting a grizzly sow and cub in the Park. Animals seem to become more visible at this time of year – especially as there are less leaves on the trees. The best time to watch wildlife is during the morning or evening. You’ll witness some spectacular moments, such as animals catching food and eating, as well as generally prancing around in their environment.

Also, fall is an amazing season to soak in the Boiling River. Located near the Montana border within the park, it offers hot springs which enter the Gardner River. It’s a place which is perfect for tourists to share a soak. The Garner River meets the hot river around a mile’s level hike from a parking area. This makes is a place you can easily regulate the hot and cold flow. During this season, it becomes extremely popular, so make sure you visit there well in advance to avoid crowded tourists.

With beautiful, colourful foliage you can’t afford to miss out on this stunning Park. Enrich your knowledge and leave the planning to a seasoned guide. The Park offers an array of fall programs to highlight the Park’s amazing history, wilderness, geology and wildlife. With various programmes and activities including art, wildlife-watching, hiking and photography, there are so many things to learn and love here.

8. ​Yosemite

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Yosemite is another of the best fall travel destinations to visit at some point in your life. This season welcomes an array of activities, entertainment ideas and things to see. The off-season means it’s less crowded compared to other times of the year, and this makes is a great destination to visit with family and loved ones.

Visit the Yosemite Museum which is over 90 years old. Though it may be small, it’s rich in artifacts. Items in the exhibits are created by tribes to the park and surrounded areas since the 1850’s. It includes everything from fine art to John Muir’s sierra cup. You’ll witness an array of beautiful items and artifacts in the heart of Yosemite Village.

Though you don’t typically associate fall with outdoor activities, you can see take a hike through the Tuolumne Grove. This 2.5-mile round-trip hike contains about 25 of the oldest and most massive living things on the planet. This serves as a major attraction in the area and attracts people from all regions each year.

Yosemite Valley is radiating with historic sites – some of which are still visible on the ground. The Park’s history is bunched on the floor, so keep your eyes peeled for amazing finds. There’s a map which shows you how to link the trails on the heart of the valley to explore the sites.

Opt for a peaceful wonder, or ask a guide for advice to help improve your chances of finding some amazing artifacts. Finally, for adrenaline junkies, you’ll appreciate that fall is rock-climbing season. The paved Valley Loop Trail consists of a 13-mile route of the valley floor. Here, you can witness athletes in action. You can follow climbers’ trails north through the woods too.

9. Napa Valley

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Finally, Napa Valley is a must-see in the fall. Get inspired at the Caldwell Snyder Gallery, downtown. Each year, they present stunning paintings of Mara Penter in the exhibition. You can expect anything from paintings of beautiful bodies to photographs of public transport. Her sense of humour and appreciation for art is apparent in all of her creations.

Also, the annual Napa Valley Film Festival is one of the biggest events in the region. This presents over 120 new independent films shown at locations throughout the valley. Catch the next biggest thing before it’s out to the public and support independent creators.

The Hometown Harvest Festival offers a day of fun festivities for the entire family. Observe an adorable Pet Parade. Feast your eyes on live music, arts and crafts. Also, support local artists and farmers, as well as independent beer and winemakers.

Another great way to appreciate fall in Napa Valley is by enjoying a picnic of Napa’s oldest winery. Since 1951, this area welcomes people from around the region. Pack a picnic blanket, sit on the lawn beneath an oak tree and enjoy the barbecue fare. With new-released wines on offer and live music, it’s a great place to enjoy some peace, plus amazing views of the vineyards.

Finally, there are plenty of restaurants to enjoy in Napa Valley. Many of these sell historic foods and cultural cuisines which you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Exposed to stone and wood dining rooms, it also makes a cosy environment which it’s cold outside.

What Are the Best Fall Travel Destinations You’ve Visited?

We hope you enjoyed reading about the fun-filled activities for the entire family in these cities. More importantly, there’s so much beauty in the fall and there’s a real sense of community and positive energy in many cities in the United States.

We hope you’ve discovered some beautiful places to visit. However, we’d love to hear some of your recommendations. Do you know some of the best fall travel destinations to visit? Share your thoughts and advice in the comments to keep this conversation going.

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