The Best Destinations to Book Now for Fall Travel

by Lauren Dana

The Best Destinations to Book Now for Fall Travel

by Lauren Dana

Many of our readers are eagerly awaiting fall travel opportunities as the country begins to reopen. To inspire future travels, we rounded up the best US destinations to visit this autumn — from a quaint Massachusetts mountain town to an artsy Florida enclave, and everywhere in between. Here are the best destinations to book now for fall travel.

Many of our readers are eagerly awaiting fall travel opportunities as the country begins to reopen. To inspire future travels, we rounded up the best US destinations to visit this autumn — from a quaint Massachusetts mountain town to an artsy Florida enclave, and everywhere in between.

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Asheville, NC / jrayupchurch/iStock
Myrtle Beach Boardwalk
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Myrtle Beach, SC

What to See and Do in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: With a warm and sunny climate, 60 miles of pristine coastline, and beautiful parks and green space, Myrtle Beach makes the perfect autumn escape. Fall visitors can enjoy fewer crowds and choose from an array of family-friendly activities, including paddleboarding, golfing, kayaking, hiking, biking, and, of course, soaking up the sun on the beach. 

Read more: Savor Even More Summer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

What to See and Do in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: With a warm and sunny climate, 60 miles of pristine coastline, and beautiful parks and green space, Myrtle Beach makes the perfect autumn escape. Fall visitors can enjoy fewer crowds and choose from an array of family-friendly activities, including paddleboarding, golfing, kayaking, hiking, biking, and, of course, soaking up the sun on the beach. 

Read more: Savor Even More Summer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, SC
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Myrtle Beach, SC

Where to Stay in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: If you’re looking for more room to kick back, consider renting a private Airbnb, some of which are within one block of the beach. Alternatively, if you’d rather stay at a hotel, we recommend the Hampton Inn & Suites, which offers reasonably priced rooms that sleep up to four guests. Amenities include seven pools, free breakfast, and a central beachfront location. 

Where to Stay in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: If you’re looking for more room to kick back, consider renting a private Airbnb, some of which are within one block of the beach. Alternatively, if you’d rather stay at a hotel, we recommend the Hampton Inn & Suites, which offers reasonably priced rooms that sleep up to four guests. Amenities include seven pools, free breakfast, and a central beachfront location. 

Asheville, NC
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Asheville, NC

What to See and Do in Asheville, North Carolina: Flanked by the Blue Ridge Mountains, this trendy, fun-loving city offers something for everyone. It’s home to quite a few craft breweries, incredible eats (don’t miss Gan Shan Station, which serves Asian cuisine inside a vintage gas station), and eclectic art galleries. Outdoor enthusiasts should also take advantage of the 3,000-plus miles of free hiking trails – including two national forests, Chimney Rock State Park, and John Rock Trail

Read more: Asheville, NC Is The Coolest Town You've Not Visited

What to See and Do in Asheville, North Carolina: Flanked by the Blue Ridge Mountains, this trendy, fun-loving city offers something for everyone. It’s home to quite a few craft breweries, incredible eats (don’t miss Gan Shan Station, which serves Asian cuisine inside a vintage gas station), and eclectic art galleries. Outdoor enthusiasts should also take advantage of the 3,000-plus miles of free hiking trails – including two national forests, Chimney Rock State Park, and John Rock Trail. 

Read more: Asheville, NC Is The Coolest Town You've Not Visited

Asheville, NC
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Asheville, NC

Where to Stay in Asheville, North Carolina: The luxe, 85-acre Horse Shoe Farm is comprised of eight homes and accommodates just 50 guests at a time, so you’ll have plenty of space to social distance. The rustic-chic property is also home to the incredible Stable Spa, housed in a former horse stable. Other onsite amenities include a sound bath, labyrinth, a pond and watering hole, and an incredible restaurant called The Silo Cookhouse

Where to Stay in Asheville, North Carolina: The luxe, 85-acre Horse Shoe Farm is comprised of eight homes and accommodates just 50 guests at a time, so you’ll have plenty of space to social distance. The rustic-chic property is also home to the incredible Stable Spa, housed in a former horse stable. Other onsite amenities include a sound bath, labyrinth, a pond and watering hole, and an incredible restaurant called The Silo Cookhouse. 

The Berkshires
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Lenox, MA

What to See and Do in Lenox, Mass: Located in the heart of the Berkshires, Lenox offers plenty of small-town charm – plus plenty to see and do for everyone in your group. After a day of shopping on Main Street, visit one of the many nearby farms, wineries, or orchards to pick apples and sample some cider. 

What to See and Do in Lenox, Mass: Located in the heart of the Berkshires, Lenox offers plenty of small-town charm – plus plenty to see and do for everyone in your group. After a day of shopping on Main Street, visit one of the many nearby farms, wineries, or orchards to pick apples and sample some cider. 

Blantyre Country House
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Lenox, MA

Where to Stay in Lenox, Mass: Consider reserving a room at Blantyre Country House, which was originally built in 1902 to resemble a Scottish castle. Today, the intimate property features just 19 rooms and suites along with four spacious, private cottages that offer an extra level of seclusion. Additionally, the property recently announced the launch of Café Boulud at Blantyre, which will serve regional, summery French dishes through mid-October. 

Read more: Our Review of Blantyre Country House

Where to Stay in Lenox, Mass: Consider reserving a room at Blantyre Country House, which was originally built in 1902 to resemble a Scottish castle. Today, the intimate property features just 19 rooms and suites along with four spacious, private cottages that offer an extra level of seclusion. Additionally, the property recently announced the launch of Café Boulud at Blantyre, which will serve regional, summery French dishes through mid-October. 

Newport, RI
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Newport, RI

What to See and Do in Newport, RI: You may think of Newport as a summer destination, but we’d argue that fall is actually the best time to visit thanks to fewer crowds and beautiful foliage. Check out the 325-acre Norman Bird Sanctuary, which offers breathtaking ocean views. Meanwhile, oenophiles will appreciate a visit to one of the nearby wineries, including Newport Vineyards, which is currently accepting tasting reservations. Prefer beer? You’re in luck – there’s also an onsite brewery, too.   

Read more: What's Worth the Splurge in Newport, RI

What to See and Do in Newport, RI: You may think of Newport as a summer destination, but we’d argue that fall is actually the best time to visit thanks to fewer crowds and beautiful foliage. Check out the 325-acre Norman Bird Sanctuary, which offers breathtaking ocean views. Meanwhile, oenophiles will appreciate a visit to one of the nearby wineries, including Newport Vineyards, which is currently accepting tasting reservations. Prefer beer? You’re in luck – there’s also an onsite brewery, too.   

Read more: What's Worth the Splurge in Newport, RI

Newport, RI
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Newport, RI

Where to Stay in Newport, RI: While there are plenty of hotels here, you may want to consider renting a house on Airbnb. Many of them afford beautiful ocean or harbor views, along with spacious bedrooms. Plus, since you’re renting a home, you’ll be able to cook all of your own meals – you know, if you feel like it. 

Where to Stay in Newport, RI: While there are plenty of hotels here, you may want to consider renting a house on Airbnb. Many of them afford beautiful ocean or harbor views, along with spacious bedrooms. Plus, since you’re renting a home, you’ll be able to cook all of your own meals – you know, if you feel like it. 

Gatlinburg, TN
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Gatlinburg, TN

What to See and Do in Gatlinburg, TN: Gatlinburg is known as the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, making it the perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts and nature aficionados. Here, travelers can hike, bike, admire the beautiful fall foliage, and even spot wildlife like elk, deer, turkeys, fox, owls, and bears. 

Read more: Shining the Spotlight on Gatlinburg, TN

What to See and Do in Gatlinburg, TN: Gatlinburg is known as the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, making it the perfect getaway for outdoor enthusiasts and nature aficionados. Here, travelers can hike, bike, admire the beautiful fall foliage, and even spot wildlife like elk, deer, turkeys, fox, owls, and bears. 

Read more: Shining the Spotlight on Gatlinburg, TN

Smoky Mountains, TN
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Gatlinburg, TN

Where to Stay in Gatlinburg, TN: Elk Springs Resort has dozens of one- to nine-bedroom cottages and condos to choose from, some of which even feature private pools, fireplaces, home theaters, saunas, and arcades.  

Where to Stay in Gatlinburg, TN: Elk Springs Resort has dozens of one- to nine-bedroom cottages and condos to choose from, some of which even feature private pools, fireplaces, home theaters, saunas, and arcades.  

Bannerman Island, NY
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Beacon, NY

What to See and Do in Beacon, New York: Just 90 minutes by car from New York City, this up-and-coming destination is ideal for art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Popular nearby attractions include Dia: Beacon, a fantastic art museum that’s situated on 30 acres of land along the Hudson River; and Breakneck Ridge, which has a challenging yet rewarding four-mile hiking trail from which the views are truly amazing. There's also Pollepel Island – a small island situated in the middle of the Hudson River – that's home to Bannerman Castle, an abandoned military warehouse that looks like it was ripped straight out of a fairytale. 

Read more: 10 Quick Breaks From Major US Cities

What to See and Do in Beacon, New York: Just 90 minutes by car from New York City, this up-and-coming destination is ideal for art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Popular nearby attractions include Dia: Beacon, a fantastic art museum that’s situated on 30 acres of land along the Hudson River; and Breakneck Ridge, which has a challenging yet rewarding four-mile hiking trail from which the views are truly amazing. There's also Pollepel Island – a small island situated in the middle of the Hudson River – that's home to Bannerman Castle, an abandoned military warehouse that looks like it was ripped straight out of a fairytale. 

Read more: 10 Quick Breaks From Major US Cities

Beacon, NY aerial view
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Beacon, NY

Where to Stay in Beacon, NY: With its own private balcony featuring stunning views of Mt. Beacon — plus easy access to the on-site solarium and roof garden — the Balcony Room at The Inn and Spa at Beacon is great for singles or couples alike. However, if you're craving more space (or you're traveling with a large group), consider renting a private Airbnb in nearby Cold Spring, Newburgh, Garrison, or Fishkill. 

Where to Stay in Beacon, NY: With its own private balcony featuring stunning views of Mt. Beacon — plus easy access to the on-site solarium and roof garden — the Balcony Room at The Inn and Spa at Beacon is great for singles or couples alike. However, if you're craving more space (or you're traveling with a large group), consider renting a private Airbnb in nearby Cold Spring, Newburgh, Garrison, or Fishkill. 

Carmel, CA
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Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

What to See and Do in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA: Carmel-by-the-Sea is located right on the Monterey Peninsula. Besides its pretty beaches, the town is also known for its walkable streets, which are lined with nearly 100 incredible art galleries, plus eclectic boutiques. We also recommend taking a self-guided, socially distant walking tour along the famed Scenic Bluff Pathway, where you can admire the beautiful surroundings. 

Read more: Monterey County for 7 Different Types of Travelers

What to See and Do in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA: Carmel-by-the-Sea is located right on the Monterey Peninsula. Besides its pretty beaches, the town is also known for its walkable streets, which are lined with nearly 100 incredible art galleries, plus eclectic boutiques. We also recommend taking a self-guided, socially distant walking tour along the famed Scenic Bluff Pathway, where you can admire the beautiful surroundings. 

Read more: Monterey County for 7 Different Types of Travelers

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
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Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Where to Stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA: The 30-room Hotel Carmel offers a central location (just a few blocks from an array of shopping and dining options) and spacious accommodations. However, if you feel more comfortable being in your own space, you can rent a quaint cottage, sprawling home, or even a treehouse on Airbnb.  

Where to Stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA: The 30-room Hotel Carmel offers a central location (just a few blocks from an array of shopping and dining options) and spacious accommodations. However, if you feel more comfortable being in your own space, you can rent a quaint cottage, sprawling home, or even a treehouse on Airbnb.  

San Juan Island, WA
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San Juan Island, WA

What to See and Do in San Juan Island, WA: San Juan Island can be easily reached by ferry and offers plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities and outdoor activities. Can’t-miss sights include the 20-acre Sculpture Park, Lime Kiln Point State Park (where you can whale-watch from the shore), and the Whale Museum

Read more: A Peaceful Getaway in the Pacific Northwest
 

What to See and Do in San Juan Island, WA: San Juan Island can be easily reached by ferry and offers plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities and outdoor activities. Can’t-miss sights include the 20-acre Sculpture Park, Lime Kiln State Park (where you can whale-watch from the shore), and the Whale Museum. 

Read more: A Peaceful Getaway in the Pacific Northwest

San Juan Island, WA
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San Juan Island, WA

Where to Stay in San Juan Island, WA: The waterfront Snug Harbor Resort is comprised of several charming cabins and spacious suites. All accommodations feature fully equipped kitchens and Insta-worthy views. Guests also have access to the property’s private beach. 

Read more: Tiny-Cabin Charm on San Juan Island, WA

Where to Stay in San Juan Island, WA: The waterfront Snug Harbor Resort is comprised of several charming cabins and spacious suites. All accommodations feature fully equipped kitchens and Insta-worthy views. Guests also have access to the property’s private beach. 

Read more: Tiny-Cabin Charm on San Juan Island, WA

St. Francisville, GA
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St. Francisville, LA

What to See and Do in St. Francisville, LA: St. Francisville is about a 40-minute drive from Louisiana’s capital city of Baton Rouge, although its small-town charm makes it feel miles away from the hustle and bustle. Here, visitors can tour the historic 1800s-era Myrtles Plantation (which is considered to be haunted!) or enjoy a picnic at the Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site, which has stunning gardens and scenic walking paths. 

Read more: 13 Ways to Experience Louisiana Like a Local

What to See and Do in St. Francisville, LA: St. Francisville is about a 40-minute drive from Louisiana’s capital city of Baton Rouge – although its small-town charm makes it feel miles away from the hustle and bustle. Here, visitors can tour the historic 1800s-era Myrtles Plantation – considered to be haunted – or enjoy a picnic at the Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site, which has stunning gardens and scenic walking paths. 

Read more: 13 Ways to Experience Louisiana Like a Local

St. Francisville, Louisiana
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St. Francisville, LA

Where to Stay in St. Francisville, LA: The St. Francisville Inn reopened in 2019 following an extensive renovation. Today, guests can enjoy charming accommodations, all-new, manicured landscaping, and a beautiful porch complete with plenty of room for social distancing.

Where to Stay in St. Francisville, LA: The St. Francisville Inn reopened in 2019 following an extensive renovation. Today, guests can enjoy charming accommodations, all-new, manicured landscaping, and a beautiful porch complete with plenty of room for social distancing.

Sedona, AZ
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Sedona, AZ

What to See and Do in Sedona, Arizona: Sedona has miles of scenic hiking trails at every level, from novice to expert. (Bell Rock Pathway happens to be our favorite, and it's one of the easier ones.) After working up a sweat, take a stroll through the lively Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, which is designed to resemble the same colorful Mexican town it's named for. And, luckily, thanks to the region’s dry climate, travelers can enjoy warm weather all year long.  

Read more: A One-Week Arizona Road Trip with Something for Everyone

What to See and Do in Sedona, Arizona: Sedona has miles of scenic hiking trails at every level, from novice to expert. (Bell Rock Pathway happens to be our favorite, and it's one of the easier ones.) After working up a sweat, take a stroll through the lively Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, which is designed to resemble the same colorful Mexican town it's named for. And, luckily, thanks to the region’s dry climate, travelers can enjoy warm weather all year long.  

Read more: A One-Week Arizona Road Trip with Something for Everyone

 

Sedona, AZ
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Sedona, AZ

Where to Stay in Sedona, Arizona: Las Posadas of Sedona, comprised of spacious villas and suites, is perfect for groups and families of all ages. Each suite is a roomy 650 square feet, while villas span a whopping 1,500 square feet; each is equipped with its own full-sized kitchen, too.

Where to Stay in Sedona, Arizona: Las Posadas of Sedona, comprised of spacious villas and suites, is perfect for groups and families of all ages. Each suite is a roomy 650 square feet, while villas span a whopping 1,500 square feet; each is equipped with its own full-sized kitchen, too.

Delray Beach, FL
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Delray Beach, FL

What to See and Do in Delray Beach, FL: This hidden gem of a Florida neighborhood is just an hour from Miami. Here, you’ll find art galleries, beautiful beaches, and cool street art (especially in the Pineapple Grove District). Don’t skip town without a visit to the Japanese-inspired Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, which has a 200-acre wildlife park filled with greenery, bonsai trees, scenic walking paths, and koi fished-filled lakes. 

Read more: Florida's 10 Best Boutique Hotels

What to See and Do in Delray Beach, FL: This hidden gem of a Florida neighborhood is just an hour from Miami. Here, you’ll find art galleries, beautiful beaches, and cool street art (especially in the Pineapple Grove District). Don’t skip town without a visit to the Japanese-inspired Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, which has a 200-acre wildlife park filled with greenery, bonsai trees, scenic walking paths, and koi fished-filled lakes. 

Read more: Florida's 10 Best Boutique Hotels

Delray Beach, FL
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Delray Beach, FL

Where to Stay in Delray Beach, FL: Delray Beach is pretty residential, which means there's no shortage of beautiful houses and apartments available for rent on Airbnb. Alternatively, consider booking a room at the Seagate Hotel and Spa, where on-site amenities include a private beach; an 8,000-square-foot, full-service spa; three outdoor pools, and five — yes, five — aquariums (including a 2,500-gallon shark tank). And, when it's time for some R&R, you'll have plenty of space to lounge out in your room; accommodations range in size from 388 square feet to a whopping 1,800 square feet. 

Where to Stay in Delray Beach, FL: Delray Beach is pretty residential, which means there's no shortage of beautiful houses and apartments available for rent on Airbnb. Alternatively, consider booking a room at the Seagate Hotel and Spa, where on-site amenities include a private beach; an 8,000-square-foot, full-service spa; three outdoor pools, and five — yes, five — aquariums (including a 2,500-gallon shark tank). And, when it's time for some R&R, you'll have plenty of space to lounge out in your room; accommodations range in size from 388 square feet to a whopping 1,800 square feet. 

Boulder Flatirons
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Boulder, CO

What to See and Do in Boulder, Colorado: This bustling college town is home to over 31,000 acres of parkland. Chautauqua Park features spectacular views, beautiful gardens, and scenic hiking trails – making it one of our favorite places to explore. Meanwhile, beer lovers will appreciate the Boulder Beer Trail, which includes stops at wineries and distilleries. Fashionistas can go shopping along Pearl Street, where 70 percent of the businesses are locally owned. 

Read more: The Best Cities for Solo Travel in the U.S.

What to See and Do in Boulder, Colorado: This bustling college town is home to over 31,000 acres of parkland. Chautauqua Park features spectacular views, beautiful gardens, and scenic hiking trails – making it one of our favorite places to explore. Meanwhile, beer lovers will appreciate the Boulder Beer Trail, which includes stops at wineries and distilleries. Fashionistas can go shopping along Pearl Street, where 70 percent of the businesses are locally owned. 

Read more: The Best Cities for Solo Travel in the U.S.

Pearl Street, Boulder
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Boulder, CO

Where to Stay in Boulder, Colorado: Whether you’re looking for a sprawling, modern mansion or cozy condominium, Airbnb has it all. Plus, a majority of the listings are centrally located, so you won’t even need a car. If you are looking to stay in a hotel, we recommend the Embassy Suites by Hilton. The all-suite property offers spacious, comfortable, and affordable accommodations — some of which can sleep up to six people. 

Where to Stay in Boulder, Colorado: Whether you’re looking for a sprawling, modern mansion or cozy condominium, Airbnb has it all. Plus, a majority of the listings are centrally located, so you won’t even need a car. If you are looking to stay in a hotel, we recommend the Embassy Suites by Hilton. The all-suite property offers spacious, comfortable, and affordable accommodations — some of which can sleep up to six people. 

Augusta, GA
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Augusta, GA

What to See and Do in Augusta, Georgia: This charming southern city makes for an ideal fall getaway. First, stop by the Augusta Riverwalk, where there are beautiful gardens, a playground, and several restaurants. If the weather’s nice, consider kayaking along the Augusta Canal (or, if you don’t feel like getting in the water, you can opt to hike or bike along the water). The Savannah Rapids Pavilion is also a great place to partake in various activities, like stand-up paddleboarding, boating, or sailing. 

What to See and Do in Augusta, Georgia: This charming southern city makes for an ideal fall getaway. First, stop by the Augusta Riverwalk, where there are beautiful gardens, a playground, and several restaurants. If the weather’s nice, consider kayaking along the Augusta Canal (or, if you don’t feel like getting in the water, you can opt to hike or bike along the water). The Savannah Rapids Pavilion is also a great place to partake in various activities, like stand-up paddleboarding, boating, or sailing. 

Augusta, GA
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Augusta, GA

Where to Stay in Augusta, Georgia: You’ll get the most bang — and space — for your buck if you rent an Airbnb. If you’re lucky (and book in advance!) you may even be able to score a home with a private pool. Or, if you don't want to rent out an entire home, you can opt to stay at the centrally located Sheraton Augusta Hotel, where standard guest rooms sleep up to four people. 

Where to Stay in Augusta, Georgia: You’ll get the most bang — and space — for your buck if you rent an Airbnb. If you’re lucky (and book in advance!) you may even be able to score a home with a private pool. Or, if you don't want to rent out an entire home, you can opt to stay at the centrally located Sheraton Augusta Hotel, where standard guest rooms sleep up to four people. 

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