It seems like just yesterday we were still getting geared up for summer — and now, here we are, already facing down fall!
But as time keeps marching on, it’s no tragedy. It’s just all the more reason to get out there and explore some more beautiful vacation destinations!
Fall is one of our favorite travel seasons here at RVshare HQ. Don’t get us wrong, a summer road trip is classic. But there’s just something about fall that can’t be imitated. The chill in the air, the changing leaves, the proliferation of pumpkin-based baked goods… I mean, really, what more can you ask for?
Furthermore, fall brings, in some destinations, a welcome lull in the crowds. With the kids back in school, there’s not quite so much travel fever, which can spell sweet serenity for those who do take to the road in September and October.
So whether you’re looking to enjoy a cozy walk through a colorful forest or head to a beach to enjoy some summer warmth before winter’s chill sets all the way in, here are some of our very favorite fall vacation spots for 2021.
Fun Fall Vacation Ideas
Here are some fun fall travel destinations you won’t soon forget!
1. Baxter State Park, Maine
Home to, among a host of other beautiful sights, the famous Mount Katahdin (Maine’s tallest), Baxter State Park is also a prime location to go “leaf peeping” — that is, checking out the beautiful changing colors of the many types of trees native to the area. With 215 miles of hiking trails, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with the fall foliage on foot, and you can also take advantage of one of the park’s 337 campsites, all of which have access to natural water sources (though hookups are limited).
While you’re in Maine, you can also make it a point to swing by the coast, and perhaps even Acadia National Park. With sweeping sea views from majestic granite peaks, it’s one of the most beautiful parks in the register, and considering Maine’s winters, now’s the time to experience it!
2. Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington
Don’t get us wrong, the Rockies are legendary. But if you haven’t seen Washington’s Cascade mountain range all dressed out in its fall finest, you really haven’t experienced an autumn in the American west. Red and yellow leaves make the perfect backdrop for massive, snow-capped mountains, and there are plenty of developed campgrounds to choose from as well as a generous dispersed camping policy. All of these things make this one of the best places to visit in the fall.
3. Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma
You might not immediately expect Oklahoma to pop up on a list of the best places to visit in the fall, but that’s simply an oversight. The Sooner State is chock full of beautiful changing leaves, and that’s especially true at the already-scenic Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
Better yet, you’ll see those fabulous reds and golds reflected in this natural landscape’s variety of streams, rivers, and lakes, all of which offer prime opportunities for outdoor adventuring of all types. Campsites with electric and water hookups are available, too, but we suggest making your reservations as early as possible.
Best National Parks to Visit in October
We get it: the national parks kind of get a name as a summer destination. But some of the very best October vacations are actually those where you wind up in a national park!
Of course, not all national parks are created equally when it comes to fall vacationing. For example, unless you’re ready for some very serious snow, you’ll probably want to stay south of Glacier.
Here are some October vacation destinations managed by the National Park Service.
4. Biscayne National Park, Florida
Not every fall vacationer is in it for the leaves. Maybe all you want is an extension on summer — and if that sounds like you, then your best bet is to head south. All the way south.
Okay, you can actually stop short of Key West, because Biscayne National Park in the Miami-area is definitely worth a quick layover. But keep in mind that a lot of the park is actually underwater! In fact, 95% of its 172,971 acres are aqueous, and those who dare to venture beneath the waves (or snorkel on their surface) will be treated to colorful coral reefs flitting with tropical fish. Of course, you can also paddle on top of the water in a kayak or canoe, or just kick back on the sand and enjoy the stunning horizon.
One of our favorite things about this national park is that it’s actually within sight of one of the largest metropoles in America — Miami — so you can balance your outdoor adventures with a whole host of fun urban amusements. Oh, and you absolutely must have a Cuban sandwich before you leave, or at the very least a cortadito. (The writer of this post is a Miami native. Trust her.)
5. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Who doesn’t have Grand Canyon National Park firmly installed on their travel bucket list? Well, if you want to avoid both the sweltering heat and the enormous crowds of high summer, consider visiting in fall instead. The temperatures, while still warm, will be more reasonable, and you might even be able to take a photo without elbowing your way to the front of a crowd.
If you’re a more serious adventurer looking to do something crazy — er, ambitious — like hiking rim to rim, fall might be a better bet than summer. Even seasoned outdoorsfolk can find themselves overwhelmed by the summer temperatures, so trying out an autumn excursion might be more successful (not to mention safer).
6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina
We’ve definitely written about this park before when pondering the best places for east coast fall vacations… and chances are, we’ll write about it again. Along with being one of the very best places to visit in the fall to see the autumn colors, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also home to babbling brooks, mystical mountains, and a wide array of flora and fauna, including black bears.
It’s no wonder, then, that this park is actually the most oft-visited one in the country: there’s tons to do, and its large size means it’s accessible from a wide variety of eastern communities. Oh, and did we mention it’s one of the only parks that doesn’t carry an entry fee? As if you needed more convincing!
Best Fall Destinations
Here’s one more of best places to visit in the fall!
7. Galveston, Texas
Looking for the best beaches to visit in October, but not quite ready to hike all the way down to Miami? Try Galveston, Texas: this gulf coast gem has all the high-flying boardwalk fun of Santa Monica with the calm waters and soft sands of a west-coast Florida beach. With temperatures hovering in the 70s and 80s all the way through the beginning of November, it’s definitely still warm enough for a swim… and hey, you can’t beat combining southern comfort dishes with fresh seafood, no matter what time of year it is!
Where are You Headed for Fall 2021?
So, which of these destinations do you have your eye on for this fall? Will you choose one of these 7 best places to visit in the fall, or are you headed to a different spot altogether?
No matter where in the country you’ve got your sights and GPS set, an RVshare rental vehicle is a great place to call home base for your adventure. They come in all shapes, sizes, and footprints, whether you want a tiny sleeper van to navigate down dirt roads or a luxurious Class A to kick back in. What’s more, they’re usually offered at a fraction of the price you’d see at the big box rental locations; after all, private owners don’t have to deal with hefty overhead business costs.
We can’t wait to hear all about your RVshare travels, in autumn and beyond. Stay safe out there, campers, and enjoy it!
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