As the last warm days of summer come to an end, swimming pools cease to be the chill-out zones and the long pale evenings draw to a close. However, thanks to the USA’s broad and diverse range of landscapes, the fall brings with it a whole new type of beauty.
In the south, you will find vibrant autumnal leaves covering the slopes of mountains, and in the north, you’ll find romantic park walks and chilly mountain tops. Planning a vacation during the fall is a great idea – particularly as the evenings provide a chance to wrap up warm and sit by the fire.
The Beautiful South
If you’re looking for things to do in the fall, then the south has some of the most iconic scenery. Places like Charleston in South Carolina have towering tree-top canopies, European-style cobbled streets and those movie-worthy mansions that decorate its streets and neighborhoods. Just like its southern sister New Orleans, you’ll find those nostalgic gas lamps lining the streets, as well as some of its centuries-old architecture, making it one of the best fall vacations for couples in the US. It’s also bursting with culture, such as its art galleries, boutiques – not to mention the Spoleto Festival. This arts festival makes use of Charleston’s churches, theaters, and performance spaces to showcase the wealth of talent this state has to offer.
While you’re in the south, you might want to visit the Carolina BalloonFest. Not too far from Charlotte, this is well worth renting a car to drive out and see. This takes place during October in Statesville. There are flights throughout the morning and afternoon, as well as a funfair atmosphere. It’s worth going for some dramatic views of the southern countryside, dotted with rainbow balloons.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Charlotte around the time of Thanksgiving, it’s well worth the day-trip. This fine tradition has been in place since the 1940s, and every year it seems to get bigger than ever. Not only is this an exciting day out spent among towering inflatable cartoons and marching bands, but it’s also a cost-free way to enjoy some entertainment on this national holiday.
Moving Up North
Don’t be fooled: fall travel is still perfectly exciting as you move up into the colder regions. Even Maryland, famous for its summer and springtime seafood seasons, is the perfect vacation spot for fall travelers. In fact, you might be interested to know that its crabs are just as delicious, if not fatter and meatier in the colder months. There are plenty of guesthouses and hotels along the seafront that won’t be plagued by thousands of summer tourists. As you’d expect from Maryland, there are also plenty of galleries, bookstores and cafes dotted along the coastal towns, perfect for enjoying a hot cup of coffee with a sea view.
Nowadays, you’ll find plenty of cities impersonating the German tradition of Oktoberfest – and Philadelphia is no different. Their answer to the beer festival is Bloktoberfest, which celebrates the European festival with plenty of big bands and jugs of beer. Anyone at any age can attend this festival, as it pulls together the community spirit by taking place in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods –18th Street and Broad Street and to be exact. This goes on for the duration of the day, and you will find plenty of food trucks, too, to keep you going.
It wouldn’t be fall without mentioning Halloween – and New York has perhaps some of the most exquisite displays. The Great Jack O Lantern Blaze can be found in Hudson Valley and every year, pumpkin and Halloween enthusiasts turn up to snap pictures of these glowing beasts. Every year you can find over 7,000 of these hauntingly-carved pumpkins, which come together to create bigger, more monstrous sculptures. Be sure to get your tickets well in advance before your vacation – its popularity means that it’s often a sell-out.
Thanks to its desire for all things spooky, its jaw-dropping scenery and passion for the arts, the USA really comes to life during the fall. The lack of sunshine doesn’t mean that the fun comes to a stop. Not only does it use this season to celebrate artisan creators and alternative festivals, but also to make the most of the smaller crowds. Without the hordes of summer vacation travelers, small festivals and events can create a cult following. By renting a car, you can make the most of each state you visit; whether you’re there for the scenery or the food.