6 Weekend Trips to Take in the U.S. Before Fall is Over


Whether you're a fan of pumpkin spice lattes or apple cider, Halloween or hayrides, fall is one of the most magical times of the year. Before winter temperatures drop below freezing, before relatives flock in town for the holidays, and before orange leaves drop away and ice invades the landscape, plan a trip to satisfy the autumnal traveler in you.

See the Leaves in North Carolina

Waterrock Knob on Blue Ridge Parkway in Autumn

Of all the stunning places to see the leaves change in the U.S., the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of our favorites. This scenic drive winds through the Appalachian and Smoky Mountains, meaning you can keep your hot cocoa in your hands and seat heater on as you explore this stunning landscape. Hop between towns like Gatlinburg, Roanoke, and Afton, exploring the treasures they hold, and enjoy driving the roads before ice and snow make this simple act more difficult.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch in New York

pumpkins in a pumpkin patch

While pumpkin patches are springing up all over the country, there are a few that stand out above the rest. Like the Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence, New York. With a full schedule of activities, including a BBQ cookout, Pumpkin Olympics, and costume contests, there's always something going on in this corner of orange heaven. Snack on warm pumpkin pie and pick out your own gourd to take home and turn into a Halloween masterpiece.

Pick Apples in Massachusetts

Man's and kid's hands hold a basket with apples

Opinion: Apple cider is the only drink that can rival hot cocoa as the temperatures drop. And if you're in the mood to get your hands dirty then visit Honey Pot Orchard in Stow, Massachusetts. Throw on that flannel shirt you've been saving and pick your own apples in the orchards, or enjoy the haunted mazes and hayrides set up for the season. Plus, the treats are to die for. Pick up some apple fritters, apple butter, and fresh apple cider to cap off your favorite fall feast.

Get Spooky at Halloweentown in Oregon

jack-o-lanterns lit up in the dark

Halloween is one of the best parts of fall and this town knows how to do it right. Whether you're a fan of the Disney Channel classic, or just love a good Halloween festival, the month-long Spirit of Halloweentown in St. Helens, Oregon is a spooktacular time. Dance parties, film screenings, and haunted houses will keep you occupied with all kinds of festive fun. Don your best costume and get ready to eat lots of candy.

Catch a Train Ride Along the West Coast

Railroad, Central California Coast

Fall is often characterized by dropping temperatures, but on the West Coast the sun still shines, making the weather perfect for some exploring. While there are some great hikes open this time of year, sometimes the best way to experience the landscape is on a train ride. Amtrak's Coast Starlight runs from Seattle to Los Angeles, passing by the rolling Pacific Ocean. The ride takes 35 hours to complete, though you're welcome to break that up by spending time in one or more of the 30 stops along the way. Enjoy those ocean views without having to brave the cold winds.

Huddle Up in a Cabin in Colorado

log cabin in the woods

If you can't wait for snow to enjoy a cozy fire in an isolated cabin, then head up to Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado. This Rocky Mountain mining town is dotted with 13 stunning cabins that come equipped with all the amenities you could want. Whether you want to hike, bike, or just soak in the hot springs, you'll feel fully prepared for winter by the end of your trip.

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