Fall is the best time of year to plan a fun weekend. The weather has finally cooled off, but it's not too cold yet creating the perfect window to get outdoors. From long walks on deserted beaches to fall festivals, make the season count with one of these six weekend trips to take in the U.S. before fall is over.
Sanibel Island, Florida
Florida's fall weather is spectacular, and Sanibel Island on Florida’s western shore is the perfect autumn weekend getaway. The temperature drops along with the crowds, but it’s still warm enough to enjoy the beach. Pack a sweater for the island's chilly, but cozy, evenings. Low tides are great for shelling, and the conchs and cockles that wash up on the white-sand beaches will make this fall getaway unforgettable.
Don’t forget to make time to explore the amazing ecosystem of the island by taking a kayak trip through the mangrove-lined waterways—the wildlife you’ll encounter will be incredible.
Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
Any outdoor adventurer will love a weekend trip to the Poconos this fall. There are so many activities to fill your days, like hiking around Bushkill Falls, horseback riding through the gorgeous Pocono Mountains, white-water raft down the Lehigh River, or relaxing aboard a boat cruise on Lake Wallenpaupack (fans of The Office will want to try this). All this and the fantastic fall foliage will compel you to come back to this wooded paradise over and over again.
You’ll also love the many fall festivals that fill the months of October and November. Pumpkin festivals are the order of the day, and there are plenty of spots, like Klingel’s Farm, to get lost in a “cornfusion” of a giant corn maze.
Sedona is just two hours from Phoenix and makes for an ideal fall weekend getaway. In addition to the many art galleries, resorts, and spas that Sedona is famous for, the fall weather allows you to hike the red rock formations like Bell Rock and West Fork Oak Creek Canyon Trail, without the summer heat.
For those looking for a spiritual experience, take a tour of the mysterious vortexes of Sedona where you can experience the mystical energy that many believe radiate from the area's red rocks.
Nothing says fall like maple syrup, and Montpelier rules the roost when it comes to the sugary stuff. This classic New England city is an excellent choice for a fall getaway because of its small-town charm (it’s the smallest state capital in the country). Montpelier has a delightful downtown and plenty of fall activities to fill your weekend. A trip to the Bragg Farm Sugarhouse will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.
Montpelier is also a very walkable city, with dozens of independently-owned shops and restaurants within strolling distance of your hotel or B&B.
Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley will definitely not disappoint in the fall. Come for the wineries and small-town charm of spots like Calistoga, and stay for the spas and hot springs. Autumn is a great time to visit Wine Country, it’s just busy enough to have that cool vibe, but not too crowded to spoil your stay. The outdoor patios are a great place to cozy up on those chilly fall evenings where local restaurants bring out their seasonal foods. This is also a great time to take part in grape harvesting events like the immersive experience at Schramsberg’s Crush Camp or the grape-stomping party at Peju Province Winery.
If you’re in town in November, the Napa Valley Film Festival is all the rage. Even though it’s not the most famous film festival, it still attracts its share of celebs.
The unmatched fall color isn’t the only reason that people flock to Leavenworth each fall—it’s their Oktoberfest! This charming Bavarian-style village is home to one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations outside Munich. There’s live music, polka dancing, German food, and plenty of activities for the entire family. Oh yeah, and did we say beer?
You won’t have any trouble finding other cool things to do on your weekend getaway to this Pacific Northwest paradise. Leavenworth has some awesome breweries, wineries and the nearby Alpine Lakes Wilderness area offers the nature-lover plenty of biking, hiking, and skiing to fill your weekend.