Published September 2022
The days of crisp, cooler weather and brightly colored foliage are quickly approaching—and with it, the joy that is fall travel.
Fall brings comfortable days and cooler nights, making it an opportune time to enjoy your favorite travel destinations with fewer crowds. As part of our 2022 Fall Travel Trends report, we asked folks which activities they were most likely to travel for in the season ahead and one thing is clear from the results: They want to enjoy America’s great outdoors, whether that means heading to the mountains for the changing leaves or rocking out to one last music festival before winter sets in.
So, where should you be traveling this autumn? We’ve rounded up our top Vacasa-approved destinations that cater to travelers’ most sought-after fall activities. Time to unpack your sweaters, spruce up those apple-picking skills, and get ready to explore during one of the coziest times of the year.
While many destinations appeal to every generation of the family, Kissimmee’s world-famous theme parks and small-town charm provide limitless options for every size and style of reunion. Choose from lakefront homes with ample space for family activities or Mickey Mouse-themed condos close to the theme parks. If you are looking for a festive celebration, Disney World comes alive during fall for its epic Halloween transformation. Pack a costume for everyone in the family and trick-or-treat your way through the Magic Kingdom, where fall decor and not-so-spooky parades, shows, and rides await. Central Florida’s sunny fall weather makes it ideal for families looking to get outside, whether you’re planning an airboat ride through the Everglades or testing grandpa’s zip lining skills at theOrlando Tree Trek Adventure Park.
Ahhh—hot cocoa over a warm fire on a cool night just hits differently in autumn. If you’re on the hunt for an outdoorsy trip with colorful mountain trails and plenty of apple-picking adventures, lace up your boots and head to Asheville. The changing colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains make them magical to hike in the fall—and with average daytime temperatures of 68 degrees, you won’t have to worry about packing any intense winter layers. So, if your definition of “camping” is a cabin with a fireplace (we don’t blame you), Asheville is sure to deliver plenty of wilderness to explore right outside the front door.
There’s nothing quite like the crisp, cool air and vivid fall hues to enjoy a live set under an open sky. While there areplenty of music festivals across the U.S., no one does outdoor concerts quite like Austin. From its famous music scene to its vibrant food culture, Austin has it all for the festival fan. Music lovers of all genres should plan their next trip aroundAustin City Limits Music Festival, which takes place every October with some of the world’s biggest headliners taking the stages. Booking a vacation rental near the downtown area ensures your crew is within walking distance (and earshot) of all the action.
Autumn is one of the best times to visit the country’smost popular national parks, where you’ll have more room to adventure as the ‘shoulder season’ sets in and crowds typically thin out. Laid-back Estes Park is the ideal home base for exploring Colorado’sRocky Mountain National Park. The high-altitude park is home to hundreds of miles of trails, breathtaking mountain views, and the famousTrail Ridge Road, a 48-mile scenic drive with eye-popping alpine vistas—and likely elk, during the fall—at every turn.
Leaf peeping season is upon us, calling for scenic drives through the fiery red, orange, and gold hues that blanket New England. Killington, aka the “Heart of Vermont,” stands out for its colorful maple leaves—best peeped while hiking the area’s waterfall trails, kayaking its many picturesque lakes, or taking the K-1 Gondola to the top of Killington Mountain’s peak (the second tallest in Vermont). Falling leaves make the perfect backdrop for Vermont’s other cozy seasonal activities, from hayrides and haunted houses to roadside pumpkin stands and apple-cider-everything. Time your trip between late September to mid-October to see the changing colors at their most vibrant.