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BlogTravel buzzWhere to travel in the fall
road in the middle of trees changing colors in the fall
Travel buzz

Where to travel in the fall

Jun 03, 2021 by Kara Kramer

Traditionally fall is a time to celebrate the shifting of seasons, changing of leaves, and cooler temperatures that come along with it. But fall doesn’t look the same everywhere. Across the globe, different destinations offer incredible highlights unique to the season. From martian desert landscapes in the American Southwest to sizzling tropical beaches in Belize, we’ll show you the best places to travel in the fall.

View of the stone Erechtheion at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, on a sunny day

Greece

One of the best places to visit in the fall is Greece. The Aegean Sea brings crisp, cool fall mornings to Europe’s oldest capital of Athens, and days warm enough to swim in the ocean until October in Mykonos, Santorini, and beyond. Fall is also a time to celebrate wine, olives, truffles, and mushrooms at harvest festivals. This is the perfect opportunity to get an inside look at local customs and a major taste of incredible meals.

Fewer tourists in the fall means more elbow room to catch a dazzling pink Grecian island sunset or roam historic sites like the Parthenon. This monumental temple, built in 447 B.C., is a dedication to the Greek goddess Athena, the city of Athens’ namesake.

Ready for a taste of Greece? Explore a Food & Wine Tour of Greece.

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U.S. National Parks

Fall is the perfect time to visit U.S. National Parks like the Grand Canyon and Arches National Park. Aspen trees produce brilliant fall foliage along the rim of the Grand Canyon in autumn, bringing you a unique view of one of the world’s natural wonders. You’ll see higher than normal activity from bison, elk, and black bears in the fall at Yellowstone as they actively prepare for winter. Not only is the temperature lower at these national parks in the fall, but the crowds are, too. This puts U.S. National Parks at the top of our list for fall travel destinations.


Explore national park tours

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Albuquerque Balloon Festival

The largest hot air balloon festival in the world happens every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over 500 balloons dot the sky above the rugged mountains of the Chihuahuan Desert creating an incredible, one-of-a-kind experience.

Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about the Albuquerque Balloon Festival.

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Spain

Spain makes our list of best places to visit this fall because of its extraordinary architecture, delectable tapas, and charming locals. Throughout autumn you’ll get to experience events unique to the fall season. Seville has festivals like Noche en Blanco, a contemporary art festival held every October, and Festival de las Naciones, a multi-cultural event highlighting music, food, and entertainment starts in September. There’s plenty to do in the fall in this exuberant country, and you’ll see a characteristic side of Spain you won’t find any other season.

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New England

French philosopher Albert Camus once said, “Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf is a flower.” He’s right, New England’s rolling hills, mountains, and jagged coastline put on a dazzling show of colors from Vermont to Massachusetts. Looking for fall travel ideas? Experience a haunted weekend in Salem, Massachusetts, taste a lobster pie in Maine, or visit a historic apple cider mill in Vermont. Don’t miss quintessential fall in small-town New England and the vibrant charm of East Coast cities, the oldest cities in the United States.

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Iceland

Travelers traditionally come to Iceland for the stunning glaciers and soaring volcanos, but it’s also one of the most popular destinations to view the northern lights. Iceland’s high latitude means you’ll get a front-row seat to the colorful illuminations dancing across the sky.

The aurora borealis is active from September through March, but you'll get the best show during the autumn equinox due to the tilt of the earth’s axis relative to the sun. You can see the northern lights from Reykjavík if they’re strong enough, but you’ll want to take a short drive away from light pollution for the full effect. The peninsula surrounding the city is a popular place to catch the northern lights—and that peninsula includes the famous Blue Lagoon, where you can even swim in the geothermal water at night while watching the sky.

Daily temperatures stay in the mid-50s in the fall and weather can range from moody and rainy to not-a-cloud-in-the-sky sunny. No matter the fall weather, it's always a good time to admire Iceland's soaring fjords, mossy lava fields, and more of the world's most unique landscapes." 

Discover all Iceland has to offer along the famous Ring Road.

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Belize

If you’re looking for a never-ending summer even during the fall, Belize should be on your radar. Belize is a part of the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean coast, and shares the same coastline as its more famous counterparts, Cancun and Tulum. It’s known for its crystal-clear water and the world’s second-largest barrier reef. The Great Blue Hole off the coast is famous for recreational scuba diving and the Belize Barrier Reef provides world-class snorkeling.

Belize is home to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the only jaguar reserve in the world. You’ll also spot spider monkeys and howler monkeys in the wild as well as West Indian manatees off the coast.

The rainy season in Belize from June to November consists of short-lived afternoon showers, and fall temperatures are regularly in the 80s. Although fall is Belize’s “slow” season, September is when a host of local celebrations kick-off. Join Belizeans to celebrate their independence from Britain, which dates back to when the country was renamed Belize from British Honduras in 1973.

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Hawaii

How about Halloween in Hawaii? Autumn brings cooler weather and fewer tourists to the Aloha State, and you can continue all of your fall traditions. Oahu and Maui both offer pumpkin patches and Halloween festivities—with some of the most stunning landscapes in the world as your backdrop.

This year, discover an entirely new fall experience. Where do you want to travel in the fall? Let us know on our Facebook page.



Travel trends
About the author | Kara Kramer
Growing up, Kara’s backyard was the Sonoran Desert where her love for exploration was ignited by dirt roads leading to petroglyphs and family road trips to sleepy Mexican fishing villages. Kara’s enjoyment for charting new territory continued with teaching abroad in Thailand, roaming wine cellar caves in Portugal, and swimming in the bioluminescent waters of the Caribbean. She’s always on the lookout for dive bars and a bowl of Vietnamese Pho (lime, basil, and jalapeño is the holy trinity).

Plan your fall trip

views of the aegean sea from the greek islands with white buildings in the foreground
views of the aegean sea from the greek islands with white buildings in the foreground
A Week in Greece: Athens, Mykonos & Santorini
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