Pumpkin spice lattes and caramel apples, step aside. Traveling around the country is the real autumn treat in the United States. Gorgeous foliage, crisp air, and smaller crowds make post-summer trips a pleasure. But where to go? America isn’t exactly small, so we’ve put together a list of 7 amazing destinations sure to wow.
Visit the world-famous Napa Valley and sample the region’s best wines.

1. Visit California’s Wine Country

A glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away. That’s the saying, right? When the temperatures cool, California’s wine country gets ready for business. Start by taking in the sights of San Francisco before heading north to Napa Valley, aka wine paradise. The mild fall temperatures, coupled with the scenic countryside, make for the perfect weekend away for solo travelers, friends, and couples. 

Join a 3-hour cruise to spot whales off the coast of Boston.

2. Have a whale of a time in Boston

There she blows! From April to October, humpback and finback whales splash off the coast of Boston. For the best sightings of these majestic creatures, pack your camera and hop aboard a whale-watching ship. Once back in Boston, round off your evening with a historic pub crawl along the city’s Freedom Trail. 

Walk around the French Quarter and discover the city’s past.

3. Beat New Orleans’ heat

NOLA is known for its hot temperatures and high humidity. If you time your trip for the fall, not only will you enjoy cooler weather, you’ll also be in time for all sorts of festivals. From the mouthwateringly delicious Beignet Fest and Crescent City Blues & BBQ Fest to the city’s legendary Halloween celebrations in the French Quarter, there’s something for everyone. Travelers in search of something spooky can take a Voodoo tour of St. Lous Cemetary or opt for ghosts and ghouls on this walking tour.

Cycle your way around Central Park to get a feel for the Big Apple.

4. Fall in love with New York

There’s no wrong time to visit New York — the Big Apple sparkles throughout the year. But there’s something special about strolling through this iconic city when the leaves start to fall. This is especially true of Central Park, the perfect destination for a walk or cycle along tree-lined paths. If you really want to up the ante, swing by Chelsea Piers and board a 1920s-style yacht for a cruise along the Hudson at its fall best.

Whether you’re happy in a kayak or behind the lens of a camera, a trip to Lake Tahoe will be unforgettable.

5. Reconnect with Mother Nature at Lake Tahoe

Ready to roast some smores? Lake Tahoe’s shores are perfect for campfires ⁠— and long nights of stargazing are mandatory. Spend your days hiking along the lake or enjoying every watersport imaginable. Snap-happy travelers won’t want to leave their cameras behind on this trip. This scenic photography tour will take you past waterfalls, glaciers — and maybe even bears.

Take a hot-air balloon ride over Phoenix at sunrise (or sunset).

6. Float over the desert in Arizona

If you’ve ever wanted to spend some time in the clouds, hot-air ballooning in Phoenix is the way to go. Come fall, temperatures drop and make exploring Arizona’s famed canyons and deserts a pleasure (and a cool one, at that). After you’ve got a bird’s-eye view, consider exploring the Grand Canyon by foot. Or opt for a helicopter tour instead. It’s up to you!

Visit Cape Cod for the romantic scenery and blustery fall weather.

7. Take a road trip through New England

From the bright lights of big cities to the laid-back vibes of charming seaside towns, the east coast is packed with amazing destinations. However, none match the romantic scenery of Cape Cod. Towering lighthouses, windswept sandy beaches, and the Atlantic are the backdrop to east coast road trips. Plus, there’s the food. Stop for seafood in Provincetown before hopping on the ferry back to Boston.

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