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October is prime time for fall foliage and seeing iconic travel spots in all their autumn glory. Many of the best places to travel in October around the USA are reaching their peak fall colors.
October is also an excellent time for big bucket list journeys, especially to places that see drops in tourism and still have great weather. This is an exciting time to travel to Europe with the terrific exchange rate.
Check out our favorite travel accessories for things you can bring to stay safe and travel comfortably. October is a great time do a rental with Outdoorsy for a fall foliage trip in a sprinter van or RV.
Best Places to Travel in October in the USA
You may not think of California for fall foliage but Yosemite will make you think again. You can expect the full spectrum of color with less crowds and perfect hiking weather to enjoy 800 miles of trails.
With days getting shorter, you’ll also have a better chance to view skies full of stars.
If you have enough time, you can see some other spectacular spots in the Eastern Sierras like Mammoth, June Lake and Alabama hills or the Fall Colors in Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear in Southern California. Hotel: Yosemite Autocamp (9.2)
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The best kept secret for fall foliage is Oregon. In mid October, the trees bursting with vibrant color best found along Oregon’s Scenic Byways including the Colombia River Gorge. Enjoy fall festivals and wine tasting in Willamette Valley.
Then head to Silver Falls State Park for incredible waterfalls and on to the Mackenzie River, where you will find the Tamolitch Blue Pool. It’s easy hike with the most brilliant blue water framed by fall color.
Hotel: The Hoxton, Portland (8.3)
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Bar Harbor, Maine
Everyone knows about New England fall foliage and October is a fantastic time to visit Acadia National Park where the colors are on high.
Catch the sunrise on Cadillac mountain, have a delicious Jordan Pond breakfast with popovers and work off those calories rock climbing or taking a lovely hike.
On your drive to Bar Harbor, make sure to stop in Portland. Take a cruise on Casco Bay and follow it up with a little culture at Portland Museum of Art, one of the best museums in New England.
Last but not least, get the requisite Maine lobster roll for lunch or dinner.
Hotel: Bar Harbor Inn & Spa (9.1)
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There are so many things to do in Pennsylvania and places to see fall foliage including Big Pocono State Park, the Great Allegheny Passage, and the National Longhouse Scenic Byway.
If you’re looking for some history, check out Philadelphia’s Historic District with all its cobblestone streets and old buildings, the Liberty Bell and of course, run up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps Rocky style.
In October, Delco Arts week and Philly Music Fest showcase the artistic side of the city.
Hotel: Canopy By Hilton Philadelphia Center City (8.8)
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Aspen is a great town year round but late September and October offer some of the most striking fall foliage in the USA. The aspen trees that cover much of Colorado turn a beautiful yellow. It’s truly a sight to be seen.
Bike to Maroon Bells and you’ll be rewarded with towns of vibrant color sometimes highlighted with October snow.
There are also many beautiful hiking trails to enjoy before you head back to your hotel to sit by the fire and enjoy the crisp mountain air.
Hotel: The Little Nell (9.7)
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Santa Fe, New Mexico
October has always been a big month in New Mexico because of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta October 1-9, 2022. It hosts the launch of 550 hot air balloons into the sky over the course of 9 days.
Some other fun things to do are exploring the artsy downtown or trying out the great hikes in Sante Fe. Take a trip to Carlsbad Caverns National Park or explore the world’s largest gypsum dune field at White Sands National Monument.
Hotel: Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe (9.0)
Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is one of the best places to visit in Arizona with jaw dropping views. You can check out a few view points and hike down a trail or go for a serious challenge and do a rim to rim hike.
Havasu Falls shown above is a backpacking trip on Native American land in the Grand Canyon. If you can score a 3 day trip permit, you’ll have a chance to explore the area with incredible waterfalls.
Glamping: Under Canvas Grand Canyon (8.8)
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Best Places to Travel in October Abroad
Fall is the perfect time for a relaxing trip around the villages of Tuscany. Enjoy the Chianti region, the medieval village of Siena, and of course spend time in gorgeous Florence without the hordes of summer tourists.
Hotel: Gallery Hotel Art (8.9)
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Spend a week in Jordan in October when the weather is perfect! We highly recommend staying a few days at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea to float in the Dead Sea, go hiking at Wadi Al Mujib and relax at this luxurious resort.
Then make your way to Petra, one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World and famous Jordan landmarks. Visit on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday to see the candlelit Petra at Night.
Another highlight is sleeping under a star filled sky in the Wadi Rum desert at a Bubble Hotel. Lastly, Amman is a fascinating city that is so worth the visit.
Hotel: Wadi Rum Bubble Luxotel (8.7)
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Loire Valley, France
October is the perfect time to visit the Loire Valley. The weather is cool and crisp, making it ideal for exploring the many castles in the area, such as Chenonceau and Valençay. Plus, the autumnal colors of the leaves are simply stunning.
Wine lovers and foodies have plenty of options for wine tasting. The area is home to many renowned vineyards, so you’ll be spoiled for choice. And if you’re a fan of goat cheese, be sure to try some of the Valençay variety – it’s delicious!
Start or end your trip in Paris. Get a hotel with an Eiffel Tower view and visit the gardens of Paris filled with fall colors. Don’t miss Nuit Blanche on October 1, 2022, an open-air multimedia art exhibition that is lit only by moonlight.
Hotel: Cheval Blanc Paris & Dior Spa Cheval Blanc Paris (9.5)
October is the best time to visit Puglia for several reasons. The weather is mild, the crowds are gone, and the prices are reasonable.
Take a guided tour of the Sassi di Matera UNESCO sites. Or dine in a cave in Polignano a Mare, where you can enjoy fresh seafood in an unforgettable setting.
Then there are the famous Trulli buildings in Alberobello, which look like they’re straight out of a fairytale.
And don’t forget about the White City of Ostuni and Lecce, often called the “Florence of the South” for its abundance of art and architecture. Finally, experience Southern Italian country life in a luxurious agriturismo hotel.
Hotel: Masseria Calderisi (9.3)
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is a city that comes alive in the fall when the prices and temperatures drop.
The best places to visit in October are the Old Town, the national museum, Petřín Hill for beautiful foliage, and the Vltava river. For a unique experience, try a Prague beer spa.
Prague is also home to some of the best art and music festivals in October. Check out the Signal Festival, which combines contemporary visual art with urban space and modern technology.
Or if you’re a fan of music, don’t miss the Prague Sounds festival, which runs for a month and features a variety of genres from classical to jazz to hip hop.
Hotel: Andaz Prague (9.5)
Poland may not be the place you first think of for fall foliage but come mid October, you’ll find autumn hues everywhere.
Step back into history into old ornate towns in Gdansk and Warsaw, beautiful central squares filled with brightly colored buildings, and amazing castles.
The prettiest places to see fall foliage include the Bieszczady Mountains, the Tuchola Forest where you can also forage for mushrooms or the Baltic coast.
The fall has temperate weather and a few eclectic music festivals. If you can’t make it in October, go toward the end of November to see amazing Christmas markets.
Hotel: H15 Boutique Hotel (9.1)
If you’re looking for the best places to travel in October, you can’t go wrong with Morocco. This North African country is home to a variety of must-see destinations, from the bustling city of Marrakech to the berber villages in the Atlas Mountains.
And of course, no visit to Morocco would be complete without spending a night or two in the Sahara desert.
In Fez, you can explore one of the largest medieval cities in the world and see first-hand how traditional Moroccan crafts are still made today.
Chefchaouen, meanwhile, is a picturesque blue-and-white mountain town that’s become increasingly popular in recent years. Game of Thrones fans will love these cool Morocco filming locations.
Hotel: La Sultana Marrakech
Travel in October often involves incredible Autumn colors or fall festivals. The best bucket list Autumn destinations are at their optimal weather. It can be a dreamy time for a simple weekend getaway or a bucket list trip across the world.
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