Trying to decide where to go this autumn? Do you want to explore a city or attend a specific event?Either way, I’ve got you covered! Check out these twelve travel destinations to make all of your autumnal dreams come true!
1. Orchard House, Concord, Massachusetts
The East Coast has actual seasons, and when I think of autumn I always think of Massachusetts. I couldn’t tell you why, maybe it’s because of the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving (it totally is). So if you’re thinking of heading to Massachusetts, I highly suggest stopping in on Orchard House in Concord. It was the home of writer Louisa May Alcott of Little Women fame. The house is now a museum that you can tour through. I imagine it with the surrounding trees changing color and trying to soak up inspiration and talent from the air. Concord was also home to Henry David Thoreau, so you can take a walk around Walden Pond and enjoy nature as he and Ralph Waldo Emerson did with the changing seasons.
2. Salem, Massachusetts
Salem = witches. So if you were looking for some Halloween adventures, then Salem, Massachusetts is the place to go. While no actual witches were burned at the stake, nevertheless the witch trials have haunted the town ever since they occurred and in the 21st century that means they’re capitalizing on it. There are ghost tours, walking tours, the Salem Witch Museum, and of course the graveyard. The Salem Haunted Happenings is their fall festival, filled with markets, parades, and more haunted/scary tours!
3. Gilmore Girls Festival, Kent, Connecticut
If Stars Hollow is more your style than Salem, be sure to pay a visit to the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest held every autumn in Kent, Connecticut! It’s a weekend filled with Gilmore Girls themed events in a town you could almost believe was Stars Hollow. There are panels where stars of the show reminisce about their time on the show, contests to win swag, meet and greets, etc. So gather your very best friends and get going!
4. New York City, New York
There’s always something happening in New York City, and autumn is no exception! While all of the touristy things like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Times Square, etc are all there and available, there’s so much more! Head into a local bakery for apple cider donuts or wait for the NYC Oktoberfest to indulge in all of the food stalls available. Or head over to the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze on Halloween to see thousands of pumpkins lit up. There’s something for everyone in the Big Apple. You could even just take a stroll through Central Park.
5. Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle, Washington
People gather from all over to celebrate jazz music and its history every year at the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle Washington. In 2019 they had over fifty events spread across the city. Not only do they run the month long festival, but during the rest of the year they help to bring jazz music into local schools by offering educational programs and opportunities to high school students. All the more reason to support them!
Portland is another city that just evokes thoughts of fall, trees, and leaves. Which is great if you love autumn and food, because in the fall Portland becomes one of the travel destinations for foodies everywhere. The Feast Portland Food and Drink Festival comes to the city every September with its delicious offerings and also gives back to the community by raising funds for various charities.
7. Halloweentown, St. Helens, Oregon
For fans of the best Disney Channel Original Movie franchise (don’t @ me), St. Helens, Oregon is a required trip. This is where they filmed Halloweentown and the town celebrates it every Halloween with their festival! The familiar Jack O Lantern returns to the town square, and Marnie (Kimberly J Brown) herself has been known to attend. The festival itself goes on for a month, so there’s plenty of time to get yourself there and to the pumpkin patch.
8. Columbia, California
Nestled in the California Gold Country, Columbia is a small town that is proud of its history. The Sierra Nevada mountains truly add to the scenery of the town, where you feel as though you’ve stepped through time. There are plenty of shops, restaurants, tours, and experiences for you to choose from.
9. Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival, San Franisco, California
The Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival in San Francisco is a weekend full of events! It kicks of with a parade featuring lion dancers, marching bands, and more along Grant Street. That’s also where you’ll find all of the food and souvenir stalls to commemorate your time in one of San Francisco’s most popular destinations. Between activities be sure to take in some of the Chinatown mainstays, like the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company or go on a ghost tour!
10. Maui, Hawaii
If what you want is to get away from autumn, then look no further than Maui, Hawaii. You’ll forget all about those leaves everyone oohs and awws over as you soak in the sun of never ending summer. Head out on a submarine ride or attend a luau and eat to your heart’s content. No one is ever genuinely impressed by leaves anyway.
11.Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is home to some amazing events for Dia de los Muertos. While the actual holiday takes place Nov. 1 & 2, there are usually events and celebrations leading up to it. The Zocalo houses huge and elaborate ofrendas, altars to people already gone so remember to be respectful since the point of the holiday is to honor the ancestors. There’s a giant parade that goes through the city, said to have been inspired by the James Bond movie Spectre. Different neighborhoods in the city block off and have their own street fairs, so it’s worth it to do some research ahead of time to plan out everything you want to see!
12. Montreal, Canada
Go back north into Montreal in the autumn, and you’ll find their Botanical Gardens lit up for their Garden of Lights event. The light displays are created in Shanghai and proudly displayed from September through October. You can also go apple picking in the orchards around the city so that you can make the best apple pie you’ll ever have.