Best & Cheap Places to Visit in Fall in the USA in 2023
What is the best time to visit the United States? This is a common question that I was asked by most travelers. The question is a little bit tricky and the answer varies from traveler to traveler. Why?
The United States is a country where you can go and enjoy at any time of the year. Exploring the beautiful state parks in Summer to enjoying your Winter holidays in Alaska, the USA has something special to offer its visitors every season. But if you want to enjoy pleasant weather with less humidity and less crowd then fall is the best season to travel in the USA.
September to November is the ideal time to enjoy the Autumn color and the best fall foliage in the USA. If you are planning a relaxing vacation, here is the list of best fall vacations in the USA.
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Vermont is one of the best destinations in New England to enjoy the best fall foliage in the USA. Most of the part of Vermont is covered in medium-density forest with maple, birch, and beech trees, which turns into splendid warm color during fall. The gondola ride is also available in Stowe and you can enjoy a fantastic bird’s-eye view of the coloring Stowe valley while riding on ski gondola.
Burlington is another beautiful city in Vermont to experience the beauty of fall. The reflection of the colorful trees over lake Champlain is a breathtaking view with Adirondack mountains in the distance. The best way to explore this place is to rent a bicycle and cycling through the woods.
Cheap Accommodation in Vermont
- Inn by the River (Hardwick, high traveler rating)
- Catamount Motel (Bennington, high traveler rating)
- Mountain Sports Inn (Killington, high traveler rating)
2. The Great Smoky Mountains:
This is the most visited national park in the United States and October is the month when this park receives maximum footfall. It is one of the best fall destinations in the USA. The Great Smoky Mountains national park is located on the border of the North Carolina and the Tennessee region at the heart of Blue Ridge mountains. You will find some native trees here which create a stunning view of gold, orange, burgundy and crimson color in the fall season.
If you are an adventure seeker then you can hike towards Chimney Tops. The hiking trail is short and very steep but the jaw-dropping mountain scenery will heal the pain of the hike. No matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced hiker, you must follow these hiking safety tips for fall.
You can also take a Helicopter Tour to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The Great Smoky Mountains are one of the best places to visit in October in the USA.
Check out the Map via SmokyMountains.com
3. Asheville – Best Fall Vacations in the USA
Asheville has the longest and most vibrant fall season in the USA. Check Asheville Fall Forecast to experience the peak fall color in Asheville, North Carolina.
A weekend in Asheville can be a memorable fall vacation for you. The weather is very much pleasant here during fall and the leaves of the forest trees start to change their color into red, yellow and orange from early October and last to mid-November. Couples who are looking for some of the best honeymoon destinations in the USA can spend a romantic vacation in Asheville. It is considered as one of the best fall vacations for couples in the US.
Asheville is the home of some incredible hikes. Visitors prefer hiking to Hickory Nut Falls Trail which is 40 km away from Asheville. The gentle slope and wide trail make it accessible for all types of hikers. The hike ends at 404 feet Hickory Nut Falls which is a popular attraction in this park.
Asheville is also popular for a scenic drive in the fall season with e-bike tour. If you want to stay away from hiking then driving through Blue Ridge Parkway will be a handsome reward for you. The variety of elevations of the parkway offers the best view at every bend of the road.
Cheap Accommodation in Ashville
- Quality Inn Asheville Downtown Tunnel Rd (motel, 1 mi from Central Asheville)
- Quality Inn & Suites Biltmore East (hotel, 7 minutes from the Biltmore Estate)
- Country Inn & Suites Asheville River Arts District (hotel, 1.1 mi from Asheville city center and 2.4 mi from the Biltmore Estate)
4. Flagstaff, Arizona:
Flagstaff might surprise you as a good fall destination in the US. This little mountain town is located in the Northern Arizona region, surrounded by mountains and ponderosa pine forests. Flagstaff is one of the best places to visit in October in America.
The color of the aspen tree leaves starts to turn out into golden yellow to orange to crimson red during the Autumn season. Experiencing the art show of fall color that thick foliage creates, will be a lifetime experience for the visitors. The beauty of Flagstaff is really amazing which I can relate to the landscape view Switzerland.
Go for a romantic walk in Buffalo Park or in Flagstaff Urban Trail System. A short drive(1 hour) to Sedona is also recommended to enjoy the scenic view of aspen trees standing in a line by the roadside.
Take a fun ride on a chairlift over Arizona Snowbowl and enjoy the stunning view of fall foliage from above.
Cheap Accommodation in Flagstaff
- Econo Lodge Flagstaff Route 66 (motel, 1.1 miles from center, offers a daily continental breakfast and free WiFi)
- Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham East Flagstaff (hotel, 3.3 miles from center, 10 minutes’ drive from the Historic Downtown District)
- Super 8 by Wyndham NAU/Downtown Conference Center (motel, 0.7 miles from center, features free WiFi and continental breakfast)
If you are looking for a perfect fall vacation in the USA, California is the ultimate place to visit. It has a long fall season changing the shades to orange, yellow and gold. Do a road trip along State Route 395 to experience the best of fall colors in California. You will see different variations of fall colors along the route. California is also considered as one of the best solo travel destinations in the US.
November is the best time to see the fall color in the Napa Valley. Take a short walk and you will see the whole vineyards pop out with golden yellow, burnt orange and crimson red colors. Don’t forget to take the wine tour of Napa Valley.
California has more to offer apart from fall color. Other popular tourist spots like Yosemite National Park, Conway Summit, Hope Valley, June Lake Loop are also there to enjoy the natural beauty of the Eastern Sierra region.
Cheap Accommodation in California
- Travelodge by Wyndham Crescent City (hotel, Crescent City)
- Pelican Inn (motel, Monterey)
- 3 Peaks Resort & Beach Club (resort, South Lake Tahoe, Private Beach)
6. White Mountains, New Hampshire:
Many travelers consider the White Mountains is one of the best fall vacations in the USA. The trees with popped out red, orange, and yellow color in the mountain with deep blue sky make a perfect combination to offer a spectacular view of fall.
There are several mountain peaks to climb and strenuous trails to hike. One of the most preferred beginner’s levels of hikes is Flume Gorge. You will have a chance to enjoy beautiful rivers and lakes throughout this hike. Flume Brook waterfall is another major attraction here.
Driving through the famous Kancamagus Highway is another reason to consider New Hampshire as the best destination to enjoy fall color. One can ride on the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway that offers the best view of fall foliage from above.
However, use wayaway.io to find the cheapest airfares before you leave. Make sure to obtain the cheapest tickets possible for any trip you like.
7. Hudson Valley, New York:
Hudson Valley in New York is one of the best places to visit in the fall in the USA. This valley has a long fall season as it covers a vast area from north to the south region and the Catskill Mountains have different elevations. The whole valley looks super amazing when it turns into incredible yellow, orange and red colors.
There are several farms present in the valley which are open for travelers to visit. You can buy fresh apple, squash or a perfect Jack o’ Lantern pumpkin from the farms.
8. Yellowstone National Park:
Yellowstone National Park is another most popular fall destination in America. It is the oldest national park in the US and attracts more than 4 million visitors every year. One should visit Yellowstone National Park in between October to November to get the best scenic view of fall.
Travelers can experience stunning hiking trails towards the Upper and Lower Falls. There are some California hot springs and geysers that visitors can enjoy in Yellowstone.
Tips: Be prepared if you visit Yellowstone National Park in fall time as roads can be closed this time and foods and service stations open seasonally.
Cheap Accommodation in Yellowstone National Park
- Cody Legacy Inn & Suites (hotel, Cody, 2 hours ride to Yellowstone National Park)
- Rocky Mountain Lodge (motel, Dubois, 2 hours ride to Yellowstone National Park)
- Brandin’ Iron Inn (motel, West Yellowstone, the entrance of Yellowstone National Park is just 2 blocks from this property)
9. Oahu, Hawaii:
Oahu is often overlooked in favor of warm weather but it’s one of the best fall vacations in the US. You will find the comparatively less crowded and best view in the fall. This island becomes a cultural paradise with food, fashion and film festivals, as well as visitors, can enjoy the beauty of fall colors in Autumn.
Fall lovers can hike to Koko Crater Arch along the Railway Trail for breathtaking views over the South Shore.
Explore the waterfalls of Oahu and some of my favorite falls are Manoa Falls, Likeke Falls and Lulumahu Falls. One of the big draws in Hawaiian Island is the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival that generally starts in October.
Cheap Accommodation in Oahu
- Hostelling International Honolulu (hostel, 9 minutes’ drive from Prince Kuhio Beach)
Read Next: 8 Cheapest Places to Live in Hawaii
10. Salt Lake City, Utah:
Salt Lake City in Utah is another cheap place in the US to visit the magnificent fall. The best time to visit the fall foliage is from mid-September to October, though it depends on the elevation.
There are some native trees in Utah like maple, aspen, oak which create spectacular hues of yellow, orange, purple and red. The most popular activity among travelers is to drive through Alpine Loop Scenic Byway. This 20 miles journey offers a mesmerizing view of Mount Timpanogos and a line of chromatic aspen trees.
These 10 places are the best fall destinations in the USA which you should visit if you want to experience the best fall vacations in the USA. If you have any queries or if you would like to add some other places which should be in this list, put your comment below.
Cheap Accommodation in Utah
- Quality Inn & Suites Airport West Salt Lake City (hotel, 7 miles from center, free airport transportation, breakfast included)
- Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Salt Lake City Airport (hotel, 5.9 miles from center, continental breakfast included)
- Comfort Suites Airport Salt Lake City (hotel, 3.2 miles from center, provides free 24-hour airport transportation, breakfast included)
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Flaggstaff is a great place for a day trip, Sedona is amazing as well! I have always wanted to visit Vermont. Great post!
Thank you Luna.
Wow! I love fall and these places would make for an amazing road trip! Thanks for sharing!
I’ll bookmark your article for my future trip to the USA. Thank you.
We love going to the Smokies! We’ve been planning a trip to Asheville in the Spring but we may need to change it to the Fall now.
I live just south of Flagstaff, Arizona so special in the fall!
I love the fall season so I love traveling in the fall because your photos end up really beautiful. I live in the Philippines so I don’t get to experience fall, like this. The last fall season I experienced was in New York and Georgia, it was so pretty.
I’ve always loved the fall season . Great article thanks for sharing this
Love when “& Cheap” is in the title! Makes it a must read for me! You need to add an 11th, Door County, WI. Unbeatable in the fall!
This is such a wonderful list of beautiful places to visit in the fall. Still would love a visit to the Smokey Mountains someday! Thank you for the recommendations!
USA is such an incredible place which has it all: volcanoes, rivers, mountains and snow! I’d love to visit Yellowstone!
This is a great guide for anyone planning a trip to USA, thanks for sharing
Great info! I now have new areas to add to my US travel list in the fall. Maybe next year the Boston Mountains in AR will make your list.
Nice Trina, Share your experience after the visit.
Such an awesome list of places to visit for thrift travelers. I don’t always have the funds for a grand overseas trip, and this list definitely helps.
I have to send this list to my mom as she would love to see some fall foliage this year!
I live in New England and I think this is seriously the best place to visit in the fall. Thank you for sharing this list.
Thank you Danielle. Enjoy your Christmas holiday here.
I’ll add them to my bucket list
The great river road from Between Minnesota and Wisconsin is absolutely gorgeous in the fall and you can go as far south as you want but it is especially beautiful between Prescott WI and Prairie du Chief WI. Stop to see the bluffs in LaCrosse. And that is also a great place to stay. Get off the beaten path and drive the drift less area of the Kickapoo valley in Southwest Wi. (Gays Mills to Boscobel rivals the scenery in Vermont at peak and you can stop at one of the many Apple orchards in Gays Mills.)..the Door County area is also magnificent in the fall.