In the mood for vibrant seasonal colors? These locales offer plenty of fun fall activities—from apple picking to harvest festivals—happening this autumn.
1. New England: Stowe, Vermont
Stowe is the most budget-friendly of the New England fall-foliage destinations that TripAdvisor looked into. It’s a picture-postcard New England town, of course, and fall is festival time in Vermont. There’s the Foliage Art and Crafts Festival October 7–9, and Stowe Restaurant Week starts on October 23.
2. Mid-Atlantic: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg is the site of the famous Civil War battle, of course, set in a small town that’s a slice of Americana. It’s also in the heart of Pennsylvania apple country. The 50th Annual National Apple Harvest Festival takes place October 1–2 and 8–9; here are additional October events.
3. Southern U.S.: Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Gatlinburg is in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, where the change of colors can last seven weeks or more as the reds and yellows move down the mountainsides from the highest elevation to the foothills. Here’s the Fall Color Report for timing your drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway or your hike along the Rich Mountain Loop. The Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair stretches from October 6–23.
4. The Midwest: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
A resort town 80 miles north of Chicago, Lake Geneva offers a 21-mile walk around the Lake that is a unique way to take in the seasonal colors: The Geneva Lake Shore Path lets you literally cut through the backyards of some of the most historic homes in the Midwest. Expect peak foliage around the third week of October.
5. West Coast: Ashland, Oregon
Of the 15 fall-foliage destinations pinpointed by TripAdvisor, Ashland is the most affordable. In addition to majestic scenery, art galleries, and day spas, Ashland offers the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, so you can take in the fall colors while also taking in performances.