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22 Best Places To Visit In The USA In October

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October is one of my favourite times of the year to travel in the United States. In the north, you slowly move from the last warm days of the year to crisp mornings and even cooler evenings. In the south, the humidity has waned but warm days still arrive day after day, allowing you to walk and explore to your heart’s content. However, with 50 states and over 3,717,813 square miles of land to explore, it is overwhelming to try to figure out the best places to visit in the USA in October. That is why I have asked the experts, some of the best travel bloggers around, for their opinion and recommendations.

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Other Amazing US Destinations In Other Months

Let’s face it. The US is an enormous country that is absolutely packed with fun, beautiful, and interesting places, all of which deserve a visit at one time or another. However, some are definitely better to explore during one month over another. Here is a roundup of the best places to visit in the USA in other months, all recommended by travel bloggers:

In addition, If you are looking for a warm winter getaway in the United States, you have a lot to choose from! Here are 50 Best US Beach Destinations For A Warm Winter Getaway.

Best Places To Visit In The USA In October

The 22 best places to visit in the USA in October include cities and towns, both familiar and a little bit off the beaten path. In addition, I’ve highlighted national parks or regions that have so much to offer during the month of October, it is too hard to recommend only one spot.

When relevant, annual special events or festivals in October are featured, making a visit at that time extra special. Lastly, if any of the travel bloggers found amazing accommodation or have a favourite hotel, I’ve included those recommendations as well.

best places to visit in the USA in October
Easter Sierra Nevada, California (Photo courtesy of Dhara)

Eastern Sierra Nevada, California

By Dhara from Roadtripping California

One of the best places to see fall colors in the USA, outside of New England, is the Eastern Sierra of California. October is a particularly opportune time to visit, because fall colors in the Eastern Sierra generally peak in that month. 

Reno is the most convenient international airport. From Reno, drive about 45 minutes to Lake Tahoe to begin your exploration.

Highway 395 road trip from Lake Tahoe to Lone Pine is the perfect way to enjoy the region, or you can base yourself in Mammoth Lakes, a resort town that is centrally located, and explore north or south. 

One of the best things to do, of course, is to drive around to photograph the stunning fall foliage, in all shades of yellow to orange to red to burgundy. Pick up a brochure at the Mono County tourism office in Mammoth Lakes to discover the “must-not-miss” drives. 

The region is famous for its many alpine lakes, so be sure to go boating or kayaking to see the scenery from a different perspective. The June Lake area features a number of lakes, where you can rent boats at the marinas. 

Take the gondola to the top of Mammoth Mountain for a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. Have a meal at the restaurant at the summit, or enjoy some hiking!

Hotel Recommendation

Dhara says, “The Village at Mammoth Resort is a convenient place to stay in Mammoth Lakes. It is located close to shopping and dining and offers well-appointed units of different sizes.”

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Phoenix, Arizona

By Samantha from My Flying Leap

The “Valley of the Sun” is a top destination in the US, and it is one of the best places to visit in the USA in October. The summertime desert scorch cools in October, and you’ll find some of the best weather all year round. 

People flock outdoors starting in early October to enjoy the desert. They take to the mountains and hiking is a favorite local pastime. Some favorites are Camelback, Piestewa Peak, South Mountain Park, and the Superstitions east of town.

The Desert Botanical Garden is the place to go to fall in love with the desert. They offer a lot of events like Sonoran Sippin’, an evening event with live music and breathtaking sunsets. 

October is also the start of festival season in Phoenix, with favorites like Oktoberfest and the Arizona State Fair. There is also Local First Arizona Fall Fest celebrating all things local in Arizona and supporting small businesses. And, who wouldn’t love the Arizona Taco Festival, the first taco festival in the world.

There are also several fun pumpkin festivals celebrating the fall. There is the Schnepf Farms Pumpkin and Chili Party, Tolmachoff Farms Pumpkin Days and Corn Maze, and Mother Nature’s Farm Halloween Pumpkin Patch.

Fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in metro Phoenix, only 20 minutes from the downtown area. You’ll need a car to get around most of Phoenix but it’s easy as much of the city is grid lined.

There’s no better time to visit Phoenix than October. Whether you visit for the incredible weather, the fall festivals, or the many other fun things to do in Phoenix, you’re sure to have a great time.

Hotel Recommendation

Samantha says, “Stay in downtown Phoenix as it’s easy to get around. For a modern and fun hotel, stay at FOUND:RE Phoenix hotel, or for something more historic and retro, try the Clarendon. They’re both great mid-range hotels.”

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best places to visit in the USA in October
Stowe, Vermont (Photo courtesy of Kat Weiss Butler)

Stowe Vermont

By Kat Weiss Butler from World Wide Honeymoon

One of the best places to visit in the USA in October has to be Stowe, Vermont. This idyllic little town in Vermont is well known for its fall foliage, stunning vistas, and charming covered bridges, all of which are made perfect in the month of October!

To get to Stowe, you’ll need to fly to Burlington International Airport. From there, it is about a 45-minute drive to the town of Stowe. As this is a smaller airport, you can also fly into NYC and take the 8-hour Amtrak train to Waterbury station and a 15-minute drive or taxi ride into Stowe.

Once you arrive in Stowe you could easily make this a Vermont fall road trip. However, if you’re short on time, then a weekend here is perfect.

To see the best fall foliage, go on hikes to ensure some lovely colors and mountain views. Stowe Pinnacle has an iconic view of the mountain landscape and valley floor below, where you’ll spot little farms and towns along with vibrant fall colors in the first half of the month. Sterling Pond is another great hike where you will see a stunning pond in the mountains. And for those who aren’t into hiking, drive up through Smugglers Notch for stunning views! 

Aside from leaf-peeping, explore the covered bridges in the area like Gold Brook Covered Bridge and Red Covered Bridge. Enjoy a walk around Stowe and pop into a few breweries, like the world-famous The Alchemist or the von Trapp Brewery & Bierhall.

If you’re looking for a special event, the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival happens in early October and is perfect for art lovers! 

Stowe, Vermont is amazing to visit in October. This gem of a town is a relaxing escape full of fall foliage, art, and lovely views.

Hotel Recommendation

Kat says, “No matter what you do, though, a visit to the Trapp Family Lodge is ideal for watching a sunset over the mountains from this Austrian-inspired chalet! To make your trip even more memorable, a stay here is even lovelier!”

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Weston, Missouri

By Steve Coffee from Maps Over Coffee

Weston, Missouri is a great town to visit any time of year. It’s a quaint little town with small shops, restaurants, and pubs to explore. Campers come through during the warmer months to visit beautiful Weston Bend State Park. In the winter months, people flock from miles around to nearby Snow Creek for a taste of skiing and snowboarding… well, more like downhill ice skating. 

But the town comes alive each October during its annual AppleFest. Surrounded by orchards, Weston is the perfect little town to host this event. You can visit small and medium-sized family farms where you can pick your own apples right off of the tree. 

Apple picking alone is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But head into town after to see that this town knows how to throw down!

You’re immediately taken back in time at the city center. Old buildings with mom-and-pop shops and local restaurants line the streets. In addition, vendors from all around proudly display their wares at the biggest block party around! Live music, hot food, and local crafts all vie for your attention in a laid back atmosphere reminiscent of a time before color tv. 

Just off of the city center, you will find even more local treasures. Local wineries, coffee shops, breweries, and restaurants all take part in the fun. Catch a bite of lunch at O’Malley’s pub. Built in an old limestone cellar and featuring a rotation of Irish bands, O’Malley’s is literally an underground Irish pub. 

Weston is a short drive from Kansas City, about 20 minutes north of Kansas City International Airport.

Hotel Recommendation

Steve says, “Offering several bed-and-breakfast options, there are plenty of places to stay in Weston. Maybe none as cool as the historic Saint George Hotel.  With 26 rooms and a bar and grill, the Saint George has all of the charm of a boutique hotel while offering a true taste of Weston’s best cuisine.”

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best places to visit in the USA in October
Monterey Square in Savannah, Georgi (Photo courtesy of Sydney Richardson)

Savannah, Georgia

By Sydney Richardson from A World In Reach

If you’re searching for one of the best places to visit in the USA in October, look no further than Savannah, Georgia. This charming Southern city is the perfect place to visit during the spookiest month of the year. There are plenty of things to see and do in Savannah that’ll keep you busy on a weekend trip.

A visit to Savannah isn’t complete without exploring its Historic District. Here, you’ll find 22 historic squares as well as some of the prettiest homes and churches in the city. Spend a day exploring the Historic District before taking a break to relax in Forsyth Park, home to the iconic Forsyth Fountain.

While Savannah is a great destination year-round, visiting in October is really special. As one of the most haunted cities in the country, the city is abuzz around Halloween. Many bars have special Halloween parties and events. Don’t miss going on one of Savannah’s many different ghost tours – from haunted hearse tours to adults-only bar crawls, there’s a tour perfect for everyone. Additionally, Savannah’s weather in October is slightly cooler and less humid than summer months.

If you’re flying into the city, you’ll arrive in Savannah at the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), located just about 25 minutes from the city center.

Hotel Recommendation

Sydney says, “The Andaz Savannah is one of the best hotels in town. Located in the Historic District, the Andaz is within walking distance of Savannah’s top sights.”

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Southern Illinois Wine Country, Illinois

By Ladona Stork from Walking The Parks

The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail is a scenic road trip through Southern Illinois that gives you a taste of the heart of America. You’ll experience one of America’s most overlooked regions while sipping on award winning wines and sitting back with your feet up enjoying nature. This rural landscape has it all! The dozen wineries you visit each offer something different. You could find yourself at a small, niche winery where the server just might be the vintner who shares with visitors tales of the grapes. Your next stop might be a large modern winery overlooking stunning valleys – not only providing beautiful views but live entertainment on their sprawling lawn.

Gorgeous hiking opportunities are abundant in the Shawnee National Forest that surrounds the wine trail. Most popular is Garden of the Gods (not to be confused with the one in Colorado), with sandstone sculptures that have been formed over time by wind, rain, and snow. You’ll discover breathtaking bluffs dropping more than 100 feet and rock formations with names like Camel Rock and Anvil Rock.

Southern Illnois is one of the best places to visit in the USA in October as the weather is cool and comfortable and fall color is exploding throughout the National Forest. Looking for more adventure? Try horseback riding at Giant City State Park, zip lining through the forest canopy or rock climbing on the sandstone bluffs.

Fly in through nearby St. Louis Missouri airport and combine this road trip with a few days of fun in the city.

Hotel Recommendation

Ladona says, “The area is home to beautiful rental cabins, including tree houses. Consider staying at the Giant City State Park in either its historic lodge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936 or one of its rustic cabins that were the backdrop for the movie Gone Girl.” For accommodation outside the park, take a look at Makanda Inn And Cottages.

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best places to visit in the USA in October
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington (Photo courtesy of Jessica Schmit)

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

By Jessica Schmit from Uprooted Traveler

While plenty of destinations have beautiful fall foliage come October, certain areas of the Pacific Northwest – including Mount Rainier National Park – explode with vibrant autumnal colors. They come from the falling leaves from its soaring trees and the succulents and wildflowers scattered across its rolling meadows.

To get to the park, you can fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Depending on what part of Mount Rainier you’re visiting, it will take you anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours drive from the airport.

One of the best areas of the park to visit in the fall is the Paradise section, the southernmost part of the mountain that often remains snow-free throughout October. As a home base, consider staying in Ashford, Washington- just a stones’ throw from the park’s Longmire entrance, with a smattering of cute hotels and coffee stands. From here, make your way to the Skyline Trail, a 5.5 mile trail that will bring you face-to-face with the mountain and along a path that traverses vibrant fall foliage. Alternatively, continue along to Naches Peak Loop, a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail that takes you through stunning subalpine meadows bursting with autumnal colors, while Mount Rainier soars overhead. 

If you’re looking for a lower impact way to explore the park, consider driving the Chinook Scenic Byway, a 107 mile scenic drive that snakes through both Mount Rainier National Park and Mount Baker- Snoqualmie National Forest, providing an excellent tour of the best fall colors the Cascade Mountains have to offer.

With out-of-this-world scenery and gorgeous fall foliage, Mount Rainier National Park is one of the best places to visit in USA in October.

Hotel Recommendation

Jessica says, “If you’re looking for accommodations in Ashford, consider Stormking Cabins and Spa, which perfectly mixes upscale amenities, like rooms with private hot tubs, with the rustic coziness you’d expect of a quaint inn bordering Mount Rainier.”

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New York City, New York

By Victoria Heinz from Guide Your Travel

Most tourists visit New York City during the summer or between Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, most people under-appreciate the beautiful fall months which make this city truly come alive with breath-taking autumn colours.

During October, New York is often blessed with mild temperatures best to explore the city. October is also the month of Halloween. The weeks before you can enjoy crazy decorations and finally the NYC Village Halloween Parade which is a big annual parade that takes place on the 31st every year. Admire spooky costumes and don’t forget to get dressed up for this fun event. 

Another great event during October is Diwali. Every year the Hindu festival of lights is celebrated at Times Square and it’s quite the spectacle. There are free concerts, performances, cultural foods and lots of music and small parades.

A lovely way to spend the day in New York in October is to walk The High Line. This public park is built on former elevated railroad tracks which is the perfect way to see the city from above. You also walk through gorgeous gardens, art exhibits and even artisan food stands making this stroll a full interactive experience. For an even better view, head to the Vessel at Hudson Yards and admire the views on this free interactive art work that takes you into the sky. For more information about the High Line and the Vessel, take a look here. For other exceptional New York City activities, please see 10 Best New York City Attractions.

For helpful tips to make your trip to New York City the best, please see 50 Best New York City Tips For First Time Visitors.

Hotel Recommendation

Victoria says, “If you’re looking for a place to stay that is close to all the action but still reasonably affordable for Manhattan then definitely look into the Fairfield Inn and Suites. This hotel belongs to the Marriott family and is a great choice for travellers wanting to explore New York in October.”

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best places to visit in the USA in October
Bodie State Historic Park (Photo courtesy of Zoe Elliott)

Bodie State Historic Park, California

By Zoe Elliott from Together In Transit

One top location you should not miss in October is Bodie State Historic Park. It is an hour’s drive east of Yosemite National Park, making it a great stop on a road trip or day visit. 

Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town located high in the hill tops. You can walk in the footsteps of a once populated 10,000 person town. However, these days it’s a true ghost town, with many shops and houses left in their original state. The park offers daily tours that you can join, exploring the old gold mine or some of the original houses. Alternatively, you can pick up a self-guide tour book and explore at your leisure. The most famous landmark is the church. Its’ peak creates a gorgeous silhouette all year round. 

October is a great time to visit, as it’s not as busy as the summer months, allowing you to truly experience the “ghost town”. However, the weather can change quickly, ranging from the 80F to 18F, so dress appropriately. Bodie State Historic Park is accessible for all, including dogs, and it’s great family destination. As the park is kept in its’ original state, you need to bring your own supplies, including food and drink.

Hotel Recommendation

Zoe says, “For our visit to Bodie State Historic Park, we chose June Lake Villager. This cute hotel was in an ideal location for our visits to both Bodie and to Yosemite. In addition, we loved opening the curtains and seeing the mountain covered in trees, creating that in-the-middle-of-nature feeling. There was free parking included, a delicious little restaurant nearby and a lake for early morning walks.”

Mammoth Lakes is only 23 miles away. For other accommodation options, please take a look at the hotel recommendation under the heading, Eastern Sierra Nevada, California.

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best places to visit in the USA in October
Coastal Mississippi (Photo courtesy of Charles McCool)

Coastal Mississippi, Mississippi

By Charles McCool from McCool Travel

After the summer humidity eases and the hurricane threat has passed, Coastal Mississippi is one of the best places to visit in the USA in October. Mild temperatures mean that you can still enjoy the gorgeous beaches but also can comfortably do more outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, and golfing.

One of the top things to do in Coastal Mississippi in October is attend Cruisin’ the Coast. Cruisin’ the Coast is the most popular annual event along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and is nicknamed America’s Largest Block Party. Thousands of hot rods and antique/classic vehicles parade along a 30-mile portion of the scenic coastal highway for an entire week during early October.

Coastal Mississippi calls itself the Secret Coast and in my opinion, there is no place like it. It is one of the rare spots in the world with massive and magnificent live oak trees along the coast (see the Friendship Oak at the University of Southern Mississippi in Long Beach).

Visitors arriving by plane can fly into Gulfport Airport or New Orleans (and drive a little over an hour). Roadtrippers can find Coastal Mississippi by heading south from I-10 between Pascagoula and Bay St. Louis.

Several Coastal Mississippi museums will awaken your creative soul. Walter Anderson Museum of Art (in Ocean Springs), Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art (in Biloxi), and Shearwater Pottery (in Ocean Springs) are amazing art museums. Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum (in Biloxi) covers the history of the former “Seafood Capital of the World.” Mississippi Aquarium (in Gulfport) just opened in 2020.

Try creative coastal cuisine, including fresh Gulf seafood and local produce from James Beard award-winning chefs at Vestige (in Ocean Springs) and White Pillars (in Biloxi). But you also cannot go wrong with shrimp and grits anywhere or a po’ boy from Bozo’s (in Pascagoula) or Le Bakery Cafe (in Biloxi).

Definitely do not leave Coastal Mississippi without putting your feet in some of the softest, cleanest, and whitest sand in the world. Stay and savor one of their phenomenal sunsets.

Hotel Recommendation

Charles says, “The Roost in Ocean Springs is a remarkable small independent hotel, has won multiple design accolades, including from Architectural Digest for best hotel in south US.”

“The owners also operate Inn at Ocean Springs, a two suite luxury property, and The Beatnik, a new hip property.”

“Bay Town Inn in Bay St Louis is on the west side of Coastal Mississippi. It is a super cute inn owned and operated by a long time New Orleans tourism executive.”

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best places to visit in the USA in October
Grand Teton National Park (Photo courtesy of Lotte Eschbach)

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

By Lotte Eschbach from Phenomenal Globe Travel

Grand Teton is a beautiful National Park to visit year-round but October is quite possibly the best month to visit. You’ll have the amazing fall colors (almost) to yourself and won’t have to worry about a booked-out campground.  

Note however that by mid-October all campgrounds will close down. Not to worry though, as you can easily stay in the nearby town Jackson. A nice place to stay is the Elk Country Inn. 

Hiking is one of the top things to do in Grand Teton NP. Check trail conditions at the visitor center as it can snow in October and not all trails may be accessible. Also, if you’re planning to go hiking with little kids: ditch your stroller and bring a baby carrier instead.  

Another excellent activity in October is driving the very scenic Inner Park Road, which is often cited as one of the best drives in the US to see wildlife. Drive slowly and keep your eyes peeled… If you’re lucky you may see animals such as elk, moose, and even wolves and bears.  

Jackson Hole Airport is the closest regional airport and is in fact located inside Grand Teton NP. International travelers should fly into Salt Lake City International Airport and drive from there (around 5 hours). 

Hotel Recommendation

Lotte says, “By mid-October all campgrounds will close down. Not to worry though, as you can easily stay in the nearby town of Jackson. A nice place to stay is the Elk Country Inn.”

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best places to visit in the USA in October
Makalawena Beach on Big Island of Hawaii (Photo courtesy of Erica Carroll Forrest)

Kona, Hawaii

By Erica Carroll Forrest from Trip Scholars

One of the best places to visit in the USA in October is Kona, on the Big Island of Hawai’i, a fifteen-minute drive from the airport. As temperatures drop throughout much of the United States, Kona stays sunny and warm, with an average high of 86’F and low of 74’F. There are also fewer visitors and the hotel rates are lower. The one exception is at the beginning of the month when Kona hosts the Ironman World Championship. Top athletes from around the world gather with their admirers to swim, bike, and run along the Kona Coast. It is the pinnacle of triathlons and is a thrill for fans to watch.

A not to miss activity in Kona is relaxing at the beach. Delight in the sunshine and warm waters right in town at Magic Sands or Kahalu’u beaches. If you are up for a hike, Makalawena, north of Kona, is one of the most beautiful beaches in all the Hawaiian islands. Because it is more challenging to reach, you will have much of the white sand and the Queen’s Bath to yourself.

Another top choice is snorkeling. In town, Kahalu’u offers abundant sea life, but some of the best snorkeling in the state is just south of Kona in Kealakekua Bay. You will be mesmerized with the tropical fish, beautiful corals, and if you are lucky, the spinner dolphins. The best snorkeling is near the Captain Cook Monument, and you will want to book a boat trip, rent a kayak, or plan your hike to reach it. 

There are excellent day trips to enjoy too. Travelers who enjoy including astronomy into their trips will want to visit the Mauna Kea Observatory, one of the best places for stargazing in the world! Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park highlights Kilauea, the most active volcano in the United States. The park is full of volcanic wonders to explore.

Hotel Recommendation

A fantastic place to stay for luxury and amenities is the Hilton Waikoloa Village. It has multiple pools, slides, a man-made bay, dolphin experience, and even a train to take you to all the different parts of the complex.

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best places to visit in the USA in October
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia (Photo courtesy of Julie McCool)

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

By Julie McCool from Fun In Fairfax VA

October is one of the best months to visit Shenandoah National Park when fall foliage colors the mountains of Virginia. Autumn colors start at the higher elevations in early October, then progress down the mountainsides throughout the month. Peak foliage is dependent on rainfall and temperature, but mid-October is generally the most colorful time to visit. 

It’s easy to view the fall foliage in Shenandoah National Park by car and on hiking trails. Scenic Skyline Drive winds its way for 105 miles along a ridge of the mountains and includes 75 overlooks. Stop at a few overlooks on each side of the drive for beautiful eastward and westward views. Traffic can be heavy in October, so allow a full day if you want to complete the whole drive. Alternatively, focus on the park’s Central District, where the highest elevations offer the most dramatic views. 

The central section of the park also includes some of the best hikes for foliage views. Hike the easy 1.5-mile trail to Stony Man Summit, or the steeper .9 mile trail to Little Stony Man for great westward views. Hikers enjoy nearly 360-degree views after a moderate hike to Mary’s Rock or a short but challenging rock scramble up Bearfence Mountain. After your hike, stop at a park lodge restaurant for a meal with a view.

The closest airports, Washington Dulles and Regan National Airport are just one-and-a-half hours east of Shenandoah National Park, so it’s easy to visit on a day trip from Washington DC. Better yet, stay at one of the park’s two lodges—Skyland or Big Meadows—and allow extra time to enjoy the colors of October.

Hotel Recommendation

Julie says, “Stay at one of the park’s two lodges—Skyland or Big Meadows—and allow extra time to enjoy the colors of October.” The town of Luray is another good base for your visit to Shenandoah. The town offers several comfortable hotels with easy access to Skyline Drive and the popular Luray Caverns.

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best places to visit in the USA in October
Vineyards at St. Helena in Napa Valley, California (Photo courtesy of Emma Caldwell)

Napa Valley, California

By Emma Caldwell of Emma Jane Explores

Napa Valley is one of the best places to visit in the USA in October as the rolling vineyards of Napa succumb to the cooling temperatures and transform from a lush, vibrant green into shades of red, orange and gold.  

Napa Valley wine country is just an hour and a half’s drive from San Francisco International Airport. It is made up of a collection of sweet towns, including Napa, St Helena, Yountville, American Canyon and Calistoga. Each of these gorgeous locations has its own regional charm.  

Naturally, one of the best things to do in Napa Valley is simply drive through the region, admiring the beautiful scenery. Of course, it would be almost rude to not stop at a few wineries along the way to admire their spectacular grounds and do some wine tasting.  

Artesa Wines is a great winery to visit as their tasting room is huge and open, offering exceptional views through the valley to really see those autumn colours on the vines.   

Hotel Recommendation

Emma says, “The quirky El Bonita Motel is a lovely place to stay in St Helena and features an outdoor fire pit. St Helena also features the incredible Farmstead restaurant which is a farm to table eatery serving up delicious food in a renovated barn.

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best places to visit in the USA in October
Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah (Photo courtesy of Christina Pfeiffer)

Salt Lake City, Utah

By Christina Pfeiffer from Travel 2 Nest

You don’t have to be a devout Mormon or an avid skier to enjoy Salt Lake City. History, culture and food make this city a cultural gem for all visitors – not just those visiting Temple Square. So whether you’re passing through for business or pleasure, spend some time in Utah’s state capital and experience what the “Crossroads of the West” has to offer.

In October, scents from colorful trees will fill your nostrils and remind you that everything is right with the world during this beautiful time of year. You’ll wonder why you haven’t visited sooner.

With so many things to do in Salt Lake City, you’ll want to stay a few days. Temple Square is where the famous Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered. It is a spot that attracts 6 million visitors each year to learn about the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and visit the beautiful gardens.

Many museums and art galleries cater to various age groups and interests, including world cultures at the Natural History Museum of Utah, the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

Salt Lake City is one of the best places to visit in the USA in October. It is packed with events such as Oktoberfest celebrations, concerts and football games. In addition, the fall is the start of the theatre season and the return of the Utah Opera. 

Lovers of the outdoors will enjoy hiking up Grandeur Peak for one of the best views of the Salt Lake Valley. The 6.5-mile round-trip trail starts at Church Fork Trailhead in Millcreek Canyon and follows a stream into the forest before climbing uphill. There are fantastic views and wildflowers to admire along the way.

Hotel Recommendation

Christina says, “Consider staying at one of the many hotels around Temple Square, such as Salt Lake City Marriott City Center or Salt Lake Plaza Hotel”

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Asheville, North Carolina

By Gabby Abbott from Journey To The Destination

Asheville, North Carolina is one of the most beautiful destinations in the United States, especially in October. If you want to plan a trip to Asheville, you should start by flying into the Asheville Regional Airport. If you are traveling to Asheville from a country outside the United States, you may need a connecting flight into Atlanta or Charlotte. 

Some of Asheville’s best things to do include visiting the Biltmore House, checking out the local breweries, and driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

The Biltmore House is a giant, beautiful mansion that was built in 1895. It has a library, indoor pool, bowling alley, and 65 fireplaces. You can spend all day exploring the mansion, the gardens, and sipping wine at the winery. 

Did you know that Asheville has more local breweries per person than any other US city? If you are someone that loves craft beer, Asheville is a dream destination for you. There are more than 100 local beers for you to try.

One of the best things to do in Asheville during October is drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile road spanning from the mountains of North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia (for more information about what to do in Shenandoah National Park, see above). This beautiful drive feature overlooks, hikes, and plenty of waterfalls. It is especially gorgeous in October with the colorful leaves. 

Hotel Recommendation

Gabby says, “If you are looking for a beautiful hotel in Asheville, consider staying at The Inn on Biltmore Estate. This four-star inn offers beautiful views of the Appalachian mountains, hiking trails, bird watching, and a conservatory. Outdoor activities will be especially beautiful in October with the changing leaves. Also, you will be just a few steps away from all that the Biltmore Estate has to offer.

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best places to visit in the USA in October
The Bean at Millenium Park in Chicago, Illnois

Chicago, Illnois

By John Vo from Your Destination Is Everywhere

Being the third most populous city in the United States, Chicago has its own international airports (2 within the city limits). The O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is Chicago’s major airport but the Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) is pretty large too.

Chicago is one of the best places to visit in the USA in October. This is when the trees are turning golden and the tourist crowds are thinning out. In addition, there are so many things to do.

The Chicago International Film Festival is held annually in the fall (usually in October). It holds the title for the longest film festival in North America. With hundreds of films from all different genres, you will for sure find something you like. There is even a panel discussion at the end where you get a chance to interact with the actors/ actresses.

Visit the Chicago Botanic Garden around Halloween and immerse yourself in their Halloween decorations. In 2021, it will be decorated with over 1000 hand-carved pumpkins. It will be a spooky, but an impressive sight.  

The Chicago Marathon, being one of the six World Marathon Majors, attracts thousands of runners across the world every October. Even if you’re not into running, you can still enjoy the lively atmosphere. Leading up to the race, there are over 200 exhibits featuring running apparel, footwear, accessories, and everything in between.  

In addition to these annual events held in October, Chicago is packed with things to do. This includes world class museums, internationally acclaimed restaurants and a delicious foodie scene, unbelievable shopping, and of course, offering access to major professional sport events. If you are planning to do lots of sightseeing in Chicago, I recommend getting a tourist pass. It is valid for 9 days and allows you to visit up to 5 attractions.

Hotel Recommendation

John Vo says, “Magnolia Studios is a charming guesthouse with an excellent location (very close to the waterfront). It’s only a short walk away from public transits and most major attractions.”

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best places to visit in the USA in October
Bozeman, Montana (Photo courtesy of Jen Ambrose & Ryan Victor)

Bozeman, Montana

By Jen Ambrose & Ryan Victor from Passions And Places

The gateway to both Yellowstone National Park and Big Sky Ski Resort, it’s no wonder Bozeman, Montana, is such a popular tourist destination. Most visitors come either during peak season in the summer or to ski in the winter, but Bozeman is actually one of the best places to visit in the USA in October. You’ll be able to enjoy it crowd-free, and Montana State University’s campus will be in full swing with events. In addition, the Fall Farm Festival at nearby Rocky Creek Farm is on. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the month, the farm opens up for tours, hayrides, pumpkin patches, and more fall fun. Don’t forget to indulge in a cider doughnut!

Hitting the trail is the perfect way to see the fall colors in the area, and in a state renowned for its hiking, Bozeman has some of the best. The relatively short hike to the “M” above town is a popular one with locals; for a longer trip, hike out to Lava Lake. Or make a day trip to Yellowstone, where you can choose from dozen of trails (and see Old Faithful erupt, of course!).

A museum is the perfect complement to all the outdoor adventuring offered in Bozeman. The Museum of the Rockies is one of the best in the state (and one of the top paleontological museums in the country). Make sure you save time to see a show in the planetarium.

Hotel Recommendation

Jen and Ryan say, “A newly-renovated retro motel, the RSVP Hotel, is one of the town’s hippest places to stay – and in October, you’ll be able to score a more affordable off-season rate. It’s located right downtown, just 15 minutes from Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport.”

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Burlington, Vermont

By Haley of Barefoot Travel

Burlington, Vermont is one of the coolest towns in New England, and one of the best places to visit in the USA in October. This is because of the beautiful fall colors, pleasant weather, and fun fall activities you can only do in the month of October. 

To begin your visit, you’ll likely fly into the Burlington International Airport, which is only about a 15 minute drive from the heart of Burlington. You can also take an Uber or Lyft. 

The weather in Burlington is extraordinary in October. The air is crisp, the days still have plenty of sunshine and the temperatures are reasonable in the evenings. You also get to fully admire the magic of the changing of seasons, as the trees will all be different beautiful hues of red and yellow.

Wonderful weather aside, there are special events in Burlington that only occur in October. This includes the Burlington film festival, one of the oldest in the world, which features films about global issues. These happen right on Church Street in the heart of Burlington.

Hotel Recommendation

Haley says, “There are many excellent hikes around Burlington, including exploring Shelburne farms. In October, you can pick your own apples. Better yet, you can stay at Shelburne farms. It offers an adorable, affordable, Victorian style bed and breakfast stay.”

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Arches National Park, Utah

By Agnes from The Van Escape

Visiting Arches National Park in October is a great idea. The most important reason is the weather. Utah is extremely hot during the summer. October is cooler, so the weather is perfect for hiking. Moreover, it isn’t crowded. Summer is a peak season, so it isn’t easy finding a parking spot, and there are many people on the trails. October is the start of offseason, so it’s much calmer. What’s more, prices are more affordable. Fall also brings intense, rich colors of the red rocks.

The closest airport is Salt Lake City, which is 230 miles northwest of the Arches. It’s approximately 3 hours 30 minutes of driving. You can also fly into Denver (Colorado) or Las Vegas (Nevada) which have a larger network of international connections and thus offer more favorable flight prices.

Arches National Park contains the highest density of natural arches in the world. There are 2000 natural sandstone arches and unique geological formations. One of the best things to do is take the 36 miles Arches Scenic Drive. This paved scenic drive offers a lot of viewpoints of fabulous arches and La Sal Mountains’ viewpoint.

Arches National Park also offers amazing hiking trails. One of the best, especially to watch the sunset, is the hike to Delicate Arch. It’s a little challenging – 3 miles / 4.8 km round trip – but it’s worth the effort. It is breathtaking in the sunset.

Hotel Recommendation

Agnes says, “The best place to stay is in Moab. This charming town offers a large selection of accommodation for each budget. What’s more, there are great restaurants, souvenir shops, and local tourist offices offering interesting attractions, such as rafting on the river. A great hotel is Wingate by Wyndham Moab. It’s only 12 miles from the entrance to Mesa Arch. It provides spacious, comfortable rooms with air conditioning and free WiFi. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a 24-hour front desk.”

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best places to visit in the USA in October
New River Gorge National Park, West Virginia (Photo courtesy of Megan Johnson)

New River Gorge National Park, West Virginia

By Megan Johnson from Red Around The World

New River Gorge National Park is in the hills of West Virginia. It is an amazing place to visit in October for two reasons. The weather is perfect and the leaves are changing color.  

The closest major airport is Yeager airport, 70 miles away in Charleston, West Virginia, but there are smaller towns closer to the park that you can explore.  

While you’re there, make sure to stop at the Grandview Overlook to see the New River below, one of the best views in the park. Drive the seven-mile Fayette Station Road from the Canyon Rim Visitor Center to the river and the New River Gorge Bridge, all the while admiring the changing leaves.

If you prefer to be active, hike the short boardwalk to Sandstone Falls (don’t forget to stop at the Sandstone Falls Overlook on the way there) to see the widest waterfall on the New River. Alternatively, hike some or all of the moderate five-mile Glade Creek Trail through the woods to admire the waterfalls. If you’re feeling really adventurous, do some whitewater rafting on the New River.

No matter what you decide to do at New River Gorge in October, you’ll have the pleasure of admiring the beauty of West Virginia in perfect fall weather. Leaves will be blazing in reds, yellows, and oranges everywhere you look. 

Los Angeles, California

By Dymphe from Dymabroad

One of the best places to visit in the United States in October is Los Angeles. This is the largest city in California and the 2nd-largest city in the country. Los Angeles is mainly famous for the entertainment industry, the great climate, and the many sights in the city.

One of the best things to do in LA is seeing the Hollywood Sign. This is a very popular landmark that is well-known all around the world. You can view it from below or you can hike to the top of Mount Lee where it is located. You get beautiful views of the city as well. The Hollywood Sign is also one of the most Instagrammable places in LA.

Another great destination is Hollywood Boulevard where there are lots of museums, sights, and places related to the entertainment industry. For example, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located here. There are lots of fantastic beaches in Los Angeles, including Venice Beach. You can spend the day shopping, eating, and people watching at this very popular spot.

Visiting Los Angeles in October offers a lot of special events. For example, the JazzTrax Festival is held on Catalina Island in October. In addition, Oktoberfest is celebrated with Bavarian culture, food, music, and dance. A lovely event is Rise Festival. During this festival, thousands of illuminated lanterns rise to the sky during the night, and there is music. This is truly an incredible to experience.

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