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Mount Rainier, WA

Take advice from someone who lived several 10+ years in Washington State; the beauty of Mt. Rainier never, ever gets old. Whether you’re getting the view from a local restaurant in Seattle, or actively up in the mountain, Mt. Rainier reigns as one of the most beautiful places in the autumn and winter season. You can enjoy the red and gold foliage on Mt. Rainier’s various hiking trails, including Naches Peak Loop, or you can enjoy an autumnal drive down the Chinook Scenic Byway. Be sure to stop around local coffee shops, you’ll thank me later!

Newport, RI

Similar to its surrounding New England cities, Newport boasts a splendid autumn season characterized by its picturesque fall foliage. However, as November approaches, temperatures may dip into the 30s, and the chances of rainfall tend to rise. If the rain is no bother, make sure to attend the 32nd Annual Bowen’s Wharf Seafood Festival where you can shop local vendors, live music, and of course, fresh seafood! During this time, you can take advantage of reduced hotel rates, which begin to decrease after Newport's summer season, and encounter fewer tourists as well.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, MI

It's the perfect time of year to explore Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan during the autumn. Mother Nature truly painted her masterpiece right by the small Beaver Lake, where dense forests hug Lake Superior, with their leaves exploding in fiery red, cheerful orange, and shimmering gold. It's a great time to hike the park's trails, take boat tours to see the stunning cliffs and dramatic rock formations, and try out thrilling activities like kayaking and camping because the weather is perfect during the autumn season. In October, you'll get a more intimate experience, where you will truly be swept away by the serene beauty of this extraordinary lakeshore due to fewer crowds. You'll be utterly captivated by Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in October whether you're a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or just someone craving the tranquility of the fall season.

Yosemite National Park, CA

Yosemite National Park, California, offers an exceptional experience in October that you won't want to miss. In addition to fewer summer crowds, you can enjoy its natural wonders in relative solitude. The park undergoes a mesmerizing transformation when the temperatures begin to cool. The iconic granite cliffs, like El Capitan and Half Dome, are set against a backdrop of fiery fall foliage, creating an unforgettable contrast that photographers love. The falls, though not as thunderous as in the spring, still maintain their grace, making for stunning photo opportunities. Wildlife becomes more active, so be on the lookout for bears, deer, and bobcats. There are plenty of trails in Yosemite to satisfy hikers, naturalists, and visitors alike. From easy strolls to challenging backcountry treks, October brings crisp, invigorating air. seeking the magic of Yosemite in a quieter, more colorful setting, October offers a prime opportunity to experience the park's breathtaking beauty without the summer crowds.

New York City, NY

October in New York City is nothing short of magical, making it an absolutely fantastic time to plan your visit. The cityscape transforms into a stunning blend of autumnal colors, as the leaves of Central Park and other green spaces burst into fiery shades of red and gold. The crisp, cool air is invigorating, perfect for exploring the city's iconic attractions on foot. Take leisurely strolls along the High Line, marvel at the architecture in the West Village, or wander through historic neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights, all while basking in the delightful fall weather. Don't forget to savor the season's flavors at local pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and cozy cafes offering seasonal treats. Plus, October brings with it a lineup of exciting events, including the world-renowned Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village and Oktoberfest celebrations throughout the city. Whether you're into culture, food, or simply soaking up the vibrant energy of the city, New York City in October promises an unforgettable and Instagram-worthy experience.

Napa Valley, CA

Napa Valley is not only known for its wine, but also for its stunning autumn scenery with vineyards turning shades of red, orange and yellow. This is a great time to taste wine and enjoy local cuisine. The harvest season occurs in October, a time when winemakers are busily working, and you can see how grapes are picked and made. This is the perfect time to taste wine at world-class wineries, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, and learn about the region's wine heritage. In addition, the weather is ideal - mild temperatures, clear skies, and fewer people in the vineyards make the experience more relaxing and intimate. You will be enchanted by Napa Valley's natural beauty, culinary delights, and wine-infused pleasures in October, whether you are a wine connoisseur or just seeking a peaceful, scenic getaway.

Zion National Park, Utah

In October, you can explore the stunning wonders of Zion National Park in Utah. Imagine a towering red rock formation bathed in soft, warm hues of autumn. If you prefer hiking the park's world-famous trails like Angels Landing and The Narrows without the scorching summer sun, the weather is comfortable and cool. As you traverse these paths, you'll be treated to the mesmerizing sight of vibrant foliage transforming the desert landscape into a painter's palette of red, orange, and yellow. October lets you savor the park in relative solitude with the crisp fall air. If you're a hiker, a photographer, or just someone seeking a peaceful escape into nature's embrace, Zion National Park in October offers a truly magical and memorable experience. There's no way you'll want to miss this Southwest gem!

Aspen, CO

Colorado alone is home for great fall weather, but Aspen, famed for its golden aspen trees, will give you the ultimate autumn wonderland you see in movies. The beautiful Colorado nature and its infamous trees provide a stunning backdrop for autumn foliage. You can also take a scenic drive through Independence Pass or Maroon Bells, or go for a hike or a bike ride on the trails.

Flagstaff, AZ

When it comes to planning an autumn escape, Flagstaff, Arizona, should be at the top of your list, and October is the perfect time to experience all this charming mountain town has to offer. As the temperatures start to drop, Flagstaff's surroundings undergo a magical transformation. The lush forests that blanket the region begin to turn brilliant shades of gold and crimson, creating a mesmerizing canvas of fall foliage that's nothing short of spectacular. But it's not just about the visuals; October also brings with it the crisp, refreshing mountain air that's ideal for hiking the area's numerous trails, including those in the scenic San Francisco Peaks. And speaking of the peaks, Flagstaff is renowned for its stargazing opportunities, thanks to its designation as an International Dark Sky City. So, don't forget to look up at night for a celestial display like no other. Whether you are exploring the countless sights and sounds of the Southwest or simply reveling in the beauty of autumn, Flagstaff in October has something for everyone.

North Cascades National Park, WA

Another amazing Pacific Northwest discovery you must see in October is the wonderful oasis of the North Cascades National Park in Washington. The landscape undergoes a breathtaking transformation as the deciduous trees don their vibrant autumnal attire, painting the park in shades of crimson and gold. The cooler temperatures create a pleasant environment for hiking, allowing you to explore the park's extensive trail system, which offers something for every level of hiker. Don't miss the opportunity to witness the stunning alpine lakes, rugged mountain peaks, and cascading waterfalls that define this park's unique beauty. You are welcomed with natural mountain water and the gorgeous pine and elm trees of the north. Washington holds many gems you will want to see coming this autumn.

Bend, OR

What truly sets Bend apart in October, and from the several beautiful surrounding PNW cities, is its world-class craft beer scene. With more breweries per capita than any other city in Oregon, it's no wonder Bend is known as "Beer Town, USA". The fall season brings seasonal brews and Oktoberfest celebrations, making it a beer lover's paradise. Don't forget to take a scenic drive along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway to witness the stunning fall foliage, and if you're an outdoor enthusiast, you can still enjoy activities like kayaking, fishing, and rock climbing in the pleasant October weather. And, with more affordable accommodation options than during the peak summer season, an autumn adventure in Bend is sure to be memorable.

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