While the summer months might entice you to impulsively book a flight to New York or hit the town with your ten closest friends, autumn is a time to slow down and experience life on a different wavelength.
This fall, as the days grow shorter, you may find it more beneficial to bond with your confidantes over coffee or take a rainy walk in a leafy park. Fall getaways don’t require as much planning as a lavish bar crawl in the city, nor do they require the expense. You don’t need to apply for more Visa credit cards to afford a getaway in the Catskills or a staycation up the road.
When most people think of fall getaways, they tend to imagine picturesque New England villages, covered bridges, and short-term rentals in the woods. If your heart is set on planning a quintessential fall getaway, you’ll find no lack of options throughout the United States, particularly in the north. Save the surf lessons in Waikiki for the summer and hit some spots closer to home this season.
You might previously have thought of Michigan as a flyover state, but a boring place it certainly is not. In fact, it’s one of the best states to see fall foliage and experience a traditional northern autumn. Midwesterners encourage tourists to explore Lansing, MI during the short-lived fall months. The striking displays of fall foliage are perfect for professional and hobbyist photographers alike, and you won’t want to leave a trip to Lansing undocumented.
Lansing, as the capital city of Michigan in the very center of the state, offers numerous tourism opportunities including science and history museums, a sprawling botanical garden, and a quaint small-town feel. Vintage car buffs and history fanatics might recall that Lansing is the birthplace of the Oldsmobile, and as such, plenty of the local museums play tribute to the city’s long history of driving the automotive industry.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Seated directly in Lake Huron between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, Mackinac Island has become progressively more popular as locals and outsiders alike have discovered its unique history and interesting geography. Vehicles have been banned on the island since 1898, encouraging a slower pace of living and a less polluted environment.
The island is known for its tourist-friendly restaurants, offering fine dining with a gorgeous view of Lake Huron at night, and the old 18th-century historic Fort Mackinac and Fort Holmes for curious lifelong learners. Bikes and electric scooters are available for rent, and horses are commonly seen roaming around, even downtown. They have no fear of people and occasionally cause bike traffic jams!
With lakeside bike paths, stunning fall colors, and an intentional community of environmentally conscious travelers, what’s not to love about this endearing hidden gem off the coast of the Mitten State? The tourism bureau suggests that one of the best ways to experience Mackinac is by living as the locals do. Mackinac Island vacation home rentals are affordable and make visiting the island accessible to everyone.
Princeton, New Jersey
There is more to Princeton than academia. The small town certainly draws attention with its Gothic University Chapel and historic library, but the architecture is not all that Princeton has to offer. This quaint Jersey town is surrounded by lush countryside and only a short drive from several state parks and nature preserves. Institute Woods provides access to farmland and serene walking trails frequented by students, and 1600 acres of woodland paths await you in Mercer Meadows.
After a long hike in the autumn countryside, a well-stocked liquor store Lawrenceville, NJ will serve your needs if you feel like unwinding in your Airbnb. Given the popularity of this college town, there are lots of places to rent for cheap in Princeton and the surrounding townships.
One underrated metropolis with small-town amenities lies in the Midwest, and during autumn, few cities can compete with Minneapolis and its twin city, St. Paul. Not only is the Mississippi River a gorgeous waterfront view running directly between the two cities, Minneapolis is home to a variety of other lush attractions, including Minnehaha Park’s waterfalls and bike paths.
Minneapolis is teeming with art history, and is particularly fun for fans of modern art and sculpture. The Walker Art Center is a big draw for fans of contemporary art, while the Mill City Museum provides rustic and informative tours of an old flour mill that contains eons of Minnesota history.
Small-batch craft breweries abound in Mill City and lots of small businesses have opened in the Midtown Global Market, providing enough entertainment for an entire afternoon. If you and your friends are into theater, you can try out a group dance lesson at a Twin Cities dance center and make some quirky memories you can take home with you.
Located on the Susquehanna River, the Dauphin County borough of Halifax has a population of around 840 and provides all the cute, small-town amenities any autumn traveler could desire. Plus, it’s just northeast of Harrisburg, which is a bit livelier and has a larger population.
Halifax and its surrounding boroughs are known for their creeks, riverfront views, and proximity to leafy parks. The Susquehanna River is one of the most beautiful rivers to walk along during the fall, and nearby Clemson Island is a fascinating historic archaeological site. The local wildlife park is a classic tourist attraction in Halifax, PA.
One of the hippest New England towns for millennials escaping the fast pace of nearby New York, Brattleboro is flanked by several forested areas and rivers. Like the rest of Vermont, Brattleboro draws hoards of tourism each fall due to the foliage, which is particularly stunning when appreciated on a train or car trip. Don’t miss out on the chance to roadtrip to Vermont if you can, you simply won’t get the same experience on a plane.
Besides being home to some seriously unreal views, Brattleboro is also known for its funky artistic community. This cool little town is home to a lot of artisanal coffeehouses and breweries in its downtown sphere.
Southern Vermont’s majestic farmland allows Brattleboro business owners to serve delicious farm-to-table meals on Main Street. There are few places in the country more appealing during the fall months than the Green Mountain State, and Brattleboro is certainly the best city to experience culture and country values all in one place.
If the south is calling your name, you may prefer to head to the beach and experience Florida’s Gulf Coast this fall. The quaint town of Englewood is shared by two counties and is situated right on the water, providing a majestic and jaw-dropping view of the ocean. Catch some rays on the beach, wander the bayfront beach paths, or take a boat out on the water.
There are plenty of hiking trails available for adventurous travelers, but if you and your friends are more interested in experiencing the Floridian nightlife, there are a variety of lively restaurants and bars in and around Englewood, many of which have a fun and charming beach theme.