Summer is undoubtedly the busiest travel season of the year. However, fall travel has its perks. Sweater weather means fewer crowds, cheaper travel rates, and perfect weather for outdoor enthusiasts. To limit any summertime sadness, Big Daddy has compiled a list of four top fall destinations to consider when planning your next trip.
1. Manitou Springs, CO
Just outside of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs is a quaint mountain town with an infinite number of fun attractions and outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy.
Reaching 14,115’ above sea level, Pikes Peak is the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains in North America. Accompanied by breathtaking views, visitors will encounter unique animals, including the bighorn sheep, yellow-bellied marmots, deer, and elk. Make sure you block out a good chunk of your day for this hike, as it takes an average of 6-10 hours to complete. If steps aren’t your thing, you can
drive to the top in a little less than an hour.
Make sure to keep an eye out for big foot!
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxing, check out Garden of the Gods a few miles away. Registered as a National Natural Landmark, this public park features 300’ sandstone formations. You can rock climb, join a guided nature walk, or even take part in a segway tour around the 862-acre public park.
Other outdoor activities nearby include white water rafting and ziplining, off-roading, and biking. More information can be found here: https://manitousprings.org/
Eat & Shop:
Take some time to explore the heart of Manitou Springs. Chock-full of artisanal coffee shops, breweries, wineries, and casual and fine dining establishments, Manitou Springs is perfect for the avid foodie. As you walk around, look out for the eight carbonated mineral springs available to the public. Consider bringing a reusable water bottle to fill up on some of the most natural, minerally-dense water in the nation. Don’t forget to commemorate your stay with a souvenir from one of the many shops around town.
2. Pocono Mountains, PA
Approximately two hours northwest of Philadelphia, you’ll reach the Pocono Mountains. With 2,400 square miles of lakes and forests to explore, the Poconos is an ideal place to embrace the season’s spirit.
Experience the region’s natural beauty, and add some treetop adventures to your to-do list. These courses feature a series of ziplines, rope bridges, and obstacles guaranteed to test your agility (and bravery)! These courses cater to both beginners and experienced adventurers, making it the perfect activity for families, friends, and team-building outings.
Mountain coasters combine the thrill of a roller coaster with stunning mountain views. These carts are designed with a speed control mechanism so you can choose how fast or slow you go down the mountainside. Experience intense twists, turns, and drops, leaving you with the most exhilarating adrenaline rush.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Hiking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and shooting ranges are all popular activities to do in the area. If you’re interested in learning more, make sure to visit https://www.poconomountains.com/
Eat & Shop:
The Pocono Mountains are dotted with many downtown districts known for their assortment of specialty stores featuring locally made, hand-crafted items and artwork. Experience the agriculture of the Poconos by visiting one of the many seasonal farmer’s markets, or search for souvenirs, vintage collectibles, and one-of-a-kind items at a flea market. The Pocono Mountains also have a vibrant nightlife with plenty of breweries, wineries, and distilleries to enjoy.
3. Woodstock, VT
Voted as America’s prettiest town in 2016, this New England village is popular for its charm, history, and natural beauty. This town provides many opportunities to get a well-rounded lesson about its culture and legacy.
Dive into Woodstock culture by exploring one of many historic sites nearby. The Billings Farm & Museum provides a comprehensive understanding of Vermont’s agricultural history. Visitors will experience daily farm activities, learn about agricultural practices, and explore original 19th-century farm buildings.
The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park is a 550-acre site that provides a glimpse into the lives of three different families who lived on the property. Visitors are encouraged the explore the mansion on site, or stroll around the gardens and nearby trails.
In a small village nestled among the Green Mountains, you’ll find the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation. This site pays tribute to the life and legacy of the 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. You can learn more about how Coolidge navigated the Roaring Twenties through his commitment to economic growth and stability. But wait, there’s more. Make sure to check out the many other museums and historic sites that offer a glimpse into Woodstock’s iconic heritage.
Looking for something more adventurous? Woodstock offers biking, horseback riding, fishing, golfing, and watersports for people of all ages and skill levels. Start planning your trip now by visiting here: https://www.woodstockvt.com/
Eat & Shop:
Many restaurants offer farm-to-table meals with ingredients sourced from nearby farms. You’ll also get to experience common New England classics like clam chowder and maple-glazed meats. As for shopping, you’ll expect to find handcrafted jewelry, pottery, paintings, and sculptures created by local artists around town.
4. Seattle, WA
Dubbed the Emerald City, Seattle is a bustling Pacific Northwest city surrounded by water, mountains, and woodlands. Offering both an urban and rural atmosphere, Seattle has something for everybody to enjoy.
Just a short drive from Seattle, Olympic National Park allows you to experience several different ecosystems in one place. Encompassing nearly a million acres, visitors will experience temperate rainforests, glaciated mountain peaks, subalpine meadows, and nearly 70 miles of coastline. In the northwest region of the park, you’ll come across Sol Duc Valley. Here you’ll have the opportunity to travel along scenic trails, view waterfalls, and soak in hot springs.
Plan a visit to Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in the Cascade Range. Mount Rainier is crowned by glaciers that are not only picturesque but serve as an integral source for many nearby bodies of water. At the mountain’s highest public access point, visitors can admire volcanoes, like Mount Adams. Hiking, camping, mountain climbing, birdwatching, and wildlife observation are all popular activities among tourists.
Other common activities in the area include whale watching and sightseeing. For more ideas on what to do in Seattle, take a look at this website: https://visitseattle.org/
Eat & Shop:
Seattle’s food scene is a reflection of its diverse culture and commitment to fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Take a trip to Seattle’s Chinatown for authentic Chinese cuisine and other international dishes, or visit Pike Place to purchase fresh seafood, artisanal products, and local produce. Downtown Seattle has a mix of high-end retailers, department stores, and specialty stores. No matter what you decide to do, you’re guaranteed a diverse and enriching experience that captures the city’s vibrant culture and lifestyle.
Whether you want to explore charming towns or immerse yourself in nature, these fall getaways promise to create lifelong memories. So grab your favorite sweater, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready to experience autumn like never before!