Think fall, and you think of the rustic colors and fallen leaves at various destinations that are known for this transitional season. But if you look around the map – fall is a tempting time to travel to different places that might not give you the colors but are known as famous fall destinations for other popular reasons. Here’s our look at 10 such places…
Aspen, United States
Aspen, Colorado is known largely as a ski town, and pictured as a sort of winter wonderland.
This is definitely an accurate portrayal during the colder months of the year. But in the fall, when days can be lukewarm or pleasantly cool and the leaves are starting to turn, it’s simply a gorgeous mountain getaway. The town itself is a popular spot for luxury travelers (known for great hotels and spas), but the hikes in the surrounding mountains can be breathtaking as well.
Turkey has been a little iffy on some recent lists of destinations given a great deal of political turmoil in recent years. If you’re considering a trip, you may want to at least check for updated travel advisories regarding the area. Assuming you’re free and clear, however, Istanbul is known as a terrific fall destination.
You’ll miss some of the summer crowds that tour the Mediterranean, and yet still get to enjoy some very nice, warm weather. There are also some terrific artistic exhibitions that tend to go on throughout the season.
See all of the above regarding Istanbul, and you can basically apply it to Rome as well. The weather can still be terrific and the crowds will be at least a little bit lighter, making fall the ideal time to get out and explore arguably the world’s most fascinating city.
Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to get out into Italy to see some of the beautiful vineyards and countryside, which tend to show themselves off particularly well during this season.
Parts of the UK will be chilly this time of year, but Brighton is on the southern coast, and is arguably the country’s best beach town. On warmer fall days you may still enjoy some beach time. On mild days you might catch the local Premier League soccer team, or simply enjoy North Laine, the city’s primary cultural center.
If it’s particularly cold, you can even take shelter in one of the several casinos around the city. The UK’s 2005 Gambling Act is best known for having directly regulated the legalization of online gaming, but it’s also enabled venues like the ones in Brighton to survive and thrive. So, with all these varied attractions, this is fantastic jack-of-all-trades destination for the fall.
Diwali is not a single festival, as some make it out to be, but rather a sort of widespread holiday in India and around the world. Commonly referred to as a “festival of lights,” it’s a beautiful event to behold in a city that really goes all out with it – which makes it a perfect excuse to visit Delhi. There you’ll find perhaps the best Diwali festivities in the world, held each fall.
New York City, United States
Fall in New York is incomparable. Despite the city’s location in the Northeast of the United States, the summer heat can be oppressive; the concrete attracts the sun, the tight quarters and bustling crowds add a sense of agitation, and the air can be stuffy. The winter, meanwhile, can be bitingly cold, particularly if there’s snow or freezing rain, with wind being funneled through the skyscrapers.
In the fall, however, you can simply enjoy the city, with mild weather, countless activities, and some of the most beautiful city park walks in the world (don’t just count on Central Park either – Brooklyn’s Prospect Park can be every bit as lovely).
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is one of the most visually intriguing cities in the world – and one with a lot to offer, from water sports and hiking to nightlife and partying. The main draw is perhaps the Tabletop Mountain, which can be reached via an aerial cableway that whisks sightseers to unbeatable views, or by way of a three-hour hike from the base.
Attractions aside, however, Cape Town is another ideal fall destination in that you’ll be going just before the summer arrives in the Southern Hemisphere. That means better deals on hotels and smaller crowds, and also happens to mean enjoying the drier season.
Queenstown, New Zealand
This is another Southern Hemisphere escape that’s worth keeping in mind for a lot of the same reasons as Cape Town. But it’s particularly interesting for people in seek of a more adventurous vacation.
Queenstown is a hub for all kinds of activity, from bungee jumping to river tours on New Zealand’s famous jet boats. With the winter just easing away and weather warming up in the fall, you’ll be able to get the most out of these kinds of activities.
The truth is that Nice is a terrific place to visit just about any time of year. But it seems a shame not to include any French cities on this list. The entire country is gorgeous during the fall, and particularly in the South along the Mediterranean, the weather can be ideal. Nice is a place to relax, enjoy the coastal views, and soak up a little bit of luxury.
There are perhaps a handful of festival-like events that truly draw an international crowd of tourists each year, and the Munich Oktoberfest celebration is one of them. It’s actually inspired similar events in cities and even small towns all over the world. But as CNN Travel wrote, this festival has been much copied but never bettered.
It’s a magnificent event that essentially takes over Munich every fall, and while its reputation is primarily its status as the world’s greatest beer festival, it’s also a cultural celebration. Many will dress up in traditional German garb (think lederhosen), and the general feeling of festivity is palpable.