The Best Places to Visit in the US in October

Don’t Miss These Awesome Places in the USA to Visit in October!

October in the US is a month of change, with the leaves turning color, the weather cooling down, and harvests in full swing. It’s also a great time to travel, as many destinations are less crowded compared to the summer months and rates are usually cheaper.

However, there are some places in the US that are simply magical during this time of year. From New England’s stunning fall foliage to the breathtaking beauty of Acadia National Park, the Eastern Sierras, and Grand Teton, October is an amazing time for outdoor adventures. 

With so many wonderful October destinations in the US, it’s hard to decide where to go! So I’ve compiled our list of the absolute best places in the US to visit in October. Plan the ultimate October getaway and get ready for some unforgettable memories!

Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 15 Best Places in the US to Visit in October

Awesome Places to Travel in October in the USA

Branson, Missouri

What Places to Visit in USA in October: Branson, Missouri

Branson comes alive in October with its many live shows, attractions, and outdoor activities. The cooler temperatures and smaller crowds make it the perfect time to explore everything this family-friendly destination has to offer, from Silver Dollar City and Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

We also love how many rustic fall activities there are throughout the city. Branson’s Harvest Festival features craft days and thousands of lit pumpkins for the perfect Halloween photo.

October weekends are also packed with things to do in Branson, such as the Shepherd’s Pumpkin Fest, where you can build scarecrows, try pumpkin bowling, or go on a Jeep hayride. Don’t miss the Branson Farmers Market as well! Shop for unique gifts, local produce, and yummy fall treats like caramel apples when you visit the market at Branson’s Landing, right near the Bass Pro Shops.

Finally, the Ozark Mountains are even more gorgeous in October when the leaves start to change color. Take a drive down Highway 76 for amazing views, or hike one of the many trails in the area. You can also go ziplining through the mountains or enjoy tons of water activities like fishing, canoeing, and kayaking on one of Branson’s many lakes!


Asheville, North Carolina

Must Visit Places in USA in October: Asheville, North Carolina

October is an excellent time to visit Asheville, North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountains are almost entirely enveloped in vibrant fall colors, and the cool mountain air makes it the perfect time for hiking. You can spend a day driving through the mountains and stopping at some of Asheville’s scenic overlooks, like Looking Glass Rock Overlook or Craggy Gardens.

There are plenty of things to do around town if you’re interested in experiencing Asheville’s vibrant arts scene or just want to try some new craft beers. You should definitely check out Uncommon Market, Asheville’s largest pop-up market, for some unique finds and local artisan goods.

During October, several fun festivals also happen throughout Asheville’s small mountain towns. These include Oktoberfest, Hilltop Fall Festival in downtown Rutherfordton, CiderFest NC, and more!


Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Best Cities to Visit in USA in October: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park is easily one of the best destinations in the US to visit in October. During this month, the park’s leaves turn a brilliant red-orange, making it an ideal spot for leaf peeping and photograph taking!

Grand Teton National Park is also a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re into hiking, there are more than 200 miles of unspoiled mountain trails for you to tackle, including an easy climb up the 7-mile-long Jenny Lake Trail.

Hike along Leigh Lake to get an up-close look at wildlife like bison and elk grazing along the rocky banks, or go horseback riding through forests and meadows filled with wildflowers. Try crossing Clear Creek’s natural bridge for an extra challenge!

The park offers many other activities in October, including rafting, biking, fishing, and kayaking on the Snake River. If you’re planning to stay overnight in one of the park’s campgrounds or lodges, don’t forget to bring your flashlight. It gets dark early this time of year, but that also means it’s prime stargazing time!

Do note that many campsites in Grand Teton National Park close in September and October, so it’s best to check before you head out.


Aspen, Colorado

Must Visit Places in USA in October: Aspen, Colorado

Winter may be Aspen’s busiest time of year, but visiting Aspen in October is anything but sleepy! You get to enjoy the gorgeous landscape, restaurants, shops, and attractions of this charming mountain town without the ski season crowds.

Best of all, the Rocky Mountains are breathtaking during this month. The aspen leaves turn a beautiful golden color, providing a stunning contrast to the evergreens. The Hunter Creek Trail’s corridors are thick with aspens in various states of fall transformation, and it makes for a magical hike!

The view from above is equally amazing, so grab a seat on the Elk Camp gondola and enjoy the ride as you take in the colorful mountain views.

If you’re looking for a more active way to experience Aspen’s autumn beauty, there are tons of outdoor recreation activities awaiting you. Hike to Maroon Bells and see its spectrum of colors reflected in Maroon Lake. 

Or go fly fishing for rainbow trout in one of the many mountain streams. They’re especially active in Roaring Forks during this time of year! You can also go whitewater rafting, kayaking, or tubing down the river if you’re in the mood for a thrill.

When you need a break from all the outdoor fun, head into town and explore Aspen’s eclectic shops and eateries. Finally, the Aspen Saturday Market is packed with fall produce and delicious fall-themed foods in October, so make sure to stop by if you’re in town in early October!


Kauai, Hawaii

Best Places to Visit in USA in October: Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai is one of the best places in the US to visit in October if you’re looking for a warm-weather getaway. The island’s average temperature in October is a pleasant 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the perfect time to hit the beach while most of the US is bundling up!

Kauai is also relatively uncrowded during this month since it’s considered the off-season. That means you’ll have plenty of room to enjoy Kauai’s world-famous beaches, like Tunnels Beach (great for snorkeling), Poipu Beach Park (perfect for swimming and sunbathing), or Kalapaki Beach (a great spot for paddleboarding, surfing, and kayaking).

If you’re looking for an adventure, head to the Napali Coast and go hiking on the craggy Kalalau Trail. This challenging trek will take you through lush rainforests, along cliffs with dramatic ocean views, and past waterfalls tumbling down into pristine swimming holes. It’s one of the most popular trails on Kauai for a reason!

If you’re not up for such a strenuous hike, don’t worry. There are plenty of other trails in Kauai’s state parks that are perfect for a leisurely stroll. Check out Koke’e State Park or Waimea Canyon State Park for some of the best views on the island without having to break a sweat.


Savannah, Georgia

What Places Have Shoulder Season in USA in October: Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is a beautiful city to visit any time of year, but October is especially lovely. The weather is mild and there aren’t too many tourists around. Plus, there’s something extra atmospheric about Savannah in October, with Halloween just around the corner. After all, Savannah is considered one of the most haunted cities in the US!

If you’re feeling brave, go on a walking tour of the city’s most haunted sights. You’ll visit spooky graveyards, hear stories of ghostly encounters, and maybe even see a ghost or two! For adults who want a tipsy twist on the ghost tour, there’s also the Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl.

Beyond the spooky happenings, Savannah is simply fabulous in October. The leaves on the live oak trees in Forsyth Park turn a beautiful golden color, and the flowers are still blooming in many of the city’s gardens.

Make sure to stroll through the Historic District and marvel at the stately antebellum mansions. You can also explore Savannah’s more eclectic Starland District or walk along River Street, the city’s waterfront promenade lined with restaurants and cafes.

And since October is one of the busiest months in Savannah’s festival calendar, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy live music, delicious food, and craft beer while mingling with the locals. For starters, add the Savannah Greek Festival, the Tybee Island Pirate Fest, or Oktoberfest to your Savannah itinerary!


Door County, Wisconsin

Best Cities to Visit in USA in October: Door County, Wisconsin

Door County is a beautiful peninsula in northeastern Wisconsin, and we think it’s one of the most underrated October destinations in the US!

This region is known for its rocky coastline, quaint small towns, and scenic state parks. Plus, the Door Peninsula is surrounded by water on three sides, so you’re guaranteed to get some great views of the fall foliage and Lake Michigan no matter where you go.

Some of the best places to enjoy the fall colors are Sturgeon Bay (the largest city in Door County), along the Ahnapee State Trail, and in Europe Bay Woods State Natural Area. But really, you can’t go wrong in Door County!

If you’re looking for things to do, Door County is home to five state parks, one state trail, and 19 county parks. So there’s plenty of opportunity for hiking, biking, kayaking, and more. You can also pick your own apples at the Oneida Tribe Apple Orchard in the village of Hobart, learn to make cider at the Washington Island Farm Museum, or run the Door County Fall 50 race.

Don’t forget to explore the Door County Wine Trail and sample some of the local vintages. And last but not least, be sure to check out one of the many harvest festivals taking place throughout the peninsula in October!


Salem, Massachusetts

Must Visit Places in USA in October: Salem, Massachusetts

If you’re looking for a Halloween destination that’s sure to be spooky, look no further than Salem, Massachusetts. This historic city is best known as the site of the witch trials in 1692, and it still embraces its witchy heritage today.

In October, Salem comes alive with Halloween festivities! The month-long Salem Haunted Happenings celebration features parties, parades, vendor fairs, walking tours, museums, attractions, and special events. If you’re interested in learning more about the witch trials, take a tour of the Salem Witch Museum or visit The Witch House (aka the Jonathan Corwin House), the only remaining building with direct ties to the trials.

No trip to Salem is complete without a stop at one of the several magical shops in the city. These shops offer everything from witchy clothing and jewelry to spell books, potions, and tarot readings. 

Even if you’re not into the Halloween stuff, you’ll still find Salem bewitching in October! The autumn foliage is beautiful, and the cool weather is perfect for walking tours of Salem’s landmarks. 

Your Salem bucket list should include the McIntire Historic District, the Pioneer Village, and the Pickering House. For a more relaxing way to explore Salem, try hopping on the Salem Trolley or taking a sunset sail on a historic schooner.


New York City, New York

Best Cities to Visit in USA in October: New York City, New York

Surprised to see the Big Apple on our list? We love NYC in October! This is a great time of year to visit New York City because the weather is comfortable, and the crowds are (slightly) smaller than they are in the summer.

NYC’s top draw during October is definitely the fall foliage. Almost everywhere you go, from Central Park to Madison Square Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and simply just walking around Manhattan, you’ll be surrounded by the changing leaves!

There are also tons of festivals happening in the city in October. Foodies will love the New York Food and Wine Festival, which takes place for four days in October and features hundreds of events all over NYC. Popular events like the Village Halloween Parade and the Columbus Day Parade are also must-sees if you’ll be traveling to New York City in October.

Finally, any day in October is a good day to visit NYC’s top attractions. Drop by the Oculus building at the World Trade Center, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (just to name a few!). Don’t forget to catch a Broadway show and order a slice of pizza while you’re in town!


Eastern Sierras, California

Must Visit Places in USA in October: Eastern Sierras, California

For the ultimate October road trip in the US, it’s hard to beat the Eastern Sierras in California. The colors are simply stunning, and there’s no shortage of photo-worthy spots throughout the region.

The Eastern Sierras are home to some of the tallest and largest aspens in the world, many of them concentrated in Aspendell. These aspens put on a spectacular show in October, and the nearby town of Bishop Creek is a veritable visual feast!

Other must-sees in the Eastern Sierras include Rock Creek Road for a scenic drive, the Little Lakes Valley hiking trail (one of the most beautiful trails in the region), and Mono Lake, an eerie but gorgeous spot with strange limestone formations.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Best Cities to Visit in USA in October: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The City of Brotherly Love is another one of the best places in the US to visit in October! Philly is also one of the most walkable cities in the US, and there’s no better time to take advantage of it than in the fall.

Start your visit with a stroll through Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square West, or Old City – three of Philly’s most leafy and picturesque neighborhoods. Then hit the trails of Fairmount Park, where you can admire the changing leaves while getting some fresh air.

When you start to get hungry, there are plenty of great places to eat in Philly. From cozy cafes serving up pumpkin spice lattes to farm-to-table restaurants dishing out seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of fall flavors to savor.

For a spooky twist to the usual sightseeing, join a ghost tour that will take you to some of Philadelphia’s most historic and haunted sites. Or, if you’re looking for something more lighthearted, walk around the massive Morris Arboretum for a peaceful day out.


Cleveland, Ohio

Where to Vacation in USA in October: Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio, is another one of the most underrated US cities to visit in October! You’ll find so many classic fall activities to enjoy here, such as apple picking, pumpkin picking, and going through corn mazes at local farms like the Lake Metroparks Farmpark in nearby Kirtland.

Take your pick of the many colorful hiking trails and scenic overlooks throughout Cleveland. Some of our favorites are the Berea Falls Scenic Overlook, Tinkers Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook, and basically any trail at the North Chagrin Reservation!

Since it’s cooler out, you’ll find it more comfortable to walk around as you explore Cleveland’s top attractions. Take the kids to see the residents of the Cleveland Metropark Zoo, check out the beautiful grave markers at the historic Lake View Cemetery, and admire the displays at the Cleveland Museum of Art.


The Hudson Valley, New York State

What Places to Visit in USA in October: The Hudson Valley, New York State

The Hudson Valley is one of the best places to visit in the US in the fall, hands down. And this region of New York State will take your breath away if you time your visit with October! For instance, Minneskawa State Park is surrounded by dramatic cliffs on one side and trees drenched in color on the other.

We also suggest visiting the Mohonk Mountain House, where you can stroll through gardens full of autumnal blooms against a backdrop of Victorian-era buildings dating back to 1869. Just nearby are the lovely trails of the Mohonk Preserve, perfect for an autumn hike. For even more outdoor beauty, go cycling down the Wallkill Rail Trail, which is one of the most iconic rail trails in the US.

The Hudson Valley also has several local orchards and farm stands where you can buy the season’s freshest apples, corn, pumpkins, cider, and fall-flavored food and drinks!


Burlington, Vermont

Where to Vacation in USA in October: Burlington, Vermont

There’s nothing like New England in October! If there’s one destination you have to visit in Vermont during this month, it’s Burlington.

The mountains turn red and gold, and the chilly weather is perfect for wearing thick sweaters, cozy scarves, and cute beanies. Sipping a mug of hot cocoa while gazing at Lake Champlain is such a dreamy experience!

October is also loaded with things to do in Burlington. Many of them are near or around the lake, so you’ll be surrounded by vibrant fall foliage while you enjoy the activities. For example, you can hop on a cruise of the lake, go kayaking or paddleboarding, or learn about the area’s natural history at the ECHO Leahy Center.

If you’re looking for Burlington’s best shopping and dining, head to Church Street Marketplace. This pedestrian-only stretch is lined with local boutiques, art galleries, and yummy restaurants. While you’re in Burlington, don’t forget to drive down the scenic Vermont Route 100 to see Vermont’s famous covered bridges. 

If you’re wondering where to go in October, you really can’t go wrong with Burlington!


Bar Harbor, Maine

What Places to Visit in USA in October: Bar Harbor, Maine

Rounding out our list of the best places to travel to in October in the US is Bar Harbor, Maine! This small town on Mount Desert Island is famous for its dramatic coastline, rich history, and fresh seafood. It’s also the ideal base if you want to experience Acadia National Park during autumn!

Leaf peeping is one of the best things to do in Acadia National Park in October, and there are tons of incredible viewpoints throughout the park. Park Loop Road is a great place to start, as it winds through the forest and takes you past several highlights, such as Thunder Hole, Jordan Pond, and Otter Cliff.

Don’t miss out on driving up Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in Acadia National Park! This is an especially popular activity in October, as it’s one of the best places in the US to watch the sunrise.

Bar Harbor also has several great restaurants and cafes where you can warm up with a bowl of chowder or a freshly caught Maine lobster! After a day of exploring, we recommend checking out one of the town’s many breweries or distilleries for a cozy nightcap.

There you have it! The 15 best places to travel in the US in October. What’s your favorite?


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  • Jamie Delos Reyes

    Jamie Delos Reyes is a book addict turned career writer and SEO content marketing geek. She's a freelance content writer, editor, and content manager who thinks no topic is boring - it's always fun to learn new stuff!

    She loves traveling, meeting new humans and hearing their stories, and tasting her way through the planet's kaleidoscope of flavors. The only thing better than traveling? Writing all about it! Her ultimate dream is to go on a cross-country road trip with her three spoiled dogs.

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