Five Great Destinations for Fall Travel

Summer seems to be the most popular time for people to travel, while fall often gets overlooked. There are advantages to planning a fall trip, or maybe more than one. In many destination cities, prices can be lower and the crowds, not as bad. Temperatures can be much more pleasant as well. One can often have a great experience in places that are maybe out of their price range in the summer by heading to the location in the fall instead. Here are five great places to check out in fall.

5) Portland, Oregon

Portland Oregon is a great city with its very own unique identity. Portland is proud of its weirdness and does not try to hide it. The McMenamins locations come to mind when one thinks of Portland. This outfit buys up old buildings, renovates them and re-purposes them into something interesting. For example they have the former Kennedy school where you can stay overnight and have a drink at the multiple bars around campus. Portland also boasts a great public transportation system, so getting to your destinations around the city should not be a problem. Have dinner, catch a movie, and have a nightcap all at the beautifully restored Bagdad Theater, also a McMenamins property, in the Hawthorne district.

4) Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles had a pretty hot summer this year. Miserably hot on some days. In the fall the temperatures mellow out back the 80’s making it much more comfortable to wall down the Hollywood Walk of Fame in West Hollywood. While there, check out all of the famous people’s hand prints in front of the TCL Chinese Theater. Neither of these cost any money and can be fun to walk and bar hop or romantic to walk with a date. Pop into the Rusty Mullet for some drinks and good music, but no dancing. Universal Studios is also in the Los Angeles area. The park can be busy no matter what time of year you go, but if you can pull off going during the week, the crowds will be considerably smaller. There is also an app you can download on your phone that will tell you where the shortest lines are at any given time.

3) Yosemite National Park, California

While Yosemite National Park has been closed due to wild fires that are raging all over California, it is a breath taking sight to see once the fires are out. If you love hiking and the outdoors, this will be one of your favorite places to go to time and time again. Other than the famous Yosemite falls, there are various other waterfalls and features to check out. Lodging options range from the prestigious Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly the Ahwahnee Hotel) where there are top notch accommodations to the minimal frills camp grounds in and around the valley. No matter how you choose to sleep, the beauty of the valley will take your breath away. You may have to book your accommodations more than a year out. That is how popular the valley is.

2) Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is non-stop action. It is also extremely hot in the summer, not that it really matters if you are going to sit in an air conditioned casino and gamble. There are some really cool things to do and see around the Las Vegas Area that would probably be more enjoyable in the fall. Hoover Dam is a sight to see. The size of the damn alone is mesmerizing. Walking across the damn one can really appreciate just what an accomplishment this creation is. Once again, if hiking and nature are your preferred vacation activities, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area will be just what you are looking for. You will be impressed by the red sandstone formations and possibly some waterfalls. All of this in a more bearable heat than the summer scorchers they have in Las Vegas. Of course you can always head back to the drinking, gambling, clubbing, and partying life of the Las Vegas strip. Fremont street can be a lot of fun as well.

1) San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is known for the popular River Walk. Much like the Las Vegas Strip, the drinking in public laws are relaxed around the River Walk area. There are riverboat tours available, restaurants and lodging nearby and of course a great nightlife and bar scene including popular tourist sports, Dick’s Last Resort and Coyote Ugly, along with many others. There is often some sort of special event going on at the River Walk as well. Texans are a proud people which can be seen when someone yells “Texas” loudly and is greeted with hoots and hollers from other river walk patrons. Texas can be hot and humid in the summer, so fall may be a better time for the River Walk in San Antonio. Lastly, Remember the Alamo!

Philip Van der Vossen

Philip Van der Vossen founded and hosts the Trail Trek Tour, a traveling series of off-road events for automotive media. In 2020 he launched the off-road travel site,, as the content focused side of TrailTrekTour LLC. Philip has been an online publisher since 2008, and has covered the automotive industry since 2010. Prior to founding Trail Trek Tour, he served for three years as the Rally Director for the Washington Automotive Press Association.

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