Best Fall Vacations

If you’re anything like us, you love everything that comes with autumn. All across America, the fall months bring cooler temperatures ideal for outdoor activities, spectacular sunsets, delicious seasonal treats, farmer markets, and fall festival celebrations. Of course, nature is also ablaze in colour with the fall foliage. Going away on a fall trip is an attractive idea. Still, with so many ideas for fall vacations, you may be wondering where to go for a perfect getaway this autumn. 🤔

We know it’s a hard call, so we’ll make things easier for you with some fabulous vacation ideas. Here’s a list of the top fourteen best fall vacations in the USA travellers are booking right now so you can pick the perfect location for your fall photoshoot.

Are you ready to fall into autumn? 🍁

Photo: Elisenda in Washington DC for Flytographer. Ashley and partner capture a fun day together in Washington DC at the Lincoln Memorial with a couple photoshoot.

1. The Hawaiian Islands

The first one on our list is not your most obvious fall destination. Believe it or not, Hawaii makes for the ultimate (tropical) getaway during the fall months. You won’t get as much fall foliage, but days are clear and sunny, and the cooler temperatures are excellent for enjoying outdoor activities. Conversely, the season also brings warmer sea waters, which makes dipping in the beautiful blue waters extra lovely.

To make things even better, some of Hawaii’s best festivals happen during autumn, like the Big Island Chocolate Festival, Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, and the lively and colourful Honolulu Pride Festival. 🏳️‍🌈

Photo: Marie in Maui for Flytographer. Lauren and family capture a family trip to Maui at Ulua Beach with a family photoshoot.

2. New York City, New York

The Big Apple is even more inviting during autumn. New York City is a perfect fall vacation because of its comfortable temperatures, endless outdoor activities, and fewer crowds. Of course, there are also the mesmerizing fall colors we all love to see at Central Park.

From late September to the end of October, the combination of warm and cool sunny days is ideal for outdoor dining and leaf-jumping. This time of year also brings many festivals, like the Halloween Parade and the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Day trips to orchards nearby are also an excellent opportunity for apple picking and other fall activities. 🍎

Photo: Armando in New York City for Flytographer. Ariadna and partner celebrate their anniversary in New York City at the Brooklyn Bridge & DUMBO with a couple photoshoot.

3. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

This one is easy to explain. From early to mid-October, the scenery at Jackson Hole becomes something out of a dream: spectacular vistas with vibrant autumn foliage, golden aspen trees, and a sprinkle of snow on mountain tops. 🏔

You can enjoy a variety of scenic drives, biking and hiking trails around the area, and all the best photo spots in Jackson Hole. In the first week of September, Jackson Hole’s Fall Art Festival stirs the town, with artists and artisans exhibiting their works in the streets and galleries.

There’s more: like Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Teton National Park is not too crowded during this time of the year, and the animals are running wild! 🦅

Photo: Armando in New York City for Flytographer. Ariadna and partner celebrate their anniversary in New York City at the Brooklyn Bridge & DUMBO with a couple photoshoot.

4. Savannah, Georgia

When heat and humidity fade away, Savannah becomes one of the most booked vacation spots in the US. Clear skies and comfy weather make it even nicer to stroll around and admire the city’s old charm with its neoclassical buildings and beautiful parks and squares. Besides being perfect for a fall trip, this is a very romantic getaway!

Lively festivals also stir things up around here with the Savannah Jazz Festival and philharmonic concerts in Forsyth Park. Did you know Savannah is one of the most haunted cities in the country? Not a bad setting for Halloween, huh? 👻

Photo: Shannon in Savannah for Flytographer. Stacy and partner capture their anniversary in Savannah at the Forsynth Park with a couple photoshoot.

5. Huntington Beach & Laguna Beach, California

These two small towns in California are extra special during the fall months. The vast crowds are gone, but you can still enjoy the warm weather and the nice blue skies of the golden state. Trust us, these spots will feel like private paradise beaches during the low season. 🏝

It’s a great time to take a surfing lesson and enjoy the famous waves of Huntington Beach, and, since evenings are cooler, enjoy dining alfresco with a nice glass of Californian wine. 

In Laguna Beach, it’s time to enjoy the many festivals such as the Coast Film Festival and the Plein Air Painting Festival. The pleasant weather is also ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and biking all around. 🚴‍♀️

Photo: Jackie in Laguna Beach for Flytographer. Courtney and partner capture a trip together in Laguna Beach at the Treasure Island Park with a couple photoshoot.

6. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is amongst the most booked vacation destinations for the season. A casual stroll through the charming streets lined with old mansions and parks with picturesque paths framed by moss-draped trees becomes more enjoyable and cozy with mild temperatures. 🌡

Also, the city takes Halloween to a whole other level. Besides pumpkin decorations, flickering flame lamps, spider webs, and skeletons everywhere, you’ll find night tours through graveyards combined with spooky real story accounts. 💀

You can take a road trip to the neighbouring state of North Carolina and admire vibrant fall foliage in Asheville, an up-and-coming destination near the Blue Ridge Mountains that encompass Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Photo: Kelsey in Charleston for Flytographer. Donna and friends capture a beautiful day together in the historic downtown of Charleston with a friend photoshoot.

7. Destin, Florida

On the Emerald Coast in Florida, Destin lacks colourful leaves between September and November. However, you still get the golden and orange shades through stunning sunsets, and the green waters of the Gulf of Mexico are pleasant and warm — ideal for a dip. 💦

In autumn, the Destin Seafood Festival brings restaurants and vendors to the Destin Harbor, offering fresh delicacies by the sea. 🦐 The Mattie Kelly Festival of the Arts agitates the city with hundreds of exhibitions, performances, and more mind-blowing food. Despite the lively festivals, you won’t find big crowds during autumn, so hotel prices are more affordable.

Photo: Mary in Destin for Flytographer. Marcia and family capture memories in Destin with a family photoshoot.

8. New Orleans, Louisiana

Autumn in New Orleans is a perfect time for outdoor activities. Getting on a bike is a great way to see the city’s beautiful neighbourhoods, such as Gentilly, Carrollton, Marigny, and the French Quarter. The weather is also perfect for picnicking, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding in Bayou St. John. 👌

Locals call this city “The Big Easy,” and there are never enough parties and celebrations. Autumn is time for festivals like Restaurant Week, Carnaval Latino, and the New Orleans Film Festival. While you can (and should) enjoy creole cuisine all year round, the oyster season only happens in September — that means oyster happy hour every day! 😋

Photo: Mary in Destin for Flytographer. Marcia and family capture memories in Destin with a family photoshoot.

9. Scottsdale, Arizona

Exploring the desert cities of Phoenix and Scottdale under the scalding sun and hot temperatures can be rough. That’s why smart travellers frequent the area during autumn when the weather is just perfect. The season has many festivals, like the Spooktacular Hot-Air Balloon Festival, where you can see a show of several colourful hot balloons, all accompanied by food trucks and live music. 🎷

There’s no better time to admire desert nature in the botanical gardens, a must-see in the area, and if you stretch your trip further, you can always reach the Grand Canyon in a few hours. A pitstop in Sedona, with a classic autumn foliage display of Oak Creek Canyon, is a must.

Photo: Larissa in Scottsdale for Flytographer. Caitlin and partner celebrate a babymoon together in Scottsdale at the Desert Botanical Garden with a couple photoshoot.

10. Boulder, Colorado

Boulder is a true autumn paradise. The spectacle starts in late September and is at its best from early October. Drive through the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, marvel at golden aspen trees and explore the charming spots you’ll find along the road.

In the city, walk around Mapleton Hill, Boulder’s most picturesque neighbourhood, or go a little out of town to Wonderland Lake for mountain views and golden cottonwoods. You can also check out Boulder Farmers Market or visit one of the many pumpkin patches surrounding the area.

During autumn, seasonal menus make the city’s restaurants even more appealing, and breweries offer special beers on tap. Oh, and don’t forget that it’s also apple cider season. Cheers! 🥂

Photo: Flytographer in Boulder. Brad and partner capture memories together in Boulder at the Lost Gulch Lookout with a couple photoshoot.

11. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Even if Martha’s Vineyard on the East Coast doesn’t share the same fall exuberance as other areas in New England, such as Maine and Vermont, it still attracts many travellers this time of the year. They come from as close as Boston and as far as San Francisco for fall vacations here.

Temperatures drop, but are still warm enough for a dip in the sea. Since the crowds are gone, you practically have the entire beach for yourself. Perfect for wonderful picnics and taking long strolls by the ocean. 🌊

Why not rent a bike to explore the island? Look for its many lighthouses and harbour towns and soak in the stunning landscape. Autumn is also a feast for food lovers because of the famous Food & Wine Festival, the Oyster Festival, and the weekly farmers’ market.

Photo: Flytographer in Martha’s Vineyard. Allie and family enjoy their trip to Martha’s Vineyard at the Lambert’s Cove Beach with a family photoshoot.

12. San Francisco, California

Autumn in San Francisco brings out the best side of the Golden City. Days are warm enough to enjoy the many parks and nights are crisp and clear, excellent for enjoying the city light display and superb dining scene. 🍽

Fall is also the perfect time to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and have clear views of Alcatraz and the city’s green hills. Offshore activities are extra enjoyable too. You can enjoy free outdoor cinema at Sundown Cinema through September and October or mingle with locals during the Oktoberfest.

If you can, go on a weekend getaway to check Napa Valley and its wineries — autumn is the best time for someone who appreciates a glass of excellent wine. 🍷

Photo: Lydia in San Francisco for Flytographer. Kailen and family capture a family trip together in San Francisco at the Ghirardelli Square & Fisherman’s Wharf with a family photoshoot.

13. San Diego, California

Uncrowded beaches, spectacular sunsets, and pleasant temperatures. What’s not to like about San Diego for fall vacations? We know the city is known for its famous palm trees, but you can still enjoy fall foliage in certain places like at the Japanese Friendship Garden with its maple trees or at Palomar Mountain. 🍂

A local fall tradition is visiting the Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center. Expect pumpkin patches, hayrides, food trucks, and more. For more autumn vibes, a day trip to Julian is a must. The apple pie alone is already worth the drive, but the apple farms are also fabulous. Like in the other destinations, fall festivals abound — Restaurant Week and the Festival of Beer are just two of them. 🍻

Photo: Bree in San Diego for Flytographer. Jesse and partner celebrate their engagement in San Diego with a couple photoshoot.

14. Portland, Oregon

Portland is one of the most popular West Coast cities to visit during the lovely fall weather. Although Oregon is known for its evergreen forests, Portland has many deciduous trees displaying all the colours you’d expect from the season. 

For leaf-peeping, Washington Park is unbeatable. The trails of the Hoyt Arboretum are also a fun and colourful outdoor activity, and the Japanese Garden, where the Japanese Maple trees will be at their most vibrant, is a must. You know what they say, autumn is the time of year when every leaf is a flower.

The season also brings cultural events to the city, such as the Portland Book Festival and the Queer Film Festival. Sunsets are extra beautiful, and you can admire them from the West Hills that overlook the city. It’s a breathtaking sight! 😍

Photo: Whitney in Portland, Oregon for Flytographer. Kelsey and family enjoy a family trip together in Portland with a family photoshoot.

Photo: Whitney in Portland for Flytographer.Diana and partner enjoy a walk along Canon Beach near Portland with a couple photoshoot.

Capturing fall memories

The fall season is perfect for outdoor adventures, watching stunning sunsets, and admiring the mosaic of fall colours — all this without the big crowds getting in your way.

There’s so much more you can do during fall, like heading to Utah or Vermont to admire the lovely leaves, staying at one of the picturesque towns around Lake Champlain, getting lost in a cornfield labyrinth in Pennsylvania, and visiting the many more national forests and state parks across the United States.

Here’s an idea: why not make this season even more incredible with your own photoshoot? Book one of our local Flytographers anywhere in the United States and make your fall memories unforgettable. 📸