Happy first official day of Fall, y’all! Even though it’s just technically started, I might have already been craving pumpkin spice lattes, wearing dark nail polish, and hoping for the temperature to fall below 80 degrees so I can finally put on my favorite over sized sweater (#basic, I know) for a few weeks now.
Fall is my favorite season of the year – there is just something special about this time of year, especially in the South. The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, and college football fills our televisions and stadiums. Autumn is meant to be spent outdoors.
To help embrace the changing seasons and the coming cooler weather, I’ve put a list together of the top 10 destinations to visit in the US during the fall. It’s hard to narrow it down, but I gave it a solid effort. There are only two on the list I’ve yet to visit!
Denver has one of the longest periods of fall colors of any city in the country. That’s because there are five different climate zones within a two-hour drive of downtown Denver. Pick your elevation and you can find yourself at the height of fall colors from mid-September to mid-November. Starting in mid-September, expect to see aspens turning gold at elevations from 8,000 to 10,000 above sea level. Later in the season in October to mid-November, you can see spectacular color down in the foothills and along the plains in Denver. (via Denver.org)
After just visiting this city for the first time, I’m already counting down when I can make a trip back. Cool mountain air with some spectacular views of changing leaves along the Blue Ridge Mountains makes for the perfect combination. Take it all in with one of the several hikes in the area, a refreshing cocktail on the Sunset Terrace at The Grove Park Inn, or hang out on the patio at one of the many breweries they have.
Music City lives up to its nickname particularly well in fall, when it hosts the Independent Music Festival and the Americana Festival. Indeed, the biggest parties in Nashville increasingly reflect the city’s love affair with southern, farm-to-table cuisine. (via T+L)
New York, NY
After recently visiting this city for the first time, I really don’t think you ever need a reason to visit. However I can’t think of something more perfect than Central Park in October with a warm cup of coffee in hand.
Boston is a city that’s so full of history. See the history on foot with a stroll down the Freedom Trail and through Boston Commons while soaking in the cool air and fall foliage. As we get farther into the season, renting a car and heading up state is a great idea if you want to see some seriously colorful views.
A trip to Chicago can be done on the cheap in fall, as long as you keep an eye out on airfares. One of my favorite things to do in the city is a Architecture boat tour along the Chicago River and obviously a selfie with the Bean is a must (make sure to capture those changing leaves!).
Jackson Hole, WY
The cool weather hovers right in the 60’s (perfection) and with the change in temperature it brings local festivals to explore. Or take advantage of the gorgeous scenery by taking a hike in Grand Teton National Park or to the Granite Hot Springs.
Against a pretty backdrop of leaves, the spooky sights of this infamously haunted city swing into high gear during fall. Stunning architecture framed by turning fall foliage, weeping willow trees and Southern hospitality are just a few reasons to visit this historic city. Fall is the perfect time to visit this gem and get cozy in a B&B while discovering River Street.
As of July this year, Charleston is officially the best city in the World as voted by Travel + Leisure. And really, who can argue with that? Charleston is wonderful year round, but in the fall the average temperature is 76 degrees with a drop in humidity, it has amazing cobblestone streets, and charming character. Also, shrimp and grits and she-crap soup. Drop mic.
San Francisco, CA
While the weather may be cooler than anticipated, fall is off season for this awesome city so that means less tourists to bump shoulder with. Take advantage of the lesser crowd and visit Lombard Street and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Have you visited any of these cities in the fall before? If so, let me know your experiences! Did I miss any on this list? Let me know what your favorites are!