Wherever you are in America, fall is a magical time of year. From soaring past striking fall foliage to apple picking, pumpkin carving, and sipping cider with those you love most, there's nothing quite like it. It's also a time for energy-filled festivals, harvest season, and holiday parties, so there's something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're laid-back or an adventure buff, these American cities have plenty of action to get into this fall.
Central Park is bliss when autumn arrives, so head over for a morning stroll, afternoon lunch, or evening run as you breeze past golden-hued foliage. You can rent a rowboat in the park until November, so take advantage while the time lasts. Visit Governor's Island to explore big-name art installations, discover the enchanting charm of Belvedere Castle, or sail down the Hudson River with panoramic views of the NYC skyline. The Thanksgiving Day Parade is a once-in-a-lifetime experience with millions of spectators lining up every year. Craving something more low-key? Check out the free eight-day Brooklyn Book Festival to connect with readers and authors worldwide.
Providence combines the rustic charm of the country with all the amenities of the city, so it's a convenient cant-miss when the temperature drops. Blazing orange and red foliage create incredible photo opportunities and daytime drives, while city-wide bonfires take over the night until early November. For some family fun, head to Kingstown for the Smith's Castle Harvest Festival, which highlights the state's history and features plenty of kid-friendly activities, fun, and mouthwatering food. If you're feeling alternative, explore the creations at the Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Film Festival, which showcases all the hard work and mind-blowing creativity behind the scenes.
If you're a foodie, there's no place like Portland in the fall. The city is swimming with salmon, and fresh local produce fills plates at the area's premier restaurants, including favorites such as butternut squash and pumpkin. Brewers take advantage of freshly harvested hops, and you can sample a taste at one of 70 city breweries. The Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch features even more seasonal produce, an extravagant corn maze, farm animals, hay rides, and pumpkin picking. It's also a great time to take in the fall foliage and hike through the waterfalls at the Columbia River Gorge.
Celebrate the season with 5,000 creatively carved pumpkins during the annual Jack-O'-Lantern Spectacular in scenic Iroquois Park. A favorite for the whole family, it's truly a feast for the senses, especially at night when carved pumpkins are twinkling. Try the world's premier bourbon along the famous Urban Bourbon Trail, which features nearly 50 stops to savor the state's pride and joy.
The Danger Run Haunted House Scavenger Hunt is another fall favorite; you'll work your way through creepy stops and haunted houses throughout the city to solve cryptic clues. This is a fall must, combining a tour with history, adventure, and a healthy dose of spooky.
Savannah was founded in 1733, so it's no surprise that this southern city is a hotspot for the paranormal. You'll discover countless creepy opportunities come fall, including the City of the Dead Tour, which has been named one of the world's best ghost tours twice.
Stop by some of the most haunted spots in the South, including the Hamilton-Turner Inn from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and the Marshall House, which formerly housed Civil War soldiers. Most haunted destinations are hotels or restaurants that welcome guests, so prepare for a paranormal adventure. If you're feeling hungry, the Blues, Brews, BBQ, and Bourbon Festival is a tasty way to end your trip.
Music City comes to life in the fall, where heavy partying is still in season. Fill your event calendar with non-stop action at Americanafest, which features panels, seminars, and hundreds of live performances at the city's premier venues. See the stars during the Bluebird on the Mountain Concert Series, which combines music and star gazing.
Try homemade kettle corn and caramel apples while trying not to get lost in the corn maze at Lucky Ladd Farms, or visit the Southern Festival of Books to browse your favorites. Both the Nashville Film Festival and Oktoberfest roll through town in the fall, so you can catch up-and-coming films while savoring German tunes, food, and beer on the same weekend.
There's more to New Orleans than Mardi Gras, and come fall, the humidity and high temperatures won't hold you back. Typically the city's festivities are still in full swing, so if you're staying in a tourist-heavy area, there's always something going on. Explore German culture and cuisine at the city's annual Oktoberfest celebration, or explore the more risque side at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival.
NolaxNola features live performances from established artists and up-and-comers, and Gentilly Fest brings music, food, and fun to Pontchartrain Park for a full weekend. Not partied out yet? Visit the Krewe of Boo Halloween parade, try something new at Nola Reggae Fest, or join the tailgating masses at Champions Square.
Denver is breathtaking in the fall, so it's worth exploring the Cherry Creek Regional Trail or taking a scenic drive through the mountains to spot gorgeous yellow, orange, and red foliage everywhere you turn. Beer is king in the Mile High City, so explore your options at the Great American Beer Festival, which features over 2,000 unique brews. The Pumpkin Harvest Festival is a must, and downtown Denver's version of Oktoberfest is a much more family-friendly affair with polka dancing and live music. Farms are also ripe with fresh cherries, beets, squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins.
If you've never experienced the Utah State Fair, now is your moment. From cooking contests and culinary delights to thrill rides and rodeos, this is a cant-miss. Hiking along Big or Little Cottonwood canyons is breathtaking this time of year, providing panoramic views washed with bold, bright colors. University of Utah football games are a local favorite filled with tailgating fun, or head to the Salt Lake Farmer's Market and try produce, jams, jellies, and pies from over 100 local farmers. If you're lucky, those snow-capped mountains might even be ready for skiing by the time fall comes to a close.
With temperatures cooling and the sun setting, Anchorage might not seem like the most obvious choice for a fall getaway. The city is much more affordable during this time, so you can see more up close without being rushed. Travel the Alaska Railroad to observe stunning foliage all the way to the top, or spend the day taking in the scenery and wildlife, which are easy to spot as the leaves fall.
Moose are out in full force. The food scene is thriving, and by night, the very bucket list-worthy Northern Lights is finally coming into view. Tour the state in a unique way through the Make It Alaska Festival, which features 120 booths showcasing art, food, jewelry, and much more.