10 Best Places to Visit in October in USA

16 mins read
By: Kirk Fisher on Shutterstock

October is here, and so is the fall season. There is nothing that can match the beautiful fall colors. October brings stunning fall foliage along with fall festivals. With fewer crowds, it is one of the best times to visit.

The scenery is dressed up in fall colors. This is the perfect time to explore for people who love to travel.

Fall is one of the most magical seasons of the year. From early October to mid-October, you will experience beautiful fall foliage in some of the most fantastic fall destinations. It is the time to experience the USA in peak fall foliage.

The trees have changed into warm tints of red and orange, so it is time for you to hit the road and experience mid-October fall colors. October is the time to chase the fall foliage.

Fall vacations are here, and in the article, we’ll talk about some of the most beautiful fall foliage destinations in the USA where you can spend your fall vacations. During mid-October, the USA is covered in fall colors and is one of the most visited tourist places, has some of the most fantastic destinations.

There are reasons for you to love the fall. The oppressive heat of summer might dampen your spirit, and winter will make you feel dreary where you will not be in a mood to work exactly hard but then who doesn’t like fall?

Autumn is just the time of the year when you will feel comfortable in your own skin pulling the sweater over your body. You feel like kicking a football, hiking or taking a walk down the red and gold forests.

This is also the best time of the year when the weather is really crispy and cool and the colored foliage gestures you to wear your fast-track shoes and go for the run.

Fall in other words is also the harvest season, farmers will gather their crops on this time of the year and would make arrangements for their storage. The name fall also comes from tree leaves falling in this time of the year

There are many places to visit in the USA that show the beautiful fall colours and some of the unique fall festivals.

The USA is the perfect place to visit in October as you will experience peak fall foliage at that time.

Let’s see the best places to visit in October in USA during your fall vacations to experience the stunning fall foliage.

1. Blue Ridge Parkway

best places to visit in October in USA
Niemand für Polyphemus on Flickr

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a national parkway in the United States. The Parkway welcomes a 469 miles long scenic drive and connects Shenandoah National Park with the Great Smoky Mountains. It is a fantastic place and an incredible fall destination.

The Blue Ridge Parkway welcomes around 2 million visitors during mid-October. It is said to be one of the most scenic roads of America. It is one of the best places to visit in October in the USA for a serene road trip during your fall vacations.

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers 469 miles of exotic views of some of the most beautiful landscapes. You can always relax yourself and have your share of fun as you make arrangements for a long drive.

This mountain range slices together a piece of history and Appalachian mountain culture. Stretching through North Carolina and Virginia it covers some of the oldest prehistoric and early European settlements.

There are many communities that are located along the route and you cannot help noticing the signs, the visitor center exhibits and the restored historic structures.

You can explore the parkway and there are various ways of doing it as they remain beautiful throughout the year. But fall still is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year and do not forget to bring your camera while traveling leisurely through the road.

Boone area Parkway landmarks some of the most beautiful sceneries from the Crabtree falls, Linville falls and the cascades to Mount Mitchell which towers high above the rest of the mountain range and is a short hour away from the Boone area.

Construction:

The making of the Blue Ridge Parkway began on September 11, 1935, as a part of The New Deal, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress. It was done to employ the unemployed and the poor people.

It was completed 52 years later near Linn Cone Viaduct, around the Smoky Mountains.

The Blue Ridge Mountains:

The Parkway is scattered along the mountain ridges and around some of the many tallest peaks found in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a popular destination in the fall. While you drive through it, you get to see the fall foliage. It also has surrounding mountains. People from around the globe come here for leaf-peeping every year.

Things to do in Blue Ridge Parkway:

The Parkway offers a serene, quiet drive on a beautiful road trip through the upper elevations of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but there is more to it.

The 469 miles drive offers numerous hiking trails, waterfalls, wildlife, places of interest, overlooks, and more options. There are many things that you can do in October.

2. Mammoth Lakes, California

Lake George Mirror.
Don Graham on Flickr

Fall is the ideal season for leaf peepers to visit Mammoth Lakes. The splendid fall colours are on display, and you get to experience the spectacular fall foliage. It also has some unique events that you can attend.

The weather there is cool, and the fall weather has some of the most beautiful sceneries to offer. With the eastern sierra mountain covered in fall, it is bound to make you fall in love with fall.

Many things can be done during October. The eastern sierra will make your fall vacations worth remembering. It has some of the best places to visit.

Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra are the most beautiful places to discover and if it’s the season of fall this place looks stunning. Set against the backdrop of the slate grey granite peaks the aspen leaves glow as the sunlight washes the edges of the leaves. The place remains coated in snow and the reflection falls in the alpine lake.

The fall starts creeping in slowly and most of the foliage disappears in the places located at higher altitudes by September. By early November even trees located at lower heights start shedding their leaves.

Fall Colors

The fall season at Mammoth starts late in September or early October. The air turns cool, and because of it, the leaves change color at higher elevations.

The cool air of the fall is why the fall in Mammoth Lakes peaks around mid-October while the trees surrounding Bishop display fall colors into November. It is stunning.

Fall Fishing

Mammoth Lakes offers some of the best fishing spots during fall. It is the peak mating season for Brown Trout fish. Their bellies start to change color. So, you can plan a fishing trip when here.

Some of the favorite places to fish during the fall are Silver lake, Lake George and Convict lake. The entire credit goes to the fishes and the landscape’s spectacular beauty.

Hiking trails

Fall colors and hiking go together. Some of the best places to hike in Mammoth Lakes are:

Reds Meadow Valley:

A 14 miles long trail is 2o minutes outside of The Mammoth Lakes. It offers spectacular colors to the people.

Horseshoe Lake Loop:

The Horseshoe Lake Loop is in the Lakes Basin. It is a family-friendly hike that is loaded up with a lot of adventures.

It is a 1.7-mile trail that circles Horseshoe Lake. Many other trails surround this trail.

The best thing about Mammoth Lakes

The best part of the fall is that the Eastern Sierra is naturally painted golden, crimson, red and orange and is a story to be told later. With warm days and cool nights, it is a place to remember.

Apart from this, you also have to chance to explore many adventures, such as sightseeing, biking, climbing, horseback riding, floating on a lake and mountaineering.

Some of the lakes located in Mammoth Lakes Basin are Twin lakes, Lake Mamie, Horseshow Lake, Lake George and Lake Mary. Some other lakes to explore are June lake, Grant lake, Gull lake and Silver lake.

3. Shenandoah National Park

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By: Andrew Parlette on Flickr

If you are a fall lover, you should visit Shenandoah national park in October as it is one of the best places to visit in October.

The leaves change into red, orange and burgundy, which is enough to dazzle your eyes. If you want to experience the fall colors, the best time is to visit in October.

There are many ways to experience fall foliage in Shenandoah National Park during your fall vacations. The leaves start to change color at higher elevations in the 1st week of October.

In the last three weeks of October, the fall reaches its peak in the middle and low elevations.

Scenic Drive along the Skyline Drive:

Skyline Drive
David McSpadden on Flickr

105 miles long road, running towards north and south along the beautiful crest of the Shenandoah National Park. It is a 3-hour long drive that offers mind-blowing colors of the fall. You also get to experience wildlife, such as deer, black bears and wild turkeys.

Best Fall Hikes:

Shenandoah national park is one of the best places for hikers. It offers trails with beautiful sceneries. If you are looking for a mini hike, you can go for Little Man Overlook, only a 1-mile round trip. It offers a fantastic viewpoint.

If you are looking for an adventurous hike, an all-day trek, you can go for Old Rag Trail. It is a 9.2-mile-long trail. The trek offers narrow rock corridors, different and unique stone formations and outstanding vistas.

Fall in love with the View:

There are several dining options at the Shenandoah national park. Some of the restaurants offer a Panoramic view of the park along with the fall colors.

One of the best places to stop is the Big Meadows Lodge which gives a stunning view.

4. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

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By: Jeff Hollett on Flickr

Mount Rainier National Park is stunning during the fall season. With beautiful autumn colors and crisp air, it is one of the best places to visit in October in the USA. You can plan a trip to the park from late September through mid-October.

The place offers the best fall foliage. By late October, because of snow, the trails are shut. There are many places to visit there in the month of fall.

Lakes:

The Bench and Snow lakes is a 2.6 miles long trek. It is one of the best places to visit in the park. It is an easy hike to experience fall colors. You can expect a beautiful fall color display in Huckleberry.

Hiking trails:

Some of the best hiking spots in Mount Rainier National park are skyline trail loop, Naches Peak Loop, Tolmie peak fire lookout, Narada Falls and Reflection lakes loop.

Make sure to visit Crystal peep, and it is one of the best places to visit at Mount Rainier National Park. It offers a view of 6 volcanoes.

5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

The best time to visit Yellowstone National Park is from late September to early October. During this time, there is a lite bite in the air, and you will skip the crowds of summer and get to experience the weather just before the first snowfall of the season.

It is one of the best places to visit as you will experience rich fall colours and Autumn colored picturesque against Mount Washburn or Gallatin Mountain Range.

Yellowstone national park was established as America’s first national park in 1872. It is home to a wide range of wildlife and offers impressive places to visit with stunning scenes.

You can experience hot springs under the beautiful scenery, mud pots and fumaroles. Hiking in the park is one of the best ways to experience fall. Biking is a popular way to explore the park during Autumn. It is open for cyclists, walkers and joggers.

Grand Canyon of The Yellowstone:

Grand Canyon of The Yellowstone.
Jim Bowen on Flickr

The Grand Canyon of The Yellowstone resulted from a huge volcanic eruption that occurred nearly 600,000 years ago. The canyon is 1,200 feet deep and 4,000 feet wide. Make sure to visit the Grand Canyon before you leave.

This park is just the ideal place for sightseeing. It has an intact ecosystem, active geysers and geologic wonders like the Grand Canyon going past the Yellowstone River.

From horseback-riding to hiking and then going for scenic wildlife tours you can find plenty of things to do if you come to visit the Yellowstone National Park. The popular spots are- Lower Falls, Old Faithful, and Yellowstone Lake.

These scenic beauties can be photographed and painted but watching them with your own eyes is worth it. If you want to stay in this place, you can always opt for early booking. There are hotels and motels and there are camping grounds as well and you can go for a wild adventure into the heart of Wyoming.

Wildlife:

The Yellowstone National park is home to a wide range of wildlife. By late October to mid-November, you will experience active wildlife. Fall is one of the best seasons to catch brown trout. Fall is the mating season for Elks and Moose.

Fall is the peak season for mating. It is one of the best things to experience. If you get lucky, you can get to hear a male Elk mating call that sounds like a whistling roar. You will also get to see bears getting ready for hibernation.

You can see the bears collecting nuts, fruits and other snacks to keep in their dens before the winter begins. Ensure to hire an experienced guide tour, so you don’t miss anything.

6. Grand Teton national park, Wyoming.

Grand Teton national park is a place you can visit year-round, but one of the best times is visiting in October. You get the fantastic fall foliage all to yourself, and you also don’t have to worry about booked campgrounds.

The desired time to visit is from September to mid-October. By mid-October, all campgrounds will start shutting down.

Explore:

Some of the best places to visit in Grand Teton national park are Jackson lake, Aerial Tram, Jenny lake, which is also one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. You also get to explore beautiful hiking grounds.

It is one of the best road trips for seeing wildlife such as bears, moose, wolves, antelopes, deer and foxes. It also has some of the most scenic campgrounds. It also offers one of the best drives on Inner Park Road.

Hiking trails:

It has some of the best hiking treks. So, if you have a baby, bring a baby carrier and experience nature.

With cooler temperatures, the hike is enjoyable. When hiking, you will see fewer crowds and cars around. Phelps lake, Bradley-Taggart, Emma Matilda, and Two Ocean Lake are some of the best trails.

Wildlife and Fishing:

You have a better chance of seeing wildlife during Autumn. You also have an opportunity to go fishing. Snake River is one of the popular options to catch brown throat, Janny lake for Cutthroat and lake trout.

You get to lay your eyes on non-domestic animals by the end of the fall.

7. Arches National Park, Utah

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By: Jim Trodel on Flickr

Arches national park is the perfect place for your fall vacation. Utah is extremely hot during the summer season, so visiting it in October is a better option. With fewer crowds around, you also have a better chance to explore freely.

October is the beginning of the offseason, so the place is calmer, and also, the prices are affordable. The fall there is beautiful. You get to see the intense, rich colors of Autumn. It’s the perfect destination for your fall vacations.

Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra are the most beautiful places to discover and if it’s the season of fall this place looks stunning. Set against the backdrop of the slate grey granite peaks the aspen leaves glow as the sunlight washes the edges of the leaves. The place remains coated in snow and the reflection falls in the alpine lake.

The fall starts creeping in slowly and most of the foliage disappears in the places located at higher altitudes by September. By early November even trees located at lower heights start shedding their leaves.

Explore

The Arches national park consists of 2000 sandstones arches and unique geological formations that are a wonder to look at.

The best part of it is the 36 miles Arches Scenic Drive. The dive offers a lot of viewpoints, great arches, and the La Sal Mountains viewpoint.

Hiking Trails

If you are a sunset lover, then the best hike trail for you is the hike to Delicate Arch. It is 3 miles round trip and offers a breathtaking sunset. You can also go hiking along with the Balanced Rock.

Stargazing

There is a saying that “Half a Park is after the Dark”. At night you get to see a clear night sky. It is one of the best times to click photographs of the stars and the milky way.

The best locations are the Windows Area and Balanced Rock.

8. Acadia National park

Acadia National Park in Autumn colors.
Paul VanDerWerf on Flickr

The best time to visit Acadia national park is September through early October, as it is one of the best places to visit in October.

The Acadia National Park is located east of the Mississippi river and it offers pristine lakes and rugged coastlines, hiking, biking and camping. This National Park stretches far across the jagged Maine coast over small islands and a portion of the Schoodic Peninsula. There are 130 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads that can be travelled by a bike.

The Acadia National Park was established in 1919 and a generous conservationist donated 6000 acres of land so that Acadia National Park would be large and a nature lover’s haven.

The peak summer season and summer crowds are gone, and you get to explore the park just before the freezing weather. Fall is far more enjoyable in Acadia national park.

It is the season for leaf-peeping. Acadia national park displays fall foliage by mid-October. By late October, the temperature starts to fall. By the fall, the summer crowds are gone, and you will experience downright paradise at Acadia national park.

From September to early October, it is the beginning of the fall, and by mid-October, it is the seasonal pinnacle.

Fall Festival

Acadia National parks celebrate The Night Sky Festival, held from 25th-30th September. The night is a whole new reason to visit Acadia National park.

Light pollution and dark skies are the prime time for stargazing.

9. New York

New York is a city that you should visit in October. The perfect place to spend your fall vacation. October is the perfect time for sightseeing in the city. If you visit New York in October, you also experience Halloween.

This city is mostly located on the three islands-the Long Island, Manhattan and the Staten island. The Hudson river flows through the city lazily and then flows into the Atlantic ocean. This river also separates New York from New Jersey.

The Harlem river and the Bronx river flows through the city and the Bronx is the only freshwater river in the country.

It is a beautiful sight to look at. The weeks before Halloween are filled up with crazy decorations, and you also get to enjoy The Grand NYC Village Halloween Parade on the 31st every year.

It is one of the most fun events in the USA. In all, New York is one of the best places to visit in October in the USA.

10. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is the perfect fall getaway and one of the best places to visit in October in the USA. Chicago is beautiful year-round but fall has something magical for the visitors.

It is a fantastic fall destination. You will see fall foliage everywhere. It has some of the best places to visit in the fall.

The reason why you should visit in October is Halloween. During Halloween, they offer many fun events, thrilling parades, ghost tours of haunted places, glowing pumpkin displays, dead celebrations.

Fall is the harvest season in Chicago. Along with some wine tasting, there are many fun ways to explore Chicago.

Some of which are:

Ghost Tours:

Chicago is filled up with dark history. The Great Fire, Al Capone, Destructive Riots, Prohibition, and Shipwrecks.

As you will like to take a walk down the street and discover some of the most haunted places in America you will at once come to know about the vibrant culture that flourished in some of the well-known cities. Some of these haunted houses will scare you off with their deserted cemeteries, eerie gothic structures.

People there say that they can still feel the haunting chill in the air. The city is in for some ghostly encounters. Chicago is considered one of the most haunted cities in the USA.

Haunted Places:

The city has several haunted places to visit. Some of the most Haunted places include House of Blues, Congress Plaza Hotel, Resurrection Cemetery, and many others. You can also go for walking tours around some haunted Pubs.

Haunted House

The most famous ghost stories are in San Francisco and it is believed plenty of ghosts live in San Francisco. These stories will haunt you forever even when you leave this city and it is very likely that it will give you creeps all over your body. Normally paranormal activities take place in these places which cannot be explained logically.

Some of the best Haunted Houses to visit are Basement of the Dead, Dungeon of Doom, Terrors in the Timber and many more.

Pumpkin Patches:

Fall in Chicago means vibrant fall colours, oversized sweaters, apple picking, bonfire, and Pumpkins. There are many Pumpkin patches that you can visit. Everyone likes to pick their Pumpkin.

There are many Pumpkin patches that you can visit in your fall vacations, like, Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm and Garden Center, County line Orchard, and many more. Along with it, you can also go for some wine tasting.

Apple Picking:

It’s fall, and it’s time for Apple picking. With vibrant fall foliage, it is the perfect time for Apple picking. You will find plenty of places for picking Apples.

It is also the time to get lost in fantastic corn mazes.

Halloween

The most famous ghost stories are in San Francisco and it is believed plenty of ghosts live in San Francisco. These stories will haunt you forever even when you leave this city and it is very likely that it will give you creeps all over your body. Normally paranormal activities take place in these places which cannot be explained logically.

 

Halloween is a festival celebrated each year on October 31. It includes wearing different and spooky costumes and trick-or-treating.

If you visit the USA on Halloween, you are in for an adventure.

Other Best Places to Visit in October in USA

Apart from the places mentioned above, there are many others you can visit in October. They are also some of the best places to visit in October in the USA.

You can spend your fall vacation here to experience Autumn. Some of the best places to visit to see the best fall foliage.

  • Rocky Mountain national park, Colorado.
  • Cave point county park, Wisconsin.
  • Pacific Crest Trail, a national park in the USA.
  • Grandfather Mountain State Park, North Carolina.
  • Julian Price Memorial Park, North Carolina.
  • San Francisco.
  • Pacific Northwest.
  • Rolling Hills, California.
  • Yosemite National Park, California.
  • South Beach seafood festival, a festival in Miami Beach, Florida.
  • Great American Beer Festival, a festival in Door County.

Overview

As you have seen in the article, these are some of the best places to visit in October in the USA. The places to spend your fall vacations, to experience peak fall foliage.

Some of the best national parks, along with some gorgeous fall foliage, are some of the places to visit in the USA.

October is the peak season for foliage. It is the best time to visit the USA. If you spend your fall vacations in the USA, it will be your best fall vacation.

 

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