It’s too cold for the beach and too warm for ski trips—we’re back into the seasonal Goldilocks zone. But who just wants to stand around and watch the fall foliage shed its leaves as we crawl from summer into autumn?
Sure, you could stay at home and rake leaves off your lawn, split logs for the winter, and clear the muck out of your gutters. Or you could drive cattle in Montana. Or tour historic homes on Long Island. There are beautiful Michigan rivers ripe for fishing and intense local football games at Harper’s Ferry just begging you to buy a ticket. And if you’re too cool to stay in one place and you’d rather go on the road, you can hike through Vermont’s picturesque North Woods or tackle some (or all of) the Appalachian.
And those are just the hiking destinations in the Northeast—from Wisconsin’s hardwood Iron Country to Wyoming’s wide-open Ten Sleep, there are plenty of autumn adventures waiting farther west. If hikes and horseback aren’t your thing, you can always rent a private train car like a true celebrity.
Autumn is the perfect time to hit up areas like Acadia National Park and Cape Cod that get mobbed by tourists in the summertime—the weather isn’t in triple-layers territory yet, and spending all day outside canoeing isn’t going to give you frostbite.
If a steady vacation with spas, hotels, and rich restaurants is more your speed, that’s a different list—here, we’re all about sightseeing and adventures. We searched the country for the best spots to get the true autumn experience and selected 16 of the most adventurous, luxurious places to see fall foliage. But wherever you want to spend your vacation, it sure beats staying at home carving pumpkins.
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