Best Fall Road Trip Destinations

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Today we would like to talk about the best fall road trip destinations. Everyone loves a good road trip, and what better time for one than fall? With the gorgeous changing leaves and crisp autumn air, fall is the perfect time to pack up and hit the road. Though this year’s vacations may be different with social distancing and travel restrictions, there are still plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy across the country. People typically think of New England when they think of the quintessential fall experience. However, we have compiled a few destinations you may not typically consider when planning a fall trip. Here are some of the best fall road trip destinations to visit!

Harpers Ferry, WV

Bordering the Maryland/West Virginia line, Harpers Ferry is the perfect place to see some gorgeous scenery and get out into nature. The town itself is a quaint place with a charming High Street filled with shopping, coffee houses, and restaurants. It is a great place to shop and relax, but the real draw is the scenery. There is a plethora of outdoor activities such as hiking the Appalachian Trail, walking in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, climbing up to Jefferson’s Rock, or taking pictures at The Point–a spot where three states (MD, VA, WV) and two rivers (Shenandoah and Potomac) meet. For the adventurous folks, the Harpers Ferry Adventure Center offers rafting, ziplining, camping, and many more activities.

best fall road trip destinations

Vail, CO

People generally think of skiing when they think of Vail, or of Colorado in general. However, the town has plenty to offer in the off season as well (and is way less crowded!). Located at the base of Vail Mountain and surrounded by the White River National Forest, this small town is a great place to get away. For all the hikers out there, the Berry Picker, Gore Creek, and Shrine Ridge trails are all wonderful ways to see some fantastic scenery and beautifully colored leaves. There are also a number of scenic drives to partake in such as the Vail-Battle Mountain Pass drive. With tubing, biking, rafting, and even hiking with llamas, Vail proves that it is more than just a ski town and is a definite must see in any season.

best fall road trip destinations

Roanoke, VA

A bit bigger in size than the rest of the list, but with a small-town feel and the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains as its neighbor, Roanoke is the place to be for fall activities, tasty food, and a good time.  Overlooked by a huge electric star (the Mill Mountain Star–which you can hike to!), this city offers a wide range of activities for everyone. The Appalachian Trail, Carvin’s Cove, Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs are all wonderful places to hike, bike, and enjoy the fall landscape. The Blue Ridge Parkway, affectionately known as “America’s Favorite Drive,” is another must try for some gorgeous scenes. For truly delicious food, we recommend Nawab Indian Restaurant. Top it off with a drink at Deschutes Brewery Tasting Room; after all that outdoor activity, you’ll have earned it! 

Jasper, AR

Horseback riding, fishing, caving, canoeing and more! Bordered by the Buffalo National River (the nation’s first national river), the Ozark Mountains, and the Arkansas Grand Canyon, Jasper is a quaint city for those who want those small-town vibes with big time beauty. There is plenty to do in the surrounding area; with everything from exploring the many waterfalls (Triple Falls, Twin Falls, and Paige Falls), seeing grand views of the Buffalo National River at the Steel Creek Overlook, or enjoying some family friendly activities like horseback riding, rock climbing, or camping at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, Jasper is sure to be your new favorite road trip destination. Make sure to stop in at the Ozark Café, famous for their delicious burger and shakes!

best fall road trip destinations

Littleton, NH

We couldn’t end this list without at least one classic New England destination that epitomizes beauty and small-town charm. For that quintessential fall experience, Littleton is here for you. Located near the White Mountains, it is no surprise that the surrounding area is chock full of scenic landscapes. Kilburn Crags and Forest Lake State Park are some great places to hike. If strolling is more your speed, try Littleton’s River Walk and Covered Bridge. With a range of shops and restaurants, Main Street is also a fun way to spend an afternoon. For a delicious dinner, stop into Schilling Beer Co. You can enjoy your meal right along the Ammonoosuc River. Finally, Littleton is the perfect place to be with Halloween fast approaching when there is one thing on everyone’s minds… candy! For those with a sweet tooth, be sure to check out Chutters Candy Store! It holds the Guinness World Record for having the world’s longest candy counter.

Be sure to check travel guidance and updates as things are subject to change during the Covid-19 pandemic. Enjoy your travels and happy fall y’all!

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