From foliage-chasing to Zoomcations—and more!— here are ROAM’s picks for the most fabulous fall trips.
By Christine Watridge
Though a lot of us might still be in summer mode, dreaming of sandy beaches and poolside Saturdays, fall is right around the corner—and back-to-school mania just about proves it!
If you’re looking to make some weekend getaways, longer Zoomcations, or just want to enjoy some fall foliage, let these ROAM retreats jumpstart the planning.
Utah in Color
Utah offers amazing views and great foliage during the fall. And the bonus? The state’s national parks are significantly less crowded. A week of distance learning in and around Southern Utah’s spectacular national parks affords outings so incredible, the kids’ll forget to complain.
Norcal Coast at its Best
September and October is the best time of year to visit the central and northern California coasts. When the summer fog clears, you have beach days that rival those in San Diego—with warm(er) water, balmy temps, and sunsets to die for. Sea Ranch and the rest of the Sonoma Coast sparkles in autumn, with a sprinkling of changing leaves as icing on the cake! Other towns that make for perfect weekends are Dillon Beach, Half Moon Bay, Big Sur and Carmel.
Discover the Oregon Beach Scenery
Follow a Hobbit Trail, see a shipwreck, watch for whales, and visit a haunted lighthouse in Florence, Newport, and Cannon Beach.
Leaf-Peep Around the West
Pack the kids for one of these road trips to the coast, high desert and mountains for autumn’s brilliant golds, oranges and reds.
Halloween in the Catskills
Long before the Hudson River hamlet lent its name to the hippie hordes, the Woodstock area was known for its beautiful fall colors and vibrant art scene.
Watch the Leaves Change in the PNW
As in NorCal, the Oregon Coast is dreamy in early fall – and there’s an abundance of fall foliage to be seen, as well. Check out these picks for family spots along the coast or make it an urban adventure and head to Seattle!
Dip into the Jersey Shore
Take the kids for a weekend getaway to the bohemian enclave of Asbury Park on the New Jersey Shore delivers fun music, arcade, food, boardwalk and beach time – even in autumn.
Getaway to Vancouver
Canada is open again! You might find it tough to squeeze all the charm of BC’s capital into a weekend – but it’s worth a try.
Bucket Lister: New England in Fall
You can’t think of autumn in the US without New England’s fabulous foliage! Pack up the car and head down some forgotten country road, take in the scenic views, and stop at cute little general stores and antique shops while neighborly locals greet you with salutations like “How-ai-ya?” and “You can’t pahk yer cahr he-ya.”
Autumn in Wine Country
A trip to the Wine Country is arguably the most quintessential Northern California experience, and visiting in the fall is no exception; Napa Valley alone boasted almost 4 million visitors in 2018 and Sonoma County reported a whopping 10 million. For good reason—the combination of classic vineyards, culinary landscape, and relaxed atmosphere make for unforgettable solo, couple, or family vacations.
San Francisco in the Outdoors
Locals know autumn in the City delivers some of the best weather of the year! Clear blue skies, not too much wind, and fewer tourists around town. Check our picks for local favorites or get our magazine with Covid-safe options around the entire Bay Area!
ROAM Assistant Editor
Christine is a college student from the Bay Area who dreams of backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail and visiting all 63 National Parks (15 down!). If she’s not outside, you can find her illustrating, writing, reading a good book, or baking focaccia bread.
© ROAM Family Travel 2021 – All rights reserved
The Ultimate New Orleans Itinerary
A week - or weekend - of family fun
Adventuring in Puerto Rico
Rainforest, beaches & culture - without leaving the US
In Mexico’s Surrealist Secret Garden
See secret gardens & endless waterfalls
Thailand during Covid
The easiest family beach vacation in Southeast Asia
Dog Days in the SoCal Desert
Poolside Palm Springs & Joshua Tree & more!
Insider’s Guide to the Best of Andalucia, Spain
Granada, Seville, and Córdoba—and much more
The Road to “Eureka!”
From sea glass beaches to redwood forests
8 Reasons Why You Should Rent a Pool NOW
Poolside Palm Springs & Joshua Tree & more!
Coastal Paradise in North Carolina
Pass the Outer Banks for the “Wright” Beach
A Perfect Day in San Francisco’s SOMA District
Art! Architecture! Parks! Garlic fries!