fall travel destinations 2023

Fall Travel Destinations in 2023

Discover the Breathtaking Beauty of Fall

Fall is one of the most wonderful times of the year, bringing cooler temperatures and spectacular colors, perfect for digging out cozy jumpers or getting ready for Halloween. Whether you’re searching for breathtaking mountain scenery to see fall foliage in full bloom, want to get a head start on ski season, or you’d rather keep summer going with a beach escape, there are plenty of fall vacation ideas to choose from.

From the wild and ancient Scottish Highlands to the rolling vineyards of Sonoma and the black sand beaches of Hawaii, as most people head back to school or work, why not make the most of the off-season and travel somewhere beautiful for fall? Read on to discover the best fall travel destinations for 2023.

5 Best Fall Travel Destinations for 2023

1. Scotland

Scotland is often overlooked thanks to its reputation for poor weather, but the scenery in this country is worth braving the rain for, and it’s one of the world’s best fall travel destinations. Fall is one of the best times to take a vacation here, with the cobblestone streets of its capital, Edinburgh feeling like something out of Harry Potter.

Further afield, the Scottish Highlands are swathed in gold and copper tones, which are reflected in the vast lochs. Home to misty mountains dotted with ancient castles, areas like Perthshire, Glencoe and in the far north, the Isle of Skye, offer landscapes to challenge the likes of Norway and Iceland. In fall, you’ll also spot rare wildlife, like majestic stags and golden eagles, and the brisk temperatures are perfect for snuggling up to a roaring fire in one of Scotland’s many historic hotels.

2. Southern Germany

If you’re looking for a fall escape that includes awe-inspiring mountain ranges, endless pristine countryside, fairytale castles and villages and some of the best food in the world, then look no further than Germany’s southern regions. In Munich, the capital of Bavaria, are classic German beer houses, historic churches and chocolate box houses, not to mention fall’s biggest attraction, Oktoberfest.

Take a road trip outside the city into the mountains and hills to discover sights like Neuschwanstein Castle — which inspired Cinderella’s castle. Close by, visit the stunning Hopfensee, which overlooks the snow-capped Bavarian Alps, or climb the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain — all the while tucking into warming fall dishes such as bratwurst with pickled cabbage, hearty local soups and a traditional mug of mulled wine.

3. Iceland

Iceland has otherworldly landscapes, rare wildlife and rich local culture. Fall may just be the best time of year to visit this incredible destination, while the days are still long and the dramatic emerald-green landscapes gradually turn to gold. In the island’s small capital city of Reykjavik, you can explore Viking history, enjoy freshly caught seafood and warm up in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon.

Rent a car and take the famous Ring Road around the country’s Golden Circle to visit active volcanoes, black sand beaches and vast glaciers. For fall colors, hikes and landscapes, Thingvellir National Park hides plunging waterfalls, bubbling hot springs and Iceland’s largest lake — as fall progresses there’s more chance of seeing these frozen over like a winter wonderland while the Northern Lights often make an appearance from September onwards.

4. Northern California

Not everyone has the time or budget for a bucket-list trip abroad, but America has the world’s most stunning fall destinations right on its very own shores. California may be known as a beach destination, and it’s certainly the ticket if you’re chasing some late summer sun, but head to the rolling vineyards in the fall for world-class wines and epic hiking trails.

California’s northern region offers not only fun cities like Sacramento and San Francisco but also unmissable coastline views along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), impossibly fresh seafood and incredible adventures in Yosemite, King’s Canyon and the Pinnacles. Hike beneath cascading waterfalls, wander amongst giant redwoods or climb to the summit of a mountain in any of these national parks for an incredible experience within nature — plus, there are always fewer crowds in fall.

After filling your exercise quota for the trip, take a well-deserved break with a detour to Napa or Sonoma counties. Coming into their brown during fall, the vineyards are swathed in red and yellow foliage, and you can take your pick from hundreds of local vineyards that serve great food and crisp Californian wines.

5. Hawaii

If your idea of fall is more beachside bliss and jaw-dropping natural wonders, then a trip to the United States' very own paradise island is the fall vacation idea you’ve been looking for. Hawaii can be notoriously pricey during the summer months, so when high season drops off in September, you can expect better rates on everything from resorts to airfares and car rentals.

Adventure is unlimited in Hawaii, whether you’re up for thrilling hikes in Volcanoes National Park, diving with sharks and giant rays off the Big Island, or taking a sailing trip along the Jurassic Park-esque Nā Pali coastline. Hawaii is bursting with stunning beaches, from white and gold to volcanic black sand, with crystal clear waters, tropical fall temperatures and an array of great vacation rentals, hotels and resorts.

Beach bars, local festivals, epic surfing — you name it, Hawaii has it. Don’t forget to take a road trip along the famous Waimea Canyon and the road to Hana; renting a car is the best way to see the sights. Even if you’re not up for an active holiday, Hawaii is one of the best fall destinations for keeping summer going as long as possible!

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