Chances are your next paid day off isn’t until Thanksgiving. But, with school back in session, holiday ads infiltrating your Hulu stream, and the leaves changing color, wouldn’t it be nice to get away now, before the end-of-year craziness sets in?
If you have some leftover PTO you need to use, take a quick vacation for a little “me” (or “us”) time! Here are some of our fall favorites.
New York City, New York
There’s never a shortage of things to do in New York City, and fall is a great time to visit and partake in some of the things even the locals rave about.
Some of the cliche New York City “tourist traps” are best enjoyed during the fall months. Taking a stroll through Central Park while the trees are ablaze with rich hues is perfect for the nature lover. Broadway on your bucket list? Fall is a great time to scoop up great deals and see brand new shows.
If you want to center your mini-vacation around an event, you’re in luck. Fall is the sweet spot for some niche events in NYC. If you’re into beer, German food, and lederhosen, scoring a ticket to Oktoberfest NYC is a no-brainer. The last day of Oktoberfest is Monday, October 2, so move fast! For the pop-culture aficionado, New York Comic Con is a must. It might be the only event where it’s perfectly acceptable to be dressed as Buffy or Batman while scribbling notes at an educational panel.
Are you more of a foodie? Shelling out a few extra bucks can land you a ticket to an event at the star-studded New York City Wine & Food Festival. The more budget-friendly $1 Slice Night hosted by Slice Out Hunger is another great option, and 100% of the proceeds go toward American hunger relief and support initiatives. Tasty and thoughtful.
San Antonio, Texas
Fall is also the ideal time to travel to the deep south. The weather is tolerable, tourism is down, and locally sourced, culturally rich festivities liven up the streets.
Beer lovers need look no further than Oktoberfest at Beethoven Maennerchor. People wait all year for these festivities where they can drink cold brews, dance under the stars, and dine on German cuisine. At only $5, it’s easy on the wallet, too.
San Antonio’s annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration brings traditional art and culture right into the streets. Admission is free, and there are plenty of art vendors, food, alters, and workshops to explore.
A bit later in the season, the Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival is the talk of the town. It’s a fairly new event that transforms the city after dusk. Curators choose artists and pieces that celebrate the rich diversity of San Antonio, making it a must-see for residents and tourists alike.
If there was ever a quintessential fall destination, it’s Boston. The streets are flooded in Harvard crimson, football broadcasts blast from TVs and radios every weekend, and cool breezes whip crispy fallen leaves down historic cobblestone streets. Not only is it a great time to get a load of the fall colors setting the sky alive, but it’s a great time to indulge in a little history, sports, and old-fashioned American culture.
Boston was at the heart of the American Revolution, so there’s no shortage of history… and ghost stories. Amature ghost hunters can get a serious kick out of visiting Boston during the “spookiest” season with one of the ghost tours in town.
Just meandering the city streets immerses visitors in an American history lesson, but there are plenty of events and activities to explore, too. The Boston Book Festival is something book lovers look forward to all year long. And sports enthusiasts can get into the spirit of fall by having an unforgettable tailgating experience at a Patriots game.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Mackinac Island is another ideal place for anyone looking to take a peek into history. It’s home to Michigan’s first state park, untouched natural limestone formations, and authentic Victorian architecture. To complete the feel, there are no automobiles on the island. Modes of transportation are limited to horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, and your own two feet.
This little island nestled in Lake Huron is crawling with tourists during the summer months. But as soon as school starts, it returns to a more natural state. It’s a quiet, serene place to explore Michigan’s fall colors, take a bike ride, and eat some of the finest fudge in America.
You can choose to stay on or off the island, but don’t forget to stop by and have a meal at the Grand Hotel. Some of the options are pricey, but the cuisine (and the view) won’t disappoint.
If things get a little chilly during the day, you can visit the Butterfly House and Insect Museum, the third oldest living butterfly exhibit in the United States.
While you’re there, don’t forget to take a carriage tour. You might feel like a tourist doing it, but you’ll be able to enjoy all the architecture and scenery while giving your feet a much-deserved break.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
When you think vacation, your mind probably doesn’t skip immediately to Wyoming. But Jackson Hole is an incredible getaway for nature lovers and general outdoor enthusiasts.
If you’re using your hard-earned PTO on this destination, don’t forget to pack your hiking boots. The trails are endless, varying in length and difficulty. A short vacation won’t allow the time to do them all, so choose wisely!
With the temperatures starting to dip, you might be tempted to slip into the hotel hot tub or cozy up with Netflix after a long afternoon. In Jackson Hole, you’ll be better off visiting a natural hot spring.
You can also use Jackson Hole as your home base for an adventurous Yellowstone National Park vacation. It’s the perfect place to return to for a great meal and a comfortable hotel after a few hours (or days) in Yellowstone. The best part about visiting Yellowstone in the fall is the area is mostly cleared of tourists, leaving you all the space and freedom to explore the park without interruption.
If you decide to give any of these a try, check out our post on The Best Times to Buy Airline Tickets, Book Hotels, and More for some quick tips on saving a few bucks.
After you’ve booked a plane ticket, don’t forget to reserve parking! Click here to reserve your space at ParkDIA now, or just show up. We’ll get you out of your car and on your way to your fall destination lightning fast.