Where are the best places to travel in October? Autumn can be a magical time of the year across the world. It’s the time of harvest, leading to fantastic food that compliments the changing of the seasons.
It’s undeniable that a hot cup of apple cider or mulled wine doesn’t comfort the soul on a cool fall day. When the leaves change and begin to die, they put on an amazing show as they burst forth in vivid gold, scarlet, and orange. It is my favorite time of year.
So, while others are hopeful for an endless summer at the beach, I yearn for relief from the scorching hot temperatures and humidity. Fall is the time to return to the great outdoors! Granted, like many things, some places are better to celebrate the season than others. Here are a few of our favorite places to visit in October in the world.
Best Places to Visit in October
Northern Michigan, United States
One of the absolute best places to visit in October in the USA is Michigan. If your idea of Fall is pumpkin patches, apple cider, and beautiful hues of red and orange, then head to Michigan. There is nothing quite like spending Fall in the mitten state and there are plenty of beautiful sights to see in Northern Michigan, especially the Upper Peninsula.
September and October are the best months to see the leaves change and partake in the fall festivities. I would suggest taking a 10-day road trip to see all the beautiful getaways the state has to offer before the winter season creeps in. Take a drive north and stop in Traverse City and Petoskey before going Michigan waterfall chasing in Marquette and Escanaba in the UP!
New York City, New York
Another one of the best places to travel in October in the USA is New York City. Fall is so good in New York they even made a romantic movie about it. There’s nothing better than breathing in that fresh cool air while wandering around Central Park. New York City is easily one of the best places to visit in October.
Fall in New York is when all the trees turn vibrant colors, and everyone is in a happy mood. It’s where pumpkin spice lattes and street art comes alive! Seriously the vibe is so good every world traveler in their life should experience it.
Peak fall season in New York is mid-September to late October. Making October arguably the best time of the year to travel in New York City. If you’re heading here with your sweetheart, see all my favorite things to do here.
Wiltshire is easily one of the best places to visit in Europe in October. Deep reds, glowing oranges, and bright golds – these are just some of the colors you can expect to see during the fall season. And where do I think is best to see these vibrant colors?
That’s easy – Stourhead House and Gardens in Wiltshire, England; one of many special National Trust places in the UK. Surrounding a vast, glistening lake are hundreds of trees, just waiting to show a dazzling array of colors as soon as Fall begins.
But when walking around the lake, you’ll also be treated to sights of secret grottoes, neoclassical buildings, and mythological statues. What’s not to love about that?
There may be no more iconic place in the world to celebrate Fall than in New England, and within New England, it’s hard to beat the beauty of Acadia National Park. Whether you’re driving along Park Loop Road, staring down from the top of Cadillac Mountain, or eating popovers on the lawn of Jordan Pond House, you’ll have unlimited opportunities of things to do in Acadia National Park to admire the brightly colored leaves that mark fall in this part of the world.
While crowds will pick up during fall foliage on the weekends, if you’re able to swing a weekday visit, you’ll also have the benefit of having the park–and the town of Bar Harbor–almost to yourself. Be sure to bring a warm coat: this is Maine, after all, and temperatures will be dropping. You’ll need a coat to watch the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain: during the Fall, you’ll be among the first people in the USA to see the sunrise for the day if you’re watching from that spot.
One of the most beautiful places to visit in all of Europe is the Czech capital. Prague is one of the best European cities to visit in October and one of my favorite places to enjoy the fall scenery.
The city makes for a fantastic place to visit for photography and to get those colorful shots. Some of the best locations in the city are along the Vltava River, where you’ll find trees lining the banks.
At the peak of the season, these become a wonderful mix of yellows, reds, oranges, and greens. These colors, combined with the many fabulous spots along the river, as well as incredible viewpoints, such as Hanavský Pavilion, provides the perfect opportunity for you to capture the city.
The best time to visit Prague for Fall is mid to end of October, when the colors will be at their best.
Seoraksan National Park, South Korea
Consider jetting to Asia when you are searching for the best places to visit in October. Every Fall, many people head to Seoraksanan National Park. The park is already one of the most beautiful places in South Korea, but in the autumn, the changing leaves add another level of beauty to the mountains. Seoraksan National Park has a variety of hikes for every difficulty level, from short trails to multi-day backcountry hikes.
Highlights of Seoraksan include Biseondae, Gwongeumseong Fortress, Heundeulbawi Rock, Gyejoam Grotto, Ulsanbawi Rock, and many waterfalls. Best of all, Seoraksan National Park is close enough to Seoul that it can be accessed as part of a day trip, making it a must-do for any visitor.
I couldn’t make a list of the best places to travel in October without listing my favorite place in all of Canada. Banff in October is one of the best times to visit. The summer tourists have long gone, and visitors can expect to score some off-season pricing on Banff accommodation. However, don’t expect Banff to be a ghost town.
Come late September and early October; the larch tree needles turn golden before dropping to the ground in the winter. We call this “larch season.” Although it only lasts two weeks, it’s the best time to hike and photograph in the Rockies.
Come mid to late October, most of Banff gets pretty wintery. Snow has fallen on the peaks, and the access road to the famous Moraine Lake has closed for the season. However that doesn’t mean late October is bad either. Last year we were ice skating on the frozen lakes at the end of October and were snowboarding at Lake Louise Ski Resort on Halloween!
Are you looking for an amazing fall destination guaranteed to have gorgeous fall foliage? Stowe, Vermont, is the ideal place to go and one of the best places to visit in October in the USA. Set in a valley between some of Vermont’s prettiest mountains, Stowe is as quaint as it gets, with a white-steepled church, a charming general store, and an old-fashioned vibe.
To make the most of Fall, head out on some of the great area hikes (Sterling Pond & Stowe Pinnacle are among choice hikes, or climb Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest peak). End your day in front of a roaring fire, sipping on hot apple cider and recalling your adventures.
The Italian Dolomites
The Dolomites are one of the most breathtaking places I have ever visited and one of the best October vacation destinations. They are fantastic year-round, but from a photographer’s perspective, the Dolomites are best in October and early November (that’s right, Fall lasts a tad bit longer here!). This is when the autumn colors peak and the larch trees stand in contrast below the dramatic mountains.
You can enjoy the fall colors from Cortina, but if you really want to experience the beauty, it’s best to go for a hike in Tre Cime National Park or up to Lake Sorapis. You can even view the fall foilage without hiking along the most famous lake in Europe – Lago Di Braies!
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is one of the top destinations to visit in North Carolina in the Fall! People travel from all around the United States for the chance to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway at its peak. This fantastic stretch of road is transformed in late October as the leaves change yellow, orange, and red.
You can choose to stay at a cabin in Asheville and visit some of the beautiful waterfalls nearby, like Sliding Falls, before hiking up to Mount Mitchell. Although this time is the most beautiful time of year in Asheville, you’ll want to book your trip far in advance as it’s a hectic time, especially if you plan to stay in Downtown Asheville.
No, you won’t frolick around with a pumpkin spice latte in a cornfield in Greece. However, if you want to escape the changing of seasons and prefer making the warm weather last for as long as possible, then escaping to the Greek Islands may be just the right place to head in October.
The summer tourists that descending upon Santorini and Mykonos in July and August are long gone in October. And instead of high prices and crowds, you’ll find pleasant beach-going weather with lower prices and a much quieter vibe.
I love traveling to Greece in October for this reason – it’s quiet, and the water is still warm enough for swimming (unlike in the spring when it is just warming up). However, get there quickly; come November, most islands turn into a complete ghost town with many businesses closing for the season. If you’re looking for a fantastic island to visit in Greece, consider skipping the hot spots and venturing to Paros or Milos.
grand teton national park, Wyoming
Many Americans think that the east coast gets all the fall foliage; however, head west, and you’ll be surprised. Head here end of September and early October for peak fall colors. Enjoy the migrating birds, bison, moose, and elk as the aspens, cottonwoods, and willow change to yellow and orange.
One of the best places to go in October is Oxbow Bend. Or a super fun thing to do is explore Grand Teton National Park via bicycle during this time before heading back to your Airbnb in Jackson Hole.
Do you like ghost stories, old buildings, and plenty of history with your travels? Well, then step back into time and take a trip to Scotland in October. While all of Scotland is impressive, I particular like hanging out in Edinburgh during October. It’s a great time to grab a cappuccino and sit on the old cobbled streets watching life go by. Head up to the Scott Monument before enjoying a ghost tour of the city at night.
Feeling extra spooky? Make sure to head underground and visit the old catacombs of the city! Yes, it is said some spirits reside down there.
Mont Tremblant, Montreal
Mont Tremblant is well known as a great ski destination on the east coast, but it’s also one of the best places to visit in October in Canada, thanks to its beautiful fall foliage. Head here for a fantastic outdoor experience that includes hiking, biking, and perhaps eating a poutine or two.
Mont Tremblant is also an excellent base for getting to the top of the highest peak in the Laurentians, enjoying a game of golf, and paddling on Lac Tremblant’s crystalline water.
Whistler, British Columbia
Another well-known ski destination in the world that is a fantastic place to travel to in October. Get to Whistler before the crowds descend upon the ski town in the winter. October is a great time to walk around Whistler Village and go on the endless trails for a mountain bike ride.
Grab a loaf of bread from the award-winning vegan bakery BReD, or enjoy a bear viewing tour before they hibernate for the winter. If you want to shop Whistler has some fantastic sidewalk sales over Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend (second week of October), and many Whistler restaurants offer low season deals come late October.
The best part about visiting Whistler in the Fall is that it’s considered shoulder to low season, and you’ll be able to find some fantastic deals on accommodation as well as awesome restaurant deals.
Most people know about German Oktoberfest that happens in Munich every early October, but there is much more to rave about in Bavaria in the Fall.
So put away the dirndl and lederhosen because come mid-October, the countryside turns into something only out of a fairytale – literally! If you want to feel like a princess at a castle surrounded by the colorful forest, consider driving the Romantic Road and stopping at Neuschwanstein Castle before strolling around Rothenburg ob der Tauber in the evening.
I’ve never felt more like I stepped into a European dream more than I did in Hallstatt. This town nestled in Austria’s Salzkammergut mountains is another “fairytale” world. It’s beautiful all year round, but the colors change to create an enchanting scene during October.
Stroll around the 16th-century architecture, and you’ll see why this town has quickly shot up to a prominent European hot spot. It’s easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in Europe, and if you can book far enough in advance to get a good deal on accommodation, consider yourself lucky!
Fun fact about Austria – it’s a landlocked country – so you’ll have to get out on the lakes for water enjoyment. Thankfully Hallstätter See is a beautiful one, and one of the best things to do in Hallstatt is rent a small boat and enjoy Hallstätter See! Step away from the crowds and take in the area from the water.
Lauterbrunnen is a tiny village in the Swiss Alps, not too far from Grindelwald and Interlaken – easily one of Switzerland’s best places to visit. Images of the town’s 300m-high Staubbach Falls cascading into the town have been shared worldwide, and for a good reason – it’s staggering.
Numbers here are insane during the summer, but heading here in October will ensure you get a quieter experience as well as pops of fall color! Once here, you’ll need to check out the waterfall, but there are many other things to do. Take the train up to Wengen for panoramic views of the valley or enjoy the cable car to Murren. From Murren, you are set for plenty of Swiss hiking opportunities or a death-defying via Ferrata!
Nikko is a small town just two hours away from Tokyo and easily one of the best places to travel in October! If you want to venture into the Japanese mountains and see one of the tallest waterfalls in Japan, all before visiting famous shrines and temples surrounded by wild monkeys, then Nikko is for you.
It’s a fabulous place to travel to in the Fall as the colors come alive. Nikko is a photographer’s paradise thanks to the bright red Shinkyo Bridge surrounded by beautiful colors. Don’t forget to visit Kegon Falls (pictured above) during this season.
Hopefully this helped you determine which of these best places to visit in october is right for you. For other great places to travel by month check out these other articles!
- The Best Places to Visit in January
- The Best Places to Visit in February
- The Best Places to Visit in March
- The Best Places to Visit in April
- The Best Places to Visit in May
- The Best Places to Visit in June
- The Best Places to Visit in July
- The Best Places to Visit in August
- The Best Places to Visit in September
- The Best Places to Visit in November
- The Best Places to Visit in December
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