Planning a trip this Fall? Don’t miss these 19 different destinations that are perfect for seniors.
Published on August 31st, 2023 in Destinations
Summer travel seems to get most of the hype, but experienced travelers know there is just something special about the fall season. The weather, the colors, the food …
And apart from personal preference, there are also plenty of logistical benefits to fall season travel.
In this post we’ll discuss some of the advantages of planning a vacation in autumn and showcase a range of international and domestic destinations to help you plan an epic trip.
Why plan a fall vacation?
Fall season, generally considered to be late September to mid December in the U.S., is a wonderful time to travel. If you’re new to fall travel or need a quick overview, here are some benefits of choosing to travel in autumn.
The U.S. is a geographically diverse place—October in Florida is much different than in Vermont.
In general, you can expect milder weather in fall. The multi-day heat waves of summer have usually passed and the sustained freezing temperatures of winter are still months in the future. Pack a few sweaters and your favorite light rain jacket, and you’re good to go.
Arguably, the main highlight of fall travel is the stunning display of changing colors in nature. Trees transform into vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, creating picturesque landscapes, especially in regions with deciduous trees.
Areas in the Northeastern United States like upper Maine, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are famous for their fall landscapes, but you can find incredible fall colors throughout the country (see more later in this post).
The fall harvest is one of the most wonderful times of the year for foodies. Fall brings a bounty of seasonal foods like apples, pumpkins, squash, and various root vegetables. Trying local fall delicacies is a delightful experience during your travels.
“Shoulder season” crowds and pricing
Fall is considered the shoulder season in many tourist destinations, which means fewer crowds and more opportunities to enjoy popular attractions without long lines or waiting times. Additionally, you may find more affordable accommodations and travel deals, allowing you to experience destinations that might be cost-prohibitive during the busier months.
International fall destinations
Looking to get out of the country and explore the world? These international destinations are especially great during the fall season.
Japan’s fall foliage season, known as “koyo,” is breathtaking. Head to Kyoto, Tokyo, Nikko, or the Japanese Alps to witness the vibrant colors of maple trees and enjoy cultural experiences like tea ceremonies and traditional festivals.
Canada is known for its stunning fall foliage, and destinations like Banff and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies, as well as the Eastern provinces like Quebec and Nova Scotia, offer picturesque scenes.
Tuscany, Umbria, and the Amalfi Coast are popular fall destinations in Italy. Enjoy the wine harvest season, pleasant temperatures, and explore a few of the dozens of historic, medieval towns without the summer crowds. Don’t forget to try the gelato!
Cruising is a great way to see the world without the hassle of flights, trains, rental cars and hotels. For those seeking an all-inclusive trip to exotic fall destinations, one of these cruises might be a good option.
While the Caribbean can be a popular destination during the winter months, fall cruises allow for a more relaxed experience with fewer tourists. Enjoy warm weather, beautiful beaches, and various cultural experiences on Caribbean islands.
European river cruises
River cruises in Europe offer a relaxed way to explore multiple destinations without the hustle and bustle of larger ocean cruises. Consider cruises along the Danube, Rhine, or Douro rivers, where you can experience beautiful fall scenery and visit historic towns and cities.
New England and Canada cruises
Fall is the perfect time to explore the stunning foliage and charming coastal towns of New England and Canada. Cruises often depart from cities like Boston or New York and take you to destinations like Halifax, Bar Harbor, and Quebec City.
Mediterranean cruises during the fall offer milder temperatures, fewer crowds, and the opportunity to visit iconic cities like Barcelona, Rome, and Athens. You can also explore beautiful islands such as Santorini and Venice.
Panama Canal cruises
Cruising through the Panama Canal is an exciting and educational experience. Fall cruises offer the chance to traverse this engineering marvel and explore destinations in Central and South America.
Autumn RV trips
Taking RV trips during the fall season are enjoyable due to the cooler weather and changing foliage that create a picturesque and pleasant environment for travel. The abundance of fall festivals, harvest activities, and seasonal attractions along the way make the journey even more enriching and delightful.
Here are a few RV trips that pop with fall colors.
Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia
The Blue Ridge Parkway is renowned for its breathtaking fall foliage. This scenic drive offers stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains and the changing colors of the leaves. Seniors can take leisurely drives, stop at overlooks, and enjoy short hikes to waterfalls or historic sites along the way.
Acadia National Park in Maine
Acadia National Park is a beautiful destination with diverse landscapes, including mountains, coastlines, and forests. In the fall, the park is adorned with vibrant fall foliage, making it an ideal time for seniors to explore its scenic drives, take easy walks along the carriage roads, and enjoy the crisp autumn air.
Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada
Cape Breton Island offers a captivating blend of stunning landscapes and rich cultural experiences. The Cabot Trail, a scenic drive, provides panoramic views of the coast and highlands, with plenty of opportunities to spot fall colors and local wildlife. Seniors can also visit charming coastal villages and enjoy the region’s Scottish heritage.
Texas Hill Country
Texas Hill Country is an underrated gem for fall RV trips. The area comes alive with wildflowers and colorful trees during autumn. Seniors can enjoy the slower pace, visit charming small towns like Fredericksburg, and explore state parks like Garner and Lost Maples for beautiful nature and outdoor activities.
Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada
The Okanagan Valley is known for its vineyards, wineries, and beautiful landscapes. In the fall, the vineyards turn golden, creating a stunning backdrop for RV travelers. Seniors can savor wine tastings, explore farmers’ markets, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this Canadian gem.
A good harvest festival celebrates the abundance of the harvest season, bringing a sense of gratitude and community to those who participate. Festivals often feature a variety of fun activities like pumpkin carving, hayrides, and games, providing a nostalgic and enjoyable time for people of all ages.
Here are a few legendary harvest festivals you might want to check out.
Grape Harvest Festivals in Napa Valley, California
The Napa Valley region in California, known for its vineyards and wineries, hosts several grape harvest festivals in the fall. Seniors can attend events that involve grape stomping, wine tasting, local food sampling, and live entertainment. The picturesque landscapes and milder fall weather make Napa Valley an ideal destination for seniors to enjoy a leisurely and sophisticated celebration.
National Apple Harvest Festival in Pennsylvania
The National Apple Harvest Festival takes place in Adams County, Pennsylvania, during the first two weekends of October. Seniors can indulge in everything apple-related, from apple picking to apple pies, cider tastings, crafts, and live music. The festival offers a nostalgic and cozy autumn experience for seniors to enjoy with their families.
Autumn at the Arboretum in Dallas, Texas
Autumn at the Arboretum is an annual fall festival held at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Texas. It features a stunning display of pumpkins, gourds, and fall foliage. Seniors can take leisurely strolls through the gardens, attend workshops, and enjoy the beautiful seasonal decorations.
Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
Oktoberfest is one of the world’s most famous harvest festivals, held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It usually begins in late September and runs until the first weekend of October. Seniors can enjoy the lively atmosphere, traditional music, and delicious German cuisine, including pretzels, sausages, and, of course, beer. There are also many beer tents and beer gardens, providing a comfortable and enjoyable experience for seniors to socialize and celebrate.
Prepare for your fall vacation
We hope this list has given you some inspiration for your trip!
No matter where you choose to spend your leisure time, incredible journeys and memorable getaways are all more enjoyable when you’re protected against the unforeseen. Travel assistance from Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) offers the security and protection you need when you travel, whether internationally or at home in the U.S.
While travel insurance can potentially offer compensation when you get home, a travel assistance membership with EA+ provides services when you need them in the moment. EA+ helps our members with:
A deep dive into the basics of off-season travel, a few different regional destinations, and tips for making the most of traveling in low season.Continue Reading