Fall Day Trip Ideas

lake-432016_640Fall is a great time to travel – the weather is cooler and there’s still a lot going on. If you don’t have the time or budget for a long vacation, you can still hop in the car and take a day trip. There are plenty of places to go and things to see within driving distance – you just have to look for them.
You can check your local newspaper and find local guide books for information. And there’s plenty of online help, too.
New England may be the most famous area for its autumn leaves but there are places in the Midwest, Southeast, mid-Atlantic and even Utah and California that put on a good show as well. Prime leaf peeping season ranges from early September in the North, to as late as November in areas of the South. To find the best time to go, check:

  • The U.S. Forest Service website atwww.fs.fed.us/news/fallcolors, or call the Fall Color Hotline at (800) 354-4595.
  • The Foliage Network collects data from foliage spotters twice a week from September through November. See reports at www.foliagenetwork.com

For other ways to see great foliage, look into local options for family-friendly rock climbing tours, bike paths, gondola rides, hot air balloons, or foliage trains.
From small town harvest festivals to big city music fests, there’s something to celebrate all season. Find one near you at www.festivalnet.com or www.festivals.com. You’ll find gems such as:

  • Hispanic Heritage Festival, Miami, Fla. (Oct 1 – 31)
  • Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle, Wash. Oct 16 – Nov 8
  • Great Mississippi River Balloon Race, Natchez, Miss. Oct. 16 – 18
  • Pirate Days of The Colony, The Colony, TX Oct. 17 and 18.
  • Maine Brewer’s Festival, Portland, ME., Nov. 6 and 7
  • Bluegrass Festival and Fiddle Championship Wickenburg, Ariz., Nov. 13 – Nov. 15.

At www.ADaysOuting.com, you can search for family-friendly attractions in your area. For example, a family looking for an October daytrip within 90 miles of Cleveland, Ohio could find recommendations for:

  • Taking a ferry ride to Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island
  • Visiting the Akron Zoo
  • Renting a canoe to paddle the Mohican River at Mohican State Park

Locate all wineries in your state at www.AllAmericanWineries.com. At www.WinesandTimes.com, there’s an interactive map that lets you see just where the wineries are and helps you plan a tour. (Did you know there are 39 vineyards and wineries in New Mexico and 67 in Illinois?)
Not sure where you want to go or just feel like taking a spur of the moment road trip? Use the Tank of Gas feature at www.TripAdvisor.com. Enter your city name and how much gas you want to use – quarter tank, half tank, full tank – and a list of day trip ideas will pop up.

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson

As Senior.com Director of Sales and Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease and she was a primary caregiver.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 104-year-old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 24 years and they have 3 children.

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