Fall is the perfect time of year to travel. The weather is crisp but not cold and the leaves are turning beautiful colors. Whether you want to prolong your summer by going south, pick apples and explore under ground caverns or take in snow capped mountains, there is something for everyone.
Located on the northern neck of the West Coast, Seattle is home to the iconic Space Needle, the famous waterfront pier as seen in the film SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE and is in driving distance to Mount Rainer National Park. The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is 140,000 square feet of artifacts, interactive displays and films celebrating everything in American pop culture. Take a day trip to nearby Mount Rainier National Park and take in the awe inspiring glacier sitting above the low lying clouds. For more information on Seattle and Mount Rainier National Park visit their websites at http://www.visitseattle.org and https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/basicinfo.htm.
The Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks make up a chain of small islands (some only a mile or two wide) connected by bridges off the coast of the North Carolina shore line. The weather is mild this time of year and warm enough for camping but chilly enough at night for a beach bonfire. It is the height of oyster season and crabs are still a plenty. Catch and cook your own seafood or enjoy some at one of the local restaurants. There are no big chain stores or restaurants in the Outer Banks, so be prepared to enjoy local hospitality and cuisine. For more information on the Outer Banks visit their website www.outerbanks.org.
The Shenandoah National Park and Luray Caverns, Virginia
Skyline Drive, part of the Shenandoah National Park, crests the Blue Ridge Mountains with spectacular views of The Shenandoah Valley, 4,000 feet below. In fall the leaves are turning beautiful hues of red, gold and yellow. Make it a weekend get away and stay at one of the many family owned bed and breakfasts in the area. The Shenandoah is famous for apples so make sure you pick some up at one of the many local farms. While in the area don’t miss Luray Caverns, perhaps one of the most famous caverns in the world. View pure white calcite columns, some as high as 47 feet tall, pristine underground lakes and the world’s biggest musical instrument the Stalcpipe Organ. Plan your trip at www.luraycaverns.com
In Fall Washington, DC’s many attractions are less crowded because the busy tourist season is over. Our nation’s capital has more to see and do that are free than any other city in the country. All of the Smithsonian museums are free including the very famous Air and Space Museum. Visit Archie Bunker’s chair, Dorothy’s ruby red slippers and Michael Jackson’s hat and gloves in The American History Museum. Sit on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and take a solemn visit to the Vietnam War Memorial and the WWII Memorial. Spend a day or evening browsing the unique shops and restaurants of Georgetown and China Town. Find out all that Washington DC has to offer at their official website www.washington.org
Burkittsville, Maryland and the Appalachian Trail
Burkittsville is a tiny little town just 50 miles from Washington, DC and less than 12 miles from the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail is the worlds longest hiking trail covering 2,200 miles stretching from Georgia to Maine. This is the perfect place to take in all the beautiful colors of fall. Spend the day hiking and sleep in one of the quaint bed and breakfasts in Burkittsville, if you dare. The town made its mark in history for the two civil war battles that were fought there. However, it is famous for being the location of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. But, that was just a movie, there is no truth to the legend, right? To learn about Burkittsville and the Appalachian Trail visit these websites http://www.appalachiantrail.org/ , http://www.burkittsville.com
Las Vegas, Nevada
Sin City isn’t just for grown up fun. Las Vegas is now a family vacation destination. Walk the strip to take in the world famous sites such as Caesar’s Palace and The Golden Nugget casino. Take in a dinner show such as TOURNAMENT OF KINGS at Excalibur and ride the roller coaster at New York-New York, or spend time with dolphins at The Mirage. To get a free visitors guide go to https://www.visitlasvegas.com/trip-planning/
Looking for fine wine and craft beers? Portland, Oregon is your fall destination. The Multnomah Whiskey Library ( https://mwlpdx.com) has a fine selection of beer and wine but, it is best known for the 1,2000 international whiskeys they have in stock. Stay at the award winning River Place Hotel (http://www.riverplacehotel.com) for the best in craft beers. Take a day trip to Archery Summit vineyards for wine tasting and tours. (http://www.archerysummit.com)
Los Angeles, California
There is plenty to do in the Los Angeles area from the excitement of movie making magic to the laid back bohemian style of Venice Beach. The weather is warm and sunny this time of year—perfect for a walk down Hollywood and Vine in search of your favorite celebrity’s star and hand print at TCL Chinese Theater. Spend the evening at the amusement park on Santa Monica Pier and ride the solar powered ferris wheel. Take a walk on the boardwalk of Venice Beach and enjoy the many street performers and artists. Plan your trip at www.discoverlosangeles.com
Salem is famous for the witch trials of 1692 but it was also one of the most important sea ports of the time. The coast line has magnificent views and several beautiful light houses. In October the town celebrates its witchy history with a month of Halloween events. Get your free visitors guide here http://salem.org/guide/
Dallas Arboretum, Dallas, Texas
What would be Fall without pumpkins? The Dallas Arboretum has been voted one of the best pumpkin patches in the United States by both the Food Network and the Travel Channel. Over 90,000 pumpkins and gourds are used to create the magical world of The Wizard of Oz including a yellow brick road and Emerald City. The Wicked Witch’s Castle is a hay bale maze. Pick a pumpkin to take with you in Munchkin Village. Get more information at http://www.dallasarboretum.org/visit/seasonal-festivals-events/autumn-at-the-arboretum