As much as I enjoy summer’s arrival, there’s just something about autumn that seems to calm my soul. Like an open invitation to relax, fall swoops in after summer’s high-intensity fun, like a hero in the night. Calm and comforting. An enchanting reminder of what it means to slow… down.
So, after the sand castles are washed away, and the back-to-school transition ends, here are five beautiful places to visit for a fall vacation.
1. Asheville, North Carolina
Nestled in the western part of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a popular fall destination. A festival haven, this mountain town hosts celebrations of all kinds including the Mountain State Fair, Art in Autumn, a Greek Festival and a lively three-day music festival called Barnaroo.
Homebodies can find their peace in a rented out cabin in the mountains, while adventure lovers can indulge themselves zip lining across the Blue Ridge mountains. Everyone else can enjoy a traditional mountain view while road tripping one of America’s best drives, the Blue Ridge Parkway, which travels right through Asheville. If that doesn’t satisfy your fancy, Asheville is also known to have some of the best food tours in the South.
Not far from Lake Ontario, Rochester is a family-friendly town known and loved for its rural charm. Whether participating in hayrides, pumpkin patches, corn mazes or harvest festivals, Rochester knows how to keep young children entertained. Hot air balloons and chairlift rides with unbelievable scenic views of the city’s foliage will keep older children and adults entertained. With activities for both young and old, the Clothesline Art Festival and Rochester Museum and Science Center are extremely popular in the fall.
Simple and minimalistic, Rochester is a wonderful place for those looking to find a new way to gain quality time with the ones they love. Unlike the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, Rochester’s quiet and subtle atmosphere is a beautiful place to slow down and enjoy the beauty of every day in some place new.
3. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia, on the other hand, is for lovers, and Virginia Beach is no exception to the rule. With nearly perfect weather and 35 miles of shoreline, it’s an ideal getaway. Whether you’re into nature watching, arts and crafts, or horseback riding on the beach, Virginia Beach is ready to meet your needs. Whether you’re traveling with your spouse, significant other, or a group of good friends, you can cozy up in a cabin next to a crackling fire at First Landing, Virginia’s most visited State Park. But before you leave, be sure to try a few of these foodie adventures said to only be available in Virginia Beach.
4. Providence, Rhode Island
Quirky, modern, forward-thinking, and artistic, Rhode Island’s capital city really comes alive during the autumn months. Urban, with a small town feel, Providence’s activities include a good mix of traditional and unusual events.
Waterfire, the city’s signature event, is comprised of installing fire sculptures along three different rivers that intertwine with the city. The event, which is based on the city’s love for bonfires, is said to evoke all five senses. The Vortex Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival is another fall favorite that highlights and applauds the work of independent films. Steel Yard, an industrial arts center and outdoor venue hosts “Iron Pour” in late October which showcases working on steel as a live art performance.
5. Anchorage, Alaska
Known for its cultural sites, picturesque mountain views, and up-close wildlife, Anchorage is a wonderful place to visit during the fall. It’s even been said that the city is the only place in the world where you can see (and touch!) a moose, walk on a glacier, and explore a natural park in one day. But that’s not all. Nature lovers and families alike will enjoy picking berries on top of Flattop Mountain. There’s even the Alaskan railroad which provides an unmatched view of Alaska’s golden amber hues and colorful woodlands. Legend has it that if you travel to Anchorage at just the right time in the fall, you can even start to see the Northern Lights.
If we’re honest, most of us need a vacation after summer vacation. So why not try someplace new, someplace different, someplace where the enchantment of fall reminds of you of the beauty of slowing down?
Check out this recent podcast episode from This Grit and Grace Life: What Makes a Woman Beautiful (Might Surprise You) – 043!