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Ten Fantastic Fall Trip Ideas

Southeast U.S. Fall Travel


From glorious leaf peeping to seasonal spookiness, nature travel and pre-holiday culinary opportunities, fall is one of the best times of the year to plan a visit to the beautiful and diverse southeastern region of the United States. Here are ten fun fall trip ideas to help you enjoy some of the wonderful places to see and interesting things to do during a fall getaway or day-trip to the Southeast.

Fall Leaf Peeping

Chattanooga Fall Color Cruise
Photo: Chattanooga Fall Cruise - Courtesy of the Tennessee Tourism Department
Nature's autumn palette of crimson, orange and gold:
Enjoy nature's spectacular display of fall color across the Southeast, usually beginning as early as September in the higher elevations of the mountains and gradually progressing to the east and west of the mountains during October and early November. Although each year is different, these typical peak fall foliage guides will give you a general idea about when and where you might expect to see the beautiful shades of autumn in the Southeast. Also see this Photo Tour of Colorful Fall Destinations.

Fall Apple Picking

Photo: Beautiful, delicious looking apples - Courtesy of the U.S. Apple Association
Apple festivals, apple butter festivals, pick your own apples and more:
Explore one or more of these wonderful opportunities to enjoy the picturesque landscapes, great local music, home-baked apple pies and just being outdoors. Sunny days of crisp mountain air beckon visitors from near and far to the region's apple orchards to experience an array of apple inspired celebrations throughout the fall season. Also see: Fall Food Festivals.

Romantic Escapes to Mountain Luxury

The Historic and Luxurious Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC
Photo: The Historic and Luxurious Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC - Courtesy of the Grove Park Inn
Mountaintop vistas, award-winning dining and great outdoor pursuits:
The mountains of the southeastern United States offer picturesque vistas, an array of invigorating outdoor activities and several exquisite romantic resort destinations. Enjoy a cozy fall mountain escape at one of these top rated mountain retreats, each offering a unique set of amenities for a memory-making romantic getaway.

Discover the Coast Off Season

Ocracoke Island September Sunset
Photo: Ocracoke Island September Sunset - © 2008 George Alexander, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Quiet beaches, history and mystery, fresh seafood and coastal culture:
Something the locals know and many travelers overlook is that the fall season is widely considered to be the best time of the year to visit the beautiful coastal areas of the Southeast. The beach crowds leave, hotel rates drop significantly along with the high humidity levels of summer and the cooler temperatures are perfect for beach walks, tennis and golf, nature tours, outdoor dining and more. Enjoy a driving tour of the Outer Banks sans the summer traffic, see the legendary coastal wild horses, stay at a luxury beach resort for less or explore maritime history and regional culture at some of the coastal museums and fall festivals.

Cook Up Some Fall Fun

Cooking class participants at The Jekyll Island Club Hotel prepare crab cakes together.
Photo: Lowcountry Cooking Class on Jekyll Island - Courtesy of The Jekyll Island Club Hotel
Farm to table inspirations, holiday entertaining, Lowcountry cuisine and even perfect biscuits:
The growing popularity of culinary travel, including cooking demonstrations and classes, creative dining experiences, food festivals, winery visits and vacation shopping for regional specialties has prompted many resorts, restaurants and shops to create new and exciting culinary adventures. Formats range from short demonstrations or half-day classes to multi-day destination resort packages. For fall travelers, many cooking destinations offer an array of holiday food and wine classes and workshops to help you get into the spirit of holiday entertaining.

Explore the Haunted Southeast

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia
Photo: Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah - © 2007 George Alexander, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Ghosts, poltergeists, boo hags, plat-eyes and other spooky spirits:
Some say that Southern hospitality is not always as it seems, especially after the sun goes down and the ghosts, shadow people and other spirits of the Southeast become restless with the night. For lots of fun during your fall visit, you can decide for yourself with one of these popular ghost tours of some of the most haunted places in the Southeast. Also see: Halloween Fun.

Virginia Wine Trails

A picturesque scene along one of Virginia's wine trails: Courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation
Wine festivals, winery tours, travel packages and more:
Virginia celebrates Virginia Wine Month each October with an array of unique wine experiences in beautiful settings from the mountains to the coast. First celebrated in 1988, Virginia Wine Month has grown to become an eagerly awaited annual highlight as Virginia's wine production has grown to be ranked as one of the top in the nation.

Oktoberfest Celebrations

Photo: Oktoberfest Parade in Helen, Georgia: Courtesy of the Georgia Dept. of Economic Development
Oompah-pah bands, sausages, Bavarian dancing, German crafts and, of course, German beer:
In the spirit of Munich, Germany's annual sixteen-day festival, many communities and organizations throughout the Southeast celebrate Oktoberfest. Some Oktoberfest celebrations last one day while others continue for several weeks, each with its own unique format and traditions.

Travel for the Birds

Egret Reflection in North Carolina
Photo: Egret Reflection - © 2008 George Alexander, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Painted Buntings, shorebirds, birds of prey, wild swans and many other winged and wonderful beauties:
The North Carolina Birding Trail connects a network of designated birding sites throughout the state. Home to more than 460 bird species found in North Carolina, the trails are organized into three regional sections from the coastal plains to the mountains and include information about historic sites, scenic sites, tours, guides, events and more.

The Fairest Trips of All

Photo: Kentucky State Fair Midway - Courtesy of the Kentucky State Fair Board
Cotton Candy, Bright Midway Lights, Farm Exhibits, Blue Ribbons, Entertainment and So Much More:
Celebrating the rich agricultural heritage of the region, state fairs and hundreds of county and community fairs in the Southeast attract millions of visitors each year. A great way to experience the Southeast of today with a touch of the nostalgia of yesterday, these fairs offer fun for all ages and a variety of interests. Related: State Fairs - Photo Tour

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