6 Fall Travel Destinations That Won’t Empty Your Bank Account

Fall is a beautiful time of the year. It’s that period of perfect weather and cool, fresh air after the scorching summer months and before the onslaught of another harsh winter. You can turn on the football game on Sunday, indulge in pumpkin-spiced lattés and craft beers, and get ready for the upcoming Halloween festivities in your neighborhood or community.

But the fall offers more than just the at-home luxuries that get us through the day. It is the perfect time for traveling to outdoor destinations you may not have had the chance to see before. New England, the Great Lakes region, and the northwestern United States offer a wide variety of beautiful sightseeing and historic landmarks that appear all the more radiant during the fall season. So if seeing more of the country or taking more family vacations is one of your goals this year, here are six wonderful (and affordable) destinations for you to spend a weekend at this Fall.

1. Weston’s Antique Apple Orchard (New Berlin, WI)

Autumn is the perfect time of year for paying a visit to your local apple orchard, but if you are looking for the same comfortable atmosphere that will take a bit of driving to reach, try visiting Weston’s Antique Apple Orchard in New Berlin, Wisconsin. The orchard rests on 16-acres of land, growing an impressive assortment of over 100 varieties of apples. Activities like apple picking and tastings, plus other attractions like a petting zoo, horticulture classes, a century-old Colonial-style barn, and barrel rides make Weston’s a fun destination for the whole family.

2. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Located in the northwestern corner of Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park was established as America’s first national park back in 1872. It is home to the world’s largest concentration of geysers, and contains a plethora of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, elk, and approximately 150 species of birds. The park offers a variety of family-fun activities, including exotic campgrounds, hike trails, bike trails, and Park Ranger-led programs that are both educational and awe-inspiring. So if you’re up for some mountainous hiking, or want a great picture in front of Old Faithful, put Yellowstone on your list of destinations this fall.

3. Mount Rushmore, Black Hills, SD

Southwest of Rapid City, SD in the Black Hills National Forest is one of the most iconic American monuments in history. The faces of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are engraved on the iconic mountain that makes up the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Unfortunately there are no designated areas reserved for camping, but along with the memorial there are several venues to check out around the site, including the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center and the studio where sculptor Guzton Borglum worked on the monument from 1939-1941. There are also tours and special ceremonies that are held for you to participate in if you are not in a rush to get back to Rapid City for hotel accommodations.

4. Sam Mazza’s Farm, Burlington, Burlington, VT

Pumpkin picking is one of the highlights of the fall season, especially for the kids. Sam Mazza’s Farm is a family owned institution since 1935, located in Burlington, Vermont. Here you can pick pumpkins from a field of thousands, sample apple cider and cider donuts, and try and find your way through the farm’s three mile corn maze. Lodging is also available at the local Hotel Vermont in Burlington, which offers special package deals for travelers visiting the site. Another great place to stop or bring the kids on your fall road trip.

5. Mackinac Island, Lake Huron, MI

Although traditionally known as a summer tourist attraction, Mackinac Island, located between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, is a perfect place to spend a day or two in the mild fall weather. The island, itself, is now preserved as a National Historic Landmark, and plays host to variety of architectural landmarks, including the Victorian Grand Hotel, the Round Island Lighthouse, and the Biddle House. Mackinac is also known for its famous fudge and the celebration of the lilacs, which grow in abundance on the island, and also houses Michigan’s oldest golf course: the Wawashkamo Golf Club. Mackinac’s history and culture, coupled with the beautiful natural scenery during the fall months, makes the island a great place for a short autumn vacation.

6. Tettegouche State Park, Silver Bay, Minnesota

Tettegouche State Park, located near Silver Bay, Minnesota, is the perfect destination for hikers, campers, and sightseers. Whether you check out the view overlooking Shovel Point, the cliffs along the Baptism River, hike along the Sawtooth Mountains, or visit the trails in the Palisade Valley, Tettegouche is made even more beautiful by the autumn colors and the vastness of Lake Superior. If you are an early morning riser, be sure to get up and watch the sun rising over the lake on top of the 60ft cliffs that line the Superior shore. Another perfect outdoor destination for your fall traveling needs!

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean your fun has to end! Make an effort this autumn to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the fall and winter months. You’ll be sure to make some great memories and have even better photos to add to your scrapbook or family album. If you visit any one of these locations, I promise you will not regret it!