The summer season may be gone, but that doesn’t mean you can stop enjoying the outdoors! Fall is one of my favorite seasons to explore and spend traveling. There is nothing quite like strolling outdoors amongst the changing-color leaves with a warm drink in hand. Halloween is also my favorite holiday, and I enjoy all the spooks throughout the fall season!

Because I split my time between my hometown of New York City and current residence in south Florida, I have been fortunate enough to travel to many different places during the fall. Below is a list of some of my favorite weekend getaways I have taken over the years. Whether you are looking to spend time exploring the outdoors, want something a bit more lively, or are looking for a good fall spook, there are plenty of options that are accessible from the east coast for a quick weekend trip. Here are my top picks:

1. Hudson Valley, NY

Growing up in New York City, I was lucky enough to experience the beauty of the Hudson Valley during the fall season. Some of my favorite memories from upstate New York include choosing my own pumpkin at the pumpkin patch, sipping warm cider at the apple orchids, and collecting colored leaves and acorns amidst the fall foliage. A favorite place of my family’s is the Mohunk Mountain House, a resort and spa that is breathtaking against the Hudson Valley’s autumn backdrop. Whether you are looking for spooky activities for the family (Sleepy Hollow is a must!) or want to explore the outdoors, the Hudson Valley is the perfect place for a relaxing fall escape.

 2. Burlington, VT

The outside weather in Vermont is incredible in any season but especially spectacular in the fall. I first visited Vermont while looking at colleges to attend for my undergraduate, and though I chose to move to South Florida, my brief visits to this New England state hold a special place in my heart. My favorite stop on my fall college tour was Burlington, an eco-forward city that offers incredible cuisine, quirky shops, and easy access to the best of Vermont outdoors. I especially enjoyed strolling along Lake Champlain. The views of the Adirondack Mountains across the lake are breathtaking—no photo can do this scene justice!

3. Montauk, NY

Long Island is best known as a summer destination, but it is equally as beautiful in the fall! With less crowds and lower rates, the fall season presents an affordable opportunity to explore the beaches of New York state. Nestled on the easternmost point of Long Island, the seaside town of Montauk is a perfect destination for surfers, beachcombers, or anyone looking for a quiet getaway. If you don’t mind cool temperatures in both the water and air, Montauk is a great choice for a fall vacation by the seaside. My dad and I enjoy surfing at Ditch Plains Beach, a popular surf spot perfect for longboarding. If you are planning a trip out east, be sure to visit the Montauk Lighthouse for a tour and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean!

4. Nashville, TN

Looking for something more fast-paced for a fall getaway? How about a weekend trip to Music City? Autumn brings cooler temperatures to Nashville, so you can enjoy strolling down Broadway, checking out the cuisine (be sure to grab some amazing BBQ!), and enjoying plenty of live music without the summer heat. Still itching to enjoy the fall foliage? There are plenty of opportunities to escape the busyness of Broadway and take a day trip to explore the Tennessee outdoors

5. New Orleans, LA

From all my travels, I have never encountered a more vibrant and cultured city than New Orleans. This city has something for everyone—museums, art, music, history, and so on! I spent years studying classical music, so I was captivated by all the jazz played by street musicians in the French Quarter. I also was hooked on the city’s signature beignets! If you’re looking for a spooky fall weekend getaway, New Orleans is often named as one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. and offers dozens of ghost tours, voodoo shops, and tours of its above-ground cemeteries.

6. Savannah, GA

As a competitive horseback rider, one of my favorite places to travel to during fall competition season is Savannah. The cobblestone streets, community gardens, and Victorian-era homes are a must-see for anyone looking to enjoy a weekend in the south. The fall season brings cooler temperatures to stroll around and check out many of Savannah’s boutiques and restaurants (some of my favorites are Boar’s Head Grill & Tavern and Huey’s on the River). Savannah also ties with New Orleans as one of the most haunted cities in the U.S.—a ghost tour is a must for a fall visit.

I hope this list inspires your next weekend fall adventure!


About the Author

Danielle Pierce is a first-grade teacher, adjunct writing professor, and copywriter. She began as an intern for Decocrated during summer 2021. Danielle is an avid equestrian, and when she is not prepping for her classes or writing blogs for Decocrated, you can probably find her at the barn.