Fall is officially here as we step into September. If you’re thinking about a fall escape this year, now is the perfect time to start planning. Autumn is a fantastic time for travel — airfare is more affordable post-summer, the crowds have thinned, and the weather is pleasant. This season is an excellent opportunity to witness the beauty of fall, especially if you reside in a place where seasonal changes are minimal.

If you’re unsure about the best fall destinations to explore, we’ve got you covered. Explore nine U.S. fall destinations worth a visit this time of year. Choose one or more and get ready to pack your bag with cozy sweaters!

Telluride, Colorado

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If you’re seeking outdoor adventures this fall, head to colorful Colorado’s mountain town of Telluride. The town is exceptionally beautiful during this season, offering spectacular fall foliage views. Explore numerous hiking and biking trails or enjoy a scenic ride on the free gondola to soak in the beauty. Don’t miss the gondola, which operates until mid-October, so plan your visit early. Spend your days wandering around the charming Mountain Village, trying out the diverse dining options, or tasting craft beer brewed with Rocky Mountain snowmelt at Telluride Brewing Company.

New York, New York

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“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies.” This iconic line from the movie You’ve Got Mail still resonates even after 25 years. Fall in New York City is undeniably special. Visit in mid to late October to explore the Upper East and West Side with beautifully decorated brownstones for Halloween. Spend a relaxing weekend browsing through treasures at the Chelsea Flea Market, visit the Met, and take a stroll in Central Park, enjoying the sound of leaves rustling under your feet. Wrap up your weekend at Instagram-famous West Village spots like Dante, Bar Pisellino, or Boucherie.

Charlottesville, Virginia

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While best known for the University of Virginia, Charlottesville offers much more than a college experience. For wine enthusiasts, Charlottesville is a top fall destination with nearby wineries like Barboursville Vineyard, Pippin Hill Farm, and Bold Rock Carter Mountain (great for cider lovers). Explore the UVA grounds, enjoy a bagel from Bodo’s, and wander around the Downtown Mall, a bustling pedestrian mall with shops and eateries. Before leaving, drive to Shenandoah National Park for breathtaking fall foliage views and photo opportunities.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Philadelphia, often underestimated, is a city that shines in the fall. Rich in history, with landmarks like Independence Hall and the Betsy Ross House, Philly’s Old City exudes 18th-century charm. Stroll down Elfreth’s Alley, marvel at the colorful historic houses, and explore Reading Terminal Market for a myriad of culinary delights. Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art, climb the “Rocky Steps,” and dine at the White Dog Cafe in University City for a unique dog-themed dining experience — don’t forget to try their pretzel bread!

Salem, Massachusetts

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If Halloween excites you, Salem is the ultimate spooky season destination. Known for the 1692 witch trials, Salem embraces its supernatural and eerie side. Participate in Hocus Pocus-themed tours, shop at Essex Street Pedestrian Mall reminiscent of Harry Potter’sDiagon Alley, but prepare for crowds, especially in October!

Woodstock, Vermont

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A list of fall destinations wouldn’t be complete without charming Vermont. Woodstock, located near Burlington, is renowned as one of the most picturesque towns in the U.S. It’s the ideal spot for classic fall activities like apple picking, hiking, and sampling maple syrup. Make your stay memorable with a cozy Bed & Breakfast experience, a common choice in the enchanting Woodstock area.

Portland, Maine

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If you’ve never been to Maine, a fall trip to Portland is highly recommended. The downtown area is brimming with bars, restaurants, vintage shops, and museums — a paradise for food, drink, and art lovers. Visit the Portland Museum of Art, savor a meal at Duckfat known for its unique fries, and end your day at Blyth & Burrows. Take a drive to the Portland Head Light, a quintessential lighthouse, to capture stunning fall foliage views.

Washington, D.C.

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Washington, D.C., offers more than just memories of eighth-grade field trips. Visit Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria to admire top-notch Halloween decorations. These areas also host ghost tours for enthusiasts. For a cozy stay, indulge in a bed-and-breakfast like the Tabard Inn in Dupont Circle known for its delightful culinary offerings. Don’t miss their famous chocolate chip pancakes! Explore offbeat attractions like the Hillwood Estate and enjoy a picnic on the stunning grounds, especially magical in the fall.

Asheville, North Carolina

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Nestled in the North Carolina mountains, Asheville is a quaint town known for the magnificent Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home built by George Vanderbilt. The estate offers indoor tours, gardens, a winery, and more. Beer aficionados can explore the myriad breweries in Asheville before ending the day at the Asheville Pinball Museum with over 75 pinball machines and other games for a fun-filled evening.