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Fall Travel and Leaf Peeping Season Destinations

Vacasa, is North America’s leading vacation rental management platform who recently reported more than half of Americans are traveling this fall. More specifically, people are most likely to travel to enjoy the great outdoors, whether that means heading to the mountains for the changing leaves or hitting one last music festival before the cold weather sets in. 

Below are Vacasa’s top getaways that cater to travelers’ most sought-after fall activities:

Leaf Peeping: Killington, aka the “Heart of Vermont,” stands out for its colorful maple leaves—best peeped while hiking the area’s waterfall trails, kayaking its many picturesque lakes, or taking the K-1 Gondola to the top of Killington Mountain’s peak (the second tallest in Vermont).

Exploring National Parks: Autumn is one of the best times to visit the country’s most popular national parks, where you’ll have more room to adventure as the ‘shoulder season’ sets in and crowds typically thin out. Laid-back Estes Park is the ideal home base for exploring Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park.

Dog on Leash on the Provin Trails in Michigan

Camping/Hiking: The changing colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains make them magical to hike in the fall—and with average daytime temperatures of 68 degrees, you won’t have to worry about packing any intense winter layers.

Family Reunions: While many destinations appeal to every generation of the family, Kissimmee’s world-famous theme parks and small-town charm provide limitless options for every size and style of reunion.

Festivals/Concerts: From its famous music scene to its vibrant food culture, Austin has it all for the festival fan. Music lovers of all genres should plan their next trip around Austin City Limits Music Festival, which takes place every October with some of the world’s biggest headliners taking the stages.

Fall Downtown Grand River and JW Marriott

Scenes from Grand Rapids 

Grand Rapids’ abundant forests fueled the rise of the city as a major lumbering center in the late 19th century and was a crucial antecedent to its reputation for fine hardwood furniture. Today, Grand Rapids, MIchigan, continues to be known for its urban forestry which remains mighty and breathtaking, especially as the colors burst in the fall. 

While many people associate watching the leaves change color with the Northeast, Grand Rapids is a Midwestern haven for fall foliage. Whether you’re up for a scenic drive or are ready to hike through the colorful forestry, Grand Rapids has an abundance of parks, trailways and scenic overpasses for leaf-peepers to enjoy. 

Consider these scenic stops for your itinerary:

Ada Township Park – This 57-acre park includes a 200-tree arboretum, woodland garden, more than 15 miles of non-motorized trails and a nature area with a barrier-free warbler trail.

Blandford Nature Center – An extensive trail network through old-growth forest and a naturalized golf course are ideal for admiring fall’s color palette.

Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens – Hike scenic trails through more than 100 acres of forest, wetlands and a native plant garden for a display of fall finery. Bring binoculars for birdwatching!

Autumn in Downtown Grand Rapids at Dusk

The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park – Experience the masterpieces of nature and art in one of the nation’s premier horticultural display gardens and sculpture parks. Don’t miss Chrysanthemums & More!, a new sculpture exhibition featuring expansive chrysanthemum displays, fall foliage and family-friendly activities through Oct. 30.

Millennium Park – Just five minutes from downtown, this 1,500-acre park boasts 18 miles of tree-lined hiking and biking trails, many alongside small lakes and the Grand River.

Pickerel Lake Park/Frederik Meijer Nature Preserve – Explore a scenic mix of wetlands, sandy woods, and rolling forest hills and valleys alongside a picturesque 80-acre lake.

Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery – This 100-year-old family orchard is a favorite fall destination for purchasing or picking more than 30 varieties of apples, enjoying cider and homemade baked goods, and engaging with nature via hayrides, a corn maze, petting zoo and mountain bike trail.

Photos courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids can be viewed here.

Commonwealth Hotel Over Boston. Photo by Kyle Klein.

Boston’s Top Address

As the leaves begin to change and days get colder, feel the warmth of city life at Boston’s Most Boston Hotel, Hotel Commonwealth, located in the heart of the city in Kenmore Square, Hotel Commonwealth is an idyllic fall destination thanks to exclusive access to quintessential Boston attractions, 245 spacious rooms and premium suites, world class restaurants located at its doorstep, stunning views of the city, and more. No matter what travelers are seeking this fall, Hotel Commonwealth is the perfect homebase for all Boston adventures. 

Fall Foliage: Hotel Commonwealth offers a true Boston experience this Fall where guests can take in the beauty of Autumn at the Public Garden and Boston Common, just a short walk from the hotel. Viewers can admire the bright splashes of foliage on ornamental Japanese maple trees and relish in the crisp fall air.The fall foliage continues through the Charles River Esplanade allowing guests to immerse themselves in natural beauty. 

Drink Local: Experience Boston’s own Sam Adams Brewery tour where the craft beer revolution all started! The new Boston Brewery Tour package includes overnight accommodations in a luxe guest room, exclusive welcome amenity including limited edition Sam Adams Wicked Fenway IPA and a bucket of customized swag, signature Sam Adams brewery tour for two and $20 Uber credit to enjoy the ride.

Burst of Fall Colors. Fall Pumpkins.

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