We’ve got some good news and some bad news. Bad news first? Beach season is finito. Now for the bright side: America is darn beautiful in autumn. Here, nine places to put on your fall vacation list.


Best Sweater Weather: Portland, Maine

Break out your L.L. Bean cable-knit and head to this coastal New England town for a laid-back long weekend getaway replete with lighthouse tours, ferry rides and plenty of piping-hot clam chowder.

Where to stay: The Portland Harbor Hotel (from $305 per night)


Best For Wine Tasting: Willamette Valley, Oregon

Move over Napa. Come to Oregon wine country in September and October to taste world-class Pinot Noirs while the leaves are at their peak. You can’t go wrong at Elk Cove Vineyards, where you can reserve a six-wine flight for $10 a person.

Where to stay: Allison Inn & Spa (from $310 per night)


Best for Stargazing: Anchorage, Alaska

While summer is the warmest time of the year to visit Alaska, autumn is when you’ll see the most wildlife and maybe even witness the famous Northern Lights.

Where to stay: Private Townhouse ($145 per night)


Best for Southern Leaf-Peeping: Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

Even in mid-October, the days here are still warm and sunny… perfect for hiking, camping and taking in the sugar, red maple, scarlet oak and hickory trees that set the sky seemingly ablaze.

Where to stay: Mountain Chalet With a View ($225 per night)


Best For Northern Leaf-Peeping: Lake Placid, New York

Not just a winter wonderland, Lake Placid really comes alive in autumn. If you can tear yourself away from the gorgeous foliage, you’ll definitely want to go apple picking at Applejacks Orchard, where you can fill a whole bushel with McIntosh and Cortlands.

Where to stay: Mirror Lake Inn (from $300 per night)


Best for Off-Season Rates: Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Renting a summer house on the Cape could cost you a small fortune, but those prices drop dramatically once September rolls around. Plus, there’s plenty to do; for instance, the annual scallop, oyster and cranberry harvest, which kicks off in late September.

Where to stay: Three-Bedroom Cottage ($240 per night)


Best for Sweeping Scenery: Boulder, Colorado

The first Colorado snowfall usually comes in early October, so you’ll get to take in both golden hills and snowy mountaintops. If you go, don’t miss Boulder’s Fall Fest, a three-day extravaganza packed with music, art, farmers’ markets and craft brews. Plenty of Colorado resorts will open as early as November 1, so you can even pack in an early ski trip.

Where to stay: One-Bedroom Apartment Downtown ($129 per night)


Best for Adventurers: Ozark Mountains, Arkansas

Like biking? Hit up one of the trails at Devil's Den State Park. Like canoeing? Check out Mulberry Mountain. How about zip-lining? Yep, you can do that at the Buffalo River Outdoor Center. Wussy homebodies need not apply.

Where to stay: Top-of-the-Mountain Two-Bedroom Retreat ($100 per night)


Best Oktoberfest: Leavenworth, Washington

Don’t forget your lederhosen: This Bavarian-influenced town puts on one of the best Oktoberfests west of Munich. The festival spans three weekends and offers authentic German foods, beer and activities for the whole family. The mayor himself even holds a keg-tapping ceremony. 

Where to stay: Bavarian Lodge (from $150 per night)