Best Places to See in Fall
Boondocking / Dry Camping, Travel Destinations & Stories

Top Places to Visit in Fall in the USA

As full-time RV’ers, fall is our favorite time of the year. We once followed the Natchez Trace from Tennessee to Mississippi (backward, according to some – but we actually loved doing it this way) and experienced fall for a solid three months. It was like we followed the fall season down. Aside from the colors and the cooler temperatures, things get quiet as the kids go back to school and people start preparing for the holidays. Below are our favorite places to visit in the fall.

You can read our 3 part Natchez Trace experience by visiting the first link below.

Pine Creek Gorge, Pennsylvania

Before we decided to sell it all and travel full-time in our RV, we bought our dream house in Pennsylvania. Justin was born and raised in PA, so he knew most of the areas really well! The Pine Creek Gorge is sometimes referred to as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

We really enjoyed it here!! Check it out any time of the year, but it’s incredible in the fall! It stretches almost 50 miles and is best seen in early October. The path winds through the gorge, offering up-close and personal views of the ever-changing colors of countless trees. Another local favorite is Colton Point State Park, which covers 368 acres and offers impressive views of the canyon and river. 

Pine Creek Gorge (Pennsylvania Grand Canyon)

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

We really must go back to the UP. We visited almost too quickly our first time! The UP is home to over 20 forested state parks and 4 million acres of aspen, beech, birch, maple, oak, and sycamore trees, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula comes to life in a spectacular array of fiery fall colors each October. What makes this area especially amazing at this time of year is the contrast between the sapphire waters of the Great Lakes, the eroded white limestone of the cliffs, and the brightly painted leaves. If you’ve never been to Michigan in the fall, definitely put it on your bucket list!

Middlesboro, Kentucky

Part of my heart belongs in Kentucky! It was one of our first stops to really explore after we left to travel full-time in our RV. Close to the beautiful Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Middleboro offers a quiet and small-town feel. Located about two hours south of Lexington, Kentucky, the Gap offers the same spectrum of fall color as the more crowded Great Smoky Mountain National Park, with a fraction of the tourists. If you’ve read our Off The Beaten Path series, you know how we love the smaller, more quiet areas. Nearly 24,000 acres of the park are pure wilderness and offer truly spectacular hiking, biking, and camping in the fall. Best time to see the colors is between late September and late October.

Leavenworth Washington

When you think of fall, I bet you don’t think of the west coast! Well, definitely put Leavenworth on your radar! Leavenworth is a little slice of Germany hidden in the Washington forests.

It really pulls out all the stops for its annual Oktoberfest. Running over three weekends, with the last in mid-October, this is definitely an all-out extravaganza. Kick it off at the time-honored keg tapping ceremony, and then enjoy live music, games, and plenty of beer and schnitzel all day. Prost!

Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, North Carolina

Another excellent stay for us!! And again, we weren’t there long enough! Of all of the places in America, the Great Smoky Mountains are the most renowned for rainbows of foliage in fall. Both of these forests have incredible wilderness areas with incredible fall colors. You can see our blog of hidden gems in North Carolina here!

You can see one of our campground reviews of Curtis Creek in the Pisgah National Forest here

Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky

Did I mention I love Kentucky? And aside from the fantastic colors of fall here, you’ll have to check out our incredible free camping finds in the Daniel Boone National Forest!

Visiting in mid to late October is the time to see Kentucky’s sugar maple, beech, birch, and basswood trees alight with color. Daniel Boone contains Clifty and Beaver Creek Wilderness Areas. The Red River Gorge is a geological wonder you just must see!

Door County Wisconsin

Door County is one of the Midwest’s best fall color destinations.

It is popular and sometimes crowded during the few weeks of color pop. Follow Highway 57 down the Lakeside of the peninsula, enjoying the bursts of scarlet, gold, russet, and vermilion that line highways and form canopies over country lanes. Peak colors usually arrive about the second week of October, lingering well into the third week during a good season. Get there early, and stay late, so you don’t miss it!

I think I could have picked another 100 places to visit, but these are a few of our favorites. We hope you found some value and some new places to travel. Please share your fall favorites with us. We’re still working on our fall bucket list, so share your best places to visit in the fall.

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Boondocking / Dry Camping, Off the Beaten Path Series, Travel Destinations & Stories

Off the Beaten Path in Washington. Our Top Hidden Gems!

As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, and different. Taking that road less traveled has been our favorite way to travel. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each blog post will include a link to the free camping areas we loved so much. complete with pictures and GPS coordinates. You definitely have to visit popular places like Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park while in Washington. But we have some unique, off-the-beaten-path experiences you might want to check out too. 

Deception Pass

We really love State Parks. Most are just completely overlooked, unpopulated, and amazing. Deception Pass State Park is beautiful! Highly recommend checking it out. If beaches are your thing, you’ve hit the jackpot! You can also take a whale watching tour. Absolutely incredible.

Maryhill Museum and Stonehenge

stonehenge-944644_1920

An odd museum and Stonehenge replica in rural Washington State. Sam Hill was a Quaker and used his money to organize and fund a Quaker utopian community on the banks of the Columbia River in the early 1900s. Unfortunately, no Quakers besides Hill ever moved there and his utopian vision failed after a few short years. Nonetheless, Hill continued with the construction of a French Mansion on a cliff overlooking the Columbia River. From Portland, Oregon, take I-84 east through the Columbia River Gorge for about 70 miles. Cross the river at The Dalles (the pink bridge) and continue east on state route 14 for another 20 miles

Stonehenge in Washington

Palouse Falls

Located in Lacrosse. Unless you know what they’re looking for, hikers are unlikely to simply stumble upon the nearly hidden Palouse Falls. This is a 1.2-mile loop trail hike, pretty easy. You can actually see the falls from the parking area if you don’t want to do the hike.

The state park offers three distinct views of the falls. The lower viewpoint provides a direct view; it is reached by a set of steps from the main day-use area adjacent to the parking lot. The second, at the end of a paved interpretive path, tells the story of the secluded canyon. Both the interpretive path and gravel secondary parking area lead to the third and highest viewpoint, the Fryxell Overlook, offering panoramic views of the falls and Palouse River Canyon. Don’t miss this! It’s awesome!

Beacon Rock

Located in Stevenson – A truly unique experience to do. The location is on State Route 14 about 35 miles East of Vancouver.

Today, visitors of Beacon Rock State Park use the unique trail system to easily traverse the rock’s steep ledges to its peak overlooking the Columbia River Gorge.  The rock is also open for climbing year-round.

Gravity Hill

Have you seen or experienced these across America? While traveling we’ve realized there are several places in the US that have a gravity hill phenomenon. This gravity-defying road is not easy to find. Located on a stretch of North Crosby Road about 10-15 miles north of Prosser, the road’s just down the street from an old (said to be haunted) grain elevator. Luckily, there’s a start line painted on the pavement so you’ll know where it is.

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie is a city next to Snoqualmie Falls in King County, Washington. It is twenty-five miles east of Seattle. Who knew you could be so close to a city and see this? 

If you’re in Seattle, definitely check out the Center of the Universe Sign. No one has been able to determine if this is actually the center of the universe, so the sign stays. Just a fun thing to see. 

Speaking of Seattle! Did you see our blog about our visit to Seattle? We were lucky enough to be able to hang out in a friend’s yard with full hook-ups in our RV! I know you’re here to see the quiet hidden gems in Washington, but if you wanted to venture to the more popular things, check out our Seattle blog post here!

The Nutty Narrows Bridge

Do you like squirrels? Yes, I said Squirrels! The Nutty Narrows Bridge in Longview was constructed in 1963 by a local builder, the late Amos Peters, to give squirrels a way to cross Olympia Way, a busy Longview, Washington, thoroughfare, without getting flattened by passing cars.

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Click the button below to see our best places for RV camping in Washington.

Thank you for checking out our little corner of the internet. There is so much beauty in Washington. Please share your hidden gems with us! We’d love to hear from you!

lasttime

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