Special Report

34 Fall Weekend Trips You Should Plan Now

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11. Poconos, Pennsylvania

For family-friendly events among the foliage, the Poconos have a lot to offer fall visitors. There are many ways to see the changing leaves from hiking, biking, and scenic drives to horseback riding, a sightseeing train, and air tours. For more thrills, try a local adventure park, with an aerial ropes course, all-season tubing, zip lines, and bungee trampolines. More leisurely activities include golf, fishing, and boating.

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12. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Fall weather may provide the perfect conditions for checking out the historic sites of Philadelphia, but the season also offers visitors an array of festivals. With more than 50 festivals and events during the fall, the City of Brotherly Love has something for every taste, including several Oktoberfests. One of the most notable fall events is Fringe Festival, featuring local, national, and international artists and progressive performances. Experience more Philly culture during Mural Arts Philadelphia, with tours of the city’s 4,000 works of public art. Sports lovers can check out the Philadelphia International Unity Cup, a World Cup-style tournament running through mid-October and celebrating the city’s diverse soccer community, or the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, one of the largest rowing competitions in the world. Ghost enthusiasts can’t miss Terror Behind the Walls, housed in an historic prison, or the more family-friendly jack o’lantern display at Fairmount Park’s Jack’s Pumpkin Glow.

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13. Cape May, New Jersey

For seasonal events, wineries, and more attractions without the summer heat and crowds, try Cape May, New Jersey, this fall. The perfect way to learn about America’s oldest seaside resort is on a trolley tour, which even offers ghost-themed rides. To learn more about the area’s Victorian heritage, there is Victorian Weekend in October, promising history, murder mysteries, historic house tours and food. More seasonal events include a ghost walk with a psychic medium, Scarecrow Alley featuring unique homemade scarecrows, and Oktoberfest, with authentic music and food. October is also the harvest season at local wineries, which offer tastings and tours.

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14. Washington, D.C.

For comfortable weather while sightseeing among the changing leaves, fall may be the perfect time to visit the nation’s capital. After checking out the historical sites, see more scenery at one of the city’s many parks and gardens, including the U.S. National Arboretum, featuring one of North America’s largest collections of bonsai trees. It’s also noted as one of the best places to photograph fall foliage in the city. Visitors to DC are sure to catch one of the season’s many festivals during the fall, including the unique and delicious DC Mac + Cheese Festival in late October. Also during the month, celebrate Halloween at a special festival or choose from several ghost tours.

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15. Williamsburg, Virginia

Home to the world’s largest living history museum, a fall trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, promises mild temperatures, changing leaves, and special events. History and nature lovers can enjoy a hike on the Greensprings Greenway Interpretative Trail, where they can enjoy the foliage and retrace the footsteps of the Virginia Indians and early colonists. There are several ways to celebrate the season with holiday-themed events, including the Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream, featuring six haunted houses, themed scare zones, escape rooms, and spooky shows. For Thanksgiving, visitors can learn about the food and feasts of colonial Virginia.