Special Report

34 Fall Weekend Trips You Should Plan Now

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31. Leavenworth, Washington

Designed to look like a Bavarian village, Leavenworth, located about two hours east of Seattle, features great food, beer, shops, and festivities. Visitors can also take in the season’s scenery with the Autumn Leaf Festival. If you work up an appetite walking around the village, there are plenty of options, from the The Cheesemonger’s Shop to the outdoor eatery and beer garden München Haus. Later, quench your thirst at one of the area’s many breweries and distilleries or check out the local winery scene. Finally, get a head start on the holiday season with some shopping or a visit to the Nutcracker Museum.

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32. Sonoma County, California

Experience the colors changing in the vineyards during harvest time in Sonoma County. The area promises special offers for wine lovers, along with beautiful walks through wine country. If you are staying overnight, there are plenty of luxurious resorts, whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, friends weekend, or spa retreat. There are also special events during the fall season, including the Sonoma County Arts Trail in mid-October, where over 140 artists open their studios for self-guided tours.

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33. Big Sur, California

In the fall you can still enjoy peak season at Big Sur, along the coastline of Central California, but without the large summer crowds. Outdoor lovers can hike through eight miles of trails at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, while checking out the area’s redwood groves and 60-foot waterfall. Animal enthusiasts will love the season for its peak whale-watching or witness hundreds of Monarch butterflies at Andrew Molera State Park in October as they prepare to migrate for the winter. Visitors can even shop outdoors during October at one of the largest lapidary shows of its type in the world, the Big Sur Jade Festival.

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34. Mendocino, California

With temperatures ranging from the low 50s to low 80s during the fall, this time of year has a lot to offer visitors to Mendocino, along the Northern California coast. You can also explore Mendocino’s natural beauty by kayaking among the sea caves or hiking on a coastal trail at Noyo Headlands State Park. Beyond nature, there are several must-see festivals during fall, including November’s Feast Mendocino, highlighting the area’s mushroom season, or the Festival of Trees, kicking off the Christmas season.