Do you enjoy fall travel? Alan and I are big fans of traveling in the shoulder seasons, especially in autumn and most especially in October. We appreciate the lack of crowds—sometimes having a destination almost entirely to ourselves. This time of year, the Internet is filled with travel articles on the best fall travel destinations. I could write an entire article based upon the suggestions that I’ve been reading. But since My Itchy Travel Feet is based upon personal travel experience, I’m taking a look back at some of our favorite October travel destinations. From North America to Europe to Asia, active boomer travelers are sure to find a travel idea to inspire your next trip.
Explore the American Southwest
The American Southwest is one of our favorite October travel destinations. Temperatures are cooler and the summer tourist crowds have gone home. October is the time to explore Monument Valley—we recommend a Navajo guide so that you see off-the-beaten-path areas unavailable to unaccompanied tourists. Once you’re finished at Monument Valley, drive on up to Bluff, Utah, for a host of active travel experiences, including Natural Bridges National Monument. We recommend headquartering at Desert Rose Inn.
Get Spooky at a Montana Ghost Town
The Big Hole Valley area of Montana is the epitome of the Old West. Although the area is seldom crowded, you’ll find attractions especially empty in the fall. October brings a nip to the air or an occasional snow flurry. But if you hurry, there’s time to explore a couple of ghost towns before the snow really flies. Bannack Ghost Town is a state park and Montana’s first territorial capital. On our visit, Alan and I enjoyed a day of walking through the town and surrounding area. Be sure to go into the buildings that are open for a look at a town built upon the ups and downs of mining.
Capture the Fall Beauty in Arches National Park
Arches National Park is photogenic anytime of the year. But on a fall photography tour, we discovered that the golden-colored wildflowers decorating the red rock landscape makes the October scene something special to see. Hiking and photographing the arches is time well spent. Since Canyonlands National Park is practically next door, combine the two for the ultimate national park visit in Moab, Utah.
Visit a North Carolina Winery
October in North Carolina is filled with color. Add a visit to a winery and you have a fun, fall travel combination. On my visit to Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery in the Yadkin Valley, I learned to blend wine at Raffaldini. You can too. And don’t miss the museums and history that nearby Winston-Salem has to offer. I recommend staying at Graylyn Estate for a romantic weekend exploring the area.
Enjoy the Charms of a Small German Town
October’s also the time to explore the small towns and countryside of Europe. On a walking tour of Schwerin, Germany, you’ll discover Western Pomerania history, including a castle that’s worthy of Cinderella. On my trip, I stayed at Hotel Niderländischen Hof.
Experience an Italian Icon
Do you recognize this scene? It’s the beautiful Cinque Terre, a string of five villages perched on the Ligurian coast. On an October road trip in Northern Italy, we explored the area for a day. Of course that wasn’t enough time but sometimes you make the best of what you have. Next time, we’ll rent a villa or an apartment to spend the entire month walking and eating fabulous Italian cuisine.
Walk the Historic Streets of Gdansk
Gdansk, Poland probably isn’t at the top of your October travel destinations list. But if you have the opportunity to visit in the fall, go for it. A self-guided walking tour of Gdansk explores the complicated history of this Polish city. On my visit, I stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel Gdansk. Don’t miss the archaeological artifacts displayed in the floor near the lobby.
Go Off-the-Beaten-Path in the Tremiti Islands
On a road trip in Southern Italy, it’s not hard to veer off-the-beaten-path. But a visit to Tremiti Islands pushes the limit. Alan and I arrived by commuter helicopter to explore the tiny islands in the Adriatic near Italy’s Gargano Peninsula. Known for sea life and Middle Ages history, we walked, ate and walked some more. The art-filled Efidicio 15 House Elite in Rodi Garanico served as our headquarters.
Climb the Wall of China
Beijing was part of the itinerary on a fall cruise from Vancouver to Singapore. By October, we’d reached China and a two-day land excursion in Beijing. A stop at the Great Wall of China was a highlight, as well as an eye opener. Who knew that the stairs were that deep, rough and steep? They don’t look like it in the photo do they? But Beijing makes a fascinating October travel destination. And the pollution wasn’t as bad as a March trip that we made to the country.
Do you have recommendations to add to our October travel destinations list? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email to ask a question or share your experience.