Updated 09.01.2019: 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.
Our favorite October travel destinations for boomer travelers
I could write an entire article based upon the suggestions that I’ve been reading. But I have plenty of personal fall travel experiences to share. From North America to Europe to Asia, active boomer travelers are sure to find October travel destinations to inspire your next trip.
Explore the American Southwest on an October road trip
The American Southwest is one of our favorite October trip ideas. Temperatures are cooler and the summer tourist crowds have gone home.
October is the best time to visit Monument Valley. We recommend a Navajo guide so that you see off-the-beaten-path areas that are off limits to tourists exploring on their own.
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. Desert Rose Resort & Cabins is our favorite place to stay in Bluff.
Get spooky on an October trip to a Montana ghost town
The Big Hole Valley area of Montana is the epitome of the Old West. Although 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 Montana community built upon the ups and downs of the mining industry.
Coolidge ghost town, located off the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Byway, is a more off-the-beaten-path ghost town experience. Walking through the woods to view the tumbled down buildings that are slowly being reclaimed by nature is sort of spooky, but fun.
Capture the beauty of October travel in Arches National Park
Arches National Park is photogenic any time of the year. But on a fall photography tour, we discovered that the golden-colored wildflowers decorating the red rock landscape makes Arches (and Canyonlands) something special to see.
Hiking and photographing the arches is time well spent, especially in the cooler fall weather. 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 on a weekend in October
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. 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 fall weekend exploring this region of North Carolina.
Enjoy the Charms of a Small German Town on an October getaway
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.
Read more: Tips for a walking tour of Schwerin.
Experience an Italian icon on a fall trip
Do you recognize this scene? This is Riomaggiore, a village along the beautiful Cinque Terre. It’s one of five villages perched on this special part of the Ligurian coast of Italy.
On an October road trip in Northern Italy, Alan and I explored the area for a day. Of course that wasn’t enough time but sometimes you make the best of what you have. Next visit, we’ll rent a villa or an apartment to spend the entire month walking and eating fabulous Italian cuisine.
Read more: How to spend a day in Cinque Terre
Walk the Historic Streets of Gdansk in October
Gdansk, Poland probably isn’t at the top of your “where to go in October” 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. And of course you’ll want to bring home a piece of amber jewelry, especially after visiting the Amber Museum.
Later, take a taxi to the European Solidarity Centre. You’ll learn the story of Lech Walesa and the Polish fight to defeat communism.
On my visit, I stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel Gdansk. Don’t miss the archaeological artifacts displayed in the floor near the lobby.
Read more: How to take a self-guided walking tour of Gdansk.
Go Off-the-Beaten-Path in the Tremiti Islands during an October road trip in Italy
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.
Read more: Visit the Tremiti Islands.
Climb the Wall on a fall cruise to 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, if you can deal with air pollution.
Read more: Disappointment at the Great Wall of China.
Stay tuned as we add more favorite October trips to the list. Subscribe to the My Itchy Travel Feet weekly broadcast to be the first to know!