Autumn is one of the best times to hit the road and explore some amazing destinations in the US. the fall.
With temperatures cooling off, the leaves changing color, and plenty of harvest-themed activities, you’ll find fun US Fall Road Trip Destinations around the country!
From New England’s stunning foliage to California’s rugged coastline, there are many incredible US road trip ideas to take this fall!
From outdoor recreation such as hiking and kayaking to unique cultural attractions like art galleries and music festivals, there’s something for everyone when it comes to planning a fall road trip in the USA.
So grab your maps and get ready – here are just a few of our favorite US fall road trip destinations!
Be sure to grab the Road Trip Packing List that includes items for comfort, organization, eating, and first aid to make the family vacation a success. You’ll also receive a Road Trip Itinerary to plan the day-to-day schedule of the trip!
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Planning Your US Fall Road Trip
When planning your US fall road trip destinations, you need to consider a few points before hitting the road:
Length of the Road Trip
How long can you be gone? This is such an important question to ask yourself. If you only have a couple of days or a long weekend you do not want to plan a 500+ mile road trip. You want time to stop, explore, and take in the beauty. There is nothing worse than rushing on a road trip.
Sights to See on the Road Trip
If your main objective is to see fall color, then choose a place that is bursting with color. But, if you just want to see a cool place with nicer temperatures this opens up all kinds of options for you.
Timing for the Road Trip
Decide when you want to go. Sometimes color appears early in the season, whereas other times it comes later. Plan your trip based on when you know the things you want to see will be happening. Here’s a terrific resource to know the best National Parks to visit by month.
Pack for the Least Expected
When going on a road trip, the beauty is that you have your car so you have more room to pack all kinds of things. There are family road trip items you need to pack to satisfy hunger, ensure safety and keep kids entertained!
When it comes to packing your bag, be sure you pack clothing layers since the fall mornings and evening are usually cool while the days can be warm. The weather can change quickly so be prepared for rain, and even snow in some locations.
Be sure you also pack:
- Annual National Park Pass
- Rain jacket
- Fleece jacket
- First aid kit
- Roadside assistance kit
- Refillable water bottles
- Healthy meals and snacks
- Camera gear
What to Do on a Fall Road Trip in the US
Road trips are not just about getting in the car and driving it is about exploring too!
- Take a road trip to a nearby National Park. There are some fantastic US National parks to visit in the fall.
- Visit a festival. Check out a fun list of fall festivals in the US.
- Travel someplace to hike: Best Fall Hiking in the US
- Go on a food tasting trip across America!
USA AUDIO TOURS (GuideAlong)
“Download the app to your phone – no cell or wifi service needed. Based on your GPS location, the app takes you on a guided tour of the area and points out all the interesting features and stops. It’s like having a guide in the car with you.”
Fun US Fall Road Trip Destinations
Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, there are plenty of US Fall Road Trip ideas that will give you an unforgettable experience
Here’s a list of USA Road Trip Bucket List Ideas in the fall to explore the country!
Green Mountain Byway in the Fall
There is no question about it, New England in the fall is a must-see and the Green Mountain Byway is simply incredible.
This 11-mile peace of heaven is bursting with fall color and foliage. It is the perfect weekend road trip when you don’t have a ton of time.
While visiting be sure you stop and take in the sights the farm festivities as well as the food!
Blue Ridge Parkway in the Fall
Did you know there is actually a place called “Americas Favorite Drive?”
Blue Ridge Parkway gets a lot of rave reviews from all who travel to see it. It is almost a 500 mile stretch between North Carolina and Virginia.
It is a great US fall road trip destination, especially with the fall foliage changing right before your eyes. Be sure to stop by and see the Shenandoah National Park while on this road trip.
There you will find a mini road trip called Skyline Drive. You will not only see the fall foliage but you will also see wildlife on the move. This will include black bears, deer, wild turkeys, and more. The National Park Services recommends spending at least three hours to take in the entire road.
Pacific Coast Highway in the Fall
If you are located on the West Coast then you will want to visit this well-known route.
This road trip travels up and down Highway 1 and PCH (Pacific Coast Highway).
Here you will see some amazing places like Big Sur, Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Hearst Castle and so much more.
- California Vacation Ideas
- Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Itinerary
- HOTELS in California along the PCH near Malibu
Utah National Parks Road Trip in the Fall
Visiting Utah National Parks in the fall is one of the best times to go! The weather is just about perfect for all the outdoor activities you can do at all 5 parks in Utah!
Here’s a Utah National Parks road trip itinerary of things to do, what to pack, and where to stay when you visit Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Zion!
You’ll see stunning landscapes to photograph – check out our Utah National Parks photography guides bundle so you know the best photo spots at each park!
The scenic drives from park to park will also keep your camera busy!
- Places to Stay Near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
- Places to Stay at Capitol Reef National Park
- Places to Stay at Zion National Park
Million Dollar Highway in the Fall
The famous Million Dollar Highway lives up to its name for sure on this 25 mile stretch of road between Silverton and Ouray in southwestern Colorado.
During the fall as the leaves change the road is filled with the most amazing burst of color.
Some people say this stretch of highway reminds them of Switzerland. If you take this trip let us know what you think!
This drive is truly perfect. You will find yourself wanting to drive this road over and over again as you see aspens changing colors right before your eyes.
We recommend you also head north to visit Rocky Mountain National Park in the fall! If you want to avoid the crowds in Estes Park, you can make your home base on the western side in the Grand Lake area. You’ll find a variety of fun things to do in Grand Lake, Colorado.
Lake Superior Circle Tour in the Fall
If you are up for a real challenge then plan a road trip to travel the Lake Superior Circle Tour that’s a 1300 mile loop.
You will travel through Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ontario on this journey of a lifetime as you go around the world’s largest lake.
You will see all different shades of fall while on your drive.
A truly remarkable journey as you take in beautiful sights and experience a part of the country you might not have seen before.