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15 Best Places to Visit in October in USA

Leaf peepers, get ready! This is your month. For those of you planning trips this month, here are the best places to visit in October in USA.

October is by far our favorite month out of the year. Not only is it time to chase the fall foliage, but the weather is finally perfect for exploring the outdoors again. Plus, we love all the fall festivals, pumpkin patches, and any excuse to get dressed up for Halloween.

15 best places to visit in october in usaPin

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Last Updated: August 16, 2023

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15 Best Places to Visit in October in USA

1. Las Vegas NV →

795 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89119, map

Don’t Miss: The Strip, Red RockValley of Fire
What to Eat: 
49 Best Places to Eat in Las Vegas
Where to Stay: Find the best hotel
Weather Avg: 83° / 46° F

Las Vegas is one of the best places to visit in October in the US. We live here, and we always tell our friends to wait until now to visit. September can be hit or miss with the weather, but October is the first real month where it’s nice to consistently get outside. 

That means you can explore some of our favorite spots like Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire without the summer crowds.

Check out our ultimate Las Vegas bucket list of 101 things to do or the best bucket list experiences to make most of your time here.

Las Vegas Events in October: RiSE Festival (6-7), Las Vegas Pride (7), Reggae Rise Up (6-8), Downtown Brew Festival (7)

See More: Top Things to Do in Las Vegas in October

2. Albuquerque NM →

522 Romero St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104, map

Things You Can’t Miss: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Sandia Peak Tramway, Petroglyph National Monument
What to Eat: 
The Grove Cafe & MarketFork & FigFrontier
Where to Stay: Search hotels and rentals
Weather Avg: 72° / 46° F

Every October, thousands gather in Albuquerque to witness the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. It’s such a magical experience to go up in a balloon and see the other balloons launching from a birds eye view.

If you’re not there to see the ABQ Balloon Festival, it’s still a beautiful time to explore the outdoors since the weather is nice during the day.

Pack your puffies and hand-warmers just in case. Be warned, if you go to the early events (we went at 5 am), it can be freezing.

October Events in Albuquerque: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (7-15), Way Out West Film Fest (21-30), Day of the Tread (29)

See More: Albuquerque Balloon Festival – What You Need to Know Before You Go

3. Acadia National Park ME →

25 Visitor Center Rd, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, map

Things You Can’t Miss: Cadillac Mountain, Scenic Park Loop Road, Precipice Trail or Beehive Trail
What to Eat: 
Havana, Café This Way
Where to Stay: Search for hotels
Weather Avg: 55° / 38° F

October in Acadia was on the cold side for my taste especially on the windy mountain tops. However, it’s also the best time to go leaf-peeping. After spending all day hiking, climbing, or driving through the park, you can cozy up for food and drinks in Bar Harbor.

October Events in Bar Harbor: Mount Desert Island Marathon (15)

See More: 15 Breathtaking Things to Do in Acadia National Park

4. Sleepy Hollow, Hudson Valley

381 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591, map

Don’t Miss: Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, Headless Horseman Bridge, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
What to Eat: 
Lefteris GyroBridge View Tavern & Beer GardenSweet Grass Grill
Where to Stay: Search for hotels in the area
Weather Avg: 65° / 46° F

It’s best known as the setting of Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, so naturally, October is the best time to visit! Since peak foliage starts earlier in the Hudson Valley than NYC, you’ll get a chance to appreciate all the colors.

They also have festivals and events that celebrate Halloween and the fall season. Don’t miss the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze with over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins.

We really wanted to go while we lived in NYC, but we planned too late, and tickets sold out before we knew it. In other words, get them ASAP.

October Events in Sleepy Hollow: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery at Night (1-31), Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze (1-31), Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival

See More: 21 Best Places to Visit in Upstate NY

sleepy hollow ny halloween + 15 best places to visit in october in usaPin

5. San Diego CA →

996 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, map

Things You Can’t Miss: San Diego ZooNorth ParkBalboa Park
What to Eat: 
Carnitas Snack ShackTacos El GordoHammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream
Where to Stay: Book a hotel
Weather Avg: 74° / 61° F

San Diego is a destination you can visit any time of year, but October is a great time for festivals and events. First, there are a ton of Halloween-focused events. Second, with so many breweries, it makes sense to be in San Diego to celebrate Oktoberfest.

Another plus is that you’ll see a drop in visitors and hotel rates.

October Events in San Diego: Haunted Aquarium Remix (1-31), Seaworld Spooktacular (1-31), Annual Pacific Beachfest (7), HalGLOWeen at the San Diego Zoo (1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29-31), La Jolla Art and Wine Festival (7-8), San Diego International Film Festival (18-22)

See More: Ultimate San Diego Bucket List – 101 Things to Do in San Diego CA

6. Portland OR →

100 SW Main St #1100, Portland, OR 97204, map

Don’t Miss: Washington Park, Pittock Mansion, Forest Park
What to Eat:
 49 Best Places to Eat in Portland
Where to Stay: Search hotels on our map
Weather Avg: 63° / 48° F

October is the peak season for fall foliage in Oregon, and it brings some of the city’s favorite events. There’s nothing more beautiful than hiking to waterfalls surrounded by fall colors.

Grab your rain boots and coat (it’s the wet season, and Oregonians don’t use umbrellas) as you make your way through corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and haunted houses.

You’ll also catch the end of the fruit season with Harvest celebrations.

October Events in Portland: Spirit of Halloweentown (1-31), Portland Fresh Hops Fest (1), Portland Marathon (1), Portland Film Festival (12-16)

See More: Ultimate Portland Bucket List – 101 Things to Do in Portland

7. Chicago IL

301 E Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616, map

Don’t Miss: Millennium Park, Willis Tower, Navy Pier
What to Eat: 
Au ChevalQing Xiang Yuan DumplingsSmoque BBQ
Where to Stay: Find hotels in Chicago
Weather Avg: 64° / 47° F

As the temps continue to drop, fewer people will be visiting Chicago. On top of exploring all of Chicago’s famous landmarks, there are plenty of fall festivals, Halloween celebrations, and movie and music festivals!

October Events in Chicago: Chicago International Latino Theater Festival (1-31), Pier Pumpkin Lights (1-31), Lincoln Square Ravenswood Apple Fest (1), Chicago Marathon (8), Chicago International Film Festival (11-22)

See More: 15 Popular Day Trips from Chicago

Chicago Illinois + 101 USA Places to VisitPin

8. Memphis TN

3205 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38116, map

Don’t Miss: Graceland, Beale Street, National Civil Rights Museum
What to Eat: 
Gus’s World Famous Fried ChickenCentral BBQMarlowe’s Ribs & Restaurant
Where to Stay: Find a hotel in Memphis
Weather Avg: 75° / 54° F

We love fall weather in the south. The cooler temperatures make it the perfect time for live music, sports, food festivals, and events. That and Halloween brings corn mazes, hayrides, haunted houses, and other spooky events.

October Events in Memphis: Memphis Food & Wine Festival (19), River Arts Fest (21-22)

memphis tn skyline + 15 best places to visit in october in usaPin

9. Asheville NC →

36 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, map

Don’t Miss: 15 Best Hikes NearbyThe Biltmore EstateThese Photo Spots
What to Eat: 
Best Places to Eat in Asheville NC
Where to Stay: Best Places to Stay in Asheville NC
Weather Avg: 68° / 46° F

Asheville isn’t great if you want to avoid crowds, but it’s crowded for good reason. The fall foliage in the Blue Ridge Parkway is hard to beat. While in Asheville, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate fall, including corn mazes and Oktoberfest celebrations.

October Events in Asheville: Eliada Corn Maze (1-29), Asheville Art in the Park (7, 14, 21), Asheville Veganfest (8), Parade of Homes Asheville (7-8, 14-15)

See More: Ultimate Asheville Bucket List – 101 Things to Do in Asheville NC

Looking Glass Falls NC + 15 Best Hikes Near Asheville NCPin

10. Nashville TN →

501 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203, map

Don’t Miss: The Parthenon, Printer’s Alley, Country Music Hall of Fame
What to Eat: 
Hattie B’s Hot ChickenPeg Leg PorkerBiscuit Love
Where to Stay: Search for Nashville hotels
Weather Avg: 72° / 49° F

October is one of the best times to visit Music City. The weather is still warm enough to enjoy the city, and there are tons of music acts that come through this month. In addition, there are a handful of culinary and food festivals to keep your belly happ

October Events in Nashville: Nashville Film Festival (1-4), Fall Family Fun Festival (1-31), Cheekwood Harvest (1-29), Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival (7), National Banana Pudding Festival (7-8), Pumpkinfest (28)

See More: 9 Awesome Things to Do in Nashville Tennessee

11. Salem MA

2 New Liberty St, Salem, MA 01970, map

Don’t Miss: Salem Witch House, Salem Witch Museum, Peabody Essex Museum
What to Eat: 
Turner’s SeafoodHowling Wolf TaqueriaGulu Gulu Cafe
Where to Stay: Search for Salem hotels
Weather Avg: 62° / 45° F

What better place to celebrate the spooky season than a town known for the Salem Witch Trials. The town fully embraces it during Halloween, and you can go on a ghost tour, explore Hocus Pocus movies sites, or attend one of the many witch-themed events and pop-ups.

October Events in Salem: Salem Haunted Magic Show (1-31), The Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball (27)

the witch house of salem + 15 best places to visit in october in usaPin

12. Shenandoah National Park

17065 Skyline Dr, Front Royal, VA 22630, map

Don’t Miss: Skyline Drive, Dark Hallow Falls, Old Rag Mountain
What to Eat: 
Blue Wing FrogSpelunker’s Burgers & Frozen CustardPaveMint Taphouse
Where to Stay: Search nearby hotels
Weather Avg: 58° / 39° F

If you love the outdoors, Shenandoah National Park is one of the best places to visit in the US in October. It’s extra magical during its peak fall foliage. In early October, higher elevations start seeing colors, and from mid to late October, the foliage moves to lower elevations.

You can see the colors from Skyline Drive, one of the best scenic drives in the US, or hit the trails to see them up close.

October Events in Shenandoah National Park: Exploring the Skies in Shenandoah National Park, Fall Festival at Massanutten Resort (14)

See More: Complete List of National Parks by State

fall foliage shenandoah national park + 17 Stunning PlacesPin

13. Napa Valley CA →

600 Main St, Napa, CA 94559, map

Don’t Miss: Castello di Amorosa, Lake Berryessa, Domaine Carneros
What to Eat: 
French LaundryMorimoto NapaThe Boon Fly Cafe
Where to Stay: Find hotel deals in Napa
Weather Avg: 77° / 49° F

August through October is Napa’s peak season, which goes hand and hand with their harvest season. The weather in October is gorgeous in Napa, and the leaves on the vine change color. Mix the great weather with all the harvest celebrations, and you have a recipe for a good time.

If you stay towards the end of the month, you’ll find Halloween parades and costume parties with wine tastings.

October Events in Napa Valley: Alpha Win Triathlon Series (28)

See More: Best Wineries in Napa Valley CA

14. Jackson Hole WY →

532 N Cache St, Jackson, WY 83001, map

Don’t Miss: Grand Teton NP, Granite Hot Springs, National Elk Refuge
What to Eat: 
Persephone BakeryHand Fire PizzaSnake River Brewing
Where to Stay: Book a hotel in Jackson Hole
Weather Avg: 57° / 24° F

October is a season of change in Jackson Hole as services and hotels in the National Parks close for winter. Luckily before heavy snow comes, you still have access to the roads to catch the peak fall foliage.

We’ve only done summer and winter in Jackson Hole but hope to make it out here during the fall.

October Events in Jackson Hole: Annual Ski Swap

See More: 11 Incredible Things to Do in Jackson Hole Wyoming

15. Savannah GA

301 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Savannah, GA 31401, map

Don’t Miss: Bonaventure Cemetery, Forsyth Park, Historic River Street
What to Eat: 
The Old Pink HouseSavannah Seafood ShackThe Ordinary Pub
Where to Stay: Search Savannah hotels
Weather Avg: 78° / 58° F

October is one of the busiest times to visit Savannah with the beautiful weather perfect for sightseeing and festivals. Since it’s one of the most haunted cities in the US, it’s also the perfect Halloween destination.

October Events in Savannah: Savannah Greek FestSavannah Film Festival (21-28)

Wormsloe Historic Site Savannah Georgia + 15 Amazing Weekend Trips from AtlantaPin

Best Places to Visit in USA in October Map

More Halloween Towns to Visit

  • Anoka, MN – Known as the Haloween capital of the world
  • Chatham, MA – Pumpkin People in the Park (14-31)
  • Dearborn, MI – 1000 jack-o-lanterns at the Hallowe’en at Greenfield Village (5-8, 12-15, 19-22, 26-29)
  • Independence, KS – 9-day long celebration called Neewollah
  • Irvington, IN – Irvington Halloween Festival
  • NYC, NY – Foliage usually comes later for the city than upstate NY, but there’s a Halloween parade, and we love seeing everyone’s decor on their brownstones.
  • Romeo, MI – Terror on Tillson Street – over-the-top Halloween decor
  • St Helens, OR – Scenes from Disney’s Halloweentown were filmed here and the Spirit of Halloweentown Festival

More Places to Visit in October for Fall Foliage

Keep in mind, these are approximate dates for peak fall foliage, but it changes year to year.

  • Allegheny National Forest, PA – mid-Oct
  • Aspen, CO – late Sept to mid-Oct
  • Bend, OR – Drake Park for fall foliage in late October.
  • Boston, MA – mid-October. Events – Fall Pumpkin Float, Head of the Charles Regatta, Boston Marathon
  • Bozeman, MT – early October
  • Cape Cod, MA – mid-Sept to late October. Events – Wellfleet Oysterfest
  • Charlottesville, VA – by Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah NP
  • Cooperstown, NY – Sugar maples (NY’s official trees) show off their colors.
  • Cuyahoga Valley NP, OH – third week of Oct
  • Denver, CO – Oct to mid-Nov. Event – Great American Beer Festival
  • Door County, WI – Fall Festival in Sister Bay, Lighthouse Festival, Jack O Lantern Days
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park – peaks at mid and lower elevations mid-Oct to early Nov.
  • Harper’s Ferry, WV – sometimes early, sometimes late Oct.
  • Kansas City, MO – mid-October
  • Lutson, MN – Highland peaks mid-Sept to early October while shoreline peaks late September to mid-October.
  • Mammoth Lakes / Eastern Sierras, CA – mid-Sept through October
  • Minneapolis / Twin Cities, MN – late-September to mid-October
  • Mt Rainier National Park, WA – mid-October to early November.
  • Nantucket, MA – late October to early November
  • New River Gorge NP, WV – mid-October
  • Newport, RI – mid to late October
  • North Adams, MA – mid-October
  • Portsmouth, NH – mid-October
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, MI – mid-October
  • Providence, RI – Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, WaterFire lanterns on the river, Haunted Boat Ride.
  • Rocky Mountain NP, CO – mid-Sept to mid-Oct
  • Salt Lake City, UT – early October
  • Vermont – late September in the north (Burlington, Stowe) and mid-October in the South (Barnard)

More Places to Visit in October in the US

  • Austin, TX – OktoberfestAustin Film Festival (26-31), peak foliage is in late Nov.
  • Bennington, VT – Fun fall-themed events
  • Big Island, HI – Fewer crowds
  • Big Sur, CA – monarch butterflies return to Andrew Molera State Park
  • Bodie State Historic Park, CA – not as crowded
  • Charleston, SC – Mild temps and less humidity, better hotel deals
  • Flagstaff, AZ – Fewer crowds, temperatures are nicer.
  • Grand Canyon, AZ – great hiking weather
  • Gulf Shores, AL – Less busy, nice temps
  • Hawaii – Kauai, Kona, Maui – nice year-round, but it’s shoulder-season with fewer crowds and better deals than summer and holidays.
  • Ketchum, ID – Trailing of the Sheep Festival (4-8)
  • Los Angeles, CA – JazzTrx on Catalina Island, Oktoberfest, Rise Festival LA
  • Miami, FL – Summer tourists are gone. Events – South Beach Seafood Festival, Water Lantern Festival
  • Mississippi Coast, MI –  mild temperatures, less humidity, Cruisin’ the Coast event
  • Moab + Arches NP, Utah – Great weather for hiking, fewer crowds
  • Monument Valley, AZ – Weather is nice, not as crowded
  • New Orleans, LA – Better weather, summer crowds gone. Events – Voodoo Music and Arts Festival, massive Halloween celebrations, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Oktoberfest, Fried Chicken Festival, Halloween parade
  • Palm Springs, CA – better weather for enjoying the outdoors and nearby Joshua Tree NP.
  • Phoenix, AZ – Great weather to go outdoors, Oktoberfest, Arizona State Fair, Local First Arizona Fall Fest, Arizona Taco Festival
  • San Antonio, TX – Dia de los Muertos (23-24)
  • San Francisco, CA – Fleet Week (2-10), SF Street Food Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

USA IN: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

Essential Tips

  • Peak fall foliage changes each year based on temperature and moisture. Check the fall foliage map to see when the leaves are changing.
  • Pack layers since most places will be decently warm during the day but cool significantly at night.
  • Book early, especially for popular fall foliage spots or during special events.

Planning Checklist

Have you planned any travel for October? Any other places we should add for the best places to visit in October in USA?

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Esther and JacobPin

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

Follow on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.

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