The Best Places to Take a Family Vacation This Fall

Corona Park, Queens, New York Corona Park, Queens, New York

With summer winding down and the second half of the year in full swing, it’s time to start thinking of destinations for your family’s next vacation adventure. While summer travel might be the obvious choice since the kids are out of school, there are many benefits to traveling in autumn.

For one, it’s far cheaper for families to travel in the fall shoulder season. Decreasing demand for flights, car rentals and accommodations often means that budget-friendly travel deals are abundant, making booking a family vacay much easier on the wallet.

Avoiding the peak summer travel crush can also mean that your family vacation will involve fewer crowds and shorter lines at attractions. The reduced hustle and bustle will make your vacation much less stressful.

Traveling in autumn is far “cooler”— and not just from a metaphorical perspective. While summer travel often comes with oppressive heat and humidity (which can make many a child or adult cranky), cooler temperatures in autumn make sojourning more comfortable and enjoyable. Plus, depending on where you go, you and your brood might even see the leaves turn color!

Now that you’ve been convinced that fall is the best time of the year for your family to travel, here are some of the best U.S. destinations to visit.

Myrtle Beach

While Myrtle Beach is a popular summer vacation spot for families looking to catch their breath, South Carolina’s best beach is also a great getaway in the fall. Not only do the sweltering summer daytime temperatures (often in the 100s) decrease to the mid-80s and 70s in autumn, the beach and restaurants are far less crowded post-Labor Day.  Furthermore, there are festivals nearly every week leading up to Thanksgiving (like the Greek Festival in late September and the South Carolina State Bluegrass Festival in November), making a family vacation over a long weekend an attractive option.

New York State

Though a family trip to New York State is a great idea any time of year, there are advantages to visiting in the fall. Vibrant fall foliage is a great excuse to fly in, rent a car and take the scenic route around the Catskills or the Adirondacks, for example. The clear skies and crisp air around the Empire State also make autumn the perfect time for families to tackle the region’s best hiking trails. Cold Spring, in the Hudson Valley, is home to Breakneck Ridge, which Newsweek rated one of the top 10 hikes in the U.S. The Valley’s Bear Mountain State Park and Catamount Adventure Park are also of interest. But if experiencing the great outdoors isn’t quite your crew’s cup of tea, New York City is full of urban adventures, boasting world class museums, shopping and attractions suitable for every member of the family.


Alaska is the trip of a lifetime for most, but it can be cost-prohibitive for some families.  However, traveling between September to about mid-October can make a dream Alaskan vacation a budget-friendly reality, since flights and accommodation are cheaper during shoulder season. Furthermore, you can enjoy the state’s sights and attractions without the crowds that peak season brings. But why take a family vacation to Alaska in the first place, you may ask?  Well, not only is it a bit more “off the beaten path” than other domestic destinations, its glaciers, abundance of wildlife and cruising opportunities make it an exciting and educational trip for children and adults alike! Denali National Park, for example, is home to North America’s tallest mountain, walrus viewing in Anchorage is a treat, and a “flightseeing tour” will give you and your family a birds-eye view of Alaska’s stunning panoramas.

While traveling at any time of the year with your family can be fun, there are distinct advantages to vacationing in the fall.  Hopefully this article has given you some cheap and cheerful ideas for your next family trip!

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About the Author

Oneika Raymond

Oneika is the voice behind "Oneika the Traveller", an award-winning travel blog dedicated to inspiring, encouraging, and empowering women and people of color to see the world. A thrill-seeker who's always in the midst of planning her next trip, Oneika has bungee jumped over the Zambezi River, fished for piranhas in the Amazon, and climbed active volcanoes in Guatemala and Ecuador.