October, a month that brings to mind fall festivals, leaves changing, and cooler weather, is also a fantastic time to take a trip. Head to places like Asheville, Bar Harbor, or the Poconos, where fall foliage is at its best during this time of year. If you’d rather escape the sometimes chilly weather and head someplace warmer, options include Antigua, Ocho Rios, and San Juan. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
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The Poconos, or the Pocono Mountains, is a region in Northeastern Pennsylvania that is known for its lakes, mountain peaks, valleys, and other beautiful features. The mountains are flanked by the Delaware Water Gap, which offers beaches and other recreational facilities. Those who love hiking will appreciate a trip to Bushkill Falls, which has numerous waterfalls connected by trails and bridges. The area is a year-round destination for recreation, with numerous ski resorts and waterparks both drawing many visitors during their respective seasons. Visitors in October will find the area rich in fall foliage with many opportunities for fall-themed fun, such as Octoberfest, harvest festivals, heritage days, and more. Read more
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Asheville is a beautiful small city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. The city has many stunning examples of historic architecture, such as dome-capped Basilica of Saint Lawrence and the massive Biltmore Estate. The Biltmore offers tours and displays artwork from master artists, including Renoir. The arts scene is very vibrant in the town, with numerous galleries and museums in both the Downtown Art District and the River Arts District nearby, which features former factory buildings that have been converted into art studios. During October the area is especially beautiful with the fall foliage often at its peak, making it a fabulous time to visit.
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3.Big Sur, USA
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Big Sur is a rugged section of the central coast of California. It stretches between the cities of San Simeon and Carmel and is flanked to the east by the Santa Lucia Mountains. Big Sur is best explored by traveling the famous, two-lane road known as State Route 1, which is famous for its views of the Pacific Ocean, rugged oceanside cliffs, and windy turns. The area is only sparsely populated and offers a range of state parks, camping areas, hiking trails, and beaches for those who enjoy outdoor recreation. October is in the middle of peak travel season, so expect crowds, but there are definitely less visitors than the summer months.
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Brisbane is a large city that sits on the banks of the Brisbane River. It is the capital of Queensland and features many interesting museums and other attractions. The massive Sea World Gold Coast is a popular choice among family travelers as is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where you can get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most iconic wildlife. The South Bank cultural precinct is packed with interesting attractions such as the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Museum and Sciencenter, public lawns, and swimming areas. October is the middle of spring in Brisbane, with warm days and breezy nights providing pleasant weather for exploring the city as well as the many festivals and events that happen at this time of year.
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Charleston is a city on the Atlantic coast of South Carolina. The historic town was founded in 1670 and features many relics of its history, such as cobblestone streets and many pre-Civil War homes and buildings in the historic district. For an ultimately nostalgic experience, book a horse-drawn carriage ride through the old section of town and you’ll feel as if you are being transported to the Charleston of several centuries ago. Other attractions include Fort Sumter, the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, City Market, and Waterfront Park. October is a popular time to visit as the weather is perfect, so you may have to fight some crowds, but the visit will be worth it.
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Charlottesville is a city in Virginia often visited en route to Thomas Jefferson’s mountain-top mountain and plantation, Monticello. The city is home to the University of Virginia, which was originally designed by the former president as well. Another former president, James Monroe, also lived here and his home is also preserved as a museum with many original items and furnishings. For those interested in the outdoors, the city is also a good base for exploring nearby Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visiting in October means temperatures may be a bit cool, but the fall foliage is beautiful and certainly worth bringing along a jacket on vacation.
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Faro is the capital of the Algarve region of Portugal. The city has a long history with many interesting attractions such as the Arco de Vila, a neoclassical gate located on the same location as the original Moorish gate. The old town has cobblestone streets and historic buildings just ripe for exploring, such as the 13th century Faro Cathedral. Museum lovers will appreciate the Municipal Museum, which displays artifacts from the medieval and prehistoric periods on the property of a 16th century convent. During October, the weather is mild and temperatures are cool but not too cold, making it a popular time to visit.
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8.Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
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The Galapagos Islands is a chain of volcanic islands located nearly 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, of which it is a part. It is one of the best places in the world for viewing interesting wildlife as its isolated location and interesting terrain mean it is home to many species that are not found anywhere else in the world. Charles Darwin famously studied the islands in the 1830s due to this wealth of biodiversity. In October the weather is typically cool and dry with occasional rain. It is also the mating season for fur seals, making it a particularly interesting time to visit.
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Lampang is the third largest city in northern Thailand. The city is a bit off the beaten path but is beginning to see tourists who come for the riverside charm, numerous cafes, and hip hotels. Market shopping is phenomenal here, with many hilltribe handicrafts and other goods produced in the region on offer. You’ll also find numerous temples worthy of a visit, including Wat Lai Hin, Wat Pongsanuk Tai, Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao, and Wat Si Rong Meung, each one unique and beautiful in its own way. The Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum is another popular attraction. The weather in Thailand is warm year round, and while October can be a bit rainy, it is a good time to get a hotel deal and avoid the sweltering heat of Thailand’s hot season.
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10.Las Vegas, USA
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Las Vegas is a city in the Mojave Desert of Nevada. The city is famous around the world for its nightlife, which revolves around casinos and other entertainment venues that are open around the clock year round. The main focal point is an area known as The Strip – a 4-mile stretch lined with themed resort hotels, casinos, elaborate fountains, and replicas of famous attractions from around the world like the Eiffel Tower, an Egyptian pyramid, and more. October falls in the shoulder season, when the temperatures aren’t too hot and the crowds are smaller than in summer and winter. Visiting during the week will score you better hotel deals than weekend getaways.
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Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean that is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, stunning lagoons, and coral reefs. The interior of the island is mountainous and includes hiking opportunities such as the trails through the rainforest at Black River Gorges National Park, which offers stunning scenery of waterfalls and opportunities to see interesting wildlife such as the flying fox. Remnants of colonial history remain in the capital city Port Louis and include a plantation house and botanical gardens from the 18th century. October is an ideal month to visit because it is the island’s driest month and the warm, dry weather is just perfect for a beach getaway.
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Miami is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city on the southeastern tip of Florida. The city has a strong Cuban influence due to the many immigrants who have settled here from the state’s southern neighbor. You’ll find many cigar shops and delicious Cuban cafes along Little Havana’s Calle Ocho. Across the bay from downtown is South Beach, a glamorous area known for its multicolored art deco architecture, trendy nightclubs, and beachfront hotels. The weather is warm late into the year so visitors in October will typically find it still warm enough to swim in the ocean but much less crowded than during the rest of the year.
13.Ocho Rios, Jamaica
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Ocho Rios is a port town set on Jamaica’s northern coast. The city was once a tiny fishing village but today one could barely imagine that to be true with its busy bayside beach, numerous resorts, and popularity as a cruise port. The interior is characterized by rainforests and mountains, and nature lovers will appreciate a visit to Dunn’s River Falls and the Turtle River Falls and Gardens. Meanwhile, animal lovers can get a close experience with dolphins and other animals at Dolphin Cove, a popular family attraction. October is Jamaica’s wettest month but the sea is still warm and it can be a good time to avoid the crowds.
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Paris is the capital of France, a large, cosmopolitan city that is a major center in Europe and is internationally renowned for food, culture, art, and fashion. The city features many 19th century buildings and wide boulevards. There are many landmarks that draw tourists to the city year after year, with highlights such as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, and the Louvre Museum. Paris is also a major destination for fashionable shoppers who will enjoy strolling the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and admiring the designer boutiques that line it. Paris is quite cool in October but you’ll find better prices and fewer lines at attractions by visiting then.
15.Queenstown, New Zealand
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Queenstown is a city on the shores of New Zealand’s Lake Wakatipu on the South Island. In addition to being on the lakeshore, the city’s backdrop is the Southern Alps, providing beautiful scenery of mountains and lakes at every turn. The area is known around the world as a destination for adventure travelers with ample opportunities for hiking, adventure sports, bungee jumping, jet-boating, and skiing. October is the beginning of spring in Queenstown, with some of the ski resorts still open for the first half of the month while the hiking trails are beginning to open up, as are golf courses, making it a nice time to visit.
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16.Rocky Mountain National Park, USA
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Rocky Mountain National Park is a large protected area in Colorado. The park straddles the Continental Divide and contains a number of stunning mountains, dense forests, and alpine landscapes. The park features scenic mountain drives such as the famous Trail Ridge Road and the Old River Road. Opportunities for hiking are seemingly endless, with a large trail network covering various distances and skill levels. One of the most popular hikes is the trail surrounding the easily accessible Bear Lake. Snow is possible during your October visit, but if you come early enough in the month, it is likely that the Trail Ridge Road will still be open (it closes due to snow in winter) and elk viewing is at its prime.
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Austin, Texas, is the state’s capital located near the Hill Country Region. The city is a college town and is home to the flagship campus of the University of Texas. It has a vibrant, young, and eclectic feel to it with a rich live music scene based largely around country, rock, and blues. The city also has a great deal of green space with many nice city parks that provide a destination for enjoying the outdoors virtually year round through hiking, swimming, boating, and fishing. The fall months offer comfortable temperatures and many popular festivals, so it’s a great time to come.
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18.Bar Harbor, USA
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Bar Harbor is a town located on Mount Desert Island in Frenchman Bay in Maine. The town is the jumping-off point for exploring the stunning sights of nearby Acadia National Park. Soaring Cadillac Mountain is a popular hiking destination that offers beautiful views of the town, Frenchman Bay, and the nearby Cranberry Islands. Sand Beach is a beach with a park that is surrounded by mountains, making it especially picturesque. Those who enjoy hiking will also enjoy walking the Shore Path, which offers views of the Atlantic and the Porcupine Islands as it travels along the shore of the bay. October is a popular time to visit if you want to see fall foliage.
19.San Juan, USA
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San Juan is the capital of the US territory of Puerto Rico. The island is popular with travelers looking to spend some time on the beach, the largest of which sits in front of the Isla Verde resort area, which is known for its nightlife, casinos, and bars. The capital is charming in its own right with cobblestone streets, colonial Spanish architecture, and a couple of massive 16th century fortresses with views of the ocean. October is an ideal time to visit, especially if you’re hoping to save a bit on airfare and room rates as the weather is nice but it’s a less busy time.
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Sardinia is a part of Italy and is the second largest island in the Mediterranean. The island has more than 1,000 miles of shoreline made up of many beautiful, sandy beaches. The interior part of the island is more isolated and rugged with a number of hiking trails. There are also interesting, bee-hived shaped stone ruins scattered throughout the island, which were built in the Bronze Age and provide an interesting sight while you are exploring. October can be a bit cool for beach-going, but the cooler temperatures are a welcome reprieve for many after the island’s summer, and the prices are better than in the summer months.
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Antigua is one of the two main islands that comprise the country of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean. The island is surrounded by coral reefs and is well known for its beautiful sandy beaches, while the historic English Harbour features a restored dockyard with a marina and the Dockyard Museum. There are a number of hiking trails that lead up to Shirley Heights, a historic military lookout, and offer stunning views of the amazing area. The weather in Antigua is warm in October but you may see a bit of rain and there’s a chance of hurricanes. This means that you may be able to score a bargain if you plan to take your trip during this month.
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Seville is the capital of Spain’s Andalusia region in the southern part of the country. The city is famous around the world for flamenco dancing, for which the city’s Triana district is a center. A number of ornate buildings are worth visiting, including the Alcazar of Seville, a Moorish castle complex, the Gothic-style Seville Cathedral and its Giralda minaret-turned-bell tower. You could spend days strolling the streets of Seville, dining in its cafes, and soaking in the city’s charm. The weather in October is generally warm enough for exploring and not overly hot. It is the rainy season, however, but along with the wetter weather you’ll find the hotel prices to be much more affordable than the rest of the year.
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Shenzhen is an modern, urban area of southeastern China that connects Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland. The area is known as a destination for shopping with highlights such as Luohu Commercial City, a huge mall with almost anything you could ask for. The city also has a number of modern buildings, such as the Ping An International Finance Center, a 600-meter skyscraper. Other attractions include the Window of the World, which has skiing and ice skating, the Hong Kong Wetland Park, and OCT East, a resort complex with different themed areas. In October, temperatures are comfortable, making it a good time to visit.
24.Zion National Park, USA
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Zion National Park is a preserved area in southwest Utah that is most notable for the sharp red cliffs of Zion Canyon. Visitors can see the park by vehicle by driving the park’s scenic drive, which traverses its main section. The drive also passes many trail heads, from which you can hike through the forest. The Virgin River and Emerald Pools offer a chance to enjoy the waterfalls and even a hanging garden. Autumn is an ideal time to visit the park weather-wise as the temperatures are usually comfortable, the water levels are low, and fall colors peak in late October.
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Zurich is a large city and an international financial center in Switzerland. The city has been around for a long time and this becomes obvious when one strolls the beautiful streets of the old town, known locally as Altstadt. Many pre-medieval and medieval buildings are still standing, including the 11th century Fraumünster church and the iconic Grossmünster cathedral, which dates to the 12th century. The waterfront is also pleasant and features various waterfront promenades such as the Limmatquai, where one can easily pass the better part of a day enjoyably. October can be pretty cold in Zurich, but if you are willing to brave the temperatures you’re likely find a good price on accommodations.
25 Best October Vacation Destinations
- Poconos, USA, Photo: Courtesy of FotoMak - Fotolia.com
- Asheville, USA, Photo: Courtesy of jonbilous - Fotolia.com
- Big Sur, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Lynn Yeh - Fotolia.com
- Brisbane, Australia, Photo: Courtesy of f11photo - Fotolia.com
- Charleston, USA, Photo: Courtesy of f11photo - Fotolia.com
- Charlottesville, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Bram - Fotolia.com
- Faro, Portugal, Photo: Courtesy of Lukasz - Fotolia.com
- Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Photo: Courtesy of Grispb - Fotolia.com
- Lampang, Thailand, Photo: Courtesy of Atakorn - Fotolia.com
- Las Vegas, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Michael - Fotolia.com
- Mauritius, Photo: Courtesy of softfocusphoto - Fotolia.com
- Miami, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Roman Stetsyk - Fotolia.com
- Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Photo: Courtesy of Gino Santa Maria - Fotolia.com
- Paris, France, Photo: Courtesy of Delphotostock - Fotolia.com
- Queenstown, New Zealand, Photo: Courtesy of Matt - Fotolia.com
- Rocky Mountain National Park, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Nelson Sirlin - Fotolia.com
- Austin, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Aaron - Fotolia.com
- Bar Harbor, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Stuart Monk - Fotolia.com
- San Juan, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Tyler - Fotolia.com
- Sardinia, Italy, Photo: Courtesy of kojin_nikon - Fotolia.com
- Antigua, Antigua, Photo: Courtesy of diegograndi - Fotolia.com
- Seville, Spain, Photo: Courtesy of santosha57 - Fotolia.com
- Shenzhen, China, Photo: Courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.com
- Zion National Park, USA, Photo: Courtesy of Andreas - Fotolia.com
- Zurich, Switzerland, Photo: Courtesy of Hetizia - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of hannibal565 - Fotolia.com
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