Getaway Compass

12 Best Fall Weekend Getaways for 2023

You don’t have to stop traveling when summer is over. Fall is THE BEST season to travel and not just for the fall foliage. The weather in places like Arizona and Utah cools down just enough for perfect hiking weather. Places in the northeast like Boston start to cool down but not too much and offer the perfect chance to see that fall foliage you have been waiting for. Some places in California can have nice weather all year, but why not visit in the fall when there are less crowds? This list of the 12 best fall weekend getaways in the US for 2023 includes a mix of top nature destinations, towns, and cities that will make for a perfect weekend trip this fall.

1. Aspen, Colorado

Maroon Lake Colorado Road Trip

Aspen is one of the best fall weekend getaways if you are looking to spend time in the mountains. You can get here by flying directly into the airport in Aspen (ASE) which has direct flights to a few major cities. Alternatively, you could fly into Colorado Springs, Boulder, or Denver and make the scenic drive to Aspen. 

While in Aspen spend time exploring Maroon Bells, a beautiful area featuring the 14,000 ft Maroon Peak, Maroon Lake, and Crater Lake. Don’t miss the 3.6-mile hike from Maroon Lake to Crater Lake which offers great views and chances to enjoy the Aspen fall foliage. If you have the energy for another hike you should check out American Lake, a 6-mile round trip trail to an alpine lake with mountain views.

2. Sedona, Arizona

Sedona Arizona View

Sedona is a town in Arizona surrounded by beautiful red rocks. It offers one of the best fall weekend getaways if you are looking to hike and relax in a quiet and peaceful place. The best way to get to Sedona is to fly into Phoenix Airport (PHX) and rent a car to drive to Sedona. The drive from Phoenix to Sedona is beautiful since as you go up in elevation the landscape drastically changes. 

In Sedona, you can find countless hiking trails ranging from easy to hard as well as viewpoints that require only a short walk. To decide which hikes you want to do during your weekend in Sedona read our articles: best hikes in Sedona and Sedona off-the-beaten-path hikes. Some of the best hiking trails in Sedona include Soldier Pass Trial, Broken Arrow, and Bear Mountain. 

Plan your weekend in Sedona with our Sedona Weekend Itinerary.

3. Northern California Hidden Gems

Burney Falls

Spend a weekend exploring an area in northern California that is often overlooked. Start with a day at Lassen Volcanic National Park, a unique park with hydrothermal features that feels like a mini Yellowstone (without the crowds). Don’t miss Bumpass Hell, a 3-mile hike which features boiling springs, mud pots, steam vents, and fumaroles. 

Another must-see destination that makes this one of the top fall weekend getaways in the US is Burney Falls (pictured above). While only 129 ft tall, the daily water flow is 100 million gallons. It may seem tempting to swim here but the water temperature is typically between 42-48 degrees Fahrenheit. Finish your weekend road trip with a hike called Heart Lake Trail in Castle Crags Wilderness that has views of Mt Shasta (14,179 ft), the fifth highest peak in California.  

Plan your fall weekend getaway with our itinerary: Northern California Hidden Gems Weekend Road Trip

4. Boston, Massachusetts


The best time to visit Boston is in the fall when you can enjoy the fall foliage and nice weather. The city has an interesting history, strong culture and great food. Boston offers one of the best fall weekend trips if you are looking to explore a city. 

Start your weekend with dinner at one of the delicious Italian restaurants in North End and dessert from the well-known Mike’s Pastry. On Saturday visit Quincy Market where you can find street performers, shops, restaurants, and Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Next walk along the harbor to the Seaport area where you can enjoy a nice view of Boston. 

On Sunday spend time at Boston Public Garden and then wander around Beacon Hill, a neighborhood with beautiful red brick homes and cobblestone streets. Continue to Back Bay where you can find Newbury Street, a popular street lined with shops and restaurants. 

Boston is also known for a number of museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. If you are looking to visit multiple museums or do historical tours, it may be worth it to purchase a pass with Go City.

5. Laguna Beach, California

Laguna Beach

While Laguna Beach is a popular destination in the summer, it actually makes for one of the best fall weekend getaways. By October the crowds have cleared out and the weather is still really nice. The sunsets during the fall in Laguna Beach are incredible. What makes this weekend getaway so convenient is that you can fly into the airport in Orange County (SNA) which is only 30 minutes from Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach is walkable and has a free trolley service throughout the city, making it an easy destination to explore without a car.

Spend your weekend in Laguna Beach shopping, dining, relaxing on the beach, and taking walks in the parks. The vibrant town has so much to do! Enjoy the views in Laguna with lunch at the Cliff, where you can sit on a patio overlooking the beach. Take a walk at Heisler Park along the cliffs and go down to the cove beaches along the way.  

If you are going to visit any beach in Laguna it has to be 1000 steps beach. This scenic beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Laguna Beach. While it does not actually have 1000 steps to get down to the beach, the name does deter people, so it gets less busy than other beaches in Laguna. Make sure not to bring too much with you down to the beach because you will still need to carry it up 200+ stairs!

Save this Travel Hack: Find flight deals to destinations across the US this fall by signing up for Going. This travel membership sends domestic deals for upcoming weekends to help you find cheaper flights for your weekend getaways.

6. Moab, Utah

Delicate Arch at Arches National Park

Moab, Utah is the gateway to Arches National Park and only about a 40-minute drive from Canyonlands National Park. The proximity of Moab to these national parks and the nice weather in the fall makes it one of the best fall weekend getaways if you are looking to explore national parks in Utah.

Arches National Park has over 2,000 documented arches, a number of which you can see with a short hike or walk. One of the best hikes in the park is the 3-mile round trip hike to Delicate Arch. Continue to our guide for more of the best hikes in Arches National Park

Spend a day exploring the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park, a mesa that is about 1,000 ft above the canyons below. You can drive Grand View Point Road to get to many hiking trails and viewpoints. Two viewpoints you can’t miss are Grand View Point Overlook and Green River Overlook. Plan your time in Canyonlands with our guide to visiting Canyonlands National Park in one day.

7. Napa Valley, California

Weeekend in Napa Valley

Napa Valley, a wine region located about 1.5 hours northeast of San Francisco, offers one of the best fall weekend getaways if you are looking for a relaxing wine-filled weekend. On Saturday, spend your time visiting the wineries in the south part of Napa which are known for their Pinots. Start your day at Domain Carnerous, a beautiful winery popular for their Pinot Noir. Next go to Artesa Winery for great wine, views, and unique water features perfect for those photos you’ve been waiting for.

On your second day in Napa, visit some of the further vineyards in the north part of Napa Valley. On the way up to the north part of Napa, experience a morning hot-air balloon ride over Napa Valley to enjoy views of rolling hills, wine vineyards, and luxurious estates. Next go to Castello Di Amorosa, where you can tour the castle and do a wine tasting. Finish your weekend in Napa Valley with a visit to Sterling Vineyards, where you will take an aerial tram up to the hills of the winery for breathtaking views and a self-guided tour.

For more details on how to plan the perfect fall weekend getaway to Napa Valley check out our itinerary: Napa Valley Weekend Getaway Itinerary.

8. Utah National Parks: Zion and Bryce Canyon

Zion National Park

Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park are located only about an hour and a half away from each other, making it convenient to visit both in one weekend. A good town to base yourself while visiting these national parks is Kanab which is about 30 minutes from Zion and an hour and a half from Bryce Canyon. The town of Kanab has a range of accommodation options, restaurants, and shops.

Spend at least one full day at Zion National Park and if possible make it a long weekend and add an extra day at the park. The most popular hikes at Zion National Park are Angels Landing and The Narrows. Angels Landing takes you up to a mesa with a view of the canyon below. The Narrows is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon, with walls a thousand feet tall. The Narrows begins with a paved 1-mile walk and if you continue after this first mile you will be walking in the Virgin River.  Make sure to check which reservations are required for these hikes ahead of time!

On your second day in Utah explore Bryce Canyon National Park, an amphitheater filled with hoodoos. There are four popular viewpoints you can drive to called Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point. Fully experience Bryce Canyon National Park by hiking down into the amphitheater on Navajo Trail and back up Queens Garden Trail, making a 2.9 mile loop. 

9. Big Sur, California

McWay Falls Top Big Sur Stop

The incredible coastline with redwoods and dramatic cliffs makes Big Sur one of the best fall weekend getaways. A weekend road trip in Big Sur offers the perfect trip to relax, hike, and explore the scenic coast. Big Sur is made up of several state parks and state natural reserves including Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and Limekiln State Park. 

At Point Lobos you can find beautiful ocean views, sea lions, beach coves, and tide pools. Read our Point Lobos State Natural Reserve guide for the best hiking trails and views in the reserve. In Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park you can find Pfeiffer Beach, a unique beach with purple sand and large rock formations. Another highlight of Big Sur is McWay Falls. While you can’t walk on the beach near the waterfall, there is a short path to a viewpoint of this breathtaking waterfall falling into the ocean.

Start planning your Big Sur adventure with our Big Sur Weekend Road Trip Itinerary.

10. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston Weekend

Charleston offers the best fall weekend getaway if you are looking to have a relaxing weekend in a small coastal city. This walkable city has many restaurants and a vibrant shopping street called King Street. Visit the Charleston Farmers Market on Saturday morning at Marion Square where you can find food and crafts. Don’t miss the Charleston Historic City Market which is located in Market Hall and spans four city blocks. The market is open daily and features a variety of gifts and crafts. 

One of the top things to do in Charleston is to see Rainbow Row, a street with a stretch of colorful houses. As you wander through the city, make sure to stop at Charleston Waterfront Park which has nice views and a water fountain. Stay at one of the unique boutique hotels in Historic Downtown Charleston which you can search for and book on

11. Temecula, California

Temecula Weekend Getaway Itinerary

Temecula is a beautiful wine region in southern California. Only an hour drive from San Diego and an hour and a half from Los Angeles, Temecula offers one of the best fall weekend getaways if you are looking to spend a weekend relaxing and wine tasting. The best time to go to Temecula is during harvest season which usually falls between end of August and October. 

There are over 40 wineries in Temecula which gives you plenty of options for wine tasting. It can be hard to decide which wineries to visit, so you could book an all-inclusive wine tour and get transportation directly from your hotel. If you are looking for more to do in Temecula beyond wine tasting, you can book a Hot Air Balloon Flight, visit the Saturday Farmers Market, and explore the restaurants and shops in Old Town Temecula.

Continue to our guide for the perfect weekend getaway in Temecula filled with wine tasting, great food, and amazing views. 

12. Nashville, TN

Nashville Weekend

Nashville offers one of the best fall weekend getaways if you are looking to explore a city with a strong musical influence. In Nashville you can find Broadway Street, a vibrant street filled with bars and restaurants that have live music. Some bars you shouldn’t miss are Tootsies Orchid Lounge and Honky Tonk Central. While visiting Nashville you can learn about the history of country music at the Country Music Hall of Fame. You can find and book more experiences in Nashville on Viator. If you want to enjoy the fall foliage you should venture outside of the city and take a walk at Radnor Lake State Park. 

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links for products and services I recommend. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Reut and Zack Elopement-5

Travel guides created to inspire and enable people to use their time away from the office to explore the world.

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