Fall in Love With the West
This year, fall travel may be the new summer vacation. If the number of new COVID-19 cases stays low, people will begin to feel more comfortable being out and about and may want to consider turning those canceled summer trips into a fall getaway. In the West, there are a number of excellent prospects for destinations that are often crowded in the summer that intrepid travelers can take advantage of visiting in autumn, where cool temperatures and tasty treats prevail.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Crisp air, golden leaves and Oktoberfest are just three of the reasons to travel to this mountain town in the fall. Travelers can camp in the mountains, hike, fly fish and more, enjoying fall’s last hurrah before the snow comes in the winter and the town transforms into a ski mecca. Ketchum is still hosting its annual Oktoberfest, September 18-19, 2020, at Festival Meadows, with plenty of room for social distancing and masks required.
Fall is the ideal time to visit the Oregon Coast. It’s the warmest time of the year with less wind and fog and warmer water, too. There are also fewer crowds and more inexpensive lodging options. Visitors should head to well-known destinations such as Cannon Beach, Depoe Bay, Seaside and Lincoln City.
Napa Valley Wine Country
While wildfires and COVID-19 haven’t made it easy on wineries in the Napa Valley region, businesses are still open and operating within coronavirus guidelines. Air quality is improving, and case numbers are slowing down, meaning that the fall is looking like one of the best times to make reservations for outdoor wine tasting.
As temperatures cool in the fall months, Sedona’s outdoor adventures are even more enticing. Visitors can scale the red rocks of the region, go mountain bike riding, play golf, hike, fly fish, horseback ride and more. Sedona is also known for incredible dining, luxurious accommodations and eclectic shops. Most businesses are open and following CDC guidelines to ensure a safe and memorable vacation.
Yellowstone National Park
Fall can be one of the best times to visit Yellowstone National Park. Thinning crowds, lower temperatures and colorful foliage make this time one of the most ideal in the park. There is plenty of hiking and biking in the forest, and bears are out, putting in long hours to prepare for hibernation. Fall is also elk mating season so wildlife is abundant.
Leavenworth is a colorful Bavarian-style village in the Cascade Mountains in Washington, but the town is even more vibrant in the fall. This season, things may look a little different due to COVID-19, but different sometimes means better. Every day, Front Street is closed to vehicle traffic, creating an open, walking area with colorful flowers and open spaces. Shops and restaurants are open, and recreation and tours have resumed, including golf courses, zip lines, ranches and farms.
California Central Coast
Just like many places, travel to the Central Coast of California in the fall promises good weather and fewer crowds. Businesses are open for outdoor dining, and wineries are welcoming guests for outdoor tastings. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, visitors will find unique events such as the Cambria Scarecrow Festival, finding new ways to safely hold their events. The festival will operate with plenty of space for social distancing and a number of different venues from which to view these unique scarecrows.
Taos, New Mexico
Fall in Taos, New Mexico is one of the most colorful times of the year. What makes it unique is the number of scenic drives visitors can do to take in the fall colors. Visitors can travel 83 miles roundtrip on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, which loops through the mountains, valleys and the mesa. Visitors can also travel the High Road to Taos, a 105-mile stretch from Santa Fe to Taos, or take the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is known for the beautiful golden light that illuminates the rocks in the fall. Temperatures finally begin to cool in October, making autumn an ideal time to visit. Wide-open spaces and lots of campsites mean the park is a great place to social distance yet still get away for a few days.
As the leaves change in Bend, Oregon, the weather is still warm enough for a stand-up paddle or kayak ride, but cool enough to don a sweater. There are far fewer crowds in the region, and visitors will find some tasty seasonal treats such as pumpkin beer and pumpkin spice gelato.
Source: Read Full Article