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Looking for an affordable vacation destination this fall? These vacations are not only guaranteed to offer lots of fun and spectacular scenery, but they won’t break the bank either.
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Croatia is one of Europe’s more affordable destinations, and it becomes even more budget friendly in the fall. Experience the delights of the capital City, Zagreb – as many tourist skip it, hotel rates can be particularly cheap. From here, you’ll be less than a two-hour’s drive from Plitvice Lakes National Park, one of the most stunning natural landmarks in all of Eastern Europe, if not the entire continent. This maze of lakes and waterfalls, lush greenery and clear azure waters is highlighted by golden fall foliage in autumn, making it even more surreal. The weather is often ideal this time of year too, and the sea is usually still warm enough for swimming.
If you’re looking for something closer to home, beautiful Taos, New Mexico offers a wide variety of outdoor adventures among a backdrop of multi-colored aspens. Take a hike to view the beautiful tress that range from luminous yellows to dark orange along with golden and red cottonwoods. Looking up you may spot the occasional bald eagle soaring through the brilliant blue skies, and even black bear and elk in the forests. The city offers a host of art galleries to browse, and the free Taos Arts Festival which features performances, projection art and installations amid the historic adobe buildings.
This beautiful Canadian Maritime province is a great bargain, thanks to the favorable exchange rates, and cheaper accommodation this time of year makes it even more budget-friendly in the fall. New Brunswick hosts some great festivals this time of year, including Indulge, a food and wine festival in St. Andrews. Enjoy scenic fall drives, like the Cabot Trail, highlighted with brilliant foliage, as well as some of the world’s highest tides, fabulous farmer markets and paddling excursions down the Miramichi River.
Autumn is a fantastic time to enjoy some of England’s most stunning landscapes, with the flurry of colorful leaves and gorgeous crisp mornings highlighted by countless glistening lakes. The forests are ablaze with brilliant hues while the hills are strikingly lush and green. It’s much less crowded than summer, and more affordable too, making it easier on the pocketbook to visit places like Beatrix Potter’s house and stay in a lovely country inn. You’ll discover local farm shops selling autumn treats, and a host of pubs to warm up in if the weather gets too chilly.
Not only is fall in the The Catskills legendary for vibrant foliage and peaceful drives that wind through picturesque mountain towns and river valleys, but it’s budget friendly too. Here you can enjoy a host of special harvest events, festivals and the Hunter Mountain Oktoberfest. Held over four weekends through mid-October, it’s free and hosts authentic German and German-American entertainment, live music and fabulous eats, all surrounded by lush fall foliage. There are also multiple vendors, free crafts for the kids, and much more.
Another very affordable Eastern European destination, there are few better spots than Romania for taking advantage of autumn scenery, all that is Halloween, and incredibly low rates on hotels and meals. As you head into the Carpathian Mountains, you’ll enjoy jaw-dropping vistas of colorful foliage along with some rather spooky sites like Dracula’s Castle. The connection to the fictional vampire is slim, but Romania is where myths such as vampires and werewolves first took hold. Transylvania has long been a place steeped in legend, stunning imagery of medieval castles and misty moonlit nights. Take the 56-mile drive through the Fagaras Mountains, the highest mountains of the Southern Carpathians with over 20 peaks rising more than 8,000 feet, famous for its hairpin curves and especially jaw-dropping views.
If you want a taste of Bavaria but traveling overseas isn’t in the cards, Leavenworth is one of the most authentic Bavarian-style towns, sitting along the eastern slopes of the Washington Cascades. One of the best destinations for autumn foliage in the west, it also hosts some outstanding free fall festivals along with a number of affordable accommodation options. Throughout the month of October, Leavenworth hosts its world-famous Oktoberfest, with lots of outstanding brews, German cuisine, live music and a wide range of family-friendly activities too.
Gatlinburg offers small town charms in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, renowned for its brilliant fall colors, which peak from mid-October to early November, and hundreds of miles of hiking trails for enjoying them from. It’s also an inexpensive destination with a host of cheap and even free attractions. Great Smoky Mountains National Park sits at its doorstep, not only offering hiking, but excellent fishing, mountain biking and more. Accommodations range from log cabins in the park to traditional low-cost hotel rooms in town, as well as a number of campgrounds that include hot showers.
For a budget-friendly fall vacation that includes the chance to explore history and haunts, head to Gettysburg. Here, 51,000 union and Confederate soldiers died during the three-day battle in 1863, the bloodiest conflict of the Civil War. As such, Gettysburg is considered one of America’s most haunted places, particularly on the battlefield. Take the Ghosts of Gettysburg Tour where history comes alive through the spirits of America’s past while strolling the area in candlelight. You might just spot a soldier moving in formation across the fields where they were slain. Visitors here can also enjoy the many apple orchards, dozens of farmers markets and an increasingly popular hard cider scene.
While Newport may best be known for its Gilded “summer cottages,” built by some of America’s wealthiest families, it’s also a great place to visit in the autumn for an affordable holiday that includes fall festivals that feature fresh seafood and gourmet delights, wine, and more. Visitors can also enjoy hayrides, apple picking and the free Cliff Walk, which spans for 3.5 miles and boasts the grand, century-old mansions along the coast.