5 Best Places to visit in USA in October

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October is a magical month to explore the USA, offering a perfect blend of crisp autumn air, vibrant fall foliage and exciting seasonal events. As the leaves change colors the country's diverse landscapes transform into breathtaking views making it an ideal time for scenic drives and outdoor adventures.

From the charming villages of New England to the peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains and the vibe of Asheville to the spiritual energy of Sedona, there is no shortage of spectacular destinations to visit.

1. New England

Highlights: Fall Foliage, Scenic Drives, Harvest Festivals

New England is one of the best places in the USA to experience the beauty of autumn. The region has six states : Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut (famous for its stunning fall foliage).

The vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of the changing leaves create a breathtaking landscape that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Fall Foliage

In October, New England’s forests burst into a riot of color. The fall foliage season typically peaks from late September to mid-October but the exact timing can change depending on weather conditions. Here are some of the best places to enjoy the fall colors:

  • Vermont: The Green Mountains in Vermont offer some of the most iconic fall foliage views. Stowe, with its charming village and surrounding hills is a favorite spot for leaf-peeping. The drive along Route 100 is especially scenic.
  • New Hampshire: The Kancamagus Highway, 55 kilometers road scenic byway is one of the most popular routes for experiencing the fall colors. The area around Lake Winnipesaukee also provides stunning views.

  • Maine: Acadia National Park offers a unique combination of ocean views and colorful forests. Cadillac Mountain is the highest point on the East Coast and provides panoramic views of the surrounding foliage.
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Scenic Drives

Driving through New England in October is a memorable experience. Some of the best scenic drives include:

  • Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire: This route offers wonderful views of the White Mountains and is lined with picturesque overlooks, hiking trails and waterfalls.

  • Route 100, Vermont: Running through the heart of Vermont, this road provides access to charming small towns, rolling hills and vibrant fall colors.

  • Mohawk Trail, Massachusetts: One of the oldest scenic routes in the United States, the Mohawk Trail winds through the Berkshires and offers nice views and beautiful New England villages.

  • Ocean Drive, Rhode Island: For a coastal experience, take a drive along Ocean Drive in Newport, where you can enjoy views of the Atlantic Ocean alongside historic mansions and vibrant fall foliage.

Harvest Festivals

New England’s harvest festivals celebrate the bounty of the season with local food, music, crafts and family-friendly activities. Some notable festivals include:

  • The Fryeburg Fair, Maine: Held in early October, this is one of the largest agricultural fairs in New England. It features livestock shows, a craft village, delicious fair food and a variety of entertainment options.

  • The Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival, Stowe, Vermont: This quirky event in early October features a pumpkin catapulting competition, live music and plenty of pumpkin-themed activities.

  • The Big E, West Springfield, Massachusetts: Officially known as the Eastern States Exposition, this multi-state fair runs for 17 days in late September and early October. It features exhibits from all six New England states, a parade, food vendors and various entertainment options.

  • Cranberry Harvest Celebration, Wareham, Massachusetts: Held in mid-October is a festival that offers the unique opportunity to see cranberry bogs being harvested. It also features local food, live music and family activities.


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2. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee/North Carolina

Highlights: Autumn Colors, Hiking, Wildlife Viewing

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, straddling the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, is one of the most visited national parks in the United States. Renowned for its rich biodiversity, landscapes and cultural heritage the park offers a wide range of activities and impressive scenery, especially during the fall.

Autumn Colors

In October, the Great Smoky Mountains transform into a vivid tapestry of red, orange and yellow hues. The park's diverse tree species, including sugar maples, scarlet oaks and hickories contribute to this spectacular display. Peak foliage season typically occurs from mid-October to early November, although the timing can vary on elevation and weather conditions.

  • Clingmans Dome: As the highest point in the park at 3.4 ft, Clingmans Dome provides panoramic views of the mountains and valleys, making it an ideal spot for admiring the fall colors. The observation tower at the summit offers a 360 degree view of the landscape.

  • Newfound Gap Road: This scenic drive runs through the heart of the park, crossing the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina. The road offers numerous overlooks where you can stop and take in the autumn scenery.


With over 800 miles of trails, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker’s paradise. October’s cooler temperatures and brilliant foliage make it an ideal time for exploring the park’s trails.

  • Alum Cave Trail: This popular trail, which leads to the summit of Mount LeConte, features unique geological formations, beautiful forests and nice views. The trail is moderately challenging and offers a rewarding experience with fall colors.

  • Andrews Bald: A shorter and easier hike, Andrews Bald provides spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. The trailhead is located near Clingmans Dome making it a convenient option for visitors looking to combine scenic drives with a hike.

  • Charlies Bunion: For those seeking a more challenging hike, the trail to Charlies Bunion offers rugged terrain and breathtaking views. The 8 miles round trip rewards hikers with panoramic vistas of the Smokies, especially stunning in the fall.

Wildlife Viewing

The Great Smoky Mountains are home to a diverse array of wildlife, making it a fantastic destination for wildlife enthusiasts. October is an excellent time for wildlife viewing, as many animals are more active in preparation for winter.

  • Cades Cove: This broad, verdant valley is one of the best places in the park for wildlife viewing. Early morning and late afternoon are prime times to spot white-tailed deer, black bears, wild turkeys, and other wildlife. The 11-mile loop road around the cove provides easy access to scenic spots and historical buildings.

  • Cataloochee Valley: Located in the eastern part of the park, Cataloochee Valley is less crowded than Cades Cove but equally rich in wildlife. Elk, which were reintroduced to the park in 2001, can often be seen grazing in the meadows. The valley also features historic buildings and beautiful scenery.


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3. Asheville, North Carolina

Highlights: Blue Ridge Parkway, Art Scene, Craft Breweries

Asheville, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is a vibrant city known for its  natural beauty, eclectic art scene, historic architecture and thriving craft brewery culture. October is an ideal time to visit, as the autumn foliage transforms the surrounding mountains into a wonderful display of colors.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway, often called "America's Favorite Drive," runs through Asheville and is renowned for its scenic beauty. In October, the parkway offers some of the best leaf-peeping opportunities in the country. Here are some highlights:

  • Craggy Gardens: Located about 20 miles northeast of Asheville, Craggy Gardens is famous for its impressive views and wonderful fall colors. The Craggy Pinnacle Trail is a short hike that offers panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains.

  • Mount Mitchell: The highest peak east of the Mississippi River, Mount Mitchell is accessible via a short detour from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The summit offers amazing views of the fall foliage and the Mount Mitchell State Park has several hiking trails for different skill levels.

  • Linn Cove Viaduct: This engineering marvel hugs the contours of Grandfather Mountain and provides attractive views of the autumn landscape. It’s one of the most photographed spots on the parkway.
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Art Scene

Asheville’s lively art scene is one of its defining features. The city is home to numerous galleries, studios and art events that celebrate creativity and innovation.

  • River Arts District: This area is a hub for artists with more than 200 artists working in various mediums from painting and sculpture to glassblowing and pottery. The district hosts regular events where visitors can meet artists, watch demonstrations and purchase unique artworks.

  • Downtown Asheville: The city center is filled with galleries, art installations and historic buildings. The Asheville Art Museum, located in Pack Square, showcases a diverse collection of American art from the 20th and 21st centuries.

  • LEAF Festival: Held twice a year, including in October, the LEAF Festival celebrates music, arts and culture with performances, workshops and exhibits. It’s a family-friendly event that highlights Asheville’s commitment to the arts.

Craft Breweries

Asheville has earned a reputation as a craft beer capital with more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city. The city's craft beer scene is diverse and innovative, offering something for every beer enthusiast.

  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.: Located just outside Asheville in Mills River, Sierra Nevada’s East Coast headquarters features an impressive brewery, taproom and restaurant. The facility offers tours and tastings and the outdoor Beer Garden is a great place to enjoy the fall weather.

  • New Belgium Brewing Company: Situated along the French Broad River, New Belgium’s Asheville brewery offers tours, tastings and a spacious outdoor area with beautiful river views. It’s a popular spot for both locals and visitors.

  • Wicked Weed Brewing: Known for its innovative and experimental beers, Wicked Weed has several locations in Asheville including the original Brewpub, the Funkatorium (specializing in sour ales) and a production facility. Each location offers a unique experience and a wide variety of beers to try.

Biltmore Estate

No visit to Asheville is complete without seeing the Biltmore Estate, America's largest privately-owned home. Built by George Washington Vanderbilt II, the estate is a marvel of architecture and landscaping.

  • Autumn Splendor: In October, the Biltmore Estate is adorned with fall decorations, the gardens and grounds are aglow with autumn colors. The estate offers special events and tours during this time, including harvest celebrations and wine tastings at the Biltmore Winery.

  • Biltmore Gardens: Designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the gardens are particularly beautiful in the fall. The Walled Garden, Azalea Garden and Bass Pond are must-see spots.


4. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Highlights: Cultural Festivals, Mild Weather, Scenic Beauty

Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, is a city steeped in rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Known for its Pueblo-style architecture, spirited arts scene and flavorful Southwestern cuisine, Santa Fe offers a unique blend of old-world charm and contemporary flair. October is an ideal time to visit, as the mild weather allows for comfortable exploration of the city's many attractions and outdoor activities.

Cultural Festivals

Santa Fe is renowned for its cultural festivals many of which take place in October, providing visitors with an immersive experience of the city's traditions and artistic expressions.

  • Santa Fe Independent Film Festival: This annual event, held in mid-October, showcases a diverse selection of independent films, documentaries and shorts from around the world. The festival includes screenings, panel discussions and opportunities to meet filmmakers.

  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Celebrated on the second Monday of October, this event honors the rich cultural heritage of the Native American communities in the region. Festivities include traditional dances, music, arts and storytelling in the Santa Fe Plaza.

  • Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta: Although held in Albuquerque, about an hour's drive from Santa Fe, this spectacular event in early October is a must-see. Hundreds of hot air balloons fill the sky in a colorful display with events including mass ascensions, evening balloon glows and competitions.

Mild Weather

October in Santa Fe is characterized by mild temperatures with daytime highs typically ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (18-24°C) and cooler evenings. This pleasant weather makes it an ideal time for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

  • Outdoor Adventures: The mild weather is perfect for hiking, biking and exploring the surrounding natural areas. The Dale Ball Trails offer over 22 miles of scenic trails for hikers and mountain bikers with stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. For a unique experience, the nearby Bandelier National Monument features ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs.
  • Santa Fe Farmers Market: Held every Saturday in the Railyard District the Santa Fe Farmers Market is a great place to enjoy the fall harvest. Visitors can browse fresh produce, artisanal foods and handmade crafts while enjoying live music and local performances.

Scenic Beauty

Santa Fe’s unique blend of natural and architectural beauty is especially striking in October. The city's historic buildings and surrounding landscapes provide a picturesque backdrop for visitors.

  • Pueblo-Style Architecture: Santa Fe’s distinctive adobe buildings, characterized by their rounded edges and earth-toned exteriors are a hallmark of the city’s architectural style. The historic Plaza and the Palace of the Governors are prime examples of this iconic design.

  • Canyon Road: This famous street is lined with art galleries, boutiques and cafes, set in charming adobe buildings. A stroll down Canyon Road in October allows visitors to enjoy both the art and the beautiful fall weather.

  • Aspen Vista Trail: Located in the Santa Fe National Forest, this trail offers nice views of aspen groves that turn golden in the fall. The trailhead is a short drive from downtown Santa Fe making it a convenient option for a scenic hike.

  • Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: Dedicated to the life and work of the renowned artist, this museum features a significant collection of O’Keeffe’s paintings, drawings and sculptures. The museum offers insight into her connection to the landscapes of New Mexico, which inspired much of her work.


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5. Sedona, Arizona

Highlights: Red Rock Scenery, Outdoor Activities, Spiritual Vortexes

Sedona, located in the heart of Arizona is famous for its striking red rock formations which provide a good looking backdrop for a wide range of outdoor activities and spiritual experiences. October is an ideal time to visit, as the cooler temperatures make it perfect for exploring the natural beauty and unique energy of this enchanting destination.

Red Rock Scenery

Sedona’s iconic red rock formations create a landscape that is both dramatic and mesmerizing. The wonderful colors of the rocks which range from deep red to bright orange contrast beautifully with the clear blue sky.

  • Cathedral Rock: One of Sedona’s most famous landmarks, Cathedral Rock is a must-see. The short but steep Cathedral Rock Trail offers stunning views of the surrounding red rock landscape and the valley below.

  • Bell Rock: Another iconic formation, Bell Rock is easily accessible and offers a variety of trails for different skill levels. The Bell Rock Pathway provides excellent views and is suitable for hiking and mountain biking.

  • Red Rock Scenic Byway: Also known as Highway 179, this scenic drive offers breathtaking views of Sedona’s red rock formations. There are numerous pullouts and vista points where you can stop and take photos or simply enjoy the scenery.
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Outdoor Activities

Sedona is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering a wide range of activities that cater to all levels of adventure and fitness.

  • Hiking: With over 100 hiking trails, Sedona offers something for everyone. Popular trails include the Devil’s Bridge Trail which leads to a natural sandstone arch and the West Fork Trail that follows a creek through a lush canyon.

  • Mountain Biking: Sedona’s trails are also popular with mountain bikers. The several trails provides varying degrees of difficulty, from beginner-friendly routes to challenging technical rides. The Bell Rock Pathway and the Soldier Pass Trail are favorites among bikers.

  • Jeep Tours: For a thrilling off-road experience consider taking a guided jeep tour. These tours take you deep into the rugged terrain of Sedona’s red rock country providing access to areas that are otherwise difficult to reach. Pink Jeep Tours is one of the most well-known operators in the area.

Spiritual Vortexes

Sedona is renowned for its spiritual vortexes, are believed to be centers of energy that promote healing, meditation and self-discovery. Many visitors come to Sedona specifically to experience these unique energy fields.

  • Airport Mesa Vortex: Located near the Sedona Airport, this vortex offers spectacular panoramic views of the city and surrounding red rocks. It’s a popular spot for meditation and reflection, especially at sunset.

  • Cathedral Rock Vortex: Situated near the base of Cathedral Rock is known for its strong feminine energy. It’s a great place for meditation, yoga and connecting with nature.

  • Bell Rock Vortex: Known for its balanced energy, Bell Rock is considered one of the most powerful vortexes in Sedona. Visitors often report feeling a sense of peace and rejuvenation here.

Wellness and Meditation

Sedona’s spiritual atmosphere has given rise to a thriving wellness community. The city is home to numerous spas, healing centers, and meditation retreats.

  • Sedona Wellness Retreat: Offering a range of holistic health services, including detox programs, yoga classes and wellness workshops, this retreat is a great place to relax and rejuvenate.

  • Mii amo Spa: Located at the Enchantment Resort, Mii amo is a world-class destination spa that offers a variety of treatments inspired by Native American traditions including massage, energy work and meditation.

  • Sedona Meditation Center: Providing guided meditation sessions and workshops, this center helps visitors tap into the serene energy of Sedona’s vortexes and find inner peace.


Visiting the USA in October offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural richness and festive cheer. As autumn sets in, the country transforms into a beautiful tapestry of colors making it an ideal time for exploration and adventure.

Cultural events, art scenes and local festivals highlight the diverse traditions and creativity found across the country. Whether you're savoring the flavors at a farmers market, exploring historic landmarks or partaking in local celebrations, October in the USA is filled with enriching experiences.

So, pack your bags, hit the road and let the enchanting spirit of October in the USA create memories that will last a lifetime.

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