Best Fall Travel Spots – Leaf Peeping & Beyond

Perhaps more than any other season, autumn feels deeply personal. It’s a time for reflection between the harsher realities of summer and winter—a break in the middle of extremes. As the leaves brighten and a chill floats in on the breeze, new travel opportunities open up, providing us with newer avenues of exploration. Fall is the perfect time for renewing your spirit and curiosity!

This fall especially, millions of travelers will be looking to shake off the summer heat in favor of a damp hike or favorite, festive beverage. And while plenty of opportunities exist for leaf peeping among forested hills, not all fall travel spots have to abide by that standard. The ideal fall travel destination can be whatever you want it to be.

If you’re looking to enjoy a little bit of what fall has to offer this year, check out these top travel destinations from South Bend International Airport!

Boston, MA

If you’re looking for one destination that has it all this fall, Boston may be the way to go. Rich with historical sites, gorgeous panoramic views of the harbor and Atlantic ocean, and too many world-class restaurants, bars, and sporting venues to see in a single trip, Boston has enough to keep you and your family entertained for a dozen falls to come.

Inspire the curiosity of your kids with tales of the Boston tea party, iconic sites along the city’s Freedom Trail, or the nearby New England Aquarium. Search the center of town for your favorite fall beverage—from pumpkin spice lattes to hot chocolate, espressos to (why not?) tea! And don’t forget the numerous public parks, waterside vistas, and nearby woodlands for those vital, autumn views! If you head out soon, you may even catch the last game of the MLB season at Fenway Park!

Boston is a world-class city all year round, but in the fall especially, it’s worth a visit or two.

Great Smoky Mountains, TN

For most of us, fall means orange, red, and yellow leaves. Even the most autumn-resistant among us have a tendency of dropping their jaws at the sight of a distant hillside covered in sunlight and vibrant foliage. Few places in America (few places, in fact, on planet Earth) command such breathtaking fall views as the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. 

In Gatlinburg, TN, especially, fall is a celebration in its own right. From late-season rafting to cool and colorful hikes along a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains themselves, Gatlinburg offers family fun, abundant history, and natural opportunities perfectly fit for the fall season. 

The colors on Smoky Mountain hillsides will have you reaching for your camera every 10 steps you take. And the food, breweries, and nightlife all give adults a little something to do once the sun goes down and that refreshing autumn breeze comes out to play.

Charleston, SC 

We tend to think of higher elevations and forested hillsides throughout the fall months, but we sometimes forget that autumn happens everywhere in this hemisphere. Enjoying the season is more about making seasonal memories rather than making the same seasonal memories as everybody else.

For a new kind of fall getaway, trade the highlands for the low country in Charleston, SC. Low country cooking is even cozier, more sumptuous, and more special in the fall months, as are the gorgeous historical and natural attractions abundant in this part of the country. Hit any one of the dozens of aquariums, parks, and historical sites. Eat out for every meal at Charleston’s unduplicatable restaurants. If nothing else, enjoy some of the best golfing and outdoor activities this side of the Mississippi! 

Who said fall can’t mean seafood, golf, and walks along the beach? 

Napa Valley, CA

Polite people may disagree, but there are fewer combinations more revelatory and necessary as the right bottle of wine in the right season. For both fall views and “in vino, veritas,” vibes, there’s the world-famous Napa Valley

You haven’t felt a fall breeze until you’ve experienced ocean-spray blowing in over the vineyards. Combine the gorgeous weather with the fall-colored, rolling cliffs and hills, and you’ve got the makings of a romantic autumn getaway. Plan your trip to coincide with any of the 15 music festivals happening later this year or arrange a sightseeing tour for two in a hot air balloon—whatever speaks to you can be found in Napa Valley! 

Romance, light rain, and too many popped corks to count can get the fire burning under any autumn relationship, new or old. 

Leaves & Lots More

Whether you’re an autumn traditionalist or a thrill seeker prowling for new travel destinations, there’s no denying that fall is the perfect time to get out and make a memory. At South Bend International Airport, we’re dedicated to helping you enjoy the world from fall to winter, winter to spring, and every season beyond. 

As we get out to see the world again this fall, it’s important to remain mindful of local health and safety guidelines both at your destination and preferred airport. The most important aspect of every trip is ensuring that we return safe and sound. Happy trails!

South Bend International Airport: your gateway to the world! 

Wherever you’re going this fall, let South Bend Airport get you there in style, comfort, and safety. We’re only a plane ticket away from all the leaf peeping, pumpkin spice, and fall memories on offer in our great big nation! Don’t forget these basic luggage tips before you pack, and if you’re traveling internationally this fall, make sure that your passport’s in order. For more information, or to book your trip today, visit

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