Attention, snowbirds: Need a good reason to fly south sooner? How about ten reasons? Our list of the best fall festivals for snowbird RVers is a must-see during your southbound travels.
The 10 Best Fall Festivals for Snowbirds
Fall made a brief appearance yesterday at my campsite near Carson City, Nevada. A thin dusting of frost coated the RV rooftops, reminding me that it’s only a matter of time until it’s time to seek warmer accommodations. And when we do, we won’t be able to resist these incredible fall festivals in snowbird RVer destinations.
Folk and Americana music fans and musicians are headed to the 3rd annual Opelika Songwriters Festival. The mid-October showcases rising stars and world-renowned musicians from North America in a small, intimate setting around historic downtown Opelika music venues. The 2022 headliners include the Indigo Girls and Rickie Lee Jones. Park your rig at Lakeside RV Park and you’re just minutes from the three-day festival.
Wintering at an Arizona RV park this season? Get there early for The Arizona Fall Fest. Held during the first weekend in November, it’s the largest event in the Valley of the Sun, featuring 200 of Arizona’s locally-grown businesses. From restaurants to wineries, artisans to adventure sherpas, it’s a family- and dog-friendly event that showcases all things uniquely Arizona. Best of all, it’s free! Stay at the Royal Palm RV Resort and you’re less than ten miles from the fun.
If you’re headed to Southern California this winter, park your rig at The Springs at Borrego RV Resort & Golf Course to stay within an easy drive of the region’s biggest fall harvest celebration. The Julian Autumn Jubilee takes place in the mountains above Borrego, at the historic Fort Cross homestead. From hayrides to hoedowns, candle dipping to cider pressing, choose from a menu of family-friendly activities celebrating the apple harvest and history of the region. The fun happens between the last week of September and Halloween weekend.
This Florida fall festival is a must if you’re headed to the Gulf Coast. Sarasota’s annual Chalk Festival is the largest gathering of renowned pavement artists from around the globe who embrace asphalt and concrete as their canvas to create oversized masterpieces in chalk. This year’s colorful art party showcases the most 3D pavement paintings ever created in one location, along with a music festival, food trucks, beer gardens and hands-on art demos for everyone. It all takes place during the last weekend in October. A campsite at Royal Coachman RV Resort in Nokomis puts you less than 10 miles from the big event.
Book a stay at the high-end Coastal Georgia RV Resort in Brunswick, and you’re just an island hop away from the Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival. The first weekend in November is held on Jekyll Island State Park and brings 45,000 people together, all eager to taste and embrace that classic southern seafood dish with hefty sides of art, music, kid fun, crafts, and regional food only found on the Georgia coast.
Gulf Coast snowbird RVers don’t want to miss the Louisiana Rice Festival in the town of Crowley. Now in its 85th year, the homegrown event spotlights the regional rice industry and its hardworking farmers. Held annually in late October, you won’t want to miss the Rice & Creole Cookery Contest, fiddle and accordion expo, fun run, car show, and many other events for the whole family. Frog City RV Park in the nearby town of Duson is your best place to park and experience one of the year’s biggest Cajun Country events.
The Natchez Balloon Festival is another big Gulf Coast festival for southbound snowbirds. Going strong since 1986, it’s a mid-October weekend party with a rainbow of hot-air balloons and a showcase of Southwest Mississippi’s most outstanding musicians. Artists, food vendors, rides, and a pop-up sports bar elevate the three-day event into one of Mississippi’s best fall festivals. Everything takes place in historic downtown Natchez at the Rosalie Mansion and Gardens, not far from your home base across the Mighty Miss, River View RV Park and Resort.
Sin City welcomes the change of seasons at the Las Vegas Farm Fall Harvest Festival. Part not-for-profit animal rescue, part family farm since 1961, it’s a feel-good fundraiser that embraces the season every weekend in October. Come visit for a cow train for toddlers, an amazing maize maze, a concession stand and more. Buy heirloom pumpkins and squash, artisanal breads, cheesecakes and pies, homemade preserves, local honey, and fresh eggs from the Farm’s chickens. Best of all, if you stay at The Hitchin Post RV Park, you’re less than 30 minutes from the glitz and glam on the Strip.
Did you miss the Albuquerque Balloon Festival? That’s OK because there’s a smaller, more intimate gathering of hot air balloon enthusiasts that meets every year during the last weekend of October. Located just an hour north in the mountains above Santa Fe, the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally is an invitational event with about 35-50 balloons and crews. The three‐day event includes mass ascensions at dawn, balloon glows in the evening, a parade and a grand ball. A stay at Santa Fe’s Roadrunner RV Park is convenient for exploring both must-see New Mexico destinations.
The Lone Star State’s best culinary superstars gather during the first weekend in November at the Austin Wine and Food Festival, presented by Food & Wine Magazine. Dive into Texas cuisine created by renowned regional chefs and top-rated restaurants from Central Texas and across the country. Dozens of wine, beer and spirits exhibitors and artisans compliment an endless menu of bites from barbecue to German to TexMex and more. The luxurious Oak Forest RV Resort is less than 10 miles away from the fun at Town Lake Park.
RVing from Point A to Point B gives you endless opportunities to experience the country’s best fall festivals, great food, and fascinating history along the way. Add these events to your snowbird itinerary for a fond farewell to summer and all the promise of a fun new season.