It begins the first day that summer’s oppressive heat and humidity breaks — thoughts of fall and all the places to visit during the most colorful season of the year. Whether it’s the deserts of the Southwest or the rolling hills of the Northeast, the scenery of North America is at its best during the post-summer bliss we call autumn.
For outdoor enthusiasts, weekend travelers and full-time RV explorers, it is also the time of year when the roads are less crowded, campground reservations are easier to come by and waiting lines at popular destinations are a breeze compared to the summertime rush.
With a focus on rural destinations, we’ve assembled a list of the four great destinations for your upcoming fall adventures.
There’s nothing more refreshing than vivid leaves, crashing waves, cool temperatures and a warm cup of creamy lobster bisque. For the quintessential oceanic fall excursion, coastal Maine is packed with beautiful country drives, dramatic bridges, quaint towns with bustling harbors and exceptional seafood. Great drive: Follow I-295/US-1 northeast of Portland for a stunning view of Casco Bay and Georgetown Island on your way to Rockland and Bar Harbor.
Lookout Mountain — Chattanooga, Tennessee
Just a few minutes southwest of downtown Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain consistently ranks as one of the most spectacular drives (and views) in the Appalachian Mountains. Attractions include Ruby Falls, Rock City and the Incline Railway, which is a great way to experience the best views without driving your own rig on the steep roads. Great drive: US-27 leads south of Chattanooga to the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
A coastal experience in the upper Midwest, Bayfield is a picturesque port town on the western shore of Lake Superior. While in town, stop in a fish market for some fresh trout, buy local berries from a stand, watch the boats inside a quaint coffee shop or browse the downtown shops and art galleries. There are many local wineries and apple orchards, and the annual Applefest (October 5-7) is one of the best autumn festivals anywhere. Great drive: Take Highway 13 northwest to Old County Highway K Road to Little Sand Bay Road for a beautiful Great Lake beach at Wisconsin’s northernmost point.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
A stunning plain that runs north-to-south from Portland south to Eugene, Oregon’s Willamette Valley is known for its countless vineyards — more than 200 winemakers produce pinot gris, Riesling and pinot noir. The area is also known for its local produce, many farmer’s markets and regionally focused restaurants. Key attractions include Green Peter Lake, the Harris and Hayden covered bridges and the art galleries of Salem. Great drive: Take Highway 22 east of Salem through Santiam State Forest, past Mount Jefferson to US-20 that leads into Bend — a great destination on the edge of the Deschutes National Forest.
We hope you’ll take the time to engulf yourself in the brilliant colors of the fall foliage either at one of these top destinations or a top destination of your own. No matter your fall campground destination, be sure to take advantage of your member-exclusive 10% discount available at all Good Sam RV Parks. This information is also available in a more road-friendly form! The Good Sam Trailer Life Directory features detailed information for nearly 2,000 Good Sam RV Parks and more than 11,700 campgrounds across the continent.