The best fall day trip in every state

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Don't let the fall season pass you by without squeezing in some travel. Before it gets too cold to function, you want to spend as much time outdoors enjoying the crisp fall air as you can. Activities such as hiking, picnicking and road tripping peak in the fall, when the oppressive heat that makes some destinations impossible to visit in summer has finally gone away. It doesn't hurt that the landscape completely transforms during the fall season, with gorgeous fall foliage in full bloom. You may not have an entire weekend at your disposal for a real weekend getaway or the opportunity for an overnight, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of everything fall has to offer. Whether it's with the family, by yourself or with your romantic partner, head out on the best fall day trip in your state.

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Alabama: Dismals Canyon

Dismals Canyon, located in northwest Alabama, is as picturesque as it is engaging. The 85-acre nature conservatory features a diverse landscape of craggy rocks, green grottos, flowing waterfalls and colorful trails. Visitors can also take a guided tour to marvel at caverns of bioluminescent creatures called dismalites, also known as glowworms. The creatures are a rare find, only native to a couple of other habitats around the world. If you're entranced enough to want to stay the night, there are cabins and campsites available for rent.

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Alaska: Chena Hot Springs

Octobers in Alaska can get pretty chilly, but don't let the weather prevent you from enjoying the fall season: Warm up by soaking in the Chena Hot Springs. Most of Alaska's tourists will have left by this point in the year, so it's the perfect time to get out and enjoy the region without dealing with crowds. The Chena Hot Springs Resort offers day trip packages year-round that include a scenic 60-mile ride to natural hot springs, where you can sit and soak for hours in the therapeutic waters. While you're there, you have the opportunity to visit the Aurora Ice Museum as well, which is constructed of over 1,000 tons of ice and snow. There, you can sip some of your favorite cocktails at the ice bar between perusing the aisles of ice sculptures.

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Arizona: Verde Canyon Railroad's Ales on Rails

If you're a fan of craft beer or bratwurst, this autumn trip is a must. Every day from Sept. 17 through October, Verde Canyon Railroad offers Ales on Rails - a daylong, Oktoberfest-themed excursion on foliage-lined train tracks. Arizona's best craft beer is served along with pretzels, strudel, potato salad, bratwursts and wieners. Eat and drink to your heart's content while watching the season's prettiest views rush past, either in a comfortable seat indoors or in the open-air viewing car.

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Arkansas: Peebles Farm

Peebles Farm is an attraction near Augusta, Arkansas, that has managed to pack a vast amount of fall activities into one farm visit. In addition to a truly epic 16-acre corn maze, the farm features a 60-acre pumpkin patch, a 4-acre cotton patch, a barnyard full of animals, hayrides, a horse and wagon and a zip line. On the farm, visitors can fire a corn cannon at targets, participate in rubber duck races to compete for prizes and snack on concessions such as hot dogs, frito chili pies, nachos and hamburgers.

Courtesy of Peebles Farm Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

California: Temecula

The town of Temecula is located in California wine country, and fall is one of the best times to visit. The town boasts over 30 wineries, and throughout September and October, there are events like grape stomps, wine tastings, live music and outdoor fairs. Sample the grapes, sip on some wine and stroll through the quaint streets of Old Town Temecula in the crisp autumn air. If you have the time, you should take a hot air balloon ride over the rolling hills to view the ripe grapes and cascading leaves from the skies. It's a view you won't forget.

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Colorado: Kenosha Pass

Colorado is a state known for its scenery, and there's no wrong time to get out into nature and experience the sights. Kenosha Pass is a leisurely hike you can easily complete in a day, and fall is the best time to do it. The Colorado Trail is 500 miles long, but Kenosha Pass is one of its most frequented segments. The trail attracts leaf peepers from far and wide who travel to see the gorgeous yellows and oranges drifting through the air and covering the hilly forest ground between light-colored aspen tree bark.

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Connecticut: Beardsley's Cider Mill & Orchard

The landscape of the northeast United States completely transforms come autumn, and one of the most quintessential activities of the season is to go apple picking. Beardsley's Cider Mill & Orchard in Shelton, Connecticut, is a two-in-one stop, making it one of the best apple orchards in the U.S. In addition to apple and peach picking, the location makes hard cider on-site. They make the cider from apples picked fresh from the orchard - and you'll be able to taste the difference. Pick up a starter kit to make hard cider at home with all the fresh apples you picked. And don't leave before you try a freshly made apple cider doughnut - it's a regional dessert you need to try.

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Delaware: Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth is Delaware's most visited city, and it's easy to see why. Rehoboth Beach is as gorgeous in the fall as it is during summer. Stroll down the mile-long boardwalk in the cool autumn air while stopping in eclectic shops and quaint restaurants with a view. During September and October, the boardwalk serves as a venue for food and music festivals, as well as more season-specific events such as the Sea Witch Festival and Costume Parade (which is as wild as it sounds). There's something going on almost every weekend, so you really can't go wrong. While you're there, be sure to make a pit stop at Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats - the famous brewpub has Dogfish's seasonal Punkin Ale on tap throughout the season.

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Florida: Siesta Key

Sure, you could go to Orlando for Universal's Halloween Horror Nights or Disney's trick-or-treating, but there's so much more to do in Florida than just visit theme parks. The Florida Keys are practically swarming with tourists in the summer, but by late September, the crowds have thinned out. Outsmart the tourists by visiting Siesta Key in the fall. The temperatures will hover in the mid-70s and the sun will still shine all day long. Spend all day lounging under the sun in the sleepy beach town and treat yourself to a slice of the best key lime pie you'll ever have.

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Georgia: Helen

Germany is a far way to travel for Oktoberfest. If you can't get all the way there, Helen, Georgia, is the next best thing. German traditions present in Helen year-round, but things really hit a high point in October. The town comes alive with food, beer, music and dancing as people come from all over the country to celebrate. It's not uncommon to see visitors and locals dressed in Bavarian garb, and the calendar is filled with events such as live music and parades.

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Hawaii: Mauna Kea

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano that's the highest point of elevation in Hawaii. In addition to the views of the surrounding beaches and landscape, the peak of Mauna Kea offers astounding views of outer space. Visitors of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve can stargaze from the 33,000-foot summit at what's known as one of the best sites for astronomical observation in the world. Tours are held at one or more of the observatories every night, and telescopes are available for public viewing.

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Idaho: Craters of the Moon

To experience an otherworldly landscape like no other, Idaho residents need not travel far from home. In central Idaho just northeast of Twin Falls is Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve. This natural park features 600 square miles of basalt lava fields dotted with craters and magma-formed plateaus. Though it's been over 200 years since the last eruption took place on the volcanic land, geologists predict that more magma will erupt from the ground in the future, this time spewing more than one cubic mile of lava. During the fall, the National Park Service hosts tours and workshops for enchanted visitors.

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Illinois: Richardson Adventure Farm

Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois, is a fun fall activity no one should miss. Open only during autumn, the venue is jam-packed with over 30 family-friendly activities. Some of these include your typical fall-themed fun: hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches... But then the fun goes above and beyond with rarer attractions such as ziplines, "zorbing" (rolling around inside a large, clear plastic ball), bungee bouncing and plunging down a 100-foot slide. Animal-lovers can cheer on pig races, watch the chicken show and visit one of multiple petting zoos, while others play paintball and ride go-karts.

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Indiana: South Bend

South Bend, Indiana, is fun to visit any time of year, but especially in the fall, when there's no shortage of things to do. Stroll through the South Bend Farmers Market, one of the largest in the state, and pick up some of the season's best local produce. Get up close and personal to stunning fall foliage by vaulting and climbing your way through the trees at the Rum Village Aerial Adventure Park. South Bend is home to Notre Dame University, so if you're lucky, you'll get to tailgate a game with the Fighting Irish. And if you can squeeze it in, take a tour of South Bend Chocolate Company to end the day with a treat the whole family will enjoy. The tour takes you through both the factory and the museum, ensuring you're well fed with plenty of chocolate samples along the way.

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Iowa: Villisca Ax Murder House

"Children of the Corn" may have taken place in Nebraska, but did you know the 1984 film was mostly filmed in Iowa? That's not the only spooky legacy you'll find hidden in Iowa's fields and towns. In Villisca, Iowa, stands the Villisca Ax Murder House - and it's as creepy as it sounds. In 1912, six members of the Moore family and two of their guests were bludgeoned to death with an ax here. The residence is said to be haunted as well with former tenants reporting eerie sights of shoes filled with blood and a shadowy figure looming over the bed with an ax. During the daytime, the house offers group and individual tours, and overnight guests are invited to stay and ghost hunt. This day trip isn't for the faint of heart, but for those eager to visit America's most haunted places, it's a real thrill.

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Kansas: Prairiefire

Prairiefire, located in Overland Park, Kansas, is a massive entertainment complex and shopping center. There's enough to do that you could fill your entire day without leaving. Visitors can visit restaurants, bars, a cinema and a bowling alley. Additionally, curious travelers can visit the many exhibits at the Museum at Prairiefire, including a virtual reality experience of Stonehenge, massive dinosaur skeletons, an exhibit of ancient sea creatures and more. The Wetlands at Prairiefire features habitats on display of Kansas's native wildlife.

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Kentucky: Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park truly is mammoth - it features the world's longest known cave system. Its interior is filled with craggy rock faces and bold stalactites throughout a complex maze of tiny walkways and cavernous chambers. Cave tours of the over 250-mile labyrinth range in length from 30 minutes to around 6 hours. During fall, the park offers activities above-ground too, including canoeing down the Green River and hiking through one of the best American parks for viewing fall foliage.

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Louisiana: French Market

The French Market, located in the French Quarter of New Orleans, is the oldest open-air market in the United States, and any trip to the Crescent City should involve spending a few hours here. It was originally founded as a Native American trading post prior to European colonization, but it now functions as a flea market and farmer's market neighboring New Orleans' other popular hot spots, such as Café du Monde, one of the famous restaurants worth waiting in line for. Throughout the six blocks of shopping venues, visitors can find seafood, crafts, clothing, jewelry, wine, freshly baked desserts and so much more. Peruse the French Market's events calendar to see if you can catch some live music during your trip.

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Maine: Maine Antique Trail

Fall foliage in Maine is truly breathtaking, so no matter where you drive for your day trip, you can expect great views. But for a relaxed, cultured day out in Maine, you should take a drive down the Maine Antique Trail. The trail consists of 21 participating antique shops, though you'll likely pass by more on your way down the recommended path. Tucked away in old houses and barns, the antique shops have unique small town charm. You're bound to find a few hidden gems and eclectic items to take home with you when your day is done.

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Maryland: Maryland Renaissance Festival

Every year during the fall, Crownsville, Maryland, puts on one of the largest Renaissance Festivals in the country. Take a trip back in time and spend the day outdoors in the crisp autumn air at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in the come-alive village of Revel Grove. A unique story line plays out every year rife with royal court celebrations and drama. Over 200 entertainers roam the cobblestone streets showcasing skills ranging from pickpocketing to medieval dance. Old English tunes waft through the streets along with the smells of irresistible fair food, including funnel cakes, crepes, corn dogs and turkey legs.

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Massachusetts: Salem

During any other time of year, Salem, Massachusetts is just another underrated small town. But during fall, the winding streets and quaint shoreline completely transform into a spooky, Halloween-themed wonderland. Salem is where the infamous witch trials took place, and the town takes its spellbound history very seriously. Performers line the streets, vendors sell spooky artifacts and kitschy souvenirs and residents go all out decorating their lawns and houses for the holiday. Some visitors come dressed in costume, and you're likely to see a number of families (and pets) in Halloween garb during your stay. While you're there, be sure to stop by Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie, which claims to be America's oldest candy company. And take a trip to the harbor, where you can step inside a reconstruction of an 18th-century sailing vessel called Friendship.

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Michigan: Traverse City

Traverse City, Michigan, is an ideal fall destination for any type of traveler. Those who love the outdoors can hike through foliage-lined trails to a picture-perfect end at Cathead Bay's hidden beach. Tour a few of the over two dozen wineries featuring varietals like riesling, pinot grigio, chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet franc. Take the family to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum or tour a shipwreck exhibition. Just a short way away are the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and on your way home be sure to drive down M-22, considered one of the most scenic drives in the country.

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Minnesota: Taylors Falls Boat Tour

Wild Mountain & Taylors Falls Recreation, located in Taylors Falls, Minnesota is a recreational center that offers everything from skiing to canoeing, depending on the season. But during fall, you won't want to miss embarking on a scenic boat ride through the St. Croix River Valley. The tours are either 45 or 80 minutes and allow tourists to witness a rainbow of leaves and incredible natural rock faces from the still waters below. Lunch and dinner cruises are also offered for those who wish to dine on board; these specialty excursions also feature live entertainment.

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Mississippi: The Natchez Trace Parkway

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile stretch of road with more sights to see than hardly any other highway but Route 66. "The Trace" roughly follows an old forest trail originally paved by Native Americans and used as a trading route by European and American explorers. Along the way, you'll find attractions such as an Indian village site, a Cypress swamp, horseback riding and the Old Country Store, which sells some of America's best fried chicken. And make sure to step out of your car and into nature to walk through at least part of the surrounding woods during this colorful season. There are hiking and bike paths at every turn.

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Missouri: Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins

Located inside Ha Ha Tonka State Park, the Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins looks like a scene straight out of a history book. The castle ruins located in the middle of Missouri are actually the decrepit remains of a mansion belonging to Robert Snyder, a wealthy man who greatly admired European architecture. He began construction on his dream home in 1905, but died tragically in a car crash just one year later. The building was never completed, and the remnants have been left to rot for over a century, during which time it has suffered weather damage and a destructive fire. The site has now been absorbed by the state park and it's government-owned, meaning it is open for visitors to see and walk through year-round.

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Montana: Philipsburg

Philipsburg is one of America's most underrated small towns for a quick getaway. The charming locale was a 19th-century mining town, and the area is still rich with gem and mineral deposits as well as pristine lakes and hikable mountains. Sapphire and silver mining are still popular attractions, as well. Walk down the nostalgic-feeling streets lined with century-old buildings and stop in quaint jewelry stores. Make sure to try out the local brewery and peruse the many antique shops in town.

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Nebraska: Carhenge

Take a drive down Highway 87 to soak up as many views of foliage as possible before the season comes to an end. And on your way, make a pit stop at Carhenge, a roadside attraction you really need to see to believe. Carhenge, as the name might imply, is a replica of Stonehenge made entirely out of Cadillacs. The flashy cars are nose-deep in the ground and painted gray. One of the cars is open for those who visit to leave an autograph, so you can make your mark on this attraction before you leave.

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Nevada: Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the U.S., and it's especially gorgeous in the fall. Visitors can go swimming, fishing or boating on the water and traverse woodlands full of exquisite foliage on a lakeside hike. The still, blue water is worth seeing at least once in your lifetime, and since the lake is surrounded by restaurants, golf courses, shops and casinos, it makes for a fun-filled trip the whole family will enjoy.

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New Hampshire: Hanover

Hanover, New Hampshire, is best known for being home to Dartmouth College, but there's more to do there than just tour the school. Hanover is filled with culture and a gorgeous, calm fall aesthetic. Take a stroll through downtown and stop in the cute shops lining the main roads, including artisan stores and bookstores. Try some of the great food the town has to offer and tour one of the local museums. The Hood Museum of Art is filled with cultural exhibits and has numerous talks and workshops on its event calendar. Finish the day by attending a show, whether it be a concert, dance performance or play, at Hopkins Center For The Arts.

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New Jersey: Great Pumpkin Train

New Jersey's Great Pumpkin Train is the perfect fall-themed excursion to ring in the season on a fair-weather day. Throughout the month of October, the train rides through crisp fall air on tracks lined with foliage, all of which can be seen from the interior of the wide-windowed train cars. The train makes a stop at a nearby pumpkin patch, where every child on board is allowed to pick their own pumpkin. For an extra small fee, passengers can opt to wander through a corn maze and experience the Susquehanna Mine, where visitors can pan for gemstones that they then get to take home. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to eat amidst the trees before the train takes everyone back 90 minutes later.

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New Mexico: Taos

Taos, New Mexico, is one of the prettiest mountain towns in America, and autumn only enhances its beauty. Column-lined streets littered with sand create a unique desert small town aesthetic, and the colorful roads are truly a sight like no other. The town may be small, but it has a wealth of culture and activities. Since the town has often been an inspiration to artists, it hosts numerous art fairs throughout the year. You can also visit the Taos Art Museum and dozens of art galleries. Before you leave, be sure to stop by the Taos Pueblo, a 1,000-year-old community about a mile outside Taos. The Native American village is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the country and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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New York: Innisfree Garden

Avoid the bustle of New York City, and instead take a trip upstate to Millbrook. Here, you'll find Innisfree Garden, a nonprofit and public 150-acre garden world-recognized for its beauty. Work on creating the garden began in the 1920s and took over 50 years to complete. The garden creates a peaceful and artistic environment composed of rock, water, wood and sky that you won't mind wandering through for hours, especially while the weather and air is cool and clear.

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North Carolina: Black Mountain

North Carolina has no shortage of mountain towns and forests, but if you haven't visited Black Mountain, you should definitely add it to your travel bucket list. Just 20 minutes outside of Asheville, Black Mountain has all the art, culture and quaintness you could ever want. The town is filled with craft stores, art galleries, gift shops and more and is home to a bustling restaurant scene with outdoor seating and quality views. Visitors should also stop by one of the local bakeries or grab a drink or two at one of the town's four breweries. Since Lake Eden and Lake Tomahawk are located in Black Mountain, various water-based recreational activities are available as well.

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North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Near the town of Medora is Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a 70,446-acre expanse of land filled with a variety of landscapes. Considered part of the rugged Badlands of North Dakota, the land in the park is a breathtaking blend of color and altitude. Craggy rocks are juxtaposed against plateaus of thick trees which, during fall, turn into a tapestry of warm colors. If you're lucky, you'll catch sight of the park's thriving population of wildlife, including animals such as bison, deer, antelope, prairie dogs and eagles. Stop by the Visitors Center to see a collection of artifacts and exhibits about Theodore Roosevelt's life.

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Ohio: Circleville Pumpkin Show

For a spectacle you won't forget, head to Circleville, Ohio, for the annual Pumpkin Show. Always starting on the third Wednesday of October, the show lasts through the weekend and people travel from far and wide to attend. Participants haul in their most gigantic pumpkins in the hopes of earning first prize at the show. The four days of fall foods, drinks and festivities kick off with Tuesday's preview night of concessions and rides (and gigantic pumpkin viewing), followed by an elaborate opening ceremony on Wednesday morning. In addition to the pumpkin competition, the Pumpkin Show hosts a beauty pageant, a pie auction, parades, a talent show and multiple concerts and performances.

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Oklahoma: Beavers Bend State Park

If you love nature, you'll love a trip to Broken Bow. The small city is home to Beavers Bend State Park, which is gorgeous year-round but especially in the fall, when the leaves turn and the air has a slight chill. Visitors can go fishing on Lower Mountain Fork River, boating on Broken Bow Lake or hiking on the David Boren Hiking Trail. You may also want to rent a canoe to float down the river or go horseback riding on one of the park's many trails. Make sure to stay long enough to see the sunset descend over the lake. Seeing a sunset that beautiful is one of the travel experiences everyone should have at least once in their lifetime.

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Oregon: St. Helens

St. Helens, Oregon, was the filming location for the iconic Disney movie "Halloweentown," and every year the city relives this legacy. You'll feel like you've stepped directly inside the movie itself - the only thing missing is Debbie Reynolds. Get spooky this fall with a trip featuring the film's giant pumpkins, haunted mansion and costumed residents. You can participate in the pumpkin lighting ceremony, the Tiny Parade of Pumpkins, haunted tractor rides and pumpkin carving.

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Pennsylvania: Pumpkinland Festival

Every year in Delaware Valley, residents get psyched for the annual Pumpkinland Festival, a two-month-long autumn extravaganza. Hundreds of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes are on display, and guests are welcome to pick apples, take a hayride, see the jack-o'-lantern exhibit, try their luck at a corn maze and munch on apple cider doughnuts and other seasonal treats. The festival lasts from mid-September to mid-November. Don't miss October's annual Costume Parade!

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Rhode Island: Jack-o-lantern Spectacular

Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island, is fun to visit any time of year, but in October it really comes alive. The zoo hosts an annual Jack-o-lantern Spectacular in which the paths of the zoo are lined with a gallery of over 5,000 artfully carved pumpkins. The jack-o'-lanterns and a carefully orchestrated eerie backdrop of lighting turn the normally bright and cheerful aisles between exhibits into a spooky, Halloween-themed wonderland. Spend the day looking at animals and stay into the night for an added thrill - during the Spectacular, the zoo remains open till midnight every evening.

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South Carolina: Caesars Head State Park

Caesars Head State Park is located in upstate South Carolina, and it's one of the state's prettiest attractions. Here, you'll find one of the most photogenic spots in the country, a 3,266-foot granite gneiss outcropping with a view of Table Rock that cannot be beat. The view is especially dazzling in the fall, when the surrounding forest comes alive with deep reds and bright yellows from the leaves. Visitors can go hiking through the many paths, wherein you're likely to stumble upon waterfalls and wildlife.

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South Dakota: Custer State Park

Located in the Black Hills, the 71,000 acres of Custer State Park are filled with canyons, hills, lakes and granite mountain peaks. Swim in one of the azure lakes or go hiking through hues of dark orange and green. Wildlife is everywhere in the massive park, and you may even spot a bison or two during your stay.

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Tennessee: Chattanooga

Chattanooga is one of the American cities everyone should have on their travel bucket list. It has history, a great food scene, views and a boatload of activities to try. Fall's mild temperatures create the perfect environment to enjoy spending time outdoors in this bustling city. The city hosts outdoor concerts and festivals all season long and has a number of recreational activities to partake in during the day. Bike or walk down Chattanooga's beautiful 13-mile Riverwalk along the Tennessee River or spend a day in one of the city's many parks. During fall, visitors can also attend Oktoberfest celebrations, visit the Chattanooga Market before it closes in November and enjoy all the craft beer and great food the city has to offer.

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Texas: San Antonio

If you're looking to attend exciting (free) festivals and explore history, San Antonio, Texas, should be your fall destination. Learn about culture, history and the city's Spanish and Native American heritages at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Don't miss the city's annual Día de los Muertos celebration - there are over 20 events for all ages planned to celebrate the cherished holiday. And, of course, don't miss the Alamo and the famous Riverwalk.

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Utah: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

Half a mile north of the town of Escalante, Utah's Escalante Petrified Forest State Park is filled with natural features, such as lava-formed rocks and petrified wooden logs. Even more enticing is that the park is said to be haunted - the perfect eerie backdrop for Halloween season. Those who have illegally stolen petrified rock samples have sent letters describing the curses they've been inflicted with since. The waterways of the park are popular boating, canoeing and fishing areas, and the park includes a fully developed campground complete with RV sites and a group area where visitors can picnic and enjoy the sunshine. The Visitor Center has a collection of plant and marine fossils, petrified wood and fossilized dinosaur bones. Go ahead and visit - just don't steal any rocks.

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Vermont: Long Trail

It's well known that Vermont has some of the most gorgeous fall foliage in the country, and what better way to view it than by getting up close and personal? The Long Trail is the country's oldest long-distance hiking trail, spanning the length of the state and measuring over 270 miles. Hiking the whole thing takes at least a month, but the Long Trail's website has a list of suggested day hikes to try instead if you don't have a month to spare. The fall season is good for more than the changing trees - in Vermont, the cooler weather means there will likely be no mosquitos and other summertime pests.

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Virginia: Skyline Drive

Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Skyline Drive is definitely a road you need to drive down in your lifetime, as it's one of the best places to see stunning fall foliage outside New England. Overlooks are scattered along the drive so you can get out and snap the perfect photo, and you'll be so mesmerized by your surroundings you won't want to get back in your car and leave. Skyline Drive is 105 miles long and located inside of Shenandoah National Park. Pack a picnic and spend the day among the rainbow of leaves and chatter of nature.

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Washington: Whidbey Island

Whidbey Island is located just north of Seattle in Puget Sound. Just a short ferry ride from the mainland, it's the perfect fall escape. There are art stores and galleries glore as well as some fantastic seafood. Additionally, you can take in the beautiful sights from the water on the ferry or by immersing yourself in the outdoors on the island. Visit Double Bluff Beach, one of the best beaches in the world. It's dog-friendly, clean and provides fantastic views of Admiralty Inlet, the busy shipping lanes and the Olympic Mountains.

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West Virginia: Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad

During fall, the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad offers one of the most scenic train rides in America. Their Fall Foliage Trips take a relaxing journey through the South Branch Valley in West Virginia, weaving through colorful mountains and quaint pastures. The rail line follows the South Branch of the Potomac River, which passes right by a breathtaking gorge called the Trough. Be on the lookout for the bald eagles that nest nearby.

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Wisconsin: Timm's Hill

Timm's Hill is Wisconsin's tallest geographical point, and therefore one of the best spots for viewing fall foliage. At 1,951.5 feet above sea level, you can see views up to 30 miles away. Atop the hill, there's an observation tower; all you have to do is hike up to the summit and climb the steps. It's worth the walk, though - you can see seas of trees as well as Timm's Lake and Placid Bass Lake. Bring some snacks with you and make a day of the hike.

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Wyoming: Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole is a valley in Wyoming near the border of Idaho. There are endless outdoor activities to partake in, especially when the weather is cool and dry. Go hiking in the surrounding woodlands, drive past elk and other wildlife and go leaf peeping anywhere you like within the 48-mile valley. Even the town of Jackson, located in the northern part of the valley, is bustling with activity and fun. During the Fall Arts Festival in late September, the town square is filled with shops and local vendors. During the summer, it can get somewhat crowded with tourists, but in the fall, most of the hubbub has passed and you're in for a much calmer trip. Jackson Hole is definitely one of the destinations you should wait to visit until the crowds have left.

More from The Active Times:

The Best Fall Foliage Spot in Your State

The Most Beautiful Places in America's State and National Parks

The Oldest Hotels in America

The Best Coastal Towns in America

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