Whether you plan to travel internationally or stay stateside, there are some seriously fun places to visit in October.
I’m an avid traveler who has been to dozens of countries and US states. Overall, I prefer traveling in the fall not only to beat tourist crowds but also for the consistently mild weather around the world. I cannot advocate enough for autumn travel.
Here are some of my favorites to explore in October. Let’s dive in!
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Best Places to Visit in October in the USA
Chaco Canyon, New Mexico
A hotspot for archaeology lovers in the middle of the New Mexican desert, perfect for camping under the stars.
Chaco Canyon is an Ancestral Puebloan archaeological site and the perfect October destination. In October, the New Mexican desert is finally starting to shed its scorching summer temperatures but hasn’t yet reached its peak winter chill.
Located in the very northwestern tip of the state, Chaco Culture National Historical Park (as it’s officially deemed) is home to ancient Native American ruins, petroglyphs, pottery shards in situ, and a magical desert charm only best understood in person.
I highly recommend camping in the park campground for multi-day access to the park. Don’t forget to check out the Pueblo Alto trail, my absolute favorite backcountry trail in the park that allows dogs!
A historic New England fortress of spectacular fall foliage.
Vermont is the best place to witness fall colors in the United States. The stunning fall foliage of this East Coast state is one of the biggest and most vibrant concentrations of transformative fall colors in the country; so much so, that visitors travel from far and wide just to witness the autumn beauty.
The northern Vermont town of Stowe is one of my favorite places in Vermont to witness this pigmented parade. Hiking Mount Mansfield and enjoying a local cider are just two of the best activities. I recommend visiting in late October for the chance to witness the harvest colors backdropped by the striking white of the snow-capped hills surrounding the town.
Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California
A Southern California hidden desert gem rich with desert wildlife, hot springs, and ancient Native artifacts.
Anza Borrego Desert State Park is a Mojave desert destination filled with palm oases and fields of towering ocotillo. October is the first month Anza Borrego cools down from intense summer temperatures.
Hiking, stargazing, and camping are the top attractions in Anza Borrego, a San Diego County gem, but you can also find petroglyphs and desert hot springs at this desert state park. As a Southern California local, I may be a bit biased in recommending one of my favorite desert spots in SoCal.
New York City, New York
The city that “never sleeps” is the most visited city on the East Coast and offers the best weather during the fall months.
New York City is the perfect October destination due to the mild temperatures and sparse tourist crowds. In fact, I’d say that the best time to visit New York City is in the fall.
At this time, Central Park comes alive with autumnal foliage, the city gets fully into Halloween mode, and prices drop across the board after the summer rush. The New York Film Festival is also often celebrated in the first half of the month.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, & Idaho
One of America’s densest national parks for wildlife that’s home to Grizzlies, wolves, and moose.
Words don’t even begin to explain the grandeur of Yellowstone National Park. This deep nature and wildlife refuge spanning parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho is best experienced during the fall months when summer crowds have subsided and stillness falls across the land.
Bring a good camera and a strong pair of binoculars to locate the native Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, bison, elk, moose, and wolves that call Yellowstone home. The wildlife is also more likely to be more active in cooler weather, making late October the perfect time to visit.
Oak Glen, California
A hidden Southern California gem with apple-picking fun for the whole family.
Oak Glen is the perfect October destination due to its prime apple-picking opportunities and steaming hot, mouth-watering apple pies. This Southern California spot may not be your typical tourist destination, but it’s the perfect excursion for the whole family.
After you’re done with the apples, take a trip to the petting zoo, and feed the resident ostriches, or go for a train ride around the autumn haven.
Yosemite National Park, California
An alpine fortress, California’s most popular national park is home to steep hiking trails, black bears, and world-class rock climbers.
Year-round, Yosemite National Park is an outdoor lovers dreamland. The towering rocks are perfect for rock climbing, the water glistens as it rushes through the park, and the ancient sequoia trees stand guard among the hiking trails.
However, I’ve found that fall is one of the absolute best times to visit Yosemite. The fall foliage adds another dimension to the beauty of the hiking trails and the summer crowds are non-existent. As a California local who only lives 6 hours from the entrance, I’ve experienced the park in all its glory throughout the year.
Some of the best Yosemite hiking trails at this time include Vernal & Nevada Falls as well as Clouds Rest.
Relax on a tropical beach (even in October) without leaving the U.S.
Hawaii is a fantastic tropical paradise in October. Americans won’t even need a passport to feel like they’re on a whole different continent with a trip to Hawaii. Visiting Hawaii in October is my favorite time to do so because there are fewer crowds than in the summer peak season and it just misses the winter rainy season.
Oahu is the best island to visit for families with kids and Kauai is best for a romantic getaway. Pack a bathing suit, some snorkeling gear, and sunscreen, and get ready for some fall beach relaxation.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
New Mexico comes alive in October during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Watch the early morning sky burst into color as hundreds of hot air balloons set sail.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual festival in New Mexico that features roughly 600 hot air balloons. Taking place every year in early October, this festival is a serene sight that adds a splash of color to the New Mexican barren desert landscape.
Tourists travel from all over the United States to take part in or witness the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. Check out this Albuquerque hot air balloon tour if getting up in the air is high on your bucket list!
Eastern Sierra Mountains, California
Fall is one of the best times to hike in the Eastern Sierra Mountains to witness high-altitude vibrant fall foliage.
The Eastern Sierra Mountains in California are one of the best places to visit in October for beautiful fall foliage. Venture along California’s Highway 395 to the beautiful alpine towns of Big Pine, Lone Pine, Bishop, Mammoth, and June Lake to experience the best of this colorful phenomenon.
The Eastern Sierra Mountains feature some of the best hikes in California, so I definitely recommend strapping on your hiking boots when you visit this region. However, due to the high altitude of these hiking trails, you may encounter October snow dustings or just-about-freezing temperatures.
Still, the quiet of nature and the absence of tourist hikers at this time make it worth it.
Acadia National Park, Maine
A New England National Park with one of the largest concentrations of dense East Coast fall foliage.
Acadia National Park is one of the best places to see vibrant fall colors on the East Coast of the United States. It’s the only national park in New England and one of the top-rated family vacation spots in the world, so be sure to bring the whole family to this October destination.
My favorite activity in Acadia National Park is hiking up Cadillac Mountain. In particular, the North Ridge Trail is 4.2 miles long and has 1,128 feet of elevation gain.
California Theme Parks
Get ready for a spook when visiting the seasonal horror movie-themed CA theme parks during Halloween time.
Visiting the California theme parks in October is one of my favorite ways to get into the Halloween spirit. Parks like Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm go all-out and transform from typical amusement parks to a set right out of a horror film.
With monsters and clowns jumping out and scaring visitors all around the parks, I only recommend visiting these attractions if you like a good scare.
Disneyland is a great alternative option to get in the holiday spirit without being too spooked. October is my favorite time to visit Disneyland before the holiday crowds and to see Halloween decor adorning the park.
Best Places to Visit in October (International)
October is the most festive time to visit Mexico’s capital city with city-wide Dia de Los Muertos celebrations.
Órale! There’s no better time to experience Mexico City than during the Dia de Los Muertos celebration in October. Mexico’s major capital city comes alive during this time with marigolds lining the city streets, paper mache skeletons hanging about around town, and parades with festive music throughout the city.
The main festival procession takes place close to the Zocalo, or the city center, from the end of October to the beginning of November every year. Travel to Mexico City during this time to be a part of the local lively celebration of the dead, one of the best things to do in Mexico City.
One of the most popular ancient cities in the world with thousands of years old archaeological sites and artifacts.
Visiting Egypt in October is the perfect time of year to experience a low number of tourists. I personally visited the country in October and it seemed as if there were only a handful of other backpackers as I traveled from north to south – I encountered the same travelers over and over again.
I even visited the Pyramids of Giza around 9 am and was one of the only tourists there (which is unheard of)!
Of course, the trade-off for visiting Egypt during this time is the heat. Although June-August is the hottest time in this desert country, the temperatures in places further south like Luxor and Aswan are still in the 90s.
In a country that’s otherwise filled to the brim with sightseers, it’s well worth it to take time off work and visit during the off-season fall and winter months.
The ancient Incan capital is not only home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but also alpine mountain peaks, deep Amazon jungle, and warm locals.
Traveling to Peru in October is the ideal time of year for visiting Macchu Picchu, Cusco, and hiking through the Andes and Urubamba Mountains. I’ve been to Peru three times now, always in either the late fall or winter months. October is just before the rainy season from November to April, making it the ideal time for outdoor activities.
The most popular times of year to visit Peru are between May and October, with June, July, and August seeing the most tourists. So, if you visit in October, then you’ll encounter fewer crowds, lower prices, and plenty of accommodation options.
A Northern African country rich with colorful markets and the tastiest tajine in the world.
October is a great time to visit Morocco for moderate weather, few tourists, and off-season prices. The hottest time to visit Morocco is from June to August, and October marks the beginning of the rainy season. I visited in October and although I was sweating by noon on some days, the weather was overall pleasant.
Some Moroccan destinations do get rather windy and cloudy in October, so while it may not be a great beach destination, there are still some great activities. These include hiking in the Middle Atlas Mountains, exploring the cities, and celebrating the autumnal apple harvests.
The October tourist prices also make this time of year great to book a trip. For example, my hostel in Marrakech was only $7 a night and my 3-day Sahara Desert excursion with food and accommodation was under $200.
A foodie destination with ancient Roman remnants and romantic villages dotting the entire country.
Skip the intense humidity of a southern Europe summer by visiting Italy in the fall. Italy is one of the best places to visit in October in regards to weather and prices. Although, as one of the most touristed countries in the world, it tends to be packed with tourists most of the year.
October in Italy varies quite a bit depending on where you go in the country. Northern Italy tends to be a little chillier and experiences beautiful autumn foliage, while parts of the south can still be hot enough for some beach days.
Fall off the beaten path by visiting lesser-known Italian towns like Verona and Matera, Italy. I’ve found that Italy is also one of the safest destinations for solo travelers. This pasta-loving country was the first place I solo traveled to when I was 18 and with these helpful Italy solo travel tips, I had the time of my life.
This Southeast Asian country is a backpacking hotspot complete with affordable accommodation and over 1000 tropical islands.
Thailand is one of the best Southeast Asia destinations to visit in October. This month marks the end of the Monsoon season and is also right before the peak tourist rush. Plus, with so many fun things to do and cool places to see in Thailand, you could spend weeks upon weeks diving deep into Thai culture.
I visited Thailand in October and thoroughly enjoyed the fewer tourist crowds on usually busy islands like Koh Tao and the Phi Phi Islands. During this time of year, much of the country still gets a fair amount of rain, although the Monsoon season does start to recede.
Still, you’ll get a different experience based on if you visit the northern, more mountainous region of Thailand or the southern islands. In the north, I recommend visiting Chiang Mai, as it is less overwhelming than Bangkok and offers fun excursions into the mountains like visiting elephant sanctuaries.
Your chances of seeing African game are tenfold in this safari-heaven African country, home to famous wildlife parks like the Serengeti.
The Tanzania dry season is from July to October, and visiting this African country at the tail-end of the dry season almost always guarantees fewer tourist crowds. This is especially coveted if going on a safari in the Serengeti or Ngorongoro, and more safari cars parading around tend to scare off the animals. Visit in October for your chance to see more wildlife.
October is also an ideal time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro traffic jams happen from July to September, making October the perfect time to test your limits at 19,341 feet. More daring adventurers can even attempt a winter climb but be ready for freezing temperatures!
Adventure enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies take refuge in New Zealand, a country with an ample supply of extreme sports.
Is the “adventure capital of the world” on your bucket list of places to travel? Optimize the fun you’ll have in New Zealand by traveling to the Oceanic country during the off-season in October.
You’ll find the cheapest prices on accommodation, food, and tours at this time but the weather may be slightly colder than anticipated. New Zealand is just coming out of its winter season in October, after all.
As the snow from the New Zealand Mountains begins to melt in September-October, nearby rivers begin to rage, making this an ideal time for whitewater rafting in the country. Here are some of the top New Zealand rafting tours.
Hot air balloons fly overhead in this eastern Türkiye city, creating one of the most photogenic locations in the entire country.
Türkiye is one of my favorite places to visit in October. Not only are the Mediterranean beaches sunny and the water refreshing, but the few number of tourist crowds makes popular sites like Cappadocia appealing to visit.
Cappadocia is known as a whimsical landscape of mushroom-shaped cone towers, also known as fairy chimneys, as well as the daily dawn soiree of hot air balloons. A jubilee of hot air balloon riders take to the sky each sunrise, creating one of the most striking views of colorful giants over an otherwise barren desert.
Atacama Desert, Chile
The driest desert in the world closely resembles life on another planet, craters and isolation included.
The Chilean Atacama Desert is one of the most eerie, yet stunning, deserts in the world. Volcano backgrounds, desert lake foregrounds, and smokey sandstone craters set the stage for this South American landscape.
Book your trip to the “driest desert on Earth” wisely. I visited San Pedro de Atacama in January, thinking in Northern Hemisphere terms of seasons, and was rudely awakened to the reality of the Southern Hemisphere climate.
December-January is the hottest time of year to visit this Chilean desert, making September-November an ideal time to visit the Mars-like extraterrestrial landscape of the Atacama. In January, I couldn’t even leave my hostel fan on during daylight hours and could only explore in the evening.
Attend one of the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations around the world and celebrate German-style with locals.
Oktoberfest may be a well-known celebration around the world, but what better way to celebrate than by visiting its origins? Munich, Germany experiences one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the world from mid-September to early October.
Enjoy parades, music, as much beer as you can imagine, and delicious German food at the Munich celebration.
This southern Mexican state has it all – mountains, the beach, agave groves, textile towns, and colonial cobblestone city centers.
I may be a bit biased when it comes to Oaxaca. I find an excuse to talk about my favorite state in Mexico any chance I get. That being said, October really is an ideal time to visit the colorful southern state of Oaxaca.
Not only is the Dia de Los Muertos celebration one of the most sightly celebrations in Oaxaca in terms of color and creativity, but October to April is the best time to visit Oaxaca to avoid the rainy season.
From the mountains to the beach, agave fields, and cobblestone city center, Oaxaca has it all.
A Mediterranean country in the south of Europe that promotes beach lounging and inland exploration alike.
Greece’s whitewashed homes with blue tile roofs are famous around the world. Because the quintessential blue and white of Santorini and Mykonos make for such a popular destination, you’ll want to travel during the shoulder season for photos that aren’t jam-packed with hundreds of other tourists.
Greece is one of the best European places to visit in October. The temperatures in October will still be warm enough for you to lounge on the beach during the day and potentially go swimming (the sea does cool off by October). Plus, there isn’t much rain in October in Greece.
There’s nothing better than eating a mouth-watering gyro on the cobblestone streets of a Greek island before taking a dip in the perfect-temperature Mediterranean Sea.
FAQs About Where to Travel in October
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Enjoy your upcoming travels to some epic places to visit in October! Let me know in the comments which destination was your favorite.
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