Little boy smiling in a US fall town

Fresh air, warm sun, fewer crowds, fall colors, and countless festivals. This is what fall vacations look like, and enjoying these memories with kids makes things even better.
Whether for a weekend or a few more days, plan something fun for the whole family this season, since it is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor adventures before winter settles.

Parents from the Gowhee app recommend the best us fall destinations for families and their favorite local spots.

Best US fall destinations for families

1. Blue ridge Mountains

The foliage colors and amazing blue ridge parkway make the absolute perfect scenic drive to add to your united states fall bucket list. 

It is an excellent option for families wanting to enjoy the warm sun a little longer since fall weather tends to be mild in those southern states (Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia).

We recommend planning for one of the many kid-friendly hikes to enjoy nature before winter settles and make it fun with a great fall scavenger hunt.

Gowhee Families’ favorite: Ideal for toddlers and great for the whole family, the Great country farms is the spot to be this time of year. There is a lot to do like a petting zoo, tons of outdoor play spaces, and even a brewery and winery right outside to keep parents entertained.

Rainy day? The Luray caverns are perfect if you want to stay away from the rain. The tours are very informative and still interactive for kids to participate in. Make sure to grab a treat from the candy shop there!

>>> Find tons of fun places for kids in North Carolina, here.

Blue Ridge Parkway by tommy-mcgrath
Blue Ridge Parkway by Tommy McGrath

2.Salt Lake City

There are many cities to choose from in the fall, but Salt Lake City and Snowbird Mountain take this season’s cheer a stretch further by organizing an amazing family-friendly Oktoberfest. 

For foodie families, make sure to stop by Lola’s street, recommended by traveling families since they serve great options for kids like their delicious burgers and homemade fry sauce.

Gowhee Families’ Favorite: The Antelope Island State Park is a short drive from downtown, where you can observe bison in unparalleled natural beauty.
The park offers tons to see and spectacular views of the lake. The Buffalo Point trail (1 mile) is extremely kid-friendly with slight inclines, but if the kids are up for the distance, we recommend the 6 miles loop around the lake (lakeside trail) that is accessible all year long.

Rainy Day? Head over to the free Clark Planetarium. Located downtown Salt Lake City, it is completely free and offers lots of hands-on stations and activities for all ages. Kids can brush up their knowledge of Earth and other planets, and experience hands-on exhibits like no other, like the Gravity force on the moon exhibit.
Make sure to check their events and score some free access to great shows.

>>> Discover some fun family experiences just like this one in Utah, here.

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3. Vermont

The whole state of Vermont is the ultimate destination for fall. But did you know that besides the traditional leaf’s peeping weekend getaway, you will find an array of amazing things to do with kids?

We recommend first, making a stop at some of the most iconic small towns in the U.S. Mid-October is the perfect time to visit places like Woodstock, Manchester, Stowe, and the famous Vermont Country store.

Gowhee Families Favorites: The Billing Farm and Museum in the heart of quintessence Vermont town Woodstock will keep the whole family entertained for hours! The museum is extensive and will be super educational about the history of farm life while keeping things fun like their pumpkin treasure hunt. While there don’t forget to taste their famous cider donuts.

>>> More local families’ recommendations in New England, here

Rainy day? Take an art break at the SVAC Museum, in Manchester Vermont. They have plenty of exhibits, usually super fun for kids, a delicious cafe on site for lunch, trails with story time if the weather gets better and even a kids’ art room in the back. There you can draw, read books engage in some puppet show theater.

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4. Twin Falls Idaho

Idaho is often underrated as a destination for family getaways. But if you look closely, you will find some amazing gems throughout the state. One of them is Twin Falls.

The area offers tons of great hikes to see the foliage but we can’t recommend enough the Thousand Springs scenic byway, ideal for taking a road trip with kids that can’t hike yet. On the way, Make sure to stop by one of the numerous orchards to go “pick your own” and of course chase the waterfalls throughout the region.

Gowhee Families Favorite: The 200ft drop of the Perrine Coulee Fall is a show stopper. Kids of all ages can take the short and easy hike to it and with care, you can visit behind the pretty spectacular fall.

Rainy day? For a quick lunch or an afternoon of fun, the 2nd South Market has everything for everyone. There are seven food vendors gathered in the gigantic building, with games and lots of space to hang out. 

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5. The Hudson Valley

You can reach the beautiful Hudson Valley with a short road trip from New York City. Great to plan a trip on a budget and take advantage of the fall season with kids without the long travel journey.

If you are up for it, this trip can easily be stretched a little further north to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Adirondack mountains as well.

Gowhee’s Families Favorite: Stop by the Walkway Over The Hudson on the Highland side. This is the perfect place to take a walk and see the Hudson river from a new perspective. Make it an educational moment by explaining the up and downstream of the river compared to what is seen in the city.
The path is open from sunset to sunrise and offers plenty of room for walkers, strollers, bikes, and rollerblades, which makes it a fun experience.
It is great for families with little ones since it has plenty of places to sit along the way and bathrooms on either end.

Rainy Day? Head over to the Museum of firefighting in Hudson NY. If you have kids interested in anything firetrucks or firemen, this will be especially fun. Both adults and kids can learn a lot and enjoy the experience. From the history of firemen to a hands-on experience of “putting out a fire” in a real fire truck, and even a little fire safety session with rewards… This museum put a lot of effort into entertaining the kids.

Make sure to check their schedule and see if you can meet the resident puppy during the visit.

Find tons of places for kids in Upstate New York, here.

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6. Sacramento and Northern California Valley

Only a couple of hours from San Francisco and before you reach lake Tahoe, you will find a valley with tons to do for the whole family and foliages to see. Sacramento being the main city offers a ton of opportunities for fall city strolls with the kids as well as their famous Harvest fall Festival.

But make sure you drive a little further and appreciate the leaves changing colors throughout the season. Here is an interactive map to help you plan the best time to go.

Gowhee’s Families Favorite: Take the kids to the Old Sacramento District to step back in time and be in the heart of the gold rush era. This “cowboy town” will bring a lot of fun to the whole family. Make sure to stop by the railway museum nearby and Evangeline’s costume store to stock up on your Halloween costumes.

Rainy Day? In Roseville, you will find a magical place for all kids and kids at heart. The Living Space is a FREE indoor playground with 3 floors of play structures kids under 4 years of age need supervision) where kids can go have fun and burn all that energy.

If you have older kids that can stay on their own, you could even score a downtime and browse the shops around.

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