Planning the perfect fall getaway can be as challenging as it is rewarding.
While most of us can pinpoint the best idyllic tropical beaches and snowy winter wonderlands, finding a destination that provides that perfect autumnal charm and feel might prove to be way trickier.
Luckily for wanderlust-stricken souls, Lawn Starter just carried out a study on the best U.S. states to visit this fall based on 22 metrics, mostly revolving around weather, scenery, and fall-themed events.
These were the findings:
Pennsylvania was one of this year’s most surprising rankings, beating flashier, more popular destinations to the number 5 spot.
Not only did the state rank highly in terms of outdoor recreation and fall scenery, but it’s also expected to host the most fall festivals in all of the U.S., with a grand total of 46.
Some of the events you won’t want to miss out on include the Autumn Leaf Festival in Clarion, the National Apple Harvest Festival, the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival, and the Pennsylvania State Flaming Foliage Festival.
Those who aren’t too keen on fall-themed events can still plan the fall getaway of a lifetime in The Keystone State.
The Ricketts Glen State Park, Longwood Gardens, Presque Isle State Park, and the world-famous Philadelphia Zoo are all gorgeous this time of year.
Average temperatures in October hover between 52°F and 68°F (11°C and 20°C), marking the perfect fall weather that allows travelers to enjoy chilly morning hikes as well as warm outdoor lunches.
Boasting awe-inspiring fall foliage, gorgeous stargazing spots, and lively Oktoberfest celebrations, Michigan is currently attracting legions of tourists, all looking for that quintessential autumnal experience.
You can plan a trip to must-see attractions like the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, or even the well-known Detroit Zoo.
However, my top tip this season would be to stick to outdoor attractions like the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the Tahquamenon Falls State Park, as the landscape here has just started dressing in fiery orange.
If you’re looking forward to those fall-themed pictures though, it’s best to plan your trip as soon as possible. Colorful foliage is predicted to pass its peak in mid-to-late October, so try to explore the gorgeous scenery before then.
Thanks to its lengthy fall foliage season, gorgeous forest trails, and abundant state parks, Washington secured the number 3 spot on the list.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find the state to be the perfect autumnal destination. The Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and Riverfront Park all make for the perfect hiking setting (the latter can even be visited free of charge!).
Those who want to give their feet a break this autumn can opt for a whale-watching tour around Anacortes instead.
Still, with all the lush forests and jaw-dropping falls found in Washington, I wouldn’t recommend forgoing those gorgeous sightseeing walks altogether.
2. New York
Though there’s hardly a bad time to visit New York, fall provides a unique set of sightseeing experiences all across the state.
Niagara Falls, the Adirondacks, Thousand Islands, the Finger Lakes, and, of course, New York City itself are all must-sees during an autumnal getaway to what many consider to be America’s most culturally significant region.
If you haven’t planned your trip already, though, try to move quickly.
Fall foliage in the area is quickly approaching its peak, and if you want to see the famous New York City skyline covered in speckles of orange, red, and yellow, now is your perfect chance.
Now that those scorching summer temperatures have settled down a bit, California has quickly become the number one spot for Americans to enjoy the warm, adventure-filled fall getaway of their lives.
The good news is that because the state is so warm and geographically diverse, peak foliage season here lasts until early November, giving you plenty of time to plan your trip.
Both outdoor enthusiasts and city trippers will find plenty to do and see in California.
Spend the day walking through Yosemite National Park, climbing to the Hollywood sign, and enjoying the sights of Palm Springs.
Once nighttime comes, there’ll be no shortage of shows, clubs, and restaurants to explore.
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest reopening news, conversations, and Q&A’s happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.
This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com