The Best Places to Visit in October
Fall is approaching and with the anticipated chill, there comes an opportunity to cash in on some of that wanderlust before the holiday season arrives. But are you struggling with ideas for a destination? Fear not: we've got you covered. Whether you are looking for a quick weekend jaunt to see the gorgeous leaves in New England, or a more lengthy trip to Europe—or even the Asian Subcontinent, we've got you covered.
From India to Upstate New York, here are ten wanderlust-worthy vacation ideas to put on your radar for the autumn month ahead.
October marks the end of India's monsoon season, making it an ideal time to visit, as the weather strikes a perfect balance between not-too-hot and not-too-cold. Head to Jaipur in Western India and explore elephant sanctuaries, bejeweled palaces, and incredible shopping (the area is home to an abundance of emerging designers.) The five-star Alila Fort Bishangarh in Jaipur's Bishangarh Village is one of the most sought-after luxury hotels in the region—scope out the photos on its website, and you'll see why.
For an experience like something straight out of a storybook, pack your favorite autumn coat and welcome the fall season in the most magical of ways. This month, Holland averages a high of 12 degrees and a low of 4 degrees Celsius, making it a cozy and quaint spot to bundle up and explore the canals, local shops, and popular food markets. Although tulip season isn't in full swing until April, you can still enjoy the sights of the infamous windmills without having to fend off the crowds. With so many places to see and an endless amount of things to do, this is surely a spot you'll want to visit time and time again.
Skip the hectic summer crowds and head to southern Spain during October instead. Formentera—part of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean—promises stunning beaches and warm swimming temperatures until the end of the month, plus an atmosphere that is refreshingly free of chain restaurants, brand name stores, and pretense (even though A-listers like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell holiday here). Unlike its neighboring Ibiza, there aren't massive nightclubs or hotels either (in fact, there hasn't been a new hotel built in more than three decades) which makes it perfect for a laid-back European escape.
North Adams, Massachusetts
For a charming getaway within the United States, look no further than this tiny town in the Berkshires. The region is undoubtedly at its best in October—peak “leaf-peeping” season—so it’s best to rent a car for a 63-mile drive along the Mohawk Trail that culminates in North Adams. Though it lays claim to the title of “smallest city in the state,” North Adams has plenty to offer. For starters, there’s the largest contemporary art museum in the country—the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (better known as MASS MoCA)—and a plethora of bookshops, cafes, and galleries. Book a room at The Porches Inn, a B&B that's just a stone’s throw away from the museum.
With the return of the Northern Lights in October, there's never a better time to visit this enchanting destination. For the ultimate experience, book a room at the Retreat at the Blue Lagoon, which has quickly become one of the country's most popular hotels. The luxury suites are surrounded by a natural geothermal pool and an 800-year-old lava flow. "The hotel matches all this natural drama with earthy, Scandi-style rooms, one of which – the Lagoon Suite – has private access to the bath-warm, mineral-rich waters," says Tamara Lohan, the founder of travel club Mr. & Mrs. Smith. To make things even more memorable, take a night swim in the pool for a private viewing of the aurora, or claim a spot of the hotel's roof for an unreal view of the painted skies.
Santa Barbara, California
Contrary to popular belief, the best time to see the most gorgeous sunsets in California isn’t in the summer but rather in the fall. Located just two hours north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is the ideal place to go if you’re looking for a relaxed yet fulfilling getaway. This beach town offers a variety of activities such as horseback riding, wine tasting, or paddleboarding. Start your morning off with acai bowls on the beach then rent a bike and head to the Funk Zone, a district of wine tasting rooms, cafes, galleries, and shops that both locals and tourists love.
Upstate New York
We can't think of a better way to get into the fall spirit than by viewing all of the colorful foliage the season has to offer. Upstate New York has some of the most breathtaking autumn views in the United States, making it the perfect place to visit this time of the year. Plan to stay at the Brentwood Hotel, a new kind of boutique hotel. "Its location beside America’s oldest horse-racing track is a great draw, too, where you can watch thoroughbreds exercising around the gallops with your morning cup of coffee," says Lohan. Spend your time playing horseshoes on the lawn, making s'mores in the fire pit, or biking through the leafy Saratoga State Park. No matter what you decide to do during the day, Lohan suggests finishing it with fireside drinks and a barbecue.
With the high heat of summer subsiding this month and temperatures averaging at a comfortable 85 degrees, you can actively explore all this country has to offer in cooler conditions. Book a room at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar, a high-altitude hotel that sits on a soaring plateau 2,000 meters above sea level. "They can arrange atmospheric meals for you pretty much anywhere around the grounds, but my tip is Diana's Point: an elevated glass-sided platform that appears to float amid the mountains," says Lohan. Hike the scenic Jebel Akhdar trails, or enjoy the views from the hotel's mountain-edge infinity pool with a cocktail in hand.
Often referred to as the "Paris of the Middle East," Lebanon's capital has been slowly inching its way into the radar of U.S. travelers. Claire Bennett, EVP and GM of American Express Travel, says, "October draws the ‘in-the-know travelers’ that are attracted to the pleasant temperatures and more affordable accommodations, in comparison to Spring." The city's colonial French buildings and rich history appeal to intellectuals, while the burgeoning culinary scene caters to foodies. She also shared that, "Tourism is booming, airlines are adding more flights, and it’s never been a better time to visit these gateways to culture."
While the city is most famously associated with the film that bears its name, Casablanca's allure goes far beyond the Hollywood connection. With traditional souks, stunning architecture, and vibrant spice markets, this destination will continue to lure travelers now and in the coming years. According to Bennett, "It's poised to become the artistic and cultural capital of Africa." Make a reservation at the Four Seasons Casablanca, a luxury seaside retreat, which is only ten minutes away from Morocco’s largest and liveliest city. Take a tour of the historic Hassan II Mosque, Royal Palace, and Central Market, which are all just a short drive from the resort, for the most well-rounded trip.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors