Summer’s over and the holidays seem far away. Where can you go if you want a little autumn vacation? The fall is actually a fantastic time to get cheap flights and avoid summer prices and crowds. Hotels have dropped their prices, and the fall leaves give you stunning photos and cozy vibes. Here are a few of our expert picks for some inexpensive vacations in fun spots this fall. You can book all of these deals on CheapAir.com right now!
Give the National Parks Some Love
Grand Canyon, Arizona
We can wholeheartedly recommend the Grand Canyon – but we prefer a visit in autumn. The hordes of tourists have gone, and the weather is much friendlier to hikers. Especially if you fancy a hike to the bottom of the canyon, the weather is perfect in autumn – temperatures at the surface are generally 10-30 degrees warmer than at the bottom.
Where to Stay at Grand Canyon National Park
In addition, hotels at the Canyon are priced much lower than in the summer. Stay at the Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn for $199/night.
Getting to Grand Canyon National Park
Fly into Phoenix and take a 3-hour scenic drive through spectacular southwestern landscapes on your way to the Grand Canyon. Flights from New York (EWR) for $200 round trip on United.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is another fantastic, must-see destination. When visiting Yellowstone, keep in mind that the park is massive, and you’re going to be doing a lot of driving to visit all of the sights. You can stay in either Montana or Wyoming, so make sure you do some pre-planning to make the trip everything you hope.
Where to Stay in Yellowstone National Park
We recommend novices to Yellowstone stay in West Yellowstone, which is located just outside the park. You’re already going to be doing a ton of driving, so this location situates you well for visiting many iconic spots inside the park including Old Faithful. There are plenty of affordable hotels in West Yellowstone, including the Yellowstone Country Inn and Three Bear Lodge, both of which have rates for under $200 during autumn.
Some people prefer to stay in the park. Keep in mind if you go this route, you’ll need to pre-plan many months in advance, and be prepared for a more rustic experience, Most cabins and lodges inside the park have no television or air conditioning. You pay for the location, not the plush amenities.
Getting to Yellowstone National Park
Bozeman is a convenient airport to fly into for access to the West Yellowstone entrance. You’ll be about a 2 hour drive from West Yellowstone and the park entrance. Flights to Bozeman are not usually so inexpensive, but right now they’re a bargain. You can fly nonstop from Los Angeles (LAX) for just $170 round trip on Alaska Airlines or for just over $00 from Dallas on United.
Keep in mind there are 5 entrances to Yellowstone, so again, do your research. It may make more sense for you to fly into another airport, depending on which parts of the park you most want to visit.
Warm Weather Destinations in Autumn
Santa Monica, California
Cocal residents know that beach weather can last well into autumn, so take advantage of much more reasonable hotel prices and roll the dice on a beach vacation in a state with arguably the best beaches in the world. You can take you pick from beach cities, but we like Santa Monica because of its proximity to Los Angeles and all of the best dining and sightseeing options the city offers. Santa Monica is also close to Topanga Canyon, which has hiking trails with coastal views.
Where to Stay in Santa Monica
Beachfront accommodation in Santa Monica is never cheap, but you can still get a room for a lot less than in the summer when hotels on the beach can set you back $600+ dollars a night. This October and November you can stay at the 4-star Shore Hotel for $299/night or at the JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot for $262/night. And not only are these great prices for properties right on the beach, but you’ll save even more on flights.
Getting to Santa Monica
Santa Monica has a number of nearby airports, with LAX offering the largest variety of flights at the best prices. This autumn, you can fly from New York right now for unheard of prices. Fly nonstop from La Guardia on Spirit for $100 roundtrip or from Newark for just $150 on United.
If you haven’t heard of Destin, we’re happy to put it on your radar. In October and November the average high temperatures are in the 70’s and 80’s. There’s a ton to do in Destin. Aside from the beaches, you can hike many nature trails, hit the links at the plethora of golf courses and take the tots to Big Kahuna’s Water Park.
Where to Stay in Destin
Destin’s hotels are a true bargain. The Best Western Sugar Sands Inn & Suites has rooms for just $112/night, and many budget hotels have rooms for well under $100/night.
Getting to Destin
Flying to Destin is easy-peasy as well. The Destin-Fort Walton Beach airport is just 16 miles from Destin. Flights from LAX on American are $270 roundtrip, or you can fly from Boston on American for $266 roundtrip.
Where to Experience Majestic Fall Foliage
Salem, New Hampshire
Vermont usually gets all of the leaf peeping love, but that means you’ll overlook equally stunning autumn leaves in New Hampshire. There’s lots of other fun things to do within driving distance of Salem, like Walden Pond and the equally scenic Mohawk Trail.
Where to Stay in Salem
The hotel bargains are aplenty in Salem, so we’ll just highlight a few. The La Quinta Inn and Suites by Wyndham has rooms for $105/night and the Holiday Inn Salem has rooms for $168/night.
Getting to Salem
You’re just a 30 minute drive from Boston’s Logan Airport. Flights from LAX on United for $240 roundtrip and from Denver from as low as $150 on Spirit Airlines (United also has flights available from Denver for $240).
Your entryway to the historical and magnificent Cumberland Gap mountain pass is a fantastic bargain destination this fall. Middlesboro offers an extraordinary array of beech, birch and sugar maple trees to dazzle you, and it’s virtually surrounded by colorful trees. Middlesboro is decidedly sleepy, but you’ll want to wander around, get cozy and take in the splendor of nature. It’s a perfect perch to do so.
Where to Stay in Middlesboro
There’s not a lot of high-end hotel options in Middlesboro, but in this quaint town you’re paying for location and proximity to amazing nature. Stay at the Holiday Inn Express Middleboro for $124/night or the Best Western Wilderness Trail Inn for $120/night.
Getting to Middlesboro
Nonstop flights from Chicago (ORD) on United are just $112 roundtrip this autumn if you’re coming from the Midwest. Flights from San Francisco (SFO) on American are $324 roundtrip.
Not planning a fall vacation? Visit our Holiday Flights page to see what the best days to fly will be this Thanksgiving and Christmas. As always, happy travels!