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The shoulder months are always a great time to travel. The weather isn’t as extreme as summer, the prices are generally lower, and the attractions are often less crowded. With travel plans for the spring shoulder months now dashed by travel restrictions, we turn our attention to the enticing Fall weather. Here are our recommendations for the 5 Best Places to dream about visiting this Fall:

#1 France

fall leaves frame a view of Paris from across the river
Paris in Autumn [ Photo credit: Anthony Delanoix via Unsplash]

The romance of this already enchanting country reaches it’s height as the weather cools and the leaves begin to change.  Walk through one of Paris’ legendary parks (like the Jardin du Luxemburg) under a canopy of brilliant Fall foliage. Then move to a cozy café and enjoy a delectable chocolat chaud as you watch the leaves cascade down onto tree-lined boulevards. The cool weather outside means it’s the perfect time to enjoy Paris and its many museums and art galleries.

If you’re looking to leave the city behind, France offers the beachy Riviera or the mountainous Pyrenees. You’ll discover wineries in harvest, amazing gastronomy, history and tradition. Vineyards and forests display the full spectrum of Fall colors in the countryside. Enjoy these idyllic spots while sipping a glass of local wine.

Paris clock from inside the musee d'orsay

Perfect For: Couples, History & Art Lovers

Best Time to Visit: Late September and early October before the weather gets too cool but still in time for the wine harvests.

Something Unique: Check out the modern digital art museum Atelier des Lumieres for a twist while on your cultural adventure

[Inside the Musée d’Orsay, Paris Photo Credit: Ann from Annie’s Escapes]

#2 Germany

Burg-Eltz castle in autumn germany
Burg-Eltz Castle, Germany [Photo Credit: Julia Solonina via Unsplash]

Germany offers a huge variety of parks and public gardens in which to view the Fall foliage. Add to that impressive castles ( Neuschwanstein & Burg-Eltz) and medieval bridges around every corner and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. Any city you choose is perfect in the Fall. October brings the Festival of Lights in Berlin. Dresden is great to explore on foot without the exhausting heat of summer. Hannover offers world-class shopping next to its picturesque parks. Or you can take a River Cruise on the Danube to see even more!

Germany is for those who want to mix history with fairytales and still see amazing Fall colors. What’s more, typical German food such as sausage, stews, soups, and beers are ideal for warming up on crisp Autumn day.

beers in munich germany

Perfect For: History buffs, Foodies, Families

Best Time To Visit: Late September- Early October sees the leaves and festivals in full force.

Something Unique: Rent some lederhosen and visit Munich in late September to cross “Oktoberfest” off your bucket list.

[Munich Beers, Photo Credit: Ann from Annie’s Escapes]

#3 Oregon

the side of a cliff wall with green and orange leaves in Columbia gorge Oregon
Columbia Gorge just as the leaves start turning [Photo Credit: Lauren Neiheisel]

If you want to stay closer to home, still see brilliant Fall colors but avoid the New England leaf-peeper crowds, then head to Oregon. It’s the perfect place to explore the great outdoors and fill your lungs with fresh crisp air. Oregon offers hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, horseback riding and all kinds of other outdoor activities. Warm up after your days outside at any of the award-winning local craft breweries.

A huge variety of scenery will enliven your trip to the Pacific Northwest. Volcanoes, cinder cones, and lava-flows leap out against the brightly colored leaves along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway. Cascading waters lead you along leaf-strewn paths in the Columbia River Gorge. Or enjoy the vineyards, orchards and vegetable patches along the Hood River County Fruit Loop.

blades of tall grass near water columbia gorge oregon

Perfect For: Families, Outdoor adventurers

Best Time To Visit: October combines still mild temperatures with bright Fall colors and open orchards ready for harvest.

Something Unique: Consider going on a wine-tasting bicycle tour. Bike along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway stopping to taste the local wines as you go.

[A peaceful sunset on the Columbia River, Photo Credit: Lauren Neiheisel]

#4 Croatia

view from high showing a street of old town Dubrovnik Croatia
Old Town Dubrovnik, Croatia [Photo Credit: Corinne Catalano via Annie's Escapes]

Looking to hang onto the tendrils of summer while still getting a taste of Fall colors? Look no further than Croatia. Croatia offers up great history and culture at a relaxing pace. Walk the medieval city walls and Old Town of Dubrovnik without the crowds and the heat. Or enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the Dalmatian Islands while indulging in great seafood and local wines.

The temperatures stay mild through October and the sun-soaked sea is usually still warm enough to swim. But you can also find a decent display of Fall colors at the Plitvice Lakes National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this park features 16 lakes connected by waterfalls and surrounded by colorful foliage. The weather is optimal for hiking along the easy paths and you can even take a ride around the larger lakes when you tire of walking. Croatia has a little bit of everything for everyone. History, culture, Fall foliage, nightlife, and beaches.

an areal view of people walking on a bridge over water in Croatia

Perfect For: Groups of Friends

Best Time To Visit: September is the best time for cooler but still-pleasant weather.

Something Unique: Visit Pula and the Veredula Penisula for an authentic small-town experience with Roman ruins and beautiful beaches

[Walking on water in Plitvice National Park, Photo Credit: Taneli Lahtinen via Unsplash]

#5 Greece

sunset over the ocean santorini greece
Dining in Santorini, Greece [Photo Credit: Christina Davidson via Annie's Escapes]

Escape the cool Fall weather entirely with a trip to Greece. Here you won’t find many Autumn colors, but you can enjoy the warm sunshine and water temperature in the mid-70s! Greece is a great place to extend your summer vacation into September when the crowds disappear. Enjoy the white-washed, blue-roofed buildings, labyrinthine streets and picturesque alleys of rugged Greek Islands like Santorini or Paros. Relax at water-front spas, enjoy incredible seafood and soak up the local history and culture.

The water temperature is still warm and the seas are clear making Fall a great time to go diving or snorkeling. The days are not too hot making archeological ruins more comfortable to explore. Enjoy a less crowded, more temperate Greece without losing out on any of the summer fun.

greek olives

Perfect For:  Beach lovers, Couples

Best Time To Visit: The weather stays warm well through September, but the smaller islands start to close up at the beginning of October

Something Unique:  Immerse yourself in some centuries-old traditions: Grape and Olive Harvests. Learn how to pick, press and taste with a traditional cooking class at a local vineyard!

[Olive trees near the beach, Photo Credit: Eberhard Grossgasteiger via Unsplash]

Now is the perfect time to start planning and researching your future adventures. If we’ve sparked some excitement about where you could be in the cooler shoulder months send us an email so we can start planning your next ‘escape’!