Summer has ended and the holiday season hasn’t yet begun. There may be time for one last hurrah before settling in for the winter. But where to go? Many people don’t think about traveling to tourist destinations in the off-season, but it’s a great way to get a good deal, and there’s still a lot to see and do. Travel sites like Expedia have a plethora of fall destination packages at big discounts right now.
Besides being a great deal, these popular vacation spots are not as crowded in the fall as they are during the peak season.
Here are five fall destinations that will give you some bang for your buck, especially if you wait until after Labor Day. Because the status of events and attractions can change, always check with hotels and local websites before you pack your bags.
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
If you’re looking for a beach vacation, the prices in Myrtle Beach drop after Labor Day, but the weather’s still beautiful and the surf’s still relatively warm. There’s also plenty to do since many Myrtle Beach attractions are open year-round (e.g., the SkyWheel, Broadway at the Beach), as are the golf courses and theaters. Fall is also prime festival season in Myrtle Beach, and many of those are free.
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach is another beach destination that’s more reasonably priced in the fall. The weather is still warm enough for swimming, but not as hot as in summer. Sightseeing tours and attractions are still available (and may be discounted).
The “low season” in Miami is considered to run through September or October, depending on whom you ask. As with all beach resort destinations, you’ll keep your trip in the “budget” category if you don’t mind staying a bit farther from the surf and sand — for example, in the Brickell neighborhood downtown.
Park City, Utah
Fall is a great time for hiking or bicycling in Park City, Utah, and the fall colors are spectacular. Since there aren’t a lot of tourists in the fall, you’ll be able to experience the city like a local.
Real-estate prices put the town in the “luxury” category, but you can enjoy Park City’s surroundings without staying in the city. You may want to consider neighboring towns such as Heber, Midway or Salt Lake City. Stayparkcity.com offers tips about lodging closer to Park City itself.
Colorado Springs has 300-plus days of sunshine each year, and the temperatures are mild in the fall. The golden aspens are changing, so fall is a good time for a scenic hike or a drive. Most of the attractions, including the new U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum plus two state parks, are open year-round.
Colorado Springs is about 60 minutes from Denver, so you can check both cities for the cheapest lodging and make easy day trips to the other. Even better, you could bring your “hotel” with you by renting an RV to go wherever the scenery takes you.
Located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Branson is also a good place to take in the beautiful fall scenery. Fall foliage driving tours are popular, as are helicopter, train and boat tours. Many of Branson’s attractions, including the Titanic Museum and Silver Dollar City, are open through the holidays, as are many of Branson’s theaters.
LOTC tip: If you find a hotel price you like on a travel website, check the hotel website before you book. Many hotels will match or beat published rates, and those reservations usually come with fewer (or no) penalties if you have to cancel.
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