An RV trip is a road trip like no other. You’ve got everything with you: blankets and warm jackets, photography gear and binoculars, and an oven and bakeware. But this trip won’t be your summer vacation. It’s all about celebrating the fall season.
Get ready to embrace the crisp fall air, the vibrant colors, and the baked goods that bring it all together. We’ve got five of the best autumn RV destinations listed here.
Why Is Fall the Best Season for RV Travel?
Fall is the best season for RV travel. Not only are there fewer people on the roads and at the campgrounds, but also the weather is pleasant, wildfire season is behind us, and the colors are stunning.
When most people have stored their RVs for the season and sent their kids back to school, you have decided it’s time not to follow traditions. So, instead of ending your camping trips, you’re only just beginning.
And this might be the main reason fall is the best season: fewer crowds. The places you’ve always dreamed of visiting aren’t consistently booked. The trails might just be full of animal footprints instead of human ones.
And the weather? The weather is no longer suffocating you with intense heat. Many places have lifted their fire bans, giving you more chances to relax around a campfire while gobbling smores.
And while crowds, weather, and campfires are great reasons to travel in your RV in the fall, the best reason might be the fall colors. Almost everywhere you travel during the autumn months, you’ll come across a rainbow of colors. You’ll see the bright gold of the Aspens in the high country to an artist’s palette of every color imaginable in the low valleys.
If you’ve ever wondered where those Instagrammable images of striking fall colors come from, it’s time to head out on an RV road trip this fall.
Here’s what you should know about camping during the shoulder season.
5 Best Autumn Destinations for Your Next RV Journey
Instead of wondering where to go next on your RV journey, you could just visit the places that will dazzle you with beauty. You could go to Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park or the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, where the colors of the leaves create lasting impressions.
Here are RV destinations we consider some of the best places to explore on your next RV journey during autumn.
#1 Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park is a breathtaking destination in the Rocky Mountains. It has a west and east entrance to get you to its many campgrounds for your ultimate RV fall adventures. Glacier also boasts impressive day hikes with its 700 miles of trails.
And while Lake McDonald and the historic Many Glacier Hotel are must-see places here, it’s Going-to-the-Sun Road that’s a true bucket list item. This 50-mile scenic drive connects West and East Glacier with its jaw-dropping views and narrow passageways. And experiencing this in the fall will leave you breathless.
Keep in mind, though, that no large rigs are allowed on this scenic route. But really, the big reason to visit this national park in the fall is that there are no reservation tickets needed after Labor Day weekend.
#2 Willamette Valley, Oregon
Lose yourself this fall in 150 miles of scenery throughout Willamette Valley, Oregon. With over 600 wineries, you can spend your fall days touring and tasting all the different wines the valley has to offer.
If you’re looking for more of an adventure, Willamette Valley has waterfalls from the coast all the way to the West Cascades mountain range. You can go hiking or mountain biking here through some of the most gorgeous scenery in Oregon, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing color.
Or, if you’re looking for a more relaxed trip, you can visit one of the many farmer’s markets and orchards dotted throughout the area. With many options for camping, Willamette Valley is the perfect place to lose yourself in the beauty of nature this fall.
#3 Catskill Mountains, New York
People here know how to celebrate the fall season. Some of the best leaf-peeping excursions are on the trails in the Catskills. With thousands of miles of trail to choose from, whatever your expertise or desire, you’ll find it here. Camping and fall festivals are not lacking here, either.
And fall foliage is never far away. Whether camping, mountain biking, hiking, playing golf, or enjoying a meal on a patio in one of the many quaint towns throughout this area of New York, fall surrounds you.
But maybe the best way to experience fall colors is through a relaxing drive on the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway or the Durham Valley Scenic Byway. The Catskills is by far one of the best RV autumn destinations.
#4 Acadia National Park, Maine
With 47,000 acres to explore, you’ll enjoy your RV adventure in Maine at Acadia National Park. Visiting here in the fall has its advantages: fewer crowds and no reservation tickets needed after October 22.
This is a beautiful place to explore, whether driving up Cadillac Mountain to see the sunrise or hiking on any of the 150 miles of trails. With several campgrounds to choose from and coastal areas to explore alongside forested terrain, your RV adventure will be one for the books here. Plan ahead, as many roads throughout the park don’t allow larger rigs.
#5 Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
You can’t talk about autumn RV destinations without talking about the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Smoky Mountain National Park is one of the most visited parks in the United States, and for good reason. Its beauty is unmatched.
The Smoky Mountains and the National Park offer miles of incredible scenery. That includes panoramic views, cascading waterfalls, colorful wildflowers, historic buildings, and old-growth forests.
While the Smokies are busy year-round, fall is an especially popular time to visit when the leaves change color. The Smoky Mountains are home to more than 384 miles of roads, making them a scenic drive destination.
Some of the most popular drives include the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the famed Blue Ridge Parkway. It runs 469 miles from North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. And with many camping options within the park itself and more in the surrounding area, this fall adventure will be gorgeous.
Don’t forget the refreshments! Here’s how to drink your way through the Great Smoky Mountains.
How Can You Enjoy Your Autumn RV Trip This Year?
We’re certain that if you’re heading out this fall with your RV, you’ll create a grand adventure on your own. But if you need some ideas to really turn your autumn RV trip into a memorable experience, we’ve got a few ideas to get you started.
Comfort Food and Baked Goods
Autumn brings forth smells of freshly baked pies, cinnamon and nutmeg spiced ciders, and more. It’s also a great time for some favorite comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese, chili laden with spices, or soup that has been simmering all day.
Now envision all that yumminess along with you in your RV. It tastes so much better when you’re camping.
Add a warm and toasty campfire to your meal, and you may never go RVing in the summer again. With the threat of summer storms and heat in the past, campfires are some of the best ways to warm up your fingers and toes on a crisp fall evening.
Even better? Bake your fall desserts on the coals for a scrumptious treat you won’t soon forget.
Nothing says fall quite like heading into an apple orchard and picking your own apples. With many orchards around the U.S, no matter where your fall RV adventures take you, you’ll find something.
There are also many farms harvesting in the fall and offer u-pick-it options. It’s almost like walking into your very own garden and reaping the benefits of your work all summer — except you didn’t work.
Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes
You’ll also come across pumpkin patches and corn mazes alongside many of the orchards. And you don’t have to be a child or have children to enjoy these fun fall activities. Be a kid again and pick out the patch’s biggest orange pumpkin. Carve it, too!
While you’re at it, get lost in a corn maze. Many botanical gardens are sponsoring local mazes just to get lost and laugh while doing so. Enjoying fall has never been so entertaining.
No matter how much you enjoy the food, the campfires, and the seasonal activities, the best way to enjoy your RV trip is through the colors of the season. The changing of the leaves is what fall is really all about.
Immerse yourself in the dynamic and radiant beauty of the season with fall hikes, bike rides, and horseback rides while traveling this fall. You might just feel energized and ready to take on the upcoming winter.
Enjoy Your RV Adventure This Fall
Let’s not rush into winter yet. It’ll be here before you know it. For now, let’s focus on the fall: the colors, the crisp air, and the lessening crowds.
t’s time to dream about apple orchards, ciders, apple pies, pumpkin patches, and things that go bump in the night. It’s time to turn the lazy days of summer into a fall RV adventure.
If that doesn’t excite you, how about putting off winterizing your RV? That might just be even more exciting than heading towards Maine this fall. Nah, not even close.
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