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Ghosts, Beer…and Other Spirits! 7 Great Fall Experiences in the U.S.

Written by Going Places

This blog post was updated on October 26, 2022.

Fall is definitely an appealing time to travel. Not only are there smaller crowds compared to summer, but prices begin to drop for the season as well. In addition, travelers can experience a lot of attractions across the United States, specifically celebrating the autumn season. From hoppy beer festivals to ghost tours, here are just a few of the best fall attractions taking place across the country!

Join a Ghost Tour…If You Dare!

Throughout the fall season, ghost tours seem to be more and more appropriate with Halloween on the horizon. Perhaps one of the spookiest is the Ghosts of Gettysburg Tour. The tour takes guests on a haunted journey through the Civil War battlefield, at night and by candlelight.

If Gettysburg sounds too frightening, Salem, Mass. also hosts a ghostly tour with its Salem Witch Walk. The tour points out spooky sights in town, including arguably the most haunted graveyard in America! Or head down south to experience a Hearse Ghost Tour in Savannah! Over in Arizona, the Tombstone Gunfighter and Ghost Tour visits the ghost town’s haunted sites including its Bird Cage Theater. There’s no end to the spooky options that await you!

Attend a Harvest Festival!

Autumn is harvest time, meaning many spots across the country host harvest festivals. Held for decades, the National Apple Harvest Festival in the tiny town of Arendtsville, Pennsylvania pays tribute to all things apple. You can bob for apples, drink cider, and even scoop up some freshly picked apples to take home. The event is held throughout the first two full weekends in October. Portland, Maine also puts on a harvest festival worth attending. The four-day Harvest on the Harbor celebrates Maine’s local delights. Besides, the event includes the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Competition!

Toast the Season at a Beer Festival!

Nothing quite says fall like crisp ales and hoppy IPAs! Beer festivals tend to spring up more in the fall than any other time of year in the U.S., and Denver boasts one of the largest. The Great American Beer Festival features over 2,000 beers from more than 400 brewers.

If you can make it up to Yakima, Washington in early October, you can also toast the Fresh Hop Ale Festival. Known as one of the premier hop-growing regions in the world, the town celebrates truly fresh hops for this fall beer festival. All beers served are brewed in the early fall at the peak of harvest.

Dress Up for a Halloween Costume Parade!

Halloween costume parades are one of the most popular fall activities throughout the United States. Salem, Mass. hosts a quintessential example. Once home to the infamous witch trials, Salem now fully embraces the spooky season with an entire month of Halloween-themed activities in the city’s Haunted Happenings celebration. A key part of Salem Haunted Happenings is the celebration of two costume parades. Salem ZombieWalk, which takes place at the beginning of the month, features legions of marchers dressed up as the undead.

Meanwhile, the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade includes costumed marchers and floats to bring the fun of All Hallows’ Eve into high gear. While visiting Salem for the parades, you can also check out plenty of other exciting activities, including magic acts, psychic readings, and tours that focus on the historical importance of the Salem witch trials of 1692.

Treat Your Palate to a Wine Tasting!

Celebrating the arrival of fall would not be the same without experiencing the full abundance of the harvest. When it comes to enjoying an exquisite glass of wine, connoisseurs have their pick of many great tasting experiences throughout the United States. The Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta is quickly becoming the choice venue for those hoping to enjoy a great wine tasting vacation.

Held over the course of five days, the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta allows visitors to experience a full range of wine tasting as they also enjoy authentic Southwestern cuisine. One of the highlights of the festival is the Grand Tasting, an event that allows you to taste wine from over 150 venues.

You May Also Like: You Will Totally Fall for an Apple Picking Trip to These U.S. Destinations!

Celebrate Día de los Muertos!

Día de los Muertos is quickly becoming one of the most popular fall celebrations in the United States. Whereas once it was only observed by immigrant communities from Central and South America, more and more people are celebrating the holiday for its positive way of honoring the dead and amazing style and symbolism. Of the many Día de los Muertos celebrations observed in the United States, the parade in San Antonio has generated the most interest over the years.

Visitors to San Antonio’s Día de los Muertos festival will get to enjoy live music and examine art inspired by this holiday. Guests also get to view altars that honor deceased loved ones at the festival’s base in Hemisfair Park and vote on their favorite by using the festival’s app. The event culminates with a massive parade that attracts over 100,000 visitors, the largest of any Día de los Muertos parade in the United States! There’s still time to score some last-minute hotel deals to experience this amazing experience among the locals.

Enjoy the Scenery from a Fall Foliage River Cruise

Lastly, never forget that marveling at the beauty of fall foliage is one of the simplest gifts of the autumn season. While the colors of fall foliage can be enjoyed anywhere, there is something special about enjoying it from a boat. Each year, residents of Grand Ledge, Michigan host the Color Cruise and Island Festival, a paddle boat ride down the state’s Grand River that allows for exceptional views of fall foliage.

Held for nearly four decades, the Color Cruise and Island Festival allows those lucky enough to score cheap flights to Michigan to see a variety of different trees and take-in all the hues of fall. When not enjoying the view, cruise guests can partake in a number of fun activities, including live music, pumpkin painting, and even tutorials on frontier candle making and blacksmithery.

What are your favorite fall festivities? Let us know in the comments below! 

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