Summer’s great and all, but here at TripAdvisor we (and our traveler community) sure do love the fall. Cooler temperatures, russet leaves, off-season bargains… It’s all pretty enticing when it comes to getting away as a family—It’s no wonder we’re already planning our fall family vacations!
We’ve picked out family-friendly locations across 14 states to give you plenty of choice for that fall trip. And if you’re looking for a great place to stay that won’t break the bank—each spot here has its own unique range of quality vacation rentals, catering to all budgets and group sizes. Take your pick of luxury mountain-view condos, cute cottages, downtown apartments, quiet cabins, and more!
Why choose a vacation rental, you ask? Having your own facilities can prevent many an issue for traveling families. You’ll have a full kitchen and plenty of appliances and amenities at your disposal, so you’re ready to feed, launder, and organize yourselves around whatever the day might bring. You’ll also benefit from more living space for your money, maybe multiple bathrooms, and perhaps even a private garden or pool to enjoy, without having to compete for space with other guests.
If this all sounds like an ideal fall family vacation, read on for more info about our chosen destinations and the child-friendly activities that await. And once you’ve decided on a location—and the perfect rental—you can book your tours, activities, and attractions right on our site, too!
Breckenridge is impressive any time of year, but in the fall the hills are alive with golden aspens. Hike the Boreas Pass, cycle, fly-fish, and be sure to bring your party mood if your visit coincides with the famous Breckenridge Oktoberfest. For an experience with a spooky twist, check out this Ghostly Tales tour. Children aged eight and up can join you on this scenic Mountain Explorer excursion, including sweeping Colorado mountain views and a gondola ride.
“Do yourself a favor and visit in September. We caught peak fall color, no wait to be seated in the restaurants, and the town is decorated with gorgeous flowers all over. Hiking weather is perfect at this time!” — Traveler Review of Main Street Breckenridge
In Jackson Hole, the fall brings amazing foliage and a slightly slower pace following the active summer season. Try a nature tour, guided fishing trip, or seek out the Fall Arts Festival. Got kids aged six or over? Then your family qualifies for this exciting whitewater rafting experience. Kids over four can join in this horse-riding expedition through the Bridger-Teton National Forest. You can even spot grizzlies and wolves on this amazing Yellowstone National Park tour from Jackson Hole.
Asheville displays its fall colors for several weeks, so there’s plenty of time to admire those red, gold and orange hues. Hit the sidewalks and try a guided Segway tour offering a brief history of Asheville. Or maybe join a ghostly walking tour, suitable for brave souls of nine and over. If you want to see all Asheville has to offer on two wheels, take to the saddle on this electric bike tour to experience sweeping views of downtown and the surrounding mountains.
“This was a great activity for me and my two teens. The walk was an easy pace and the tour guide had so much knowledge about the history of Asheville.” — Traveler Review of Haunted Asheville Ghost Tours
Santa Fe is full of impressive sights and kid-friendly activities making it an ideal fall family vacation spot. You can get a sense of the city’s rich history and culinary delights on this walking and food tour, and you can skip the lines when you book advance tickets for the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Children will love Meow Wolf, an immersive art installation you can get lost in for hours of entertainment. Before you travel, look up the New Mexico Culture Pass, which can save you money on admission to a range of attractions.
With its alligators, penguins, and rooftop butterfly garden, the Tennessee Aquarium is one of Chattanooga’s most popular family-friendly attractions. You can hop on the classic carousel at Coolidge Park or play in the water fountain. Experience an interactive haven for kids at the Creative Discovery Museum. Older children might also like the Classic Arcade Pinball Museum. You can also get to know downtown Chattanooga on this two-hour Segway tour, suitable for teens and adults.
Known for its 19th-century buildings and friendly small-town feel is the walkable, bikeable seaside hub of Cape May. With September temperatures averaging in the 70s, a day of soaking up the sun at Cape May’s gorgeous beaches is still very possible. All ages are welcome on this dolphin-watching cruise, a lovely fall activity out on the water after the summer heat has passed.
“We’ve been going to Cape May during the month of September for the past 20+ years. Absolutely love it, and the Fall is the best time to go and still enjoy peace and serenity on the beach.” — Traveler Review of Cape May City Beaches
Take in the fresh fall air and changing foliage on a scenic drive around the lakes, or spread out on a beach towel at Clinch Park or Haserot Beach. The kids will love the thrill of a Traverse City rickshaw sightseeing tour, which includes the Warehouse District and the Olde Towne. There’s plenty happening here, so if your family’s a lively bunch, you won’t be disappointed. If you need some down-time, get back to nature at the substantial Sleeping Bear Dunes area, complete with freshwater beaches and hiking trails.
Take advantage of picturesque Maine in the fall with a stay in Portland; a land of fresh seafood, historic lighthouses, and crisp coastal air. This land and sea Duck Tour is great for families—it’s especially exciting when it enters the water at Casco Bay. And what could be more fun than a trip on a vintage fire truck? The Palace Playland amusement park in Old Orchard Beach sits right on the sands less than 30 minutes’ drive away.
“We went on a Duck Tour this weekend and everyone in our family from kids to grandparents had a great time. Our tour guide, Dugan, was very knowledgeable about Portland and quite entertaining too.” — Traveler Review of the Land and Sea Duck Tours
Beautiful cobbled streets, a walkable center, historic buildings… Savannah is a truly spectacular fall family vacation spot that you can enjoy at your own pace. Consider a cruise on the impressive Savannah River Queen (food and drink available on board) or give your legs a rest and explore Savannah on the local trolley tour, which you can board and depart at your leisure. Head to the nearby beaches of Tybee Island to see if you can catch sight of bottle-nosed dolphins.
Fall is a great time to make the most of the beach at La Jolla Shores Park while it’s quieter and cooler. Get your Pacific Ocean views from a Segway on this sightseeing tour suitable for ages 12 and upwards. And don’t miss a stop at the Children’s Pool to watch the always-entertaining harbor seals! Plus, LEGOLAND California is just a half-hour drive up the coast in Carlsbad.
“We can’t say enough about our La Jolla Segway tour. Chris our guide—an ambassador for La Jolla—knew more about La Jolla that anyone I’ve ever met; he was helpful, supportive, and interested in meeting our goals and needs. We have special needs kids and Chris was just perfect in terms of making the tour possible.” — Traveler Review of La Jolla Segway Tour
You’ll find heaps of family-friendly activities in Virginia Beach. In the fall, everywhere is a bit quieter, so you can enjoy kayaking, cycling, and exploring the parks and beaches, with considerably fewer crowds.. Children aged three and up can enjoy indoor skydiving with iFly Virginia Beach, and those five and over are welcome on this incredible ziplining tour through the Virginia Aquarium’s aerial adventure park. Perhaps the best way to end your busy day is with this sunset kayak tour, where you’re likely to spot dolphins.
“VA Beach is just wonderful in September! The crowds have gone away and there is so much space on the beach! I love the shops on the avenue and you can just walk on the streets without having to bump into people.” — Traveler Review of Virginia Beach
Desert sunsets, great golfing, water parks and more await you during a fall family vacation in Phoenix. Want to see the Valley of the Sun from above? Get the best view of this vast desert landscape on a super-special sunrise balloon ride, suitable for families with children of five and over. A tour of the Grand Canyon National Park is a truly unmissable experience and offers the chance to make some wonderful family memories. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is packed with hands-on exhibits and opportunities for play, and Castles N’ Coasters offers thrilling attractions for all ages. The Downtown Donut Fest and Phoenix Pizza Festival in November are more than likely to be a hit with the whole crew.
Some say there’s no lovelier time to enjoy Boston than the fall, where mild temperatures and dazzling foliage reign supreme. Fuel up on Italian treats from the North End eateries, grab a family-friendly meal on the water at the Barking Crab, and glide around on a swan boat at the beautifully-maintained Public Garden. The LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Museum of Science, and Children’s Museum all offer tons of child-friendly fun. Why not see the sights from a Duck Boat tour or join a whale-watching expedition?
“I have walked these gardens many times, most recently in November. The gardens are beautifully kept and are a real magnet for all types of people. A little oasis in a big city that is stunning in the fall. Take time to find the bronze ducks and spend time soaking in the atmosphere.” — Traveler Review of the Boston Public Garden
If you love the great outdoors, take your fall family vacation near the stunning Rocky Mountains of Montana. The lower temperatures of the season make hiking in Bozeman doubly wonderful, especially as the fall colors start to put on their yearly show. This whitewater rafting trip on the Gallatin River is suitable for ages six and up, and you can visit the educational sanctuary at Montana Grizzly Encounter, which is home to several bears. For young adrenaline seekers, this ziplining tour takes you right over the rushing Gallatin River.
“The Montana Whitewater team went above and beyond in providing an exciting and fun day for our family of 2 adults and 5 kids age 11-17. After ziplining we did the whitewater rafting adventure. Perfect weather and great interaction from our guide and the entire team at MWW made for memories of our family vacation that will be cherished for years to come.” — TripAdvisor Review of Gallatin River Whitewater Rafting