It’s the most wonderful time of the year — for fall-lovers anyway! Autumn’s approach means it’s time to fall all over again for cooler temps, colorful leaves, cozy cardigans, bangin’ boots, carving jack-o-lanterns after a day at the patch, cheering your football team on, getting cozy on the couch as your favorite shows return to TV, indulging in delicious soups and casseroles, and best of all, reflecting on fall’s finery as you sit with a warm cider (quite possibly spiked … ) beside a backyard bonfire.
As a Traveler your options are wide open — the world is your oyster cracker in a piping hot bowl of chili, so to speak — and you can make the most of this stunning season anywhere in the country! So, where do you want to go? Read on to see if any of these 9 fine fall locations for Travel Nurses are the right destination for you.
Whether you choose the historic cityscape of Boston or the famous foliage of the Berkshires, Massachusetts is an amazing state in which to fall for the wonders of the iconic New England autumn. Get your last 2015 ride in on the famous Boston Public Garden swan boats at that magic moment when the fall colors begin to dazzle and walk the historic Freedom Trail while you still need just a light jacket. In the Berkshire Mountains dramatic peaks and sweet river valleys are the perfect showcase for Sugar Maples and other colorful trees. Cranberry bog harvests brighten the land adding to the amazing scenery in the Cape Ann region, just north of Boston, as well as areas surrounding Plymouth. Also, there’s no witchier or more mysterious place to visit in eerie October than Salem, historic home of the infamous Salem Witch Trials.
The Show-Me State has plenty to show off throughout the fall season! Urban hotspots like St. Louis and Kansas City offer amazing food, arts, and culture against a gorgeous autumn backdrop. Take in an NFL game and cheer alongside the locals for the St. Louis Rams or Kansas City Chiefs. Savor the suds at one of St. Louis’ craft breweries like Schlafly, Urban Chesnut, or Perennial. Devour the deliciousness of Kansas City’s famous dining scene, from fine dining like James Beard nominated Bluestem to down-home like Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s). Branson and the Ozarks offer some of the area’s best fall color displays and you won’t want to miss the opportunity to take a stunning fall foliage driving tour here.
Delicious Washington apples are in their prime in fall, and you’ll find orchards, colorful foliage, and pumpkin patches abound in this wondrous Pacific Northwest state this time of year. You’ll find some of the state’s best leaf-peeping on the North Cascades Highway, Mount Baker Highway, and Mount Rainier Loop. Also, they call it the Evergreen State for a reason, so it’s a great place to be surrounded by green even after the colorful leaves have fallen for good and been raked away. “The Emerald City” of Seattle offers mild temps year-round in addition to an abundance of great jobs. Visit the iconic Pike Place Market — open 19.5 hours daily, 363 days per year — for fresh seafood, produce, flowers, artwork, and so much more, well after most of the nation’s farmers markets have closed for the season. Right nearby you can sip a Pumpkin Spice Latte, not just from any old Starbucks, but from the original location at 1912 Pike Place!
The magnificent changing of aspens is the first thing that usually comes to mind when a Colorado fall is mentioned, and Aspen and Crested Butte are among popular places to peep those gorgeous gold leaves. Estes Park is another popular destination for fall, offering great colors, but also the unique opportunity to witness the elk bugling as mating season begins in Rocky Mountain National Park. There’s also no better time than spooky September and ominous October to visit the famously haunted historic Stanley Hotel, which inspired the setting of Stephen King’s The Shining. Colorado’s numerous scenic byways dazzle with fall colors statewide, so you really can’t go wrong here — and, if you’re a skier and winter-lover, you might look into starting an assignment here in the Centennial State in fall and extending through winter!
The Golden State is a gorgeous all-season hotspot, of course, but fall is an extra special time there. San Diego, Los Angeles, and other SoCal destinations hold steady in temps and continue to offer a warm climate for those who like to ignore the changing of the seasons, while a bit north you can revel in the fall landscape in locations like Napa Valley. Iconic places like Tahoe and Yosemite are a little lighter on crowds in fall, making it easier to explore, but no less grand and gorgeous than in peak months. The Pacific Coast Highway offers its grand views year-round, but the ocean cliffs framed with fall colors is an exceptional sight to see. Pro Tip: Big Sur is one of the best PCH stops for fall views, beginning with yellows early on and building into deep reds and bright oranges by late October.
The entire Volunteer State is something to see, but eastern Tennessee is particularly known for putting on a wondrous show of fall colors in the Smoky Mountains, which are something of an autumn icon. This area offers two National Scenic Byways and several more Tennessee Scenic Byways — that’s seemingly limitless miles of two-lane roads that you’ll want to slow down on an appreciate the unmatched view. In addition to the city’s many hiking and biking trails, Chattanooga’s Southern Belle Riverboat also offer a popular Fall Leaf Cruise that lets you relax and view the colors by boat. City-centers like Nashville and Memphis also celebrate the season in colorful style with beautiful scenery in addition to great BBQ, music, fall festivals, and much more.
The Badger State is the perfect Midwestern destination for fall. More than 1,000 miles of old Wisconsin railroad beds have been converted into bike trails, making for excellent fall foliage biking adventures. At TravelWisconsin.com you can find a great fall color report for the different zones of the state, but in general the fall beauty ensues through October. A Wisconsin highlight worth a daytrip is Door County, a stunning 70-mile long peninsula between Lake Michigan and Green Bay nicknamed the “Cape Cod of the Midwest.” This area is especially known for its arts community, gorgeous fall scenery, and cherries. Tour by bike, boat, car, horse — or, take a scenic airplane jaunt over the area.
Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks are famous for spinning glorious aspen gold in the fall, but the state also offers fine autumn colors at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in the Phoenix area. Boyce Thompson continues to light up with bright red and yellow hues right up until Thanksgiving. The Grand Canyon State also offers the opportunity to keep warm for those who do not care for fall’s colder temps. With the climate staying pretty mild most places, you can still get out to see amazing sights like Page’s Horseshoe Bend, Sedona’s Cathedral Rock, and, of course, Grand Canyon National Park.
For a famous New England fall foliage display, The Empire State is a fantastic home base location. The Big Apple looks great in fall, with gorgeous colors sparkling throughout Central Park, and plenty of history, theater, arts, dining, shopping, and sports to experience. Upstate hotspots like Lake George, Lake Otsego, Glimmerglass State Park, and The Adirondacks are famous for their plentiful fall activities, including scenic hikes and drives, orchards, pumpkin patches, hayrack rides, and much more. Pay tribute to the passing of the 2015 baseball season with a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.