Best Destinations for Your Fall Bucket List

Best destinations for your fall bucket list

Fall on the East Coast is one of the most loved seasons by all! There are endless destinations for apple and pumpkin picking, cider and wineries, and hiking trails for leaf peeping. Whether you are looking for a fall inspired day trip from NYC, or a weekend getaway, below are some of my favorite places to visit this fall for a unique autumnal experience! 

Disclosure: Some of the links included are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you click to make a purchase. I don’t recommend anything I wouldn’t personally use, and the income goes towards keeping my blog updated!

Peddler’s Village

Located in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, Peddler’s Village is best known for its winter holiday display, but they are one of the most festive places around for Halloween! Peddler’s Village is an adorable little town with an array of boutique shops and restaurants. The town is decorated for the Fall season, making for the perfect festive photo backdrop. 

Peddler's Village fall

Starting mid-September, they have a scarecrow festival, in which locals craft various themed scarecrows to be displayed and judged in the village. It’s so fun to walk around and see all of the different works of art! Towards the end of October, there is a pumpkin carving contest, where anyone can enter their piece for free if you’re feeling creative! The pumpkins can be admired by all around the village from October 24-29th! 

Another fun fall-filled event in Peddler’s Village is the OctoberFeast which is hosted October 14-15th, where you can enjoy an Oktoberfest themed food and drink garden with live music and activities for all ages!

Mohonk Mountian House

Mohonk Mountain House, located just 2 hours from NYC, is one of the best places to enjoy a fall day! The Mohonk Mountain House resort is a castle tucked away in the mountains of the Hudson Valley. The hotel is truly perfect for the fall season, between the colorful changing leaves and the pumpkins dotting the property. Mohonk Mountain House has miles of hiking trails available for hotel guests and for visitors via a hiking tail day pass for $35 per adult. 

The Lemon Squeeze Trail, one of the best most famous hiking trails in the North East, is located at Mohonk Mountain House. The Lemon Squeeze trail is a 7 mile hiking loop which involves a rock scramble and squeezing underneath the “lemon” rock, where you reach the top at the Sky Tower for incredible fall foliage views! This is a moderately challenging hike that takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

Shenandoah Valley

The Shenandoah Valley is another wonderful place for hiking and admiring fall foliage and mountain views! Packed with wineries and hiking trails, you won’t be bored spending a weekend in Shenandoah Valley. One of the best ways to spend a fall day is relaxing at a cidery or winery in the mountains, and Shenandoah Valley has plenty of them! My favorites include Pippin Hill Winery and King Family Vineyards! 

Fall is one of the best times of the year to visit Shenandoah National Park, not only because of the vibrant fall foliage, but the climate is more tolerable for hiking and there is less of a concern for running into snakes or bears on the trails. Shenandoah National Park offers hikes for both beginners and advanced hikers, as well as scening spots to stop along Skyline Drive to take in the mountain views and fall foliage. Visit my complete guide here for information about the trails, where to stay, and what else to do around the Shenandoah Valley region! 

Renault Winery

While there are so many wineries in New Jersey, Renault Winery tends to be my favorite, especially around autumn! Renault Winery and Resort is located in the Southern portion of New Jersey, just 30 minutes from the shore. This resort is a lovely fall retreat, with cozy modern guest rooms at Chateau Renault, a wine and beer garden with tours available, a cafe and restaurant, and endless events including live music, pick and press, and Renaultber Fest which is a festive fall packed day with activities for both adults and children. Whether you are just spending a day or booking for a weekend, Renault winery is such a beautiful place to relax and the beautiful property and fall decor, perfect for a romantic fall weekend getaway!

Renault Winery fall decor
renault winery fall

Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens, a spectacular botanical garden located in Brandywine Creek Valley, is home to incredible horticulture displays spanning for miles. The gardens celebrate all four seasons, and fall is a wonderful time to enjoy the flowers, fountains, and of course, their very own beer garden! From September 30th through November 12th, Longwood hosts its Chrysanthemum Festival, where you can see this fall flower come to live in the greenhouse. Longwood Gardens is the perfect place for an enchanting fall walk, a photoshoot among the flowers, or an afternoon with friends enjoying the beer garden. 


Princeton, New Jersey is one of the best towns to visit in New Jersey any time of the year, but it transforms into a vibrant wonderland during the fall. The Hogwarts-esque campus of Princeton University is the perfect place to start your day, wandering around enjoying the fall foliage. There are endless photo opportunities, as this is one of the most picturesque college campuses in the region. There are plenty of fall activities around Princeton, including the popular Terhune Orchards, where you can pick your own apples, enjoy cider donuts, and have a flight of wine. Another bucket list destination this fall is Holland Ridge Farm, where you can pick your own sunflowers not too far from Princeton. Grounds for Sculpture is another gem in the Princeton area, where you can leaf peep among the massive, perfectly crafted sculptures. Check out my guide to Princeton for more activities and travel tips!

Grounds for Sculpture
Princeton University