Family Vacations to Take This Fall

Fall can be one of the best times of the year to travel, often with fewer crowds, mild weather, and maybe some discounts too. Whether you’re looking for a short and sweet trip after purchasing one of the Indianapolis houses for sale, to embark on an epic adventure across the country or well beyond, these are some of the best family vacations to enjoy during this fabulous season.

The Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks are idyllic in the fall with beautiful beaches that will be less crowded and fishing will be at its best. In addition to fun on the sand, there are lighthouses to tour, the North Carolina Aquarium with stingrays, otters, alligators, and more, and the Wright Brothers Memorial to visit. Plus the Paradise Golf & Arcade offers mini-golf, go-karts, arcade games, and bumper cars.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

The most visited national park in the country with 12.1 million arriving to enjoy it in 2020, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is gorgeous in autumn, with stunning fall colors minus the high number of tourists. The landscapes will be ablaze with crimson reds, golden yellows, and brilliant orange hues which can be enjoyed along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, hiking paths, and scenic drives.

There’s plenty of attractions nearby for the kids too, like Dollywood’s thrill rides, music, and tasty foods, while Gatlinburg offers an aquarium, ziplines, mini-golf, laser tag, museums, and much more.

Black Hills, South Dakota

In the summer, it’s hot and humid in the Black Hills, and jam-packed with bikers throughout much of August due to the famous Sturgis motorcycle rally. But by September, it will be much more pleasant and families can enjoy a wide range of attractions indoors and out. Take a drive along the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park to see bison, wild burros, deer, elk, mountain goats, wild turkey, and bighorn sheep, or travel the Needles Highway, known for its unique rock spires.

If it’s warm enough, there are lakes to paddle and just outside the state park is Mount Rushmore. You can also ride the 1880 train in nearby Hill City, take cave tours, visit the Crazy Horse monument, and enjoy Wild West entertainment in Deadwood too.

Yellowstone National Park, Montana/Wyoming

Another one of the most popular national parks, Yellowstone in the fall is hard to beat with the majority of visitors arriving in the summer. This is when you can be mesmerized by the famous geothermal features, with uninterrupted views of Old Faithful skyrocketing steam as high as 185 feet into the sky, along with many other lesser-known geysers, rainbow-hued hot springs, colorful paint pots, and more.

Plus bears and other wildlife tend to be more visible the more fall moves forward. There are 67 different animal species with not only bears but elk, moose, bison, and wolves.


If you’re thinking International, fall is one of the best times of the year for a visit to Ireland, a country on many travelers’ bucket lists. While the weather isn’t guaranteed, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy sunny skies in September and October in particular, while discounted airfare and accommodation is possible, making it more doable for families on a budget.

Everyone in the family is sure to enjoy exploring castles like Blarney where you can kiss the Blarney Stone, or Bunratty with its creepy dungeon. You can even visit Trim Castle which dates back to the 12th-century and was featured in the movie “Braveheart.” Plus many of the pubs in the country are family-friendly with live music and even impromptu concerts put on by the locals, children included.

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