According to a new survey from AAA, more than one in four Americans are making plans for a fall vacation.
Travel demand will be strongest on the West Coast, where the region’s strong economy and relatively low gas prices fostered record summer travel numbers in 2017.
Americans say the top benefits of taking a fall trip include:
Fewer crowds and children (68 percent);
Weather that is more favorable (63 percent); and,
The opportunity to find better value for the cost of their trip (55 percent).
Road trips are the preferred activity for fall travelers, with 62 percent of those planning a vacation intending to pack up their cars and hit the road. Thanks to milder weather, outdoor events such as fall festivals and visits to national and state parks are particularly popular with travelers this time of year.
If you're in search of fall travel inspiration, look no further than AAA's Via Magazine[viamagazine.com]. The publication celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. To commemorate this milestone, the magazine compiled a list of the 100 Best Travel Ideas in the West, including the following 10 fall favorites:
Mount Shasta. Northern California's tallest peak—composed of four volcanic cones—presides over a wonderland of recreational possibilities, from exploring lava caves to gliding across Lake Siskiyou on a stand-up paddle board.
Join the crowds at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park outside Moab, Utah. Emblazoned on the state's license plates, the arch has also appeared on postage stamps, such as the one for Utah's 1996 centennial.
Swoon over the panorama of Lake Mead, on the Arizona-Nevada border, from the Historic Railroad Trail. The gravel road, which runs from the lake to Hoover Dam, also passes through five old train tunnels.
Let the wind ruffle your hair on a guided powerboat tour of Lake Tahoe, which spills over the border of California and Nevada, or kick back on a dinner cruise aboard a paddle wheeler.
Sample reserve vintages in an ornate 133-year-old Victorian home at Beringer, a classic stop on any wine tasting tour of California's Napa Valley.
Absorb fresh air and panoramic views at the West Summit Overlook (elevation 10,947 feet) on the Beartooth Highway. The highest road in Montana and Wyoming is open from late May to October, weather permitting.
Scream your head off on the Big Shot, the thrill ride atop Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas that shoots you to a point 1,000 feet above the city.
Peer into the 4,000-foot-wide, 700-foot deep moonlike scar of Meteor Crater near Winslow, Ariz., which scientists claim was formed by a space rock traveling 15 times faster than a rifle bullet.
Touch a 150-million-year-old fossil and examine petroglyphs of desert animals and trapezoidal human figures at Dinosaur National Monument in northeast Utah.
Critique Frank Lloyd Wright's genius in Phoenix. The country's most famous architect designed or influenced multiple Arizona structures, including the Arizona Biltmore, a hotel built in 1928 with desert sand blocks made on-site. Architecture and history tours run three times a week.