Fall is such an amazing time to travel in the United States and parts of Canada.
In the fall, the weather is typically pleasant and the crowds are usually far less than during the summertime.
There are so many incredible fall break destinations for families. You really can’t go wrong traveling to most places within the United States during this time of year.
That said, here are my favorite destinations for a fall family getaway.
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1. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, located just 90 minutes from Chicago is a perfect fall family getaway.
Visitors can walk on the lake shore path along Geneva Lake and enjoy not only the incredible fall colors but also the stunning mansions that surround the lake.
If you are looking for even more to do with your family in Lake Geneva, you can take the Best of the Lake tour or the Ice Cream Social Cruise with Lake Geneva Cruise Line
You can also try ziplining or a ropes course with Lake Geneva Ziplines and Adventures.
Even more, downtown Lake Geneva has so many quaint shops and fantastic restaurants to enjoy.
DISCOVER MORE THINGS TO DO: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
BEST FREE THING TO DO IN LAKE GENEVA: Walk along the lake shore path and look at all of the amazing mansions.
2. Niagara Falls, Canada
Niagara Falls is another fantastic fall break destination for families.
During this time the crowds have tapered off yet the weather is still great and many attractions are still open.
The Embassy Suites Fallsview is the perfect accommodation for your family during your fall getaway.
Request a room with a view of the Falls, and you will be able to see the Falls illumination and fireworks right from your hotel room!
The Falls Incline Railway, located near the Embassy Suites Fallsview, is the perfect way to get near the Falls and to many of the attractions offered by Niagara Parks as well as the Fallsview Trail which follows the Niagara River.
ULTIMATE GUIDE: Planning a trip to Niagara Falls
There are so many other great attractions to do and see as well! Consider purchasing one of the packages from Niagara Parks that include a variety of attractions plus a 48 hour ride on the Incline Railway and the WEGO bus
DISCOVER MORE THINGS TO DO: 25 Things to do in Niagara Falls with Kids
BEST FREE THING TO DO IN NIAGARA FALLS: Walk along the Fallsview Trail and get an up close view of Horseshoe Falls from the Table Rock Centre. Also, see the Falls illuminated at night as well as the fireworks show.
3. San Diego
San Diego is another phenomenal fall break vacation idea for families.
The San Diego weather is usually great, and there are so many family friendly things to do in the area.
Some of our favorite things to do in the San Diego area include:
- Balboa Park and its museums
- San Diego Zoo
- Old Town Trolley tour
- USS Midway
- Coronado Beach
- See the seals in La Jolla
DISCOVER MORE: Taking a family vacation to San Diego
BEST FREE THING TO DO IN SAN DIEGO: Visit all of the stunning beaches San Diego has to offer. You don’t want to miss Coronado Beach or seeing the seals in La Jolla. You can also enjoy an incredible sunset on the Ocean Beach Pier.
Gatlinburg, located next to Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a stunning destination for a family fall vacation.
There is SO much to do and see for families in Gatlinburg.
VISIT GATLINBURG: Gatlinburg Family Vacation
Downtown Gatlinburg has so many exciting attractions plus tons of fun shops and restaurants.
DISCOVER ANAKEESTA: Ultimate Guide to Anakeesta
Other must see attractions in Gatlinburg include Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg Space Needle, Skybridge, and the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram.
If you are planning on going downtown Gatlinburg, try to get there early in the day as it can get very busy.
DISCOVER MORE: Visiting downtown Gatlinburg
A visit to Gatlinburg is not complete without at least driving through Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
If you can do a few hikes here, even better!
Pigeon Forge is another great town to visit near Gatlinburg.
Make sure to check out the Island at Pigeon Forge for tons of family fun including shopping, entertainment, amusement rides, restaurants, and the fountain show!
BEST FREE THING TO DO IN GATLINBURG: Drive through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There is no entrance fee to this national park. If you want to park at any place within the park for longer than 15 minutes, you will need to pay a $5 daily parking fee for a parking tag to place on your vehicle.
5. St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri is another fun idea for a fall family getaway.
The fall weather is ideal as compared to the summer heat that St. Louis often experiences.
Additionally, St. Louis has numerous family friendly attractions.
We love visiting Gateway Arch National Park.
Walking below and near the Arch is absolutely incredible.
If you can purchase tickets to go up into the Arch, I highly recommend checking it out.
There is also an impressive museum you can visit for free in the bottom area of the Arch as well as a souvenir shop and cafe and coffee shop.
FIND OUT MORE: Gateway Arch National Park Tips
Other amazing things to do on your Fall break vacation to St. Louis include the City Museum, St. Louis Zoo, and Union Station.
MORE FUN: St. Louis Family Vacation
BEST FREE THING TO DO IN ST. LOUIS: Walk around Gateway Arch National Park, and take some fun selfies underneath and around the Arch. Also visit the museum inside of the Arch for free! Plus, don’t forget about the St. Louis zoo!
Branson, Missouri is another perfect destination for a family fall getaway!
It is a phenomenal spot for families to vacation as there is so much to do!
Branson has the iconic Silver Dollar City amusement park, and between September 15-October 28th, Silver Dollar City holds its Harvest Festival with Pumpkins in the City at night.
GET THE TIPS: Silver Dollar City Tips
This is an event that you do not want to miss.
Additionally, the Branson Strip is full of fun, intriguing and even some quirky museums including the Titanic Museum, Hollywood Wax Museum, Wonderworks, Aquarium at the Boardwalk, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and so many more!
The Branson Strip also has impressive miniature golf courses, family fun parks, and arcades galore!
Make sure to also check out Branson Landing which is a shopping, dining, and entertainment district located along Lake Taneycomo and near historic downtown Branson.
Another must do activity in Branson is the Top of Rock Lost Canyon and Nature Trail electric cart tour.
This tour lasts 45-50 minutes and has absolutely stunning views.
You will even get to ride through a cave and have the opportunity to purchase a drink from the Bat Bar.
BEST FREE THING TO DO IN BRANSON: Go to Branson Landing to see the fountain show.
This just scratches the surface of the fun to be had in Branson, Missouri on fall break with your family!
Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee is the perfect place to enjoy all of the beauty and fun that fall has to offer!
If you are limited on time, the one must see attraction is Rock City.
This attraction will blow you away!
Rock City is unique, stunning, and has surprises around every turn.
On your visit to Rock City, you will walk along paths, up and down steps, across bridges, and through caves while seeing incredible rock formations, greenery, and amazing views.
At Lover’s Leap in Rock City, you can see 7 states at once!
You can also enjoy Fairytale Caverns and Mother Goose Village here too!
LEARN MORE HERE: Ultimate Guide for Your Visit to Rock City
Plan to spend a few hours at Rock City. If you go in the morning you can enjoy lunch at Lover’s Leap either at Cafe 7 or Cliff Terrace.
Another great option for lunch is the Big Rock Grill which is located at the main entrance at Rock City.
Besides Rock City, other great attractions to enjoy on your fall getaway include Ruby Falls, the Incline Railway, Point Park, Tennessee Aquarium, and a walk across the Walnut Street Bridge.
DISCOVER MORE: Ultimate Guide for the Best Day Trip to Chattanooga
BEST FREE THING TO DO IN CHATTANOOGA: Walk across the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge.
8. Arches National Park
Arches National Park located in Moab, Utah is another terrific fall family vacation.
The temperatures are cooler as compared to the summer with an average high of 85 in September and 71 in October.
Average lows are 54 in September and 41 in October.
It is important to note though that fall can be a very busy time in Arches National Park.
The Springhill Suites also provides a free breakfast and an incredible pool area.
If you have extra time, while in Moab, you could venture over to Canyonlands National Park for a day too.
This time of year is also perfect for rafting on the Colorado River, visiting the Moab Giants, or hiking the Grandstaff Trial to Morning Glory Bridge.
DISCOVER MORE THINGS TO DO: Things to do in Moab with Kids
There is so much to do for families in the Moab area and many perfect hikes with kids in Arches National Park.
BEST HIKES FOR KIDS: Arches National Park with Kids
BEST FREE THING TO DO IN MOAB: Find the dinosaur tracks and petroglyphs on Potash Road.
Best Fall Vacation Destinations for Families
I hope this list of incredible fall vacation destinations for families gives you some ideas as to where you can venture to on your fall break or weekend getaway.
Fall is an amazing time of year to travel to many destinations.
These destinations are just some of my favorites to visit that are super family friendly, have phenomenal weather, and a variety of fun things to see and do!
Download my free travel planning itinerary to help plan your Fall getaway today!
May you LOVE your adventure! KW