Big, week-long trips have an obvious appeal, but they’re not always feasible. Whether it’s an issue of not having enough money, time or you simply have too much on your plate, it’s not always possible to make major trips a reality, but that doesn’t mean you can’t travel on the weekends.
One of the best suggestions for satiating your appetite for travel is taking weekend trips (or long weekend trips) to nearby places. These little escapes allow you to enjoy time away without being all that far from home, maximizing relaxation while minimizing travel time—and fall is one of the best seasons to travel. The weather in most of the country is temperate, summer crowds are gone and you can enjoy the fall colors in many destinations.
When you’re ready to pack up the car and enjoy a weekend away, check out one of these 10 incredible fall destinations. From California to Canada, these are the top weekend trips on the west coast.
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
The big city of Vancouver is busy in the summer and a great gateway to ski resorts in the winter, but the time in between is often overlooked. The fall is arguably the best time to visit, as there’s still a lot going on, but the prices and crowds aren’t at their peak. Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery, stroll the night market in Chinatown and explore the outdoors in Stanley Park. The city isn’t too far from Seattle or Portland, making it a perfect trip for a long weekend.
Lake Tahoe, Calif. and Nev.
Another incredible destination popular in the summer and winter, but largely forgotten about in the fall, Lake Tahoe is one of the highest (and best preserved) alpine lakes in the country. The area is a haven for outdoor recreation—water sports attract visitors in the summer and the mountains that surround the lake are a huge draw for skiers and snowboarders in the winter—but fall is a great time to enjoy beautiful hikes, fall foliage and wildlife that’s getting ready for winter. Just a short ride from Sacramento, San Francisco and Reno, Lake Tahoe is easily accessible for a long weekend trip, but it’s well-preserved natural land will have you feeling like you’re hundreds of miles away.