As September squeezes out the final drops of summer, it’s time to gear up for autumn. Cooler temps, campfires, pumpkins, and cranberry sauce—autumn brings many reasons to celebrate or to go RV camping.
Most notably, autumn is the season for leaf peeping. Remarkable fall foliage brightens up the land, changing hues from green and brown to vibrant yellows and oranges and fiery reds and golds.
There are great deals to take advantage of during back to school season—and if you time it right, you’ll get fantastic weather and minimal crowds, too. As much of the country is wrapped up with back-to-school season, RV travelers should take advantage of crisp fall weather and great deals.
Best places to go this month include favorites like Charleston, South Carolina—where you’re less likely to find tourists this time of year, and can enjoy the cities as most locals do. Fall foliage is another major attraction this time of year, and we recommend leaf-peeping in Vermont and northern New Mexico.
Finally, wine lovers should pay attention to two locations this year: the Okanagan Valley (British Columbia), which can no longer be considered a young Napa, as its wines are now celebrated on international lists; and the Gold Country (California).
With rolling hills dotted with sagebrush and ponderosa pine—and thousands of acres of vineyards—the Okanagan Valley can no longer be considered a nascent Napa. Lying between two mountain ranges and stretching roughly 125 miles north from the U.S.-Canada border, the geography varies from the desert-like conditions in the south to the green plateau of the Naramata Bench and Okanagan Lake’s sandy beaches.
The roots of old zinfandel grapevines run deep in the Gold Country with winemaking here dating back to the Gold Rush days of the 1850s. Now, an explosion of wineries, wine tours, tasting rooms, and restaurants specializing in wine country cuisine has added a jolt of grape-fueled energy to the Sierra foothills where more than 100 wineries now produce a wide range of varietals, most notably zinfandel, but also an intriguing variety of other varietals.
Nearly 1,300 bison wander the park’s 71,000 acres of mountains, hills, and prairie, which they share with a wealth of wildlife including pronghorn antelope, elk, white-tailed and mule deer, big horn sheep, mountain goats, coyotes, wild turkeys, a band of burros, and whole towns of adorable prairie dogs. Visit the last Friday in September and feel the thunder and join the herd at the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup (September 28, in 2018).
Trail of the Ancients circles through the ancient Puebloan (Anasazi) areas of southeastern Utah, providing opportunity to view scenic landscapes, archaeological, cultural, and historic sites, as well as Natural Bridges and Hovenweep national monuments, Monument Valley, Edge of the Cedars State Park, and Manti La Sal National Forest.
Adirondack Park, New York
Part state park, part forest preserve, and part privately owned land encompassing 102 towns and villages, Adirondack Park is massive. Totaling 6.1 million acres, America’s biggest state park is larger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined. Nearly half of the land is owned by the State of New York and designed as “forever wild,” encompassing all of the Adirondacks’ famed 46 High Peaks as well as 3,000 lakes and 30,000 miles of river. You’re gonna be here a while.
Sandstone buttes, mesas, and spires rise majestically from the desert floor. Monument Valley offers the Western backdrop made famous in movies directed by John Ford. An unpaved road loops through the park. Several overlooks offer spectacular views of the wonders of Monument Valley. One of the grandest—and most photographed—landmarks in the United States,
Early fall may be the most enjoyable time of year to travel. Summer crowds are gone, and the weather is pleasant nearly everywhere—no longer hot but not yet cold.