Best Fall Break Destinations For Families


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Parents, it’s time to start thinking about where you’re going to take your kids for their fall break. When school is out in the fall, then it’s time to go exploring with your family! Here are some ideas that will make your fall break unforgettable. Take a look at this list of the 25 best fall break destinations for families – there are plenty of places in the USA for you and your kids!

When you need ideas for a good fall break destination, try thinking about what you and your kids enjoy doing. Do you like to go to the beach? What about exploring a new city? Or does your family prefer natural wonders and outdoor adventure? No matter what you and your kids love doing, there’s a good fall break destination that will make the trip unforgettable.

In this post, we will talk about the advantages of taking a fall break vacation (rather than spring break or summer vacation). We will discuss the importance of planning fall break trips for families, and provide fall break vacation ideas. We will highlight the 25 best fall break destinations for families, and why they’re so great! So read on to find out where you and your kids will want to go for your next family vacation!

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fall break vacation ideas for families

Advantages of Taking a Fall Break Vacation?

Every year, American students have many weeks of summer vacation that they could use to travel. Yet every year, families fail to use their days off for this purpose. Some parents find that it is difficult to get time off work during the summer. Or the rates for accommodation and airfare are higher during popular summer months, making it an expensive time to travel. Plus, family-friendly vacation destinations can be extremely busy during the summer while children are out of school.

All these reasons may prevent parents from traveling during the summer with children. Therefore, a fall break vacation is a great alternative (or addition) to planning a summer vacation.

Fall break is a wonderful time to travel with your kids because it can be an inexpensive vacation. By planning your fall break trip during the off-peak season, you’ll get affordable prices on flights and hotels.

family in autumn leaves

Importance of a Fall Break Family Vacation with Kids?

Why is it important to take your family on a vacation during the fall break season? Taking time for a family trip is more valuable than you think! Going somewhere during the Fall Break gives parents an opportunity to get away from work and kids’ school routines. Planning a fall break vacation with kids will typically be a less popular time of year to travel. This will help you find better travel deals with more affordable accommodation and airfare.

Planning a fall break vacation is important for many reasons. It’s a great time to get away for a reset before the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season. Enjoy time with your children making memories that will last forever. Families can also experience new cultures together and spend time together as a bigger unit. If you are planning to travel with extended family then this article will be helpful about planning a multi-generation vacation with grandparents.

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25 best fall break destinations for families in 2021

Fall Break Vacation Ideas

Do you need some ideas for a fall break vacation for the whole family? There are tons of places throughout America perfect for a family getaway, But if you’re having trouble picking where to go, try thinking about yourselves as individuals. What kind of activities do each member of your family enjoy? Once you have an idea of what everyone likes to do, then it should be easier to narrow down potential destinations! Does one person enjoy hiking, while another prefers visiting museums? A place with something for both is definitely the best choice. Below are some great fall break vacation ideas for families at different price points for parents on any budget.

Best Fall Break Destinations For Families

What are some good fall break destinations for families with kids? When you need ideas for a good fall break destination, try thinking about what your family enjoys doing. Do you like to go to the beach? What about exploring a new city? Or does your family prefer natural wonders and outdoor adventure? No matter what you and your kids love doing, there’s a good fall break destination to make the trip unforgettable.

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top 25 fall break destinations in USA

What Are The 25 Best Fall Break Destinations For Families in America?

Check out these places in the USA that make the perfect fall break trips for families.

1. San Antonio, Texas

Wondering where to go for fall break? Texas has so many great family-friendly fall destinations, but none is better than San Antonio! This Texas city is perfect for a fall break vacation. It has many beautiful places to explore like the Alamo and River Walk. This city has something for everyone to love; whether you’re traveling with children, grandparents, or anyone in between.

When you travel to San Antonio for a fall break, don’t forget to pack your cowboy hats and boots! You can experience thrilling rides on the roller coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. You won’t want to miss out on seeing the gorgeous foliage this time of year when it’s so beautiful in Texas.

2. Phoenix, Arizona

Take a trip to the desert on your fall break in Phoenix: famous for its sunny weather and warm beaches. Don’t miss out on visiting The Desert Botanical Garden that has over 50 miles of hiking trails. Farnsworth House sits at the edge of Papago Park (and is a midcentury modern home designed by architect Wright). Or Pueblo Grande Museum Archeological Park where ancient Hohokam structures are preserved today like canal systems, ball courts & more. Kids will love taking part in some outdoor fun like hiking and horseback riding at McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Or getting up close with the animals at the Wildlife World Zoo.

3. Disneyland – Anaheim, California

You can go visit Mickey Mouse’s house when you take your family to Disneyland for a fall break vacation! Many attractions here in California are created just for kids. There’s Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Alice in Wonderland, and Toy Story Mania. Families will have fun together as they travel through a world of fantasy and nostalgia. You’ll also get to meet many of your favorite characters like Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse & Goofy. Plus, don’t forget that Disneyland is made up of two theme parks: Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s California Adventure. So, there are always more than enough rides to go around. Disneyland is one of the best fall break destinations because your whole family will love visiting!

4. San Francisco, California

Everyone in your family will like this amazing place on your fall break because San Francisco is so much fun! You’ll find incredible food like sourdough bread bowls filled with clam chowder. Or Tonga Toast at Cult-favorite restaurant The Golden Gate Bakery. After you’ve stuffed yourself with some delicious food, then head over to Pier 39. Take a boat tour of the bay, or ride on the carousel. Visit the sea lions at Pier 39, and feed them bread from your hands.

My favorite birthday ever was spent visiting San Francisco over fall break vacation. I especially loved riding bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge. After spending time in San Francisco during fall break, consider taking a road trip to Redwood National and State Parks. There are innumerable hiking trails here, and of course, it’s one of the greatest places in America to visit during the fall!

Visit Seattle with kids in autumn

5. Seattle, Washington

This scenic city in the Pacific Northwest is one of the best destinations in America. Visit Seattle during the fall for families looking for something new and exciting. The leaves turn a gorgeous yellow here when they change colors which makes it even more fun. Explore this great city with kids because they’ll be fascinated by all of the vibrant colors around them!

Visiting Seattle offers so many family-friendly activities including going on cruises or touring an aquarium together. Other fun attractions include going to the Space Needle. And Woodland Park Zoo has over 1,100 animals from all around the world for you to enjoy. There’s delightful food at coffee shops and as well as lots of delicious restaurants for foodies like you and your little ones.

6. Big Sky, Montana

This is one of the most beautiful places in America during the fall because Big Sky has so much natural beauty to offer. You’ll love exploring Yellowstone National Park. Try horseback riding with your kids, and experiencing the gorgeous Montana wilderness at this scenic resort town. Families who visit Big Sky find it to be a place where they can just relax and forget about life’s daily stresses for a while.

When you book your fall break family vacation in Big Sky you can either stay in a home or condo that’s fully equipped. Or go camping under the stars in tents. Either way, it will be an unforgettable experience!

7. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming

What’s better than seeing the changing colors of fall in one of the most beautiful parts of America? If you’re looking for a good fall break destination that will keep your family outdoors, check out Yellowstone National Park! Kids love camping and hiking in national parks, so they’ll definitely get into the spirit of exploring this great park. The best part about it is that it’s free to enter for anyone 15 and under! Taking a road trip with kids through a national park is an excellent way to enjoy fall break as a family.

Did you know? Every year, beginning September 1, all kids in the fourth grade have access to the Every Kid Outdoors pass. This pass provides free access for 4th graders and their families to national parks across the country.

8. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Wyoming is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country -especially this time of year when the leaves change color! If you’re looking for a place where you and your family can do outdoor activities like fly fishing, skiing, and hiking, then Jackson Hole in Wyoming is perfect for you. There are also many beautiful places to visit like Grand Teton National Park.

When you stay in Jackson Hole for a fall break vacation, you’ll be surrounded by nature. If you’re looking for a destination that combines culture and outdoor activities for families, then this is a great choice. You’ll definitely get your fill of fresh mountain air when you take a fall break vacation here!

9. Chicago, Illinois

Stretching between the chilly shores of Lake Michigan and the prairie land that surrounds it is an amazing city for everyone to visit: Chicago! Take advantage of the cooler weather by heading to one of America’s most popular cities for your family fall break trip. In Chicago, there are so many fun places to visit like Navy Pier (you can even take in an awesome fireworks show on Saturday nights). There is Millennium Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum. Plus, you’ll want to tour some of the amazing skyscrapers like the John Hancock Center and Willis (Sears) Tower.

While you’re in Chicago, make sure you visit some of these popular attractions. The Skydeck Chicago is a glass box protruding from the 103rd floor that lets you see for 50 miles on a clear day. The Art Institute of Chicago, and Magnificent Mile is the commercial district with upscale shops, cool restaurants, and posh hotels. There is something to entertain the whole family in Chicago!

10. Columbus, Ohio

Everyone in your family will love visiting this popular destination on your fall break because Columbus has something for everyone to enjoy! You’ll find lots of historical buildings, museums like the Ohio Statehouse, Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. And you can go on a tour of Forest Hills Cemetery where 33 U.S. Presidents are buried at the Presidential Memorial Site Visitor Center.

There’s also plenty to do here for families like going to COSI science center, shopping at Easton Town Center (one of the largest shopping malls in America). Try eating at restaurants like Donatos Pizza – a Columbus institution since 1963. It is said to serve up some of the best pies in all of Ohio.

fall break trips for families - Maine

11. Acadia National Park in Maine

Take a family road trip with kids this fall break by driving up the East Coast of America into Maine and visit Acadia National Park. There are tons of great waterfalls to see here – and kids will definitely enjoy visiting them all! You can also visit George Washington’s winter camp at Schoodic Point during your time exploring the park as well.

For families who love the great outdoors and want to spend their fall break in one of the most beautiful parts of America, there’s nothing like Acadia National Park! Located on Mount Desert Island, everyone will have a blast hiking around the area. See all of the natural beauty that Maine has to offer. There are many trails for kids which makes this one of the best fall break destinations you could visit with your family.

12. Boston, Massachusetts

Even though it’s colder than other parts of America at this time of year, there’s no denying how beautiful New England looks during the autumn season! This is an amazing place for families who love learning about historic landmarks. And nothing is better than seeing them all in their most beautiful state during the fall. Boston, Massachusetts is a great New England fall break destination for you and your family!

There’s so much to do here like visiting Quincy Market, exploring the Freedom Trail, and learning about the history of the Revolutionary War. In Boston, you’ll find plenty of things to do on your fall break vacation. Start by visiting the New England Aquarium. And The Franklin Park Zoo (it’s home to the famous Giant Pandas of China). Followed by The Museum of Science-the biggest science museum in all of New England. Also, take your family to Fenway Park (home to the Boston Red Sox). You won’t want to miss out on this amazing city which offers tons of fall break travel ideas.

13. New York City, New York

Everyone in your family will love this year-round destination on your fall break. New York City has something for everyone to enjoy! You’ll be amazed by all the wonderful sites here like the Empire State Building where you can catch sight of amazing views from its observatory (even if it’s closed during renovations). Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is a museum that houses over 500 artifacts that are unbelievable (including shrunken heads, mummies, vampire hunting kits & more!).

Take your kids to Times Square where you’re surrounded by neon lights from gigantic billboards and signs. Top of Rock Experience at Rockefeller Center Observatory where you can see 360 degrees worth of New York City’s amazing skyline (the view is really breathtaking!). You can visit American Girl Place which has a store, cafe, doll hair salon, and doll hospital. There are so many things to do with kids in New York City. Add the Big Apple to your list of the best fall break destinations for families.

14. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This city was America’s first capital (way before it became Washington D.C.). Philadelphia has many historical sites to visit with your family during the fall break! You’ll want to check out Rocky Steps which is a staircase leading up into the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Liberty Bell is part of the Independence National Historical Park but can be viewed year-round. Franklin Court which is across from Independence Hall where you can see the site where Benjamin Franklin had his printing press. The Adventure Aquarium has an impressive collection of sea creatures (and even rare white alligators!). You can experience life as an old-fashioned streetcar conductor when you tour The Please Touch Museum that lets kids pick what they want to do there. Philidelphia is one of the most fascinating and historical fall break destinations in the USA.

15. Washington DC

Everyone in your family will love this year-round destination on your fall break because Washington DC has something for everyone to enjoy! You’ll be amazed by all the wonderful sites and attractions here like Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, United States Capitol Building, The White House, Ford’s Theatre (where President Lincoln was shot), and many museums like Natural History Museum and Spy Museum.

If that’s not enough excitement for your family on their fall trip to Washington DC, then you can check out some of these interesting places: International Spy Museum which features exhibits about espionage. The Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens is an estate originally built in 1926 by cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post (that her personal art collection that contains works by Salvador Dali, Edgar Degas, and Andy Warhol). And you can get an up-close look at the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Bill of Rights at the National Archives Museum. Washington DC is packed with educational experiences for kids making it one of the best fall break destinations in the USA.

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where to go for fall break - destinations in the USA

16. Williamsburg, Virginia

Not only is this city the birthplace of our nation but it’s also a popular destination to travel to during fall break (or any time of year for that matter). The Virginia Living Museum and Busch Gardens are definitely worth checking out! Your family will never run out of things to do here. Wherever you go, you’ll see amazing colonial attractions like Colonial National Historical Park or George Wythe House where Thomas Jefferson learned the law from George. Other historic places include Seabrook Village which is made up of ten buildings dating back to 1767, and Jamestown Settlement is a re-created settlement from the original colony founded in 1607. If your kids love acts of heroism then they can stop by Historic Jamestowne there’s a lot here including a museum and cannons to admire.

17. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Looking for more east coast fall break vacation ideas? Head to the coast and visit this popular beach city in southeastern Virginia during your fall break. There are several fantastic places here you and your kids will want to explore like First Landing State Park-which offers beautiful views of the bay. You’ll also want to check out another state park nearby called Back Bay Wildlife Refuge for some fun family activities. During your visit to Virginia Beach, you will love taking a ferry ride over to North Carolina for another unforgettable experience with your family.

18. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Take a trip to North Carolina this fall break and explore everything the Great Smoky Mountains have to offer! This is a great place for families looking for something different to do on their fall break so you’ll definitely want to check out all that this historic and scenic park has to offer. There are so many outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, horseback riding, camping, and biking which makes it perfect for adventurists like you and your children.

This is truly one of the most popular places in America to visit during the fall because of the natural beauty. The forests here are absolutely stunning when they turn yellow/orange/red during October-so don’t miss out on visiting! In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park there’s always something new and amazing waiting around every corner.

19. Asheville, North Carolina

While exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during your fall break vacation to North Carolina consider a visit to Asheville. This is an ideal destination for families who love to eat tasty food and visit interesting attractions. You’ll find plenty of both at this quaint town located in the Blue Ridge Mountains that are teeming with nature and good vibes. There are plenty of cool shops, fascinating museums and art galleries to explore, and tons of delicious restaurants with all types of food on the menu. Nearby you can enjoy hiking, kayaking, fishing, and even ziplining in the mountains.

Asheville is great for those who want to explore the picturesque beauty of Western North Carolina during their fall break. You’ll be happy your family came along on this trip because Asheville has lots of fun places to visit like Biltmore Estate, the world-famous Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, and of course the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am so lucky to live in Western North Carolina, so let me know if you want to know more about visiting Asheville with kids. You can read my article about all the fun things to do in Asheville with kids. It really is such an awesome place to visit and Asheville is one of the best fall break destinations for families.

20. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

The Appalachian Mountains are gorgeous when they’re surrounded by autumn colors which makes Pigeon Forge a perfect place to go on your fall break with kids. You and your family will love exploring all of the great attractions like Dollywood, Titanic Museum, and WonderWorks. If you have a preschooler age 4-5 years they may be eligible to receive a FREE Pre-K Imagination Season Pass to enjoy FREE fun at Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country.

The Island is a popular attraction for kids in Pigeon Forge. This family-friendly entertainment center offers live music, games, and exciting rides, along with a selection of restaurants, a hotel, and retail shops. The dancing fountain timed to music and The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel are a big hit with our family!

good fall break destinations

21. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Everyone in your family will love this year-round destination on your fall break because Chattanooga has something for everyone to enjoy! You’ll be amazed by all the wonderful sites here like Ruby Falls, Rock City, Tennessee Aquarium, Lookout Mountain Nature Center & Wildlife Preserve (where you can see wild animals and birds native to the area). Plus, you can go ziplining or take a ride via a historic railroad train at the Ochs Museum.

If you get hungry during your fall trip to Chattanooga, then head over to Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers where they serve delicious food like calzones and hummus plates. And if that’s not enough to satisfy your appetite, then check out these other restaurants: Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ, The Grapefruit Moon, and Big River Grille.

22. Nashville, Tennessee

The capital of country music is a fun place to go on your fall break with the whole family because Nashville has so many cool attractions. This destination will allow you and your children to have fun-filled days with special shows, tasty treats, and hands-on activities they’ll love. There are some great places in Music City USA to take your children: Adventure Science Center, The Johnny Cash Museum, Cheekwood Botanical Garden, and the Tennessee State Capitol.

Adventure Science Center is a fun learning center with lots of exhibits, films, shows, and workshops for kids. And if you’re looking for a way to enjoy your fall break outdoors, then head out on the Nashville Pedestrian Bridge that extends over the Cumberland River and offers great views of downtown Nashville.

Everyone in your family will enjoy this fun destination on your fall break because Nashville has something for everyone. Check out attractions like the Grand Ole Opry and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.  Plus it’s easy to find a tasty meal at one of these yummy restaurants: Biscuit Love, Local Taco, and Five Daughters Bakery.

23. Atlanta, Georgia

During your fall break vacation with kids, you will be amazed by all the wonderful sites in Atlanta. The Georgia Aquarium houses more than 100,000 animals (including whale sharks!). At the World of Coca-Cola, you can see how Coke is bottled and canned before going through a 4D movie theater ride about the history of Coke. Try ziplining through downtown Atlanta via a tour called The Atlanta Sky Tour with Piedmont Park. And you can visit Underground Atlanta (which is called “the city beneath the city” because it’s a historic district that was built in 1869).

If that’s not enough excitement for your family on their fall trip to Atlanta, then they can go to fun theme parks like Six Flags Over Georgia which has more than 100 rides and attractions (including roller coasters), Wild Animal Safari where you can see lions, elephants, tigers, zebras & more! You’ll also find cool stuff like Dolphin Tales where you can enjoy marine life shows with dolphins during the day and laser light shows at night. And of course, you have to check out these restaurants in Atlanta: Dua Thai Eatery, Duluth Seafood Company Grill & Sushi, The Varsity, and Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q.

24. Orlando, Florida

When you mention theme parks then that means one thing: Orlando, Florida! There’s no shortage of places for your family to go during the fall break because there are so many major attractions. Walt Disney World Resort with four amazing theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom). Universal Orlando Resort includes two awesome theme parks (Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure), and SeaWorld Orlando has an aquarium and water park as well! Orlando is geared towards families, making it one of the best fall break destinations with kids.

Everyone in your family will love this warm weather destination on your fall break because Orlando has something for everyone to enjoy! You’ll be amazed by all the wonderful sites and attractions here like Gatorland, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, WonderWorks, Harry P. Leu Gardens, and Old Town. If that’s not enough excitement for your family on their fall break trip to Orlando, then they can go to Orlando Science Center (where they can see the world’s biggest collection of seashells).

The best part about staying at a hotel in Orlando is that you’ll have access to some awesome pools like those at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Caribe Royale Orlando, and The Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek.

Orlando, Florida is a very popular fall break destination for families. Walt Disney World will actually be our family’s fall break vacation this year. We are super excited! 2021 is the 50th Anniversary which makes this the perfect time to plan a fall break trip to Walt Disney World.

25. Miami, Florida

If you’ve ever wanted to take a trip somewhere warm with your family during the fall break then look no further than beautiful Miami! This popular destination has tons of things for families like beaches, theme parks, and museums to enjoy together. Kids will love visiting all of the tropical plants and animals that can be found at Everglades National Park. You’ll also get a taste of old-fashioned Cuba when you visit Little Havana in this city famous for its vibrant dance scene. You won’t want to miss out on exploring all that South Florida has to offer during fall break!

where to go for fall break in USA 2021

Where To Go For Fall Break? The Best Family-Friendly Destinations.

The USA is full of many different family-friendly destinations that will make your fall break unforgettable. Whether you’re looking for amusement parks, historical sites, museums, beaches, or the great outdoors. There’s plenty to explore and enjoy with the whole family during your fall break vacation! We hope this list has inspired you to plan a fun trip during your kids’ next fall break. No matter where you live in America this wide selection of fall break vacation ideas offers something perfect for your family. We hope you can experience these locations in person, as you make plans to visit the best fall break destinations.

And remember, let’s BE Family so you can enjoy the journey.

Until next time,

💕 Ruth

For more about family travel check out these posts:
Top Family Vacation Destinations in the US for 2021
How To Start Saving For A Vacation With Kids
Plan a Multi-Generational Vacation with Grandparents
How to Pack Your Car for a Family Road Trip?

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Ruth Hutchins grew up in England and now lives in North Carolina with her husband, Doug, and their two young daughters. They always loved to travel, but once having children everything changed because family travel is more complicated. Traveling with a baby may feel overwhelming to new parents. Travel with a toddler can really test your patience, and traveling with kids can lead to utter chaos. However, travel with your little ones doesn’t have to be that stressful or exhausting. On the BE Family Travel blog Ruth shares her parenting wins, and even epic failures about traveling with kids. She provides resources to help you feel empowered to plan a family vacation and travel with your children.