To every season there’s a new reason to travel. Winter calls out to you with pipping hot mugs of mulled wine, ski slopes, and spiced cakes. Summer screams of outdoor adventure in the mountains and on the high seas. Springs longs for renewal and ritual as parties erupt on the streets of the world to celebrate another winter survived. And then there’s fall — it’s in the time of dying as they say. The leaves are turning and dropping. The heat of summer is dissipating with every sunrise and sunset. The air gets crisper. But it’s also a time when a few plum spots around the world are at their best for a little adventure.
National Geographic released their ten favorite spots to travel to this fall. We couldn’t pass up the chance to not only agree with their list but provide you with a visual breakdown. Below are our favorite reasons to hit these corners of the world in the coming months with a little visual temptation thrown in to seal the deal. Enjoy!
Bhutan is one of those places Led Zeppelin sang about in a rock-folk ode — it’s over the mountains and far away. It’s a country that’s isolated from the rest of the world by the craggy and pastoral eastern reaches of the Himalayas. Buddhist temples cling to cliffs with a transcendent calm. It’s a small country nestled between China and India but wholly unique. It’s also one of the first countries to become completely carbon neutral and boasts some of the most stunning vistas on planet earth.
It’s hard to say something about Australia that hasn’t already been said. It’s a place full of magic. That’s not hyperbole. The air is different down there. The animals and plants are different. It’s a place of mystery, wonder, and stark expanses begging to be explored. One could spend a lifetime wandering the continent from coast to coast to coast to coast and never see it all.
Why not start now? There are great cities with deep food cultures, Aboriginal backcountry where some of humanity’s oldest civilization dwell, and a natural beauty second to none on this planet.
8. NATIONAL PARKS OF THE US AND CANADA
This one’s a bit cheeky on the behalf of National Geographic — pick one or give both their due as separate listings, yo. Anyway, yup, visiting the national parks of the United States and/or Canada is the perfect fall vacation. The leaves will be turning. The wildlife will be out and about fattening up for winter (and mating). And the atmosphere will be bracing for the coming winter with plenty of frost but not the ice and snow.
See our coverage of National Parks here.
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7. CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa on its own has a lot to offer the intrepid wanderluster. There’s striking natural beauty — both coastal and mountainous. There’s a teeming wildlife population. And there are cities that bring the whole country together with great food, cheap beer, and a convivial confluence of cultures.
Cape Town is one of those cities that has it all. Amazing scenery. Check. Delicious food scene. Check. A great party scene, Check. It’s a modern city and a great entry point into exploring the vast continent of Africa further.
6. OAXACA, MEXICO
When we think Oaxaca we think food, glorious food. While Oaxaca is renowned for vibrant colonial architecture and the verdant high country full of agave fields and pyramids, it’s the food that truly stands above here. Strolling through a food market or along a street full of vendors is like unwrapping presents on a balmy Christmas Day. There’s a sense of wonder and excitement as you unwrap all those new flavors, smells, and textures and dive into some of the best food the world has to offer.
Zambia sits on the border between the vast jungles of the Congo to the north and the horizon seeking grass lands of southern Africa. And right now the animals are moving and the weather is mild. This is where you go and see the wilds of Africa up close and personal. It’s also where you’ll find the magnificent natural wonder that is Mosi-oa-Tunya or The Smoke That Thunders. You might recognize it by its English colonial name, Victoria Falls. But, come on, The Smoke That Thunders is faaaar more dope.
4. WINE COUNTRY, FRANCE
Ah, France in Autumn. That sounds like Nancy Meyers’ next vehicle — probably starring Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin. The wine country in France really is that idyllic. The tresses and rows are that picturesque. The cheese is that runny and delectable. And the wine, well, it’s some of the best there is.
Unfortunately, due to an extremely hot summer and heavy frosts in spring, the harvest has already largely happened. It usually happens closer to mid-October. Even though the vineyards are done the harvesting, there’s plenty to see and do between the little gray stone villages, waning fields of lavender, and an endless list of great restaurants.
Greece sits on the borderlands between ancient and modern. Few places have such well-preserved artifacts from a storied past right next to the modernity of the 21st-century life. Fall in Greece means the heaviest of summer temperatures have started to wane as the milder weather takes hold. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still beach weather, but you won’t roast in 100+ degree heat. And if history isn’t your jam, Greece has a deep bench of postcard perfect beaches to choose from. Go for a swim, sip on a cocktail, soak up some sun, eat some food fresh from the sea. Repeat.
2. JAIPUR, INDIA
Fall marks Diwali in India — a festival of lights. Jaipur is a prime location to take in the wonders of the Indian holiday on the sub-continent. There are ancient palaces, breathtaking lakes awash in lights, and temples devoted to transcending the humdrum banality of regular life for the spiritual and esoteric. Oh, and you’ll never have a bad meal. The food is vibrant, bold, and abundant.
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Everyone should spend a few months of their life eating their way across Vietnam at some point. It’s like a traveler’s rite of passage. Start in Ho-Chi-Minh City and work your way north to Hanoi. You can stop off at tiny villages where grandmas will insist on feeding you bowls of rice noodles with flavors so bold and concise it’ll change the way you think about food. Early fall is prime time in Vietnam as the heat of the summer has started to fall off and the rainy season of November and December have yet to take hold. Go. Eat. Learn. Love.
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Bún/ bánh đa cá – Số 164 Ô Chợ Dừa, Đống Đa, HN (30k) (9h-21h) 📍Ohlala lại mới phát hiện ra 1 quán bún cá ngay gần cty để đổi gió bữa trưa 🙆 Nhìn hơi ít cá nhưng ăn là vừa đủ nha, nước dùng ngọt lừ, cá thơm chắc thịt, rau sống sạch sẽ tươi ngon, trà đá free, quán đông nhưng phục vụ cực nhanh nhẹn 😍 Hơi tụt hứng là cá bị nhiều xương dăm và mình đen ăn phải lọ măng ngâm lâu r, chua loét siu cay và mất hết độ giòn, ăn nhũn nhũn :<