Now that the heat is fading, it’s time to plan for fall van travel this October. In addition to cooler temperatures, you can enjoy other off-season treats like smaller crowds at campgrounds, festivals, and wherever you travel during this time, you’ll experience stunning bursts of fall foliage colors.
October is the sweet spot of fall. In the northern U.S., you can relish the crisp air, decorated pumpkins, and romps through apple orchards before the holiday season revs up. In the south, you can hike and enjoy nature without trying to stay cool and hydrated in the intense heat and humidity.
Ready to pack up your campervan and enjoy peak fall adventures? Good! But where should you go? We’ve researched all the autumnal excitement and relaxation you can get into, so keep reading to see which of these top 11 van destinations for October 2022 will inspire you to plot your course.
Harvest on the Harbor in Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine might be one of the top foodie towns in the U.S. Sure, that’s a bold statement, but all the reports confirm it! The beautiful port city—along with many other cities in Maine—is also known for its craft beer scene. With all that established, the Harvest on the Harbor offers many of Maine’s top delights all in one weekend and one hot spot. In 2022, this three-day, waterfront festival is scheduled for October 27-29.
Punkin’ Chunkin’ Festival in Thousand Islands Clayton, New York
Get ready for some serious pumpkin activity on October 15, 2022, in the beautiful Thousand Islands Clayton, New York area. Each year, the finest cider-fed athletes in the St. Lawrence River area come out to put their punkin’ chunkin’ training to the test at the Punkin’ Chunkin’ Festival.
We think this might be one of the most fun and upbeat top van destinations for October 2022! You’ll witness—or you might participate in—adult and youth competitions to see how far each contestant can lob their gourd via trebuchets and catapults. The event also features a delicious BBQ contest and a farmers’ market brimming with fresh delights.
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson, New York
Before you leave New York, we have another recommendation we think you might love! From September 16-November 22—that means all of October—you can visit yet another pumpkin extravaganza at the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze. It is October, after all, so ’tis the season for pumpkins galore!
The display is stunning, featuring 7,000 illuminated jack o’lanterns set to synchronized music and lighting at the Van Cortlandt Manor in Upstate New York.
The Wineries of and Hiking in Willamette Valley, Oregon
If you’re interested in a more subdued October adventure, you will love visiting the stunning Pacific Northwest’s Willamette Valley, Oregon. Here, you can immerse yourself in 150 miles of lush scenery and prime wine country. You can plan your hikes and other outdoor activities to correspond to one or more of the 600 wineries in the area. The Willamette National Forest lies in the center of the Cascade Range, and you’ll see spectacular waterfalls, bridges, and more.
Savannah, Georgia for Southern Charm
Savannah, Georgia is one of a few cities that embody southern living and charm, and October is a lovely time to visit. While there, we suggest visiting the following:
- The Historic District and the 22 historic squares
- Forsyth Park, home of the Forsyth Fountain
- The harbor sightseeing cruise
- The Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Bus Tour
The Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado
Touted by Travel & Leisure as the king of beer festivals, the Great American Beer Festival is October 6-8, 2022. The event features 500 of America’s best breweries and over 2,000 beers, so this is another craft beer lover’s fantasy come true. The best part is that the festival coincides with the annual Denver Beer Week, where most restaurants and pubs offer fun beer-themed events, contests, and more.
The South Beach Seafood Festival in Miami, Florida
If you want to prolong the summer vibe a little longer, we recommend visiting Miami to catch the South Beach Seafood Festival. While there, you can enjoy samples from Miami favorites like Uchi and Joe’s Stone Crab. From October 19-22, 2022, you can walk along Ocean Drive to watch live music, chef competitions, cooking demonstrations, and more. The event is an ode to seafood and a masterclass in one hot spot. Try the seafood ceviche, fish tacos, and lobster waffle cones, and remember to refresh your adult beverages at the all-day open bar.
The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail in Southern Illinois Wine Country
When we think of wine country, Sonoma and other west coast wine-rich areas usually spring to mind. However, the Midwest has its own wine country in southern Illinois. The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail offers you a scenic road trip through the heartland’s premier wine country where you can stop for tastings and delicious meals along the way. The rural setting is gorgeous and calm, so you can relax and stroll or hike the area. This is one of our favorite van destinations for October 2022 if you want a soothing trip brimming with beauty and scrumptious food and beverages.
Coastal Mississippi for Cruisin’ the Coast
Once the humidity passes, there aren’t many more pleasant, serene, and splendid places than Coastal Mississippi. The white sand beaches, also known as the Sugar Sands, are world famous and something everyone should see in person at least once. Best of all, you can enjoy all the activities in the area without the sweltering heat and soupy humidity in October.
If you visit from October 2-9, you can enjoy the Cruisin’ the Coast Annual Festival, featuring beautiful classic cars roaming the streets all week long. You’ll find plenty of treats and activities throughout the week, and you can spend quiet time at the beach or out kayaking, golfing, or fishing.
Albuquerque, New Mexico for the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Although the heat in the southwest is dry, it’s still hot until around October, so this is a great time to drive that way. In addition to all the hiking or taking a ghost tour of Old Town, you can make it a point to watch the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. From October 1-9, you can watch about 600 hot air balloons take off and decorate the sky.in a brilliant display of colorful balloons.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
A trip to the Ozark Mountain region sounds perfect for October, right? We think so and hope you will too. You’ll see the leaves starting to turn in this northern Arkansas town. In the city, you should take the overhead tram to get a bird’s eye view of the activity below, the Victorian architecture, and the fall foliage on the horizon all around. You’ll find plenty of hiking trails and mineral springs outside the city.
Do you need more destination ideas, or are looking for an RV or campervan to take out on the road this October? Our RecVan team can help either way! Contact us today to get the van of your dreams.