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Five Amazing Fall Trip Ideas in the South

a road surrounded by trees with changing leaves- fall trip ideas in the south

Fall is slowly creeping up on us. I mean, I’ve already been overloaded by the sight of pumpkin spice….everywhere! There’s something about the changing leaves and cooler temps that always makes me want to to take a trip. So, it seemed like a great time to share some awesome fall trip ideas in The South so you can start planning.

While we all imagine scenes in the northeast for fall foliage, there are plenty of great spots for autumn scenery right here. Check out our five picks for a fall getaway in The South!

1. Chattanooga  

Chattanooga has come a long way from its days as a quiet railroad town. It seems like everyone is looking to visit these days, and we can’t much blame them.

Chattanooga is packed with kid-friendly restaurants, fun activities, and cool areas to just hang out. The downtown has been completely revitalized over the last several years, with lots of great spots opening up.

Spend a day exploring the natural areas outside of the city for some stellar leaf peeping. There are plenty of nearby hikes and waterfalls to keep you busy.

Don’t worry if the weather doesn’t cooperate, there are tons of great indoor activities for families. Check out our guide to the best things to do in Chattanooga with kids. It is full of lots of great info and tips.

waterfall flowing over the side of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga
High Falls on Lookout mountain

2. Asheville

Honestly, Asheville is the quintessential fall getaway here in The South.  Mountains, waterfalls, and plenty of fall foliage are the gorgeous backdrop for the funky arts town.  You can spend your days exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, checking out the botanical gardens, or even beer tasting at one of the many kid-friendly breweries.  

Of course, you can’t visit Asheville without a stop at The Biltmore.  The activities on the grounds can easily fill up a day, but make sure to leave time to enjoy everything else Asheville has to offer.  Here’s how we would spend a few days in Asheville with kids. Honestly though, this is a great itinerary for those traveling without kids, too.

Asheville botanical gardens with kids
The spot would be picture perfect in the fall!

3. Highlands, NC

While many enjoy this quiet mountain town for a couples getaway, it really is a great spot for a laidback family trip.  With its claim as the highest town east of the Mississippi River, you’ll have plenty of options for outdoor pursuits.  If you want to go hiking, make sure to read about our three favorite family hikes near Highlands, NC.

Plan to spend time in the picturesque downtown visiting the local shops and boutiques, and don’t forget to take a few breaks for some sweet treats at one of the various bakeries or ice cream shops.  Read more here about what to do in Highlands, NC with kids.  

beautiful white Episcopal church in Highlands, NC
downtown Highlands
gorgeous views of the valley below from the Whiteside Mountain Trail near Highlands, NC
Gorgeous Views | imagine all the colors in fall

4. Nashville

We’d be remiss if we didn’t add Nashville to the list. Nashville is home to us, but we still love exploring the all areas around town.  There’s plenty to do downtown and in the city, but make sure to get out and explore the various waterfalls nearby.  Fall here is breathtaking with the changing leaves and the rolling hills.  

Nothing says fall like camping.  But, leave the tent at home and check out this awesome glamping spot instead.  

Make sure to download our family guide to Nashville here.  It has our favorite spots in town to visit with kids- restaurants, parks, and fun things to do.

Greeter Falls lower waterfall surrounded by fall leaves
Greeter Falls

5. Beach Getaway

Not quite ready for changing leaves and cozy sweaters?  Head down to the Florida coast instead. Some of our favorite areas are 30A and Amelia Island.  

There are so many great options in the 30A area.  Some of our favorites for families are Watercolor and Rosemary Beach.  The beaches are pristine.  You can pretty much ride your bike everywhere….even to get a donut at our favorites spot, Five Daughters Donuts.  

If you want a beach town with a little more nostalgia and old Florida charm, you need to check out Amelia Island.  This place is now one of our favorites in Florida.  Just imagine, empty beaches, restaurants on the beach with playgrounds, and enormous live oaks draped in moss.  You need to check this place out!

boardwalk and marshes inside Drummond Point Park
Drummond Point Park

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Do you have other ideas we should add to the list of fall trip ideas in The South? Let us know in the comments below!

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