America's Best Cities for Fall Travel

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VISIT DENVER

Festivals, harvest-season goodies, and lower prices: in these cities, fall travel is both savvy and sublime.

Denver

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The leaves start turning early in the resort towns outside Denver, but the city’s foliage takes center stage during October, when you can see it nicely from the Cherry Creek Bike Trail, or along the High Line Canal, lined with brilliant yellow cottonwood trees. Beer fans, however, might be forgiven for never noticing any trees. Fall here brings a chockablock lineup of sudsfests: the Denver Oktoberfest, the Denver Beer Fest, and the Great American Beer Festival, featuring 2,000 different beers from more than 400 brewers.

America's Best Cities for Fall Travel

Denver

The leaves start turning early in the resort towns outside Denver, but the city’s foliage takes center stage during October, when you can see it nicely from the Cherry Creek Bike Trail, or along the High Line Canal, lined with brilliant yellow cottonwood trees. Beer fans, however, might be forgiven for never noticing any trees. Fall here brings a chockablock lineup of sudsfests: the Denver Oktoberfest, the Denver Beer Fest, and the Great American Beer Festival, featuring 2,000 different beers from more than 400 brewers.

VISIT DENVER

America's Best Cities for Fall Travel

Even bears prefer Chicago during the autumn.

“It's cooler, the trees on Michigan Avenue are 
turning colors, and it's a great time to visit Brookfield and Lincoln Park zoos," says Lillian Polz, the head of a Chicago marketing firm. "The animals that were lethargic
 during the summer—like the bears and big cats—are all in their best winter 
coats and are much more lively."

No doubt, the crisp air and vibrant fall foliage can put a spring in your step. And for travelers, autumn offers added incentives: summer crowds have dissipated, hotel rates have wafted downward, and in many cities, the best local experiences are ready to shine. In San Diego, you can find the most summery temperatures of the year, along with emptier beaches and better surf. In Portland, OR, you can taste the city’s famed microbrews at their fresh-hops best. And in Orlando, FL, you might get downright teary-eyed at the significantly shorter lines for Space Mountain.

Then, of course, there's the seasonal scenery. "Santa Fe is at its most beautiful and arresting in autumn," says Melissa Carl, who does cultural excursions with Curious Oyster Seminars. "The weather remains brilliant, and 
the changing of the leaves makes for an almost sublime experience. A quick 
drive up to the Santa Fe ski basin, when all the aspens are in color, is
 like living in a Georgia O'Keeffe painting."

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