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Fall is a great time to get away from the summer heat and enjoy cooler weather. The leaves are changing colors, the air is crisp, and you can even have an apple-picking adventure with your family or friends. Here are some of my favorite spots for fall vacations this year:

1) PA Dutch Country (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)

Bring your appetite to this historical region of Pennsylvania, where the Amish and Mennonite are known for everything from food and clothing to farming practices and traditions. Enjoy the annual Apple Butter Toss at Miller’s Market in Bird-in hand, a town that has hosted the event since the 19th century. It is also home to the PA Dutch Country Visitor Center and the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show.

2) Northwest, US (Washington, Oregon)

If you are looking for a natural retreat this holiday season, look no further than the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Bend, Oregon, is one of the most popular sports to spot fall foliage and other outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking. There is plenty to do in Seattle during your long weekend, thanks to its wide variety of museums and cultural centers.

3) Helen, Georgia (Northwest Georgia Mountains)

Autumn in the Nantahala National Forest is a sight to behold. Most of the leaves have changed colors by this point and can be viewed from numerous overlooks along Roosevelt’s Appalachian Trail. If you are looking for a more adventurous experience, check out the Nantahala Adventure Center to rent canoes and kayaks to explore the river around Helen.

Most of Georgia’s fall foliage is found on its highest peaks, including Brasstown Bald at 4784 feet above sea level (1354m). It offers spectacular views of autumn in North Carolina and Tennessee before the leaves are finally gone.

4) New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine)

New Hampshire is famous for its fall foliage. Dartmouth College’s Baker-Berry Library features a classic book about the region called The Foliage Season by Eugene Field, which describes New England in the 1880s when women were expected to wear long skirts.

Are you looking for an alternative to the usual New England outdoor experience? Try some local history at the Old Sturbridge Village, a living museum that recreates life in rural mid-19th Century America. There is also plenty of shopping, from antiques and handmade jewelry to classic books and even fresh-baked pies.

5) Colorado Plateau (Colorado, Utah, Arizona)

Whether you are a hiking or biking enthusiast, the Colorado Plateau is an ideal location for fall vacations this year, thanks to its many parks and recreation areas. The Aspen trees in the Maroon-Snowmass Wilderness of Colorado provide spectacular views all year long, but autumn is considered the most beautiful because of the variety of colors.