Traveling in October can be a wonderful experience for both your budget and your sense of adventure. As the shoulder season in many regions, mid-fall offers an affordable opportunity to visit top destinations that might be too expensive during peak times.

Imagine booking your next vacation during the off-season when most people are stuck at work. You’ll benefit from amazing deals on hotels and flights and enjoy the tranquility of fewer tourists at some of the best vacation spots around the world. So, why not take advantage of this perfect timing and plan your trip for October?

October is the perfect month to explore the USA. The weather is crisp, the fall foliage is breathtaking, and the crowds are thinner. Whether you’re a leaf-peeper or a budget-conscious traveler, there are plenty of affordable destinations to enjoy. Here are 20 cheap places to travel in October in USA.

Cheap Places to Travel in October USA

1. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is an excellent choice for solo travelers seeking adventure and friendly encounters. Here’s a handy guide and itinerary to help plan your trip. Don’t miss exploring the vibrant Bywater District, and if you’re a vegan, the city offers some fantastic dining options for you!

October in New Orleans is particularly lovely—cooler weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices make it an ideal time to visit. Unsure about what to pack for a weekend getaway? Here’s a comprehensive packing list to cover all the activities you’re likely to enjoy during your visit!

2. Mystic Hot Springs, Utah

Absolutely, orange is the quintessential color of October! But at Mystic Hot Springs in Utah, you don’t need jack-o-lanterns to immerse yourself in vibrant orange hues—the landscape itself is a canvas of rich colors, from the rock formations to the sandy earth. These colors come alive even more spectacularly during sunrise and sunset.

October is an excellent time to visit Mystic Hot Springs because the cooler temperatures are perfect for enjoying the steamy waters. Unlike the bustling summer months, October offers a more serene and peaceful experience with fewer crowds.

For a truly immersive experience, you can rent a cozy cabin or stay in a renovated camper van, embracing the hippie vibes of this desert oasis. Mystic Hot Springs is the ideal October getaway for those seeking a unique connection with nature off the beaten path.

3. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe combines rich history with beautiful landscapes. The city’s adobe architecture and vibrant arts scene are captivating. Visit the historic Plaza, surrounded by museums, galleries, and unique shops.

Explore the markets for local crafts and Native American jewelry. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike the trails in the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Santa Fe’s mix of Spanish, Mexican, and Native American cultures is reflected in its diverse cuisine, which can be enjoyed at affordable local eateries.

4. Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is a legendary destination to celebrate the spooky Halloween season, making it one of the top places to visit in the USA during October. With its history tied to the infamous 1692 Witch Trials, Salem has become synonymous with Halloween lore.

During October, Salem comes alive with a plethora of spooky events leading up to the grand Halloween celebration. From the Salem Psychic Faire & Witches’ Market to the Salem Zombie Walk, there’s a wide range of activities to immerse yourself in the Halloween spirit. You can find a comprehensive event calendar to plan your visit.

Don’t miss out on a haunted tour or a visit to the Salem Witch Museum to delve deeper into the city’s eerie history. Salem in October is a must-visit for anyone looking for a thrilling and spooky Halloween experience.

5. Twin Falls, Idaho

Idaho, especially around Twin Falls, is a top hidden gem in the US according to many travelers. The October scenery adds an extra charm to this already stunning region. From deep canyons to roaring waterfalls and numerous hot springs (like Kirkham Hot Springs), southern Idaho is a treasure trove of natural beauty.

During October, the colorful autumn leaves enhance the already breathtaking views around Twin Falls, creating a truly magical experience. While it might be too cold to swim in the blue waters of the swimming holes at Box Canyon State Park, the weather is perfect for a relaxing soak in Miracle and Banbury Hot Springs. For a more extensive hot springs adventure, consider exploring the many other fantastic hot springs across Idaho.

No matter when you visit, Idaho promises a memorable experience, but October showcases its beauty in a unique way, making it one of the best times to explore this hidden gem in the USA.

6. Las Vegas, Nevada

You might be surprised to learn that summer is the most popular season to visit Las Vegas, despite the extreme temperatures. However, you can avoid the crowds and the intense heat by planning your trip in October. The cooler autumn weather makes it the perfect time to explore the many amazing outdoor attractions just outside the city.

Of course, you can still enjoy iconic Vegas landmarks and maybe try your luck at a casino or two. But don’t miss the chance to venture out to Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire State Park. These stunning natural spots are perfect for hiking and sightseeing in the fall. Additionally, you can take a day trip to the impressive Hoover Dam, explore the unique landscapes of Death Valley National Park, or visit the colorful Seven Magic Mountains art installation—all just a short drive away.

Visiting Las Vegas in October offers a perfect blend of city excitement and outdoor adventure, making it an ideal time for your Sin City getaway.

7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Whether you’re here for the festivities or the foliage, Philadelphia in October is truly magical.

Philadelphia is a historic city with a wealth of museums, theaters, galleries, and landmarks to explore year-round. However, the fall foliage and perfect sweater weather in October make it even more enchanting. Wrap yourself in a cozy scarf and stroll through the streets of Philly, soaking in its rich history and vibrant culture.

Did you know that Philadelphia hosts the largest Halloween celebration in the country? With haunted houses, parades, shows, and numerous spooky events, October is an incredibly lively time to visit. If Halloween isn’t your main draw, you can enjoy the city’s huge Oktoberfest celebration or head to Wissahickon Valley Park to admire the beautiful fall colors.

8. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque is home to the famous International Balloon Fiesta in October, where you can witness hundreds of hot air balloons fill the sky. Beyond the festival, explore the historic Old Town, hike in the Sandia Mountains, and enjoy the local cuisine.

Visit the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center to learn about the region’s Native American heritage. Albuquerque’s unique blend of cultures is reflected in its art, architecture, and food, making it an intriguing and affordable destination.

9. Branson, Missouri

Branson offers family-friendly entertainment at reasonable prices. Enjoy live music shows, comedy acts, and outdoor activities in the Ozarks. Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-themed amusement park, provides fun for all ages.

Explore the scenic beauty of the Ozarks with hiking, fishing, and boating. Branson’s downtown area is filled with shops, eateries, and attractions. Whether you’re enjoying a live show or exploring the outdoors, Branson offers plenty of budget-friendly options.

Also, Read 15 CHEAP PLACES TO TRAVEL IN CALIFORNIA FOR A MEMORABLE VACATION

10. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio’s rich history and cultural offerings are perfect for budget travelers. Visit the Alamo, a symbol of Texas independence, and stroll along the picturesque River Walk.

Explore the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, each offering unique dining and shopping experiences. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, provides a glimpse into the area’s Spanish colonial history. Enjoy delicious Tex-Mex cuisine at one of the city’s many affordable eateries.

11. Stowe, Vermont

In October, the ski town of Stowe offers a picturesque escape with its Old English architecture and rolling green hills adorned with vibrant autumn foliage. This charming New England town embodies the essence of fall, featuring cozy small breweries, locally produced cheeses, maple syrup, quaint farms, and crisp weather perfect for cozy evenings by the fire.

To fully embrace the autumn spirit, take the gondola ride to the top of Stowe for breathtaking views. Then, immerse yourself in the stunning fall colors by exploring the trails around Camel’s Hump. Stowe in October is a delightful blend of natural beauty and cozy comforts, making it an ideal autumn getaway.

12. Sedona, Arizona

October in Sedona brings perfect temperatures, ranging from 55-75°F, making it an ideal time to explore the city’s stunning red rock formations and enjoy outdoor activities.

You can discover numerous hiking trails, like the easy Bell Rock Pathway or the more challenging Cathedral Rock Trail, which rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views. Don’t miss the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a unique and serene architectural marvel built right into the red rocks. For a deeper understanding of the area’s flora, fauna, and geology, join a free guided nature walk at Red Rock State Park.

If you’re looking to experience Sedona’s famous energy vortexes without breaking the bank, consider a self-guided tour of these mystical sites. For a peaceful and affordable place to stay, check out the Sedona Village Lodge, which provides a perfect base for your Sedona adventure.

13. South Padre Island, Texas 

South Padre Island enjoys delightful October temperatures ranging from 70°F to 83°F, making it an ideal beach destination in the fall.

This barrier island features miles of stunning sandy beaches perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles. Adventure seekers can enjoy various water sports, including paddleboarding, kiteboarding, and dolphin watching.

Nature lovers will appreciate the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, where you can wander along boardwalks through wetlands and spot a diverse array of birds and wildlife. Additionally, a visit to Sea Turtle Inc. offers a unique chance to learn about sea turtle conservation and rehabilitation efforts.

14. Mendocino, California

Mendocino is an autumn paradise. Though it’s often described as having an eternal spring, October brings a unique, colorful charm that makes it even more magical. Picture yourself watching the sunset at Headlands State Park, hiking to the waterfall at Russian Gulch State Park, or snuggling up in a seaside cabin with a hot cup of cocoa—Mendocino will enchant you in every way. It’s no surprise that it’s considered one of the best places in the US to visit in October.

If you’re planning a road trip through Northern California, be sure to include Mendocino. Nearby, you’ll find other must-visit spots like Glass Beach in Fort Bragg and the awe-inspiring Redwood National and State Parks. With so many incredible destinations close by, an October road trip through NorCal is sure to be unforgettable.

15. Aspen, Colorado

Before the bitterly cold winter sets in, October is your last chance to stroll through Aspen’s yellow-streaked hills. The city gets its name from the golden aspen trees that line the hills with snow-capped mountains.

Aspen is a popular ski resort throughout the winter, so going in October will allow you to enjoy its splendor without the throngs of people. Of course, there’s always a good time to visit Aspen. In addition to exploring the charming town center and hiking trails, you can immerse yourself in the Halloween atmosphere by taking a terrifying nocturnal ghost tour.

16. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville offers a mix of history, culture, and outdoor activities. Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory to learn about the history of baseball. Take a walk along the scenic Waterfront Park, with its beautiful views of the Ohio River.

Explore the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, each offering unique dining and entertainment options. The city’s numerous parks and green spaces are perfect for enjoying the fall weather. Louisville’s blend of Southern charm and urban sophistication makes it a great budget-friendly destination.

17. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga’s scenic beauty and outdoor activities are perfect for a budget trip. Make a stop at the Lookout Mountain for panoramic views and attractions like Rock City and Ruby Falls. Explore the Tennessee Aquarium, one of the top-rated aquariums in the country.

Take a stroll along the Riverwalk, a scenic path along the Tennessee River. Chattanooga’s revitalized downtown area is filled with shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. The city’s mix of natural beauty and urban amenities makes it a great choice for budget travelers.

Also, Read 15 CHEAP WINTER VACATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES

18. Orlando, Florida 

With pleasant October temperatures ranging from 67°F to 84°F, Orlando is an ideal family destination.

While Walt Disney World might not be the cheapest option, visiting in October often means lower prices and shorter lines compared to peak seasons.

For a budget-friendly taste of Disney magic, head to Disney Springs. This entertainment, shopping, and dining complex offers themed areas to explore, street performers to watch, and nightly live music to enjoy—all without the theme park price tag. Kids will especially love the LEGO Imagination Center, where they can play with LEGOs and admire impressive LEGO sculptures.

In downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is a favorite among both locals and tourists. The park features a picturesque lake with swan-shaped paddleboats, a 0.9-mile walking path, and a playground for children. Depending on the event schedule, you might also catch a free outdoor movie or concert at the Walt Disney Amphitheater.

With so many fun and affordable options, Orlando in October is perfect for a memorable family trip.

19. Newport, Rhode Island

Newport’s historic mansions, scenic coastline, and vibrant arts scene make it a great fall destination. Take a walk along the Cliff Walk, a scenic path with stunning ocean views and glimpses of the famous Gilded Age mansions.

Visit historic sites like Fort Adams and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Explore the charming downtown area, with its shops, galleries, and restaurants. Newport’s blend of history, culture, and natural beauty makes it a perfect budget-friendly getaway.

20. San Diego, California 

San Diego, a coastal gem in Southern California, is famous for its stunning beaches, pleasant weather, and a plethora of attractions for all ages.

In October, with temperatures averaging between 61°F and 72°F, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors and explore the city’s many free activities.

One of the top free attractions is Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre urban cultural park filled with museums, gardens, and recreational facilities. While some museums have an entry fee, many gardens, like the Botanical Building and Lily Pond, the Alcazar Garden, and the Japanese Friendship Garden, are free to explore.

Balboa Park also offers hiking trails, open spaces, and playgrounds that families can enjoy without spending a dime.

For a taste of San Diego’s vibrant neighborhoods, take a stroll through the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Here, you can admire Victorian architecture, enjoy lively restaurants, and browse unique shops.

Don’t miss the seaside charm of La Jolla, where you can marvel at spectacular coastal views, explore tide pools brimming with marine life, and watch seals and sea lions basking at the Children’s Pool.

Of course, San Diego’s beaches are a major draw and completely free to enjoy. From the iconic Coronado Beach to the beautiful La Jolla Cove, there are plenty of sandy spots to relax, swim, surf, and soak up the sun.

Conclusion

Traveling in October doesn’t have to break the bank. These 20 destinations offer a mix of natural beauty, historic charm, and cultural experiences, all at budget-friendly prices. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and enjoy the vibrant colors and cool breezes of fall in the USA.

Sign up to receive our travel tips in your inbox

Similar Posts