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Fall is hands down my favorite time to travel. At this point, the crowds have dissipated, temperatures and prices are dropping, and leaves are changing (at least in most places in the world). Fall always, as cliche as it is, represents possibilities for us and that is why it is the perfect time to travel and experience something new. So we thought that we would round up our top five favorite fall destinations, for now at least! (There is still so much to see!)
Our Favorite Fall Destinations
Back in 2013 we took a three week trip to Southeast Asia where we visited Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia and Cambodia stole our hearts. We only had the chance to visit Phnom Penh and Siem Reap but we would head back again in a heartbeat. October is the start of the Dry Season making fall the perfect time to head to this magical country.
We would definitely suggest early fall though because Dry Season means that this is the only destination on our list which is experiencing high season. If you head there in the shoulder month of September though you will be able to able to find lower season prices before they start creeping up!
Well we had to add our current home, the Central Coast of California. Now most people think of summer, the beach and sunshine when we mention that we live on the Central Coast. BUUUUTTTT there is this little thing that is known as June Gloom which has a tendency to start with May Grey and extend through August. So if you are really looking for perfect sunshine filled beach days than you better come in fall!
Fall isn’t just meant for beach days though here in the Central Coast. It is also harvest so it’s a great time to visit all the local wineries and enjoy the changing of the vines. There is nothing better than a warm day, a glass of wine and a beautiful view of the vineyards! Fall is also the perfect time to take in some of the phenomenal hikes and camping we have in the area too as things are much less crowded and you can take in all the great vistas without the fog 😉
Dubrovnik, or King’s Landing as it is also known as, is notoriously packed with tourists but if you head there during shoulder season you are going to have a much more pleasant experience and may even meet some locals! Take it from me, I was there in the middle of September and then again on October 10th, the difference in crowds was staggering! Sure, not all the shops and restaurants were open but those were generally the ones we would have avoided anyways.
Instead we stumbled upon a local’s rakija bar, took rakija shots with our waiter, and then later all met back up at the bar for an evening filled with talk about tourism, overcrowding and its effect on the locals. Sometimes it pays to show up in the off season! Plus you can end up getting some shots of the city with no one in them…. Who knew that was even possible in Dubrovnik?!?
Oh Sofia, you stole our hearts and had everything I want when I visit a city in the fall. Sofia is such a vibrant and youthful city and I am sure any season is a fantastic time to visit (as long as you like snow) but I am so happy we made a spontaneous trip there at the end of October.
The air was crisp but everyone was still taking advantage of the outdoor patios littered around the city. The pedestrian only street, Vitosha Boulevard, is packed morning until night with people drinking coffee, eating lunch or dinner or grabbing drinks outside. I love any city that is always outside no matter the weather and Sofia has made the list of favorites! (The others are Budapest and Thessaloniki, in case you were wondering)
This is also a perfect city to enjoy the changing of colors too. There is so much green here! From tree lined avenues to a profusion of city parks, you can understand why so many people spend their time outside here! On top of the atmosphere, Sofia also offers a outstanding culinary and cocktail scene which may not be so bikini friendly but certainly works with sweater weather 🙂
It would be remiss not to visit this city in the fall.
The city of kitsch, Skopje is another fantastic Balkan city where everyone is outside during the fall. Whether you are exploring the new city with its over abundance of statues or enjoying a long chat over a Turkish coffee this city is meant for experiencing it in the fall. The days are still long enough that you can go for a hike up Mount Vodno for a fantastic view of the city below or you can hang out with the locals in one of their outdoor bars in the evening.
Even in the rain, Skopje doesn’t disappoint! And people don’t stop going out either; they merely retreat to some coffee shops or wine bars to wait out the drizzle with friends.
Fall is such a wonderful time to visit places and we can’t wait to add more places to visit in the fall. But for now, these are our top five favorite fall destinations!
Do you have a favorite fall destinations? Let us know in the comments as we are always looking for new places to explore!
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