*Disclaimer: This post is part of a content series sponsored by Camping World. All opinions are our own.
Many people only plan their RV adventures for the summer. But, with fewer crowds and cooler weather, fall is truly one of the best seasons for RV travel. In fact, we’ve found that we enjoy destinations we’ve been to in the summer even better when we’ve returned in the fall.
After full-time RVing for over two years and traveling all across the country, coast to coast, and even up to Canada and down to Mexico, we often get asked what our favorite destinations are. That’s such a difficult question for us to answer, so it’s easier for us to categorize them. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our top five favorite fall destinations to visit in an RV. And, these destinations aren’t necessarily on the radar as fall destinations, so you’ll be glad we shared!
Montrose is one of Colorado’s hidden gems…for now, but not for long. Its neighboring cities, like Telluride, are more popular but Montrose is much more RV friendly and has just as much to do and explore.
Montrose is located in the heart of western Colorado and the town’s slogan is “Stay here. Play everywhere.” because it makes the perfect basecamp for enjoying all that Colorado has to offer. It’s also home to Black Canyon National Park and has views in almost every direction with the San Juan Mountains to the south, the Uncompahgre Plateau to the west, and Grand Mesa to the north. Montrose offers just about every kind of outdoor activity you could want!
A visit to Montrose will put you in close proximity to one of the most beautiful drives in the nation and in the fall, you’ll experience miles and miles of the most breathtaking views of colorful aspen trees. From Montrose, you’ll get to the Million Dollar Highway by first visiting Ouray, a small and charming town nicknamed “The Switzerland of America” for good reason. You can take a dip in the hot springs if the fall weather is chilly before or after your drive!
Also from Montrose, you can day trip south to Telluride and see the fall colors from the free public gondola. Or head north to the quaint town of Paonia and sip on Colorado wine and visit the orchards for some apple picking, the perfect fall activity! But you don’t have to leave Montrose to chase the changing leaves, the national park and nearby Ridgeway State Park are other great spots to hike among the vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges.
Where to Park Your RV
We spent an entire month at Centennial RV Park and absolutely loved it! It is conveniently located just outside of town right along the highway. Their sites are some of the largest we’ve seen at an RV park in our many years of RVing! Plus the grounds are meticulously maintained and the sunsets are stunning.
You may also want to check out the list of our Top 20 RV Camping Spots in Colorado for more RV trip inspiration. The list is broken up into free boondocking sites, state and national parks, and RV parks and resorts, so there’s a good variety!
Bar Harbor, ME
There are so many reasons to visit Bar Harbor that it’s hard to cover them all! The lobster, the mixture of mountain and ocean landscape, and Acadia National Park, are just a few. There are endless amounts of hiking and walking trails where you can leaf peep all while taking in the views. You can watch the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain and then take a sunset cruise. Even just strolling along the picturesque streets of downtown Bar Harbor is an unforgettable experience.
September through November is arguably the best time to visit Bar Harbor. You can enjoy whale watching, take haunted history tours, enjoy stargazing or attend a star party, and maybe even catch their famous Columbus Day celebrations. And of course, experiencing the New England fall foliage should be on everyone’s RV bucket list.
A nice bonus is that Bar Harbor is very dog friendly! We even took our pups on a sunset cruise and the staff was so accommodating and sweet to them.
Where to Park Your RV
Look no further than Narrows Too Camping Resort for your visit to Bar Harbor. With easy access to town and the national park. In fact, the resort has an on-site bus stop that will take you right into town for free. Not to mention, they have beautiful waterfront sites!
Anywhere in the Smoky Mountains is a great place to visit, but we chose Asheville for a variety of reasons. For starters, staying in Asheville will put you in the perfect spot for a drive along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway is America’s longest linear park and stretches 469 miles and connects Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So if you’re looking for the perfect fall road trip route, look no further. There are so many incredible stops along the parkway to enjoy for as little or as long as you please.
Asheville is one of our favorites, and not just because of the amount of breweries you can find there. We love the art culture, the Biltmore Estate gardens, and the proximity to so much outdoor adventure. You can day trip to Lake Lure and climb Chimney Rock or visit the adorable town of Brevard and see if you can spot their unique white squirrels. We happened to visit during a fun Halloween event in the park and it was great to see the tight knit community in action.
You can also find plenty of hikes, including Looking Glass Rock and the beautiful Rainbow Falls. If you’re especially brave, there are some thrill seeking adventures, too. We enjoyed rock climbing, but there’s also zip lining through the forest and we even braved the freezing temps to slide down Sliding Rock, a natural waterslide! For more leisurely activities, there’s farmers markets and fall festivals a plenty!
Where to Park Your RV
While we weren’t able to secure reservations here, we have heard amazing things about Asheville Bear Creek RV Park. The pictures of the park speak for themselves. They are located just minutes from the Biltmore and you even get a discount on your entry fee if you stay with them. They have nice concrete sites with incredible mountain views and even a pool!
This may be a surprising destination and not one you’d think would be great for a fall trip. But stay with us. Albuquerque is most known for its Balloon Fiesta, which takes place every year in mid-October. We had the opportunity to go to the fiesta for the first time last year and it exceeded our expectations in every way. We tell everyone to add it to their bucket list.
The best part as an RVer is that you can stay right on the event grounds and a shuttle runs all day to take you directly to the festivities. We enjoyed attending the morning lift offs at sunrise and the balloon glows at dusk, but a couple days we simply woke up and climbed onto the roof of our motorhome and just enjoyed seeing the hundreds of hot air balloons float by right above us. It’s an experience unlike any other!
When you aren’t enjoying the Balloon Fiesta though, there’s other activities in Albuquerque to enjoy. We took the Sandia Peak Tramway and enjoyed drinks and dinner on the 10,378-foot crest of the Sandia Mountains. As you can imagine, the views are spectacular!
Walking around Old Town was also a favorite activity of ours and we loved the culture and of course the incredible Mexican food. There are tons of cute shops so bring your wallet! It almost feels as if you’re in a different country.
Where to Park Your RV
If your main goal is to stay as close to the Balloon Fiesta, we recommend reserving an RV spot at one of the on-site RV parking lots. You have a few options depending on your needs. We dry camped in the lots, but there are VIP spots on the opposite side of the event grounds that offer hook ups and even a better view of the balloons.
Otherwise, the next closest RV parks would be Coronado Village RV Resort, which is only about 3 miles from the event. Or, if you’d like a more scenic and serene spot to park, check out Isleta Lakes & RV Park, also about 3 miles away but you’ll also be able to enjoy the lake for fishing, golf, a casino, bowling, and other fun family events when you aren’t at the fiesta!
Gulf Shores, AL
Our final destination recommendation for a fall RV trip is another that may surprise you. When you think of fall travel, most people probably don’t think about the beach. And Orange Beach in Gulf Shores is one of the lesser known beach destinations in the U.S. However, it quickly stole our hearts when we took a visit in late September a few years back.
The average temperature is still 80 degrees in October in Gulf Shores and then only drops to 70 in November. Now that’s perfect beach weather! Fall is also a great time to visit because the crowds during the summer can get pretty crazy, but during our trip we often had the beach to ourselves.
Gulf Shores is more than just white sandy beaches, though. Of course you can enjoy all the water activities you can imagine – fishing, kayaking, boating, etc. But there’s also world class golfing, a wildlife refuge, The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and other family friendly attractions, like the Waterville USA waterpark. Not far down the road from Gulf Shores, you can even visit the National Naval Aviation Museum and maybe get lucky enough to catch a public viewing of the Blue Angel’s practice.
There are several fun fall festivals that the area hosts in the fall as well, including a Shrimp Festival (the most popular), the Alabama Festival of Flavor, and the Alabama Coastal Birdfest.
Where to Park Your RV
We extended our stay at Gulf State Park because we loved it so much. It has two miles of beaches and lots of recreational opportunities right outside your RV door. The sites are paved and offer full hook ups and there’s even a pool. Another option in the area that offers more amenities and more manicured sites is Whispering Pines RV Resort East and West, but it’s a bit further from the beach.
Don’t miss out on all that fall RV travel has to offer! A great thing to remember is that if any of these destinations are too far to drive your RV from where you live, you can always book a flight to the nearest airport and rent an RV to use for your trip.