Updated September 2020

It’s that time year again; warm apple cider, crisp air, and the leaves are starting to turn colors. Fall is one of the best seasons of the year to go take a road trip or weekend getaway to enjoy the change of temperature. California has some of the best Fall destinations. I love driving around small towns, walking through the roads, exploring vineyards, or heading to the countryside. There are endless opportunities in California for the Fall! These are some of my personal favorite places to go.

Best Fall Destinations in California


1. Napa Valley

Can there not be a more quintessential fall destination than the Napa Valley? The vineyards are turning colors, the oak trees are filled with bright orange leaves. This is the perfect fall experience, bundle up with sweaters and head to a local winery to escape the cold air. There are some amazing hotels and Airbnbs for rent in the area. 

You could even consider booking one of these amazing Sonoma Airbnbs just nearby. 

Or search more Airbnb options in Napa Valley here:


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2. Yosemite National Park

A personal favorite to go to, Yosemite National Park is booming with the essence of fall. Long meadows filled with deer, massive trees looming over the valley, and colors ranging from yellow to red makes this an ideal destination. This is the best location to get outdoors, take a hike, and enjoy California’s best national park. With the new reservation system in place, be sure to reserve your entrance ahead of arriving.

Find the full Yosemite Weekend Guide here.

Apple Hill, photo via: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25014270@N08/6413166313/ 

3. Apple Hill

In Northern California, you grew up going to Apple Hill. It’s one of our favorite places to go for a day trip or even an overnight escape. You can go get your pumpkins for Halloween, take a wagon ride, enjoy the famous apple pie or caramel apples, and much more. This is a great day trip from San Francisco and nearby areas.

There are also some great options for overnight stays on Airbnb here:


4. Nevada City

A small town on the way to Lake Tahoe that screams charm and history. Walk the old city and step back in time. It is a great place to enjoy an afternoon at a local lunch spot, take a drive into the countryside, and just enjoy the fresh air. The fall colors here are truly alive and well. 

5. Lake Tahoe

Heading up to Lake Tahoe is always a good idea but even better in the fall. The cold air combined with a warm drink and walking around the lake makes this a great Fall destination in California. Stay at a local lodge and make a long weekend out of it!

Some of my favorite Airbnbs can be found on this curated list

Valley of Big Sur Valley of Big Sur

6. Big Sur

We can’t forget the infamous coastline of California. Head to Big Sur to see the colors of Fall combined with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. This is a great place to hike down to the beach, and to take a scenic drive. The mild temperature year-round will ensure a comfortable visit during the fall months.

7. Santa Barbara

Looking for somewhere down south to visit during the Fall season? Look no further than Santa Barbara. The weather is still agreeable, with great dining locations, and awesome beaches. The Fall really takes shape here for a great opportunity to relax and enjoy a weekend.

Find a great Airbnb here:


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8. San Francisco

Craving a Fall destination in a city? Head to San Francisco to grab a local coffee and walk the endless streets of this great city. It will be colder so be sure to bring a coat but definitely fewer tourists this time of year.

Find an Airbnb for your stay here:


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Best Fall Destinations in California

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