The Ultimate fall bucket list- USA edition
The southeast of the US honestly came as the most wonderful surprise. When you think of fall bucket list locations in the States your mind jumps to the North East, countless photos of Maine, New England and upstate New York. But rarely do you see photos of the south East states in Autumn.
This Autumn, I was lucky enough to travel through three Southern states and witness some of the most beautiful colours, and meet some of the most generous and kind hearted people. I think one of the things that stayed with me the most was the pride and excitement people felt at the opportunity to share the place they called home with us.
Without further ado, let me show you some bucket list places to visit in the US, and State by State places to visit in October, USA.
Where to stay
Let’s start with the ultimate in Air BnB’s, and an essential spot on your fall bucket list. We were lucky enough to spend the night perched on the side of the a huge rock face, over 2000 steps up on a set of suspension steps led to this oasis perched amongst the Autumn trees. Not for the faint hearted, or anyone who is afraid of heights, this treehouse is a must visit. Book your stay here
What to do
Knob Creek Fire Tower, Cumberland Falls State Park. One of the few remaining fire towers on The East Coast is the best places to visit in October, USA. A beautiful place to see the Autumn colours across the South East, the fire tower has been kept exactly as it would have been back when it was being lived in for 6 months at a time watching for fires.
N.B. You must be accompanied by a park ranger to access the fire tower, which you can organise here
Cumberland falls state park is the perfect spot to crunch through freshly fallen leaves, and to soak up the evening light on the waterfalls private beach (of sorts) there are so many incredible view points all along the falls which provide loads of different angles and compositions. It is an easy win, and a must for your fall bucket list.
What to do
Fly fishing in Maggie Valley: Speaking of things that truly exceeded my expectations, I have to mention fly fishing. As someone who is renowned for having very little patience, and even less of an attention span I was apprehensive about fly fishing, (add in my clumsiness and I was slightly worried about walking through a stream with all of my camera gear…) Thanks to our lovely guides, Landon and X of Maggie Valley Fly Shop this experience was not only one of the best, but also the most meditative and relaxing, the hours flew past as I found my stride and stopped hooking myself instead of any fish. I now have a new admiration and affection for the sport.
Head down to Cataloochee Valley to discover some incredible period buildings, left in exactly the same state they were on the day they were abandoned, we spent an hour or so chasing the light as it moved through the large old windows.
But my personal favourite? Heading down to see the elk grazing in the grasses, we spent hours here watching the elk move into the evening light, but the thing that fascinated me the most was the tailgate parties that formed purely to enjoy the evening and watch the elk graze.
If you’re as lucky as we were, you may well see some black bears on your way back out of the park! It’s always worth keeping your eyes peeled!
The blue ridge parkway is another must not miss spot, the mountains stretch as far as the eye can see and in the autumn they are cloaked In bright colours.
Where to stay
If you’re anything like me then you’ll be itching to get that classic motel fix, then look no further than Route 19 inn. Lovingly (and more importantly sympathetically) restored by its current owners, it comes complete with a classic American car parked right out front.
On the subject of motels and classic cars, Maggie valley is an absolute haven for motels, junk yards and classic car yards. A must visit for anyone with a passion for patina, surrounded by fall colours, its a must for your fall bucket list!
Lake Toxoway was an incredible spot, we were lucky enough to be hosted in a stunning lakeside cabin and treated to a sunset boat ride across the lake to our hosts family home (which was too dreamy) we then went for supper at the most beautiful restaurant; Grande Old Restaurant. Full of local memorabilia and incredible food, I would 100% recommend this for any foodie, vegan or carnivore more info on that here.
If the idea of a sunset boat ride appeals to you there are a few resources to help make that happen, I have linked them here.
We ended our trip in South Carolina, visiting Greenville, Columbia, Congaree National Park and others. Whilst SC doesn’t get the array of Autumn colours that the other states mentioned do, the climate during the Autumn months is glorious in itself, so worth adding to your fall bucket list! Below are some favourite images from our time in South Carolina.