With lower temperatures just around the corner, fall is a great time to discover some of the unique festivals taking place around the country. From iconic, cultural celebrations to spectacular, technological displays, here are some of the best fall festivals.
People dressed up to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos; Photo by miguel-gonzalez/unsplash.com
DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS
October 26 – 27 | San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio celebrates its Hispanic heritage with various festivals throughout the year. In October 2023, the city will host its 11th annual Día De Los Muertos, aka, Day of the Dead. As the country's largest festival of its kind, you can expect colorful processions, parades, and live music, plus an altar design contest and exhibition. Watch the parade of floating barges at the River Walk, participate in family-friendly outdoor activities at Hemisfair, and celebrate Hispanic culture community at Centro Cultural Aztlan.
Hot air balloons flying across river during Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®; Photo courtesy of the city of Albuquerque
ALBUQUERQUE INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FIESTA®
October 7 – 15 | Albuquerque, New Mexico
For nine days in the charming desert city of Albuquerque, the skies are aglow with over 500 colorful, custom-designed, hot-air balloons. Wake up before dawn to watch drone light shows, then witness a magical, mass ascension of the balloons across an area the size of 56 football fields. There are also chainsaw-carving exhibitions, a car show, live music, skydiving, and fireworks displays. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® is the perfect destination to enjoy the cool weather and bright skies of October in New Mexico.
FALL FOR GREENVILLE
October 13 – 15 | Greenville, South Carolina
If you enjoy indulging in good food and drink, head to the hip, small city that hosts one of the largest, free events in the Southeast. At Fall for Greenville, you can sample over 250 small plates from local chefs and restaurants served from pop-up tents along eight blocks of Main Street. Pair the delicious food with more than 50 selections of beer and wine. Between sips and bites, enjoy free, live music—blues, folk, rock, bluegrass, and R&B—performed by over 80 bands across six stages.
ANTHEM GO OUTSIDE FESTIVAL
October 13 – 15 | Roanoke, Virginia
If you are looking for an excuse to enjoy the autumn weather, the Anthem Go Outside Festival is the perfect choice. This 3-day attraction welcomes over 32,000 outdoor enthusiasts from around the world. Surrounded by the picturesque beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the fall, you can try out equipment and gear, shop for your next adventure, and participate in over 200 outdoor activities, including stand-up paddleboarding, biking, rock climbing, and slacklining. Whether you are an expert or a beginner, this is a great opportunity to be outdoors while enjoying live music, films, and speakers, as well as craft beers and great food in Roanoke’s local community.
View of harbor located in Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands, WA; Photo by azure_view/iStock.com
SAVOR THE SAN JUANS
September 22 – November 11 | San Juan Islands, Washington
For a special celebration of sustainability and nature, head off the coast of Washington state to the San Juan Islands. In its 16th year, the annual Savor the San Juans fall festival offers a reason to slow down and reconnect with the land and sea. Hop around San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez Islands to indulge in locally made wine, beer, cider, and spirits. Savor fresh oysters and crab straight from the surrounding bays, along with small-batch cheeses at goat farms and creameries. If you’re traveling with children, they'll enjoy picking apples, petting alpacas and sheep, and running through lavender farms. Wind down with a gourmet dinner at the Orcas Hotel or watch an independent film at Friday Harbour.
ILLUMINATE: LIGHT ART + CREATIVE TECH
November 10 – 11 | Salt Lake City, Utah
This fall see the popular ski destination of Salt Lake City in a whole new light. The first event of its kind in the region, ILLUMINIATE is a free, art and technology celebration that offers fun for all ages. See projection-mapped artwork, light-art displays, interactive exhibits and drone shows designed by local artists. You'll also find live music, performances, shopping, a film festival, the S.T.E.A.M. Lab, food trucks, and more.