Top Southwest US destinations for fall

Fall is an ideal time to head to the Southwestern United States. Here are some great ideas for a fall getaway.

Sedona ViewSedona, Arizona: Enjoy hiking the West Fork of Oak Creek. It is a trail that will take you into the woods and along the creek. The West Fork  is the most popular trail on the Coconino National Forest.  You’ll also enjoy the drive to the park on winding Highway 89A through Oak Creek Canyon. If you drive the whole Canyon, you will end up in Flagstaff.

Flagstaff, Arizona: Flagstaff is headquarters for your Arizona leaf-peeping adventures. Find stands of beautiful yellow aspen as

Flagstaff Aspens

Aspens as seen along the road to Flagstaff Snowbowl.

 you drive the road to Arizona Snowbowl. The Arboretum at Flagstaff has a wide variety of trees and flowers and has a wonderful fall show of color. This mountain town will have all you need to satisfy your craving for an outdoor fall adventure.

Verde Valley Wine Trail: Located just over an hour north of Phoenix and touching on the communities of Cottonwood,

Verde Valley Wine Trail

Enjoy fall color as you explore the Verde Valley Wine Trail.

Sedona and Jerome, you’ll find the Verde Valley Wine Trail. Fall is an ideal time to taste the fruit of the grape in these scenic communities. The wine trail includes a number of boutique wineries. You’ll enjoy the scenery as you drive down Page Springs Road and have fun exploring tasting rooms. Cottonwood even has an Olive Oil tasting room now!

Santa Fe, New Mexico: Santa Fe is an art lover’s paradise. Enjoy crisp fall days as you walk gallery to gallery on Canyon Road or attend evening gallery openings. There are great hiking trails and scenic parks just outside of Santa Fe. Fall color can be found at Bandelier National Monument where you can get up close and personal with the ancestral cliff dwellings.

Bandelier National Monument

When exploring Bandelier, be sure and climb the ladders into the cliff dwellings.

Phoenix, Arizona: It’s cooling off and the snowbirds are returning to the Valley of the Sun. Phoenix resorts are drawing visitors for golf vacations. While you are in the Phoenix area you can enjoy some fall art and wine festivals.

Las Vegas, Nevada: Las Vegas, too, is cooling off. There are some good deals to be had both at large hotels and the smaller chain motels. If you want to enjoy a Las Vegas show without the high prices try purchasing from this seller of half price show tickets. More ideas on Affordable Las Vegas.

Taos, New Mexico: Taos, home of the multi-story ancient Taos Pueblo, is known for fall festivals.  From chamber music to a hot air balloon rally, September and October are full of fall festival events in Taos.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth R. Rose