Looking for the perfect Midwest fall RV travel destinations? You’re in luck! We’ve full-time RVers and we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite spots to visit this autumn.
Fall is an excellent time to take a road trip and explore the Midwest. There are great places to visit, each with its own unique charm. From lovely, leafy parks and quaint small towns to scenic lakeside areas, there’s something for everyone on this list. So pack up your RV and get ready to explore all that the Midwest has to offer this fall!
Guest Post and Photos by TheAdventureDetour
Fall is a great time to visit Branson, Missouri! The weather is cooling down, making it perfect for exploring all the outdoor activities the city has to offer. Plus, there are plenty of fall-themed events and attractions to enjoy. Here are some of the best things to do in Branson during fall:
• Visit a pumpkin patch or fall festival. There are several farms that offer pick-your-own pumpkins, as well as hayrides, corn mazes, and other fall fun. From musical performances to arts and crafts shows, there’s something for everyone at these festive events.
• Take a scenic drive through the Ozark Mountains. The leaves will be changing color, making for a beautiful drive. Be sure to stop at one of the many overlooks to take in the stunning views. The Shephard Of The Hills Inspiration Tower has a stunning view of the area.
• Explore Silver Dollar City, an old-fashioned theme park with fall-themed rides, shows, and food. The park features craftsmen such as glass blowers, leather smiths, and blacksmiths. There are even lit carved pumpkins to enjoy around the park at night during this fall Harvest Festival!
• Grab tickets to a show. Branson is known for its many live entertainment theaters. For families, our favorite show is Dolly Parton’s Stampede. This is a dinner show with live horse action that kids adore.
With so much to do, fall is the perfect time to visit Branson!
Black Hills, SD
Fall is the best time to visit the Black Hills! The leaves are changing color and the weather is perfect for hiking. Plus, there are so many fun things to do in the fall. Here are just a few of the best fall activities in the Black Hills:
• Take a scenic drive on the Needles Highway. This winding road takes you through some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the area. The scenery is incredible. It’s very narrow and winding so this drive isn’t RV or large vehicle friendly.
• Visit Custer State Park. This park is home to herds of bison and other wildlife. It’s also a great place to go for a hike or a bike ride. If you are low on time, at least drive through this beautiful park. You will be so glad you did!
• Check out Mount Rushmore. Fall is a great time to see this iconic American monument. The crowds are smaller than usual, and the weather is perfect for hiking around the monument. Don’t miss the incredible night show!
• Drive through Deadwood. This historic town is full of old west charm. In the fall, the town comes alive with events like the Deadwood Oktoberfest, Haunted Mine Tours, and the Deadwood Wild West Songwriters Festival. It’s fun to walk around and check out the little shops.
• Visit Badlands National Park. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a national park visit. It’s more enjoyable to go hiking, biking, and driving through the national park with less heat and fewer crowds. The animals are much more active when the weather is cooler. It’s common to see bighorn sheep and prairie dogs in the park.
The Black Hills is a great place to visit in Fall, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
Door County, WI
Fall is a great time to visit Door County, Wisconsin. The leaves are changing color and the air is cool and crisp. There are plenty of fall activities to enjoy, such as hiking, biking, and kayaking. Here are some great things to check out in the area:
• Attend a fall festival. Door County is home to some of the best festivals in the state, including the Autumn Lighthouse Festival and the Sturgeon Bay Harvest Fest.
• Go apple picking. One of the most fun things to do is to go apple picking at one of the many local apple orchards. Don’t forget to try some of the fresh yummy apple products while you are there.
• Check out the local shops. Door County is also home to several small towns with unique shops and restaurants. Fall is a great time to stroll through these towns and enjoy the autumn scenery.
• Taste local fall treats. During the fall season, many restaurants feature seasonal menus with fall flavors. You can also find many fall-themed drinks such as apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes. Door County is also home to many wineries and breweries where you can sample fall-flavored wines and beers.
• Visit a lighthouse. Door County features 11 historic lighthouses. Some of them are only open to the public though at certain times of the year. The easiest lighthouses to access year-round are Baileys Harbor Range Lights, Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, and the Cana Island Lighthouse.
So whether you’re looking for fall fun or just a chance to relax and take in the scenery, Door County is the perfect place to be.
Mackinac Island, MI
Mackinac Island is a great place to visit in the fall. Although you can’t RV camp on the island, you can stay at a campground nearby and take the boat over for a fun day trip. That is exactly what we did and it was a blast. Here are some fun things to do on the island:
• Go for a bike ride. The fall weather is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking. A popular activity is to bike around the island. You can bring your own bike on the ferry or rent a bike once you arrive.
The unique charm of this island is that everything is old-fashioned and there are no cars allowed. So you will see many people on bikes. If you choose to bike the whole path around the island, it is a scenic and flat ride of 8.2 miles.
• Check out a fun fall event. There are also a number of fun events that take place on the island during the fall, including the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival and Mackinac Island’s Halloween Weekend.
• Take a carriage tour. Go back in time and see the island the way people used to travel on a carriage tour. This is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the island.
• Enjoy the tastes of fall. Another great reason to visit Mackinac Island in the fall is to enjoy all the amazing food that’s available. From fresh-picked apples to homemade pumpkin pies, there’s something for everyone. And of course, no trip to Mackinac Island would be complete without trying some of the famous delicious fudge that’s made there.
So if you’re looking for a delicious and unforgettable experience, be sure to check out Mackinac Island in the fall. You won’t be disappointed!
Pictured Rocks, MI
Fall is a beautiful time of year to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The leaves are changing color, the temperatures are just perfect, and the crowds are gone. Of course, no visit to Pictured Rocks would be complete without experiencing the sunset over Lake Superior. There are many great things to do in Pictured Rocks in the fall. Here are a few of the best:
• Take a hike. Fall is a great time to hit the trails at Pictured Rocks. The cooler weather is just right for more comfortable hiking, and the changing leaves provide stunning scenery. There are also fewer crowds, so you can enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.
• Go fishing. Fall is prime time for fishing at Pictured Rocks. The fish are biting and the lakes are calm. You can also enjoy some great views while you cast your line.
• Get out on the water in a kayak. Fall is a great time to kayak on Lake Superior. The water is still relatively warm and the waves are tame. You can also paddle through some amazing scenery, including colorful foliage along the shoreline. This is an amazing way to see the beautiful rock formations up close and personal.
• Take a guided tour. One of the best ways to view the Pictured Rocks area is to just sit back and relax on a Pictured Rocks Boat Cruise. This guided boat tour shows you all of the beautiful highlights of the area. Plus it’s always nice to get out on the water in the fall while the lake is calm.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply want to enjoy the beauty of nature, the Pictured Rocks are the perfect place to be in the fall.
Fall is a great time to visit Iowa’s scenic countryside. The days are still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors, but the nights are cool and crisp. One of the best ways to experience Iowa’s fall beauty is to visit one of Iowa’s many small towns. Winterset, Iowa is a particularly charming town to explore. It has a quaint main street lined with shops and restaurants. Here are some of the best things to do:
• Visit covered bridges. Remember the movie Bridges Of Madison County? The movie featured the courthouse and covered bridges in this small Iowa town. You can tour the 6 remaining bridges in the area on your own and free of charge.
• Check out the John Wayne Museum. Winterset is home to a number of historical sites. The city is the birthplace of John Wayne, and you can tour his childhood home or visit the John Wayne Museum. If you’re interested in architecture, you’ll also want to see the Madison County Courthouse.
• Visit a local winery. Fall is a great time to visit the wineries in the area and sample some of the local wines. Don’t miss Winterset Cidery which makes local adult natural cider beverages.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to take an RV trip and see some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the country, look no further than the Midwest. Any of these amazing destinations will make your autumn vacation one to remember. So pack up your rig and hit the open road – the Midwest is waiting for you!
Scott, his wife Van, and their 12-year-old daughter Sissy have traveled full-time in their RV for 7 years. They have worked and homeschooled on the road through 42 states so far. They blog about RVing tips, travel destinations, and the full-time RV lifestyle on their blog, TheAdventureDetour. They are also RV content creators @theadventuredetour on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. They love connecting with RVers so be sure to reach out to them and say hi!