The best month for a road trip? Four reasons it's October


I'm going out on a limb and declaring October the best month for a road trip. Do I have meteorological data, research, or a Gallup® poll to back me up? No, I'm just basing it on my experiences.

Here's what October has going for it:

  • The color! Summer may have temperatures and spring may have flowers, but nothing (believe me) beats a good fall color tour. A landscape painted with vibrant orange, red, and yellow leaves is something that needs to be experienced to be believed. It's beautiful.
  • The temperatures! For me, the perfect weather forecast includes two things: moderately warm days and crisp nights. Cool enough to wear jeans, warm enough to not worry about a coat. (OK, maybe just a windbreaker.) For a lot of our country, October usually has both.
  • The prices! Unless you're leaf peeping, odds are you're heading to your destination during its shoulder season, meaning you'll pay less and probably be surrounded by fewer people. I've praised traveling during the spring shoulder season already — transfer that sentiment to the fall.

What else do you have to do?

October is our last hurrah before the big holiday season and winter blows in. So put off the yardwork, hop in a car, and do some spontaneous or not-so-spontaneous road-tripping. Just make sure your car is ready for the trip.

Where should you go? There are so many choices.

How about a National Park?

Grand Canyon

This is my husband and I on the south rim of the Grand Canyon in October 2007. Our road trip that year took us from Las Vegas to Phoenix.

Or your Alma Mater to take in a football game?

CMU Alumni Takeover

I head about two hours north every year to attend Homecoming at Central Michigan University. I participate in the alumni radio station takeover. This photo is from October 2011, when I was doing a live remote before the game. It was really windy and cold.

One of our nation's great cities?

Millennium Park

I took this picture at Millennium Park in Chicago in October 2006. Cities are a great place to go in October. Take in a show, eat great food, visit museums, whatever you'd like.

Or a crazy roadside attraction?

Inflatable Donkey

This photo is my husband with the Keoki's Donkey Balls mascot in Kona, Hawaii in October 2008. I realize you can't drive to Hawaii, but our vacation involved a road trip around the entire Big Island that was a lot of fun. When we passed this store, he wanted to stop and get a picture.

So where are you going this October? I may be heading over to a beach where colorful trees provide a lovely contrast to the water.

October Beach

This picture is from an abnormally warm October weekend in 2011. We actually waded into Lake Michigan because it was so warm.

No matter where you head, make sure you travel to your destination safely.



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