Best Places to Visit in October

Written by Shaan Khan

Are you going to miss the long summer days, basking in the sun, partying morning till night; electrified by the heat and the buzzing energy of soaring crowds and outdoor activities all around you?

Or are you like me; sick of the masses of oily skinned, near-naked humans flocked together like casts of crabs on a beach—pools of bodies distracting you from the spots that you want to visit so dearly while having to endure the blistering heat everywhere that you go?

Well, whether your happy or sad that it’s over; now it’s time to embrace the chill and darker days of October—and don’t forget the spectacular colourful autumn foliage that comes with it. Oh, and the rain.

When considering places to visit in October—I and many others are inspired by the ideas we have set about the autumn month; a time of mystery and creepiness in light of the dying leaves and grey skies. As many know, indoor attractions become more popular this season, but we still adhere to carefully selective tours of the outside world, to admire the newly transformed landscapes basketed with vibrant colours of leaves and to witness the widespread rainfall that creates the mesmerising droplets which fall onto our windows; capturing the vibe of Autumn—calming and isolating.

So I hope to share with you places that host a mix of environments that can comfort you or alternatively, excite you with fear; so if you wish to visit somewhere with either wholesome or spooky settings, then this list of places has got you covered.

Eastern Provinces and States of Canada & The USA

Provinces & States include: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Maine, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Delaware, Virginia

Rolling hills, rocky coastlines and isolated towns cradled inside expansive forests. Eastern regions of Canada and the US are shrouded with small, charming towns that are decorated with nature. Buildings uphold a level of prestige as their designs bolster attention and they are not tainted by over-saturated replicas that are cluttered together; like in my industrial town in England, for instance, and many others.

There is a fusion of red brick and white wooden buildings that co-exist within the towns—upholding a timeline of history and evolution that read like immersive books for you history-lovers. You will be drawn towards the church towers that stand-tall over the towns like obelisks. As you explore, enter some of the quaint businesses and freely interact with the townsfolk that will be more welcoming for a conversation in these more peaceful and quiet days of October.

If this small dosage of human interaction becomes a bit too much for your introverted, Autumn-loving self, then nature is calling just around the corner. Trek through the woodlands outside of the towns and bask in the serenity of the slow-motion—blowing of leaf’s, chirping birds and crackles of breaking sticks and crunching leaves underneath your shoes. You will be surprised by the various ravines, lakes and waterfalls that are tucked away in the forests.

However, what will truly brighten your experience, in fact—literally; is the intense and most unique colour variation of the leaves in October. Rich with maple trees; the land is given a burst of spectacular colours—from red to orange or yellow, the colours follow you everywhere that you go. It’s as if you have entered an enchanted world—although, this makes sense as you can see the influence it has had on fairy-tale books and movies throughout our history. It’d be an ideal time and place to recapture the pleasant times you had engaging with the fictions as you did when you were younger; to escape dull and bland settings; in particular, places with little to no nature that are dominated by smoke-blowing factories and generic office buildings.

Speaking of the influence of culture; much of the spooky vibe felt throughout the east coast in October—plays into the dark history and horror anthologies that are home to the land. As colonial America was subjected to religious mysticism and isolated townships far away from its motherland of a more’ civilised Europe; it became the melting pot for hysteria, as many of the issues the colonists faced, would ultimately be pinned down to witchcraft, dark spirits and black magic.

Superstition of the unknown within the new world had led to a history of witch-hunts, rituals and exorcisms; one most noticeable and harrowing event in American history was ‘The Salem Witch Trials.

Even today, the horror of the cruel past is engraved into the culture, whether you still hold conviction towards the supernatural events tied to the area or not; it has influenced many great story-tellers and fictions—from the famous writers of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe—to the popular movies of The Exorcist, Blair Witch, The Conjuring, The Amityville Horror, The Witch; and yes, even Casper The Friendly Ghost.

Now it’s not all’ dark tales and horrible history; a past of colonies in fear of raids from natives, and the unknown wild that separates them from European society—had meant for colonists; young and old, to keep close, have hope, support one another and establish a new home in a foreign land where they hope to feel safe someday.

In light of the success, the nature of that time has carried over to the small towns of today—as they consist of, friendly communities and welcoming neighbours; enrooted in seasonal traditions, parades and festivities that bring everyone together. They have become an inspiration to the world; their spirit of connecting with a community is a spectacle to behold; in October, you’ll find almost all homes excessively decorated with creepy props, signs, art and pumpkins—all in anticipation for the upcoming Halloween. Even the streets and public buildings are flaunted with Halloween decorations, and when the day arrives; you understand why.

Halloween involves the whole community, of all ages! There is something for everyone; kids can live out their fantasies by transforming into monsters of the night!—wearing Cool and creative costumes to scare the residents of the town—in hopes to receive candy through ransom of course. Teens and adults alike will also dress up in costumes—although in a more ‘raunchy fashion’ for some, as they attend the many Halloween parties that circulate throughout the towns. If your days of partying are over; even if they never began in the first place—then get creative from the comforts of your home by setting up an experience for arriving trick-or-treaters in hopes to ‘scare the sh*t outta them’or, that they leave with ‘pleasant and fun memories’!

So, be inspired by the books and movies that fit the tone of October, then step outside and explore the Eastern parts of Canada and the US and become the protagonist; chase the story tales, the history and the scenery through your own adventure—personalised and catered towards your imagination. There’s so much to see and do in general throughout the east; visit a pumpkin patch, check out a Victorian mansion or go to an old cemetery if you dare!

To finish off, I’d like to present you with a list of specific places that I’d recommend you visit within eastern Canada and the US. Now although some locations may be far apart from one another—don’t worry, since each place listed, is surrounded by the many delights that I’ve brought attention to throughout this written piece.

List of Recommendations:

  1. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada – Drive through the Cabot Trail that hosts long winding roads alongside mountains, valleys and coastlines. An ideal place to capture the colourful trees of October as they’re nested in the valleys beside you or bundled together on mountainsides.
  • Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada – A vast forest scattered with lakes and rivers; best traversed with a canoe that creates for a calming experience as you take in the colourful nature around you in October.
  • Sleepy Hollow, New York, United States – Only a 30 minute train ride away from the Grand Central Station in Manhattan; this place has become infamous as a ‘Halloween Town‘, due to ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ written by Washington Irving, which tells the tale of the town’s ghost, named ‘The Headless Horseman’. The town plays up to this theme by hosting events such as a cemetery lantern tour and the haunted trail which showcases various creative props, acting and special effects.
  • Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States – Unlike a standard museum, it is classified as a ‘Living History Museum’, as it tries to replicate the original settlement of Plymouth Colony and by hosting interpreters to play the roles of the colonists and to act out there lifestyles; making for an immersive viewing for visitors to learn and reflect on the history of the colony.
  • Montpelier, Vermont, United States – A picture-perfect setting. Although it is classified as a city; it has the feel of a small and charming town, like that in which I’ve described throughout this writing, and in fact—influenced my writing to some extent.
  • Portland Head Light, Maine, United States – A lighthouse by a rocky coastline that is crashed into by ravages waves. Lookout to the ocean and reflect on your experience or simply be calmed by the sensation. I would suggest visiting at sunrise or sunset to witness the rays of vibrant colour that reflect onto the water. I personally believe it would be an excellent way to symbolise the ending of your trip—as you’ve reached the end of the world; metaphorically speaking.

This is a list of places that comes to mine that I feel are good representations of what I had described throughout the blog. If you have any recommendations within the east coast that fit with the theme of October, then please comment them below so others have more suggestions to aid them in planning their ideal October trip.

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