WICHITA, Kan. – Sept. 18, 2023 – The desire to travel does not disappear at the end of summer. AAA Travel booking data suggests enthusiasm for new experiences in new locations continues long after Labor Day and, of course, fall foliage is always a big draw.
“While summer is often a time for longer family vacation road trips, fall is also very popular for scenic drives and getaways,” said Shawn Steward, spokesman for AAA Kansas. “For travelers, it’s the perfect time of year to get in the car and go, with cooler weather, less traffic on the highways, and fewer crowds at popular destinations.”
For travelers looking for an autumn exploration within the Sunflower State, Travel Kansas provides a variety of suggested itineraries to navigate. Whether road tripping to festive fall festivals, historic and cultural treasures, fun and quirky roadside attractions, or beautiful “how can this be in Kansas?” scenery, each road and direction in the state leads to a fall adventure. A few highlights include:
- Explore Kansas’ Six Distinct Regions: https://www.travelks.com/places-to-visit/regions/
- Kansas Fall Festivals 2023: https://www.travelks.com/blog/stories/post/kansas-fall-festivals/
- Kansas Byways – Nine Scenic, Three Historic https://www.travelks.com/things-to-do/byways-and-highways/byways/
- Awesome Roadside Attractions: https://www.travelks.com/things-to-do/attractions/roadside-attractions/
- Nine Amazing Historical Attractions Off I-70: https://www.travelks.com/blog/stories/post/9-amazing-historical-attractions-off-i-70/
For those looking for a longer trip to the eastern United States, AAA suggests five fall travel destinations for the best “leaf peeping”:
NEW HAMPSHIRE – Kancamagus Highway
The Kancamagus Highway, or the “Kanc” as locals know it, is one of the best spots for fall foliage in the US. This scenic 35-mile stretch of Route 112 winds through the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, offering stunning views of the colorful autumn landscape with plenty of places to stop and explore.
VERMONT – Green Mountain Byway
Vermont wilderness covers 75 percent of the state and, with more maple trees than anywhere else in the region, you’ll find the brightest yellows, oranges, and reds. The Green Mountain Byway is a 71-mile corridor that encircles Vermont’s Green Mountains, including Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, and the famous mountain pass of Smugglers’ Notch.
NEW YORK – Hudson Valley
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Hudson Valley, New York. The region stretches along the Hudson River from the tip of Manhattan to Albany. Travelers can explore two scenic autumn drives: the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway and the Shawangunk Mountains Scenic Byway, full of brilliant earth tones that emerge from the pines, oaks, maples, and hemlocks.
PENNSYLVANIA – Route 6
Route 6 in northeastern PA has been called one of America’s most scenic drives. This magical and tranquil highway along the Keystone State’s northern tier is 400-plus miles of history and heritage, small-town culture, friendly people, and wondrous sights. Head west to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, Pine Creek Gorge, where gorgeous autumn colors are displayed late into the season.
NORTH CAROLINA – Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s longest linear park at 470 miles. Its winding path leads travelers along a scenic byway along the Blue Ridge Mountains, stretching 469 miles between Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Known for its stunning foliage display each fall, travelers will find countless opportunities to explore and experience the beauty of the changing season.
Basic Vehicle Maintenance a Must
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year, AAA responded to nearly 27,000 calls for emergency roadside service – just in Kansas. To avoid a similar fate, fall travelers are encouraged to make sure their vehicles are road ready – especially tires, in anticipation of those leaf-covered roadways, with traction made worse by wet weather.
“No one expects to break down, but those who overlook basic vehicle maintenance may find themselves stranded at the roadside, looking for help rather than taking in the scenery,” Steward added.
While AAA’s intention is always to get members back on the road as quickly and safely as possible, it is important to note that a roadside breakdown is not always a quick fix. It can be both a major disruption and a significant expense. More than half of the summer service calls in Kansas required a tow.
Resources for Sightseeing and Savings
Vehicle maintenance is not the only opportunity for savings. With the national average for gas still around $3.85/gallon and hotel rooms at a premium, AAA reminds drivers that mapping out routes and booking accommodations in advance can save time and money. Associates in any of our AAA Travel/Retail locations – including stores in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Brookings, Mitchell and Yankton – are well-versed on the best places to stay, the most scenic routes and how to take advantage of AAA discounts along the way.
Fall road-trippers and leaf peepers who prefer to ‘DIY’ can take advantage of additional AAA resources:
- Check out AAA’s Digital TourBooks®.
- Explore the best ways to see fall foliage at AAA.com/TheExtraMile.com.
- Download the AAA mobile app to find the least expensive gas along your route, call for Emergency Roadside Assistance or connect with a travel advisor.
To ensure everyone’s safety and peace of mind through the season, AAA is also providing a ‘Buy One, Get One’ Membership at AAA.com/BOGO. Members can request roadside assistance by calling 1-800-AAA-HELP, on AAA.com or through the AAA mobile app.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to more than 63 million members nationwide and more than 350,000 members in Kansas. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, membership corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can map a route, find local gas prices and electric vehicle charging stations, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information on joining or renewing a Membership, visit www.AAA.com.