11 Exciting Fall Events Happening Across North America You Must Check Out

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Head to Albuquerque in October for a stunning display of hot air balloons.

While summer is coming to an end and we’ll soon be saying goodbye to our long sunny days, that’s no reason to hunker down and prepare for winter. Summer may be winding down but fun times don’t have to!

Plenty fun and somewhat unusual events and festivals are taking place across North America before the year ends and we found some that you may not have considered attending before but should be on your radar.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

August 29 – November 11, 2019
Orlando, FL
Official website

This nearly three month-long festival is the perfect excuse to travel to ‘The Most Magical Place on Earth.’ With dozens of events, classes, and tastings featuring world-class chefs and their creations, you’re sure to live out any foodie’s dream. Besides, there’s going to be free wine tastings, so it’s obviously worth checking out!

As always, Wanderu can get you on a bus or train to Orlando from pretty much anywhere in the country.

Toronto International Film Festival

September 5-15, 2019
Toronto, ON
Official website

Marco Manna / Flickr

One of the most highly anticipated film festivals of the year takes place in Toronto each September. This is usually your first chance to get a glimpse at the movies that will be competing in the upcoming awards season. If you’re lucky (and observant), you can also catch an appearance by a Hollywood star or two.

Tickets are on sale now!

With Wanderu, you can easily get to Toronto, as there are many cheap travel options available.

Harpoon Octoberfest

October 4 & 5, 2019
Boston, MA
Official website

Can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest this year? Boston’s Harpoon Brewery has you covered. Spanning over two days in the city’s Seaport District, the festival features Harpoon brews as well as German food and music.

Use the money you’ll save with these cheap bus & train tickets to Boston for admission to the festival!

Haunted Happenings

October 1-31, 2019
Salem, MA
Official website


Historic and haunted, Salem is the perfect place to visit in this October in the days leading up to Halloween. Feeding into its spooky history, the city puts on scary movie screenings, ghost tours and parades throughout the month of October.

Find cheap bus and train tickets on Wanderu and visit the Halloween experts in Salem for a guaranteed scary (but fun) time.

California Avocado Festival

October 4-6, 2019
Carpinteria, CA
Official website

Calling all avocado enthusiasts! California’s Avocado Festival is every avocado lover’s dream.  Taking place in the SoCal town of Carpinteria, the festival will have music, contests and guacamole galore!

Admission is FREE, just bring an empty stomach.

Wanderu can help you get to Carpinteria with bus and train options from various locations.

Austin City Limits Music Fest

October 4-6 & 11-13, 2019
Austin, TX
Official website

Headliners Khalid, Brockhampton and Hozier will settle down in Austin this October, performing for two weekends at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

With hundreds of performers, including also the Lil Wayne, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello and Vince Staples, spread out over the first two weekends of October, this festival offers a little something for music lovers of all tastes and preferences.

To enjoy quality music performances under Austin’s blue sky, check out these travel options to get there for cheap.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

October 5-13, 2019
Albuquerque, NM
Official website

Hundreds of whimsical hot air balloons take flight into the New Mexico sky at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The week long festival celebrates the technology, ability and pilots of these aircrafts with flight competitions, concerts and more.

Spectators can watch in awe as all of the festival balloons float above the crowds together in five mass ascensions during the week. Don’t forget to charge your smartphone because, as you can guess, this event offers unique Insta opportunities.

Find cheap bus & train tickets to Albuquerque and don’t miss this stunning sky spectacle of color and physics.

Wizarding Weekend

October 26 & 27, 2019
Ithaca, NY
Official website

Photo of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Orlando.

This Halloween weekend, wizards and magic will take over downtown Ithaca. A weekend dedicated exclusively to Harry Potter will now celebrate any and all things magic!

Kids of all ages are encouraged to join in on quidditch matches, magic classes, trick-or-treating, and many more magical activities. Local street vendors and artists will provide food, potions and entertainment.

Pack your wand and head to Ithaca with these cheap bus and train travel options.

The Barbecue Festival

October 26, 2019
Lexington, NC
Official website

BBQ capital of the world, Lexington, NC hosts its 34th barbeque festival this October. The fest is one of the state’s most popular events, with BBQ lovers from across the country flocking in to sample some of the best grilled food available anywhere.

During the event, you can enjoy a Hogway Speedway and numerous barbeque tents. Admission is $5 and make sure you bring cash for any food and souvenirs you’ll want inside!

Head to Lexington with these cheap travel options and pig out!

Winter Festival of Lights

November 16, 2019 – January 12, 2020
Niagara Falls, ON
Official website

Can you think of anything more cozy than Canada around the holidays? Ontario’s Winter Festival of Lights proves there isn’t. From mid-November through New Year’s Eve, Niagara Falls puts on an mind-blowing spectacle of holiday lights and decorations.

The celebration features illuminated waterfalls each night and a fireworks display every Friday. This family-friendly festival guarantees a night of fun and holiday cheer!

Hop on a bus to Niagara Falls and don’t miss this awesome opportunity to kick off the holiday season in an unusual way.

Austin Mac & Cheese Festival

November 11, 2019
Austin, TX
Official website

monnibo / Flickr

For the second year, Austin Food Magazine is hosting the Austin Mac & Cheese Festival. Festival goers can sample dozens of macaroni and cheese dishes from different vendors and vote on the city’s best.

Tickets are already on sale, so make sure you snag one for the chance to try some extra delicious mac & cheese.

Book a bus or train ticket to Austin and be there for the cheesiest day of the year!

Travel Safely

At Wanderu, we want to make sure you are equipped with all the information you need to plan a safe trip. Please visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide for the latest tips & advisories.

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About the author
Staffo Dobrev

Staffo Dobrev

Having lived in some of the greatest cities in the world, Staffo has always had a soft spot for travel and adventures. Instead of hitting the usual tourist attractions, though, Staffo prefers to make friends with local people and check out fun places and activities that are not in the travel books.