Road Trip Season Extends to Fall

Road Trip Season Extends to Fall

Fall foliage is just one of many draws for road trippers
Elizabeth Carey
family packing car for road trip

Road trip season is revving up and shows no sign of slowing down! While road trips are synonymous with summer travel, the trend is extending to the fall season this year.

The good old-fashioned road trip made a comeback during the pandemic with many people traveling by car in 2020, and it continued this summer with travel nearly fully recovering to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, road trips set new records over Independence Day this year, surpassing 2019 numbers by five percent, according to AAA. 

Fall colors and the pent-up demand for travel are just two of the factors tempting travelers. “Travel used to be defined by seasons, but now every season is a good season for travel,” said Brian Murray, Senior Travel Product Manager with AAA Western and Central New York. “While fall used to be an off season, it is now very popular with travelers looking for everything from long weekend getaways and cruises to island getaways or theme park experiences.”

Here are some of the top places within New York that are calling travelers anxious to make end of summer and fall memories.

seneca farms

Finger Lakes
You can’t go wrong in the Finger Lakes – the hardest choice is deciding which lake to visit. They all offer beautiful views, wine trails to toast, and most have breweries popping up as well. Other activities include antiquing, boating, and hiking. If you’re near Penn Yan, be sure to visit Seneca Farms along Keuka Lake to try their famous fried chicken. The owners like to count out of state license plates and are close to 50 states this season. Don’t leave without trying the homemade ice cream, but hurry, they typically close at the end of October. 

clayton ny

Thousand Islands
The region is called the Thousand Islands because there appears to be about that many islands between the U.S. and Canada, so it’s no surprise that this area is popular with boaters over the summer. Fall offers beautiful scenery and many state parks to visit. Kick back in Alexandria Bay or visit quaint shops in Clayton – the choice is yours. Looking for a place to stay? The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel is situated right along the St. Lawrence River and is a AAA Four Diamond Property. Be sure to have your camera ready for beautiful scenery!

fall foliage in ny

The Adirondack Regions stretches an impressive six million acres! From Saranac Lake to Lake Placid to the Canadian border, there are boundless destinations in the region. You can enjoy leaf-peeping on scenic drives, cycling, kayaking, or hiking through the breathtaking region. Want a more adventurous way to enjoy fall? Hot air balloon rides are available in the Lake George region. Feel safer with your feet on the ground? You can take the Adirondack Railroad! Visit either station in Utica, N.Y., or Thendara, N.Y. to start your journey through the region’s beautiful forest and waterways.

statue of libery from staten island ferry

New York City
If the hustle and bustle of city life calls, now is the time to show your support for the Big Apple, which is making a comeback after tourism slowed during the pandemic. Broadway shows are returning, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum offers an important history lesson, while Central Park’s fall foliage gives you the best of both worlds – city and park life. Hop on the Staten Island Ferry for a great view of the Statue of Liberty, for free!
No matter where you choose to go, you’ll be saying ‘I Love New York!’ 

Make Sure Your Car is Road Trip-Ready 
Before hitting the road, AAA reminds motorists to plan their route in advance and ensure their vehicle is ready to avoid a breakdown. “The most common calls for roadside assistance are dead batteries, flat tires and keys locked in a vehicle,” said Dan Fisher, Dispatch Manager at AAA Western and Central New York. “Pre-planning and vehicle maintenance can help avoid those problems. Also, be sure to download the AAA app to request service if you do breakdown.” 

Motorists can contact AAA by calling or texting “HELP” to 1-800-AAA-HELP, submitting a request via the web, or using the AAA mobile app (available on Google Play or in the App Store). 

To help consumers, AAA created its Approved Auto Repair program over 45 years ago. AAA Approved Auto Repair shops must meet and maintain specific criteria like technician certifications and training, facility cleanliness and outstanding customer service. Plus, there are over 7,000 locations to choose from across North America. 

Also, don’t forget an emergency roadside kit and pack extra snacks as well as cleaning supplies, including disinfecting wipes. And always remember to drive carefully.

If you’re ready to take that road trip, feel free to reach out to a AAA Travel Sales AdvisorAAA’s expert travel consultants can help travelers plan their perfect getaway – simply stop by a AAA branch, call (888) 320-3163, or visit:

AAA Travel