October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024

October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024

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There’s an enchanting crispness in the October air that spells adventure for the eager traveler. And hence the need for an epic October bucket list!

With landscapes transforming into living canvases of reds, golds, and browns in the northern hemisphere, and the southern climes awakening with the promise of spring, October presents a perfect canvas for a travel masterpiece

Whether you crave the fiery palette of fall foliage, the rush of adventure amid ideal weather, or the opportunity to join in globally celebrated festivities, there’s a destination with your name on it this October.

Here, we’ve crafted a list that caters to every wanderer’s heart, from the leaf-peeping enthusiasts to the festival revelers and the intrepid adventurers. 

And, unlike other October bucket lists that cover generic ideas, this is going to solely focus on experiences from all over the world. Translation: only read on if you are a traveler!

This guide ensures your October adventures will be nothing short of extraordinary.

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
Exploring Skagway, Alaska in October.

Bucket List Destinations for Fall Foliage in October

The beauty of changing leaves is nature’s way of inviting us to witness her annual choreography. 

Here are the top 12 destinations worldwide where you can witness this magical phenomenon in October:

1. New England, USA

Welcome to the quintessential fall destination. The sprawling landscapes of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire burst into a riot of color, with sugar maples and oaks in their dazzling finery. 

Where to Go

A road trip along the Kancamagus Highway or a serene cruise on Lake Champlain offers unparalleled panoramas…something that is no doubt to be added to your October bucket list. 

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
Fall foliage in Vermont. Photo by Abhi Verma on Unsplash.

2. Kyoto, Japan

The ancient capital of Japan in fall is like stepping into a painting or a travel postcard.

Where to go

Visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine for a serene walk amidst vermilion-lacquered torii gates alongside the vibrant foliage.

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
A fall spectacle spotted in Kyoto, Japan.

3. The Scottish Highlands

While Scotland’s autumnal display might not boast the diversity of colors seen in New England, the golden, bronzed landscapes under moody skies create a hauntingly beautiful scene

Where to Go

The Great Glen and Isle of Skye make for dramatic drives and photographs.

4. The Black Forest, Germany

Harboring lores of the Brothers Grimm, this ancient forest comes alive with hues of amber, crimson, and auburn. 

Where to Go

Take the scenic Black Forest High Road or hike amid the towering firs and magnificent waterfalls min Triberg.

5. The Enchanted Circle, New Mexico, USA

A hidden gem where the aspens shimmer like gold. 

Where to GO

This scenic byway looping through Carson National Forest flaunts shades of yellow set against the rustic charm of New Mexico towns.

6. Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada

For an unspoiled wilderness experience, Algonquin offers lakes mirroring the skies and forests reflecting every shade of fall. 

Where to GO

Canoe amid the floating on the water or hike the Lookout Trail for a bird’s eye view.

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
Views over Algonquin Provincial Park during fall. Photo by Jaime Dantas on Unsplash.

7. Acadia National Park, Maine, USA

Perched on the rugged coast, Acadia’s foliage picturesquely contrasts with the blue of the Atlantic. 

Where to go

From the iconic Jordan Pond to the winding road of Park Loop, the scenery delights at every turn.

8. The Adirondacks, New York, USA

Homeland of the Adirondack Chair, this region is the epitome of an American autumn. 

Where to GO

The Lake Placid area is a favorite, with the High Peaks offering a vantage over a mosaic of color.

9. The Dolomites, Italy

A lesser-known but no less impressive display awaits in Italy’s Dolomites. 

Where to GO

The Sella and Gardena Passes unveil panoramas of spiky peaks and alpine meadows wearing their autumn best.

10. The Dandenong Ranges, Victoria, Australia

In October, Australia’s Dandenongs transform into a scene from a fairytale. 

Where to GO

The Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens and the William Ricketts Sanctuary are serene spots offering respite in the midst of cascading leaves.

11. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, USA

I live in Colorado, so I have to give it some hype! And after years searching, the Great Sand Dunes provided me with some of the best fall leaves in October! 

The juxtaposition of towering dunes against the backdrop of golden aspens and cottonwoods is unexpectedly stunning. 

Where to Go

A hike through the park not only offers the unique experience of sand beneath your feet but also the beauty of autumn leaves fluttering in the crisp Colorado air.

I would also recommend taking a drive on Medano Pass Primitive Road, if your car allows.

Read More

I wrote an entire series on the Great Sand Dunes from when I went there in (you guessed it) October.

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
The Bucket List Mermaid and her tail on Medano Pass Road in the Great Sand Dunes in October.

12. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Visiting Yellowstone in October offers a spectacular showcase of autumnal beauty amidst the park’s geothermal wonders. 

Known for its geysers, hot springs, and abundant wildlife, Yellowstone during the fall adds the breathtaking dimension of fall foliage to its list of natural attractions, making it a popular destination for those wishing to experience the tranquility and majesty of the season.

The peak for the fall foliage is normally around the last week of September to the first week of October.

Where to go

Although there are many places to go to see fall foliage in Yosemite, some ideas are Lamar Valley, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, or Yellowstone Lake.

Best Adventure Getaways for an October Bucket List

For those who want more excitement from their travels, October opens the doors to some of the best outdoor adventure destinations. 

Here are 12 destinations where you can experience thrill in October’s ideal conditions:

1. The Swiss Alps

October here means the end of the stranglehold of summer tourists and temperatures still warm enough for hiking. 

The Engadine Valley and Glarus are perfect for tackling some trails. Just make sure they are still open as they are prone to close early in October if the weather calls for it. 

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
Trying to still get those summer vibes on top of the Swiss Alps!

2. The Pyrenees, Spain and France

Lesser explored than the Alps, the Pyrenees offer equally dramatic landscapes with the Camino de Santiago providing a classic route for trekkers and cyclists.

3. The Atlas Mountains, Morocco

With scorching summer heat fading, October brings agreeable conditions for ascending North Africa’s highest peaks. 

The trek to Toubkal offers a challenge with stunning Berber villages en route.

4. Lake Tahoe, USA

In October, Lake Tahoe transforms with vibrant fall colors, making it an exquisite time for visitors. 

The cooler temperatures are perfect for hiking and mountain biking around the lake’s rim or exploring the numerous trails in the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains

The crystal-clear waters of the lake, framed by the golden hues of autumn, offer a serene kayaking or paddleboarding experience unlike any other season.

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
Lake Tahoe in October. Photo by Jeff Hopper on Unsplash.

5. The Appalachian Trail, USA

One of the world’s most famous long walks, October provides an idyllic period for a section hike along the Appalachian Trail, with stunning fall views as your reward.

6. Everest Base Camp, Nepal

Take on the monumental trek to the base of the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest. 

October is the month between monsoon and winter season, so it is less difficult to make the already difficult trek. There is also less of a change of rain or snow, making the trail less slippery.

But be warned! This makes it a very popular time to check this off of your bucket list so book early to avoid disappointment. 

7. The Grampians, Australia

Awe-inspiring lookouts and ancient rock formations make the Grampians a hiker’s paradise in October. 

Keep in mind that by going in October, you will actually witness the middle of the spring season. 

Marvel at Mackenzie Falls and the Balconies to put a cherry on top of your October bucket list. 

8. The Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Before the arrival of the winter snows, October is the favored month for trekkers, with clear skies, stable temperatures, and the full spectrum of landscapes to enjoy.

This time promises to be dry and not too cold with clear skies! 

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
A hiker hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. Photo by Lê Tân on Unsplash.

9. The Drakensberg, South Africa

Experience a South African delight in spring bloom, with waterfalls at their fullest and grasslands in flower. 

Just be prepared for sunny weather or a few storms as the weather can vary during this time. 

Highlights include Howick Falls and Sani Pass offers a challenging drive.

10. The Jungfrau Region, Switzerland

With the traffic of summer now a distant memory, October welcomes hikers to enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage site without the crowds. 

The Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks dominate this mountainous skyline.

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
On top of Jungfrau in Switzerland.

11. The Julian Alps, Slovenia

This Slovenian treasure trove includes the iconic Lake Bled and the emerald waters of Lake Bohinj

Hike or mountain bike through Triglav National Park amid the changing leaves.

12. The Hadrian’s Wall Path, England

This is a historical hike with added charm in the autumn. 

This UNESCO World Heritage Site takes you through Roman remains with expansive views across the Northumberland landscape.

Unique Festivals and Events for Your October Travel Bucket List

October isn’t just about natural beauty; it’s also a month of vibrant celebrations around the globe. 

Here are unique festivals and events you should experience at least once in your lifetime:

1. Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

The world’s largest beer festival is a bucket list item for many, inviting you to indulge in music, traditional German meals, and, of course, beer under exuberant tents.

Just be warned (because I’ve made this mistake before), contrary to its name this only takes places right at the beginning of October. So, plan accordingly.

2. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico, USA

Hundreds of hot air balloons fill the New Mexico skies in one of the world’s most photographed events. This lasts for around 9 days and there is normally a cheap general admission fee.

Mass ascensions at dawn are not to be missed.

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
Several hot air balloons in the sky during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico. Photo by Raychel Sanner on Unsplash.

3. Salon du Chocolat, Paris, France

If you are in Paris near the end of October, this prestigious event is a must-visit for chocolate lovers around the world

Showcasing the latest trends in chocolate and confectionery, attendees can enjoy tastings, live demonstrations by renowned chefs, and the famous chocolate fashion show where couture meets cocoa.

4. Chrysanthemum Festival, Lahr, Germany

A stunning display of thousands of chrysanthemums created into mosaics, animals, and other forms

Additionally, revel in wine and street food along with musical performances.

This one is going to be right at the end of October into November. 

5. Halloween in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland

One of the spookiest places for Halloween, Derry’s ancient walls provide the backdrop for scary activities, concerts, and of course, a good ghost story. The event highlight is the spooky parade!

6. Vegetarian Festival, Phuket, Thailand

An intriguing spectacle featuring acts of devotion such as walking on hot coals and impaling oneself without drawing blood as a way to pay homage to nine deities.

I must admit that it is slightly unsettling, but that is what makes it a unique addition to your October bucket list. 

And as the name suggests, the festival also offers delicious vegetarian food.

Off the Beaten Path Recommendations for Your October Bucket List

Avoid the crowds and opt for a truly unique travel experience this October. 

Here are a few destinations where you can enjoy a different kind of fall splendor:

1. Faroe Islands

Bald mountains silhouette against the moody sky and the vibrant villages dotting the rugged coast – the Faroes in October are a photographer’s dream. Just make sure to bring a raincoat just in case. 

Head outside for some hiking or kayaking and feast on local delicacies like skerpikjøt (wind-dried mutton).

2. Transylvania, Romania

The homeland of Count Dracula is a place of literary and atmospheric grandeur. 

Visit the medieval town of Sighisoara, explore Peles Castle, and hike trails in the Carpathian Mountains.

3. Madagascar

A wildlife hotspot with 90% of its species found nowhere else on Earth, you’re bound to have close encounters with lemurs and chameleons. 

October is the transition between dry and rainy season. Although the weather can be less predictable, it is still warm with fewer tourists.

5. The Far North, Queensland, Australia

While the southern states are changing colors, the northern tropics are greeting spring with a burst of wildflowers and rejuvenated wildlife in places like Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation.

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
An above view of Whitsunday, an area in north Queensland, Austrailia. Photo by Guillaume Marques on Unsplash.

6. Northern Patagonia, Chile and Argentina

Escape the southern spring rush and meander through the quaint towns and pristine landscapes of Northern Patagonia. 

Bariloche and Puerto Varas are a playground for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

7. The Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Remote and rugged, the islands here are bound to enthrall with their breathtaking beaches, ancient standing stones, and Gaelic-speaking communities. 

October offers milder temperatures and is often regarded as a good time to take a cruise around the area

There is also a chance, oddly enough, to also witness the northern lights during this time. 

8. The Karakoram Highway, Pakistan and China

One of the world’s highest roads, the KKH offers a blend of breath-taking scenery, historical landmarks, and cultural adventures. 

Be aware that in October and November, the temperatures can drop drastically, so please plan accordingly.

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
Ganish Bridge on the Karakoram Highway. Photo by Pakistan Tourism on Unsplash.

9. The Comoros Islands

Tucked between Madagascar and Mozambique, the Comoros are an archipelago of volcanic islands with vibrant traditions, unspoiled beaches, and lively markets. 

October is in the cool and dry season, perfect for exploring these “forgotten” islands. 

10. The Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

A world of magical lakes, jagged peaks, and picture-book ski resorts, the Bernese Oberland is an adventurer’s utopia. 

With cooler weather and fewer tourists, this is a prime time for hiking and enjoying the classic Swiss Alpine landscapes.

However, keep an eye on weather as temperatures can drop and hikes are prone to close. 

Tips for Planning an October Trip

Weather

The potential pitfall of planning an October trip is the varied weather conditions

Remember that in the southern hemisphere, October is the beginning of spring, so check for rain or heat advisories. 

For the northern hemisphere, especially high-altitude areas, it could be the cusp of winter, so pack accordingly.

Shoulder Seasons

While October can be a shoulder season with lower rates, it’s also a time when many popular tourist destinations hold events that may increase demand

Be sure to book accommodations and activities well in advance, especially for festivals and fall favorites.

Consider local customs and laws, especially if you’re attending festivals or cultural events. Research what to wear and any etiquette you need to follow to respect local traditions.

Travel Insurance

Finally, travel insurance is a must. Whether it’s for a canceled hot air balloon ride in Albuquerque due to weather or ensuring you’re protected when hiking in the fall, comprehensive travel insurance can save the day.

October bucket list, October Bucket List Ideas From Around the World in 2024
Fall leaves spotted on Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado.

Conclusion

A union of nature’s most beautiful spectacles and a varied assortment of adventures, festivals, and offbeat discoveries, the October bucket list is a passport to experiencing the world at its creative best

The destinations covered in this guide are merely a starting point — there are endless horizons of discovery available to the intrepid traveler.

In a time that celebrates transformation, your October travel should be no different. 

2024 is the year to see the world in a different light, to step onto new shores, find unfamiliar trails, and participate in time-honored customs. 

It is never too late to even check just one thing off of your bucket list! Happy adventuring! 

Adventure Bucket List Resources

I am here to help your travel adventures go as smoothly as possible! That way you can check off that bucket list with minimal complications and spending!

AIRFARE – It is no surprise that like many travelers, I have found that Hopper is one of the best resources to use when finding cheap flights. 

ACCOMMODATION – My two favorites are Booking.Com for hotels and VRBO for rentals. 

GUIDED TOURS –  If you are looking for quick and easy tours, check out GetYourGuide and Viator

MULTI-DAY TOURS –  For more in-depth tours that span several days, TourHub has many great options with reputable travel companies. Use my code (ALEXANDRA1GURU) for up to 5% off your next bucket list adventure. 

TRANSPORTATION –  You can either rent a car yourself with Discover Cars or do a guided bus tours like Big Bus Tours

CREDIT CARD –  I always use my Chase Freedom Unlimited card for all of my purchases. There is no annual fee and you get 1.5% cash back and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel. 

SIM CARDS –  Avoid expensive roaming charges with an eSim card with Airalo.

TRAVELER’S INSURANCE –  Check out VisitorsCoverage for affordable insurance plans.

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