In the US, the fall is a favorite season for getting outdoors. Even on a budget, travelers can enjoy autumn getaways full of breathtaking views, beautiful fall foliage, and unforgettable memories. Whether traveling solo, with friends, in a couple, or as a family, these free or cheap fall destinations will be the highlight of the season. Give back to Mother Nature, take part in a harvest, camp under the stars, or explore a sacred tradition – without breaking the bank.

10 Go Cranberry Harvesting In A Bog

Cranberry harvesting is a unique option for travelers to get outside and get their hands dirty this fall. For fruity fall fun, travelers should head to Weatherby Cranberry Company in Warrens, Wisconsin, to participate in the community harvest day. Held every first Saturday in October, this public harvest lets volunteers don hip-waders and enter the marsh to help harvest the ripe berries. It’s a unique, hands-on experience for the adventurous autumn traveler. Complete this cranberry adventure with a scenic fall drive along Wisconsin’s 50-mile-long Cranberry Highway.

9 Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos In Texas

The largest Dia De Los Muertos (Day Of The Dead) celebration north of the border happens in San Antonio, Texas. This traditional Mexican holiday offers a day to remember and honor lost loved ones. Over several days, the city’s festival unfolds with live music, costuming, a procession, and of course, traditional elaborately decorated ofrendas or altars. The event is open to the public and free of charge, welcoming visitors to explore the culture of Mexico and this deeply meaningful tradition of remembering the departed while celebrating life.

Related: 10 Free Things To Enjoy In San Antonio

8 Enjoy A Pumpkin Patch In Kansas

A corn maze and pumpkin picking in an authentic pumpkin patch are two quintessential experiences that represent autumn in the US. Fall travelers should pack up the wagon and head to the heartland to experience the fun of small-town life. In Dorrance, Kansas, Granny Mae’s Pumpkin Patch is as wholesome and family-friendly as the name suggests. For less than $5 per person, curious visitors can explore the corn maze. But there’s much more included in the pumpkin patch experience, including live music, rides on the farm, bonfires, and quaint country stores.

Related: 10 Pumpkin Patches Just Outside NYC To Visit This Fall

7 City Parks Worth Traveling To

While State and National Parks receive a lot of leaf-peepers each autumn, city parks offer off-the-beaten-track autumn experiences that rival their larger, more popular peers. What’s more, many city parks are free to enjoy. Voted Best City Park in the US, St. Louis’s Forest Park is an excellent place to start exploring the great city parks of the US. This sprawling park includes miles of walking trails, museums, and historic structures. The park is also home to an outdoor amphitheater where visitors can catch a show at sunset. For each performance, the last nine rows of seating are offered free to the public. Travelers can have an affordable day out strolling the fall foliage and capped by an evening theater performance – all for free.

6 Take Scenic Drives From Coast To Coast

One of the most cost-effective ways to enjoy autumn is to take a scenic drive to enjoy the fall foliage. There are beautiful drives all over the country, so travelers can pick a scenic route closest to them to save time and money. What’s more, the adventurous traveler can easily link a few scenic drives together to make a very cost-effective and scenic road trip right in their state.

5 Enjoy A Bite Of The National Apple Harvest Festival

There’s apple picking, and then there is the National Apple Harvest Festival for sweet-toothed travelers looking for something a little different this year. The two-day festival held over the first two full weekends in October happens in Arendtsville, Pennsylvania, in the heart of Amish Country. For about $10 a day, visitors can enjoy this colorful festival celebrating the annual apple harvest. Food stalls sell everything from barbecue to apple-flavored sweets and bakes. Games for all ages and craft stations make this an exciting option for an affordable autumn weekend.

Related: Young & Broke: 10 Cheap Places Worldwide To Add To Your Bucket List

4 Visit A National Park In The US (On National Fee-Free Days)

A few days each year, National Parks across the US waive entrance fees. The goal is to encourage more people to get into the outdoors and to appreciate the value of the country’s extensive public lands. There are two fee-free days left in 2022, all happening during the fall. On September 24 and November 11, 2022, dozens of National Parks all across the country will be free to enter. The parks are more than worth the price of admission, but visitors on these special days can enjoy an even more affordable - and equally unforgettable - experience.

3 Camp On Colorado’s Scenic North Loop

Colorado’s Highway 14 follows the Cache La Poudre River and is a designated scenic route that shines in the autumn. Travelers can pack their tents and camp for free at the Pingree Park Road campsite, which welcomes tent campers and RVs. Travelers can expand this affordable outdoor trip by exploring all 350+ miles of the North Colorado Loop that connects to Highway 14 and the Cache La Poudre River Valley. This cheap itinerary makes for a perfect weekend of leaf-peeping, hiking, and camping in the wilds of the American West.

Related: 10 Super Cheap Fall Vacations You Can Afford To Take

2 A National Park In The US (After 250 Hours Of Volunteer Service)

The US government offers a lot of great National Park passes and deals, but the best has to be the Volunteer Pass, which gives visitors a year of free National Park entrances in exchange for 250 hours of service. That might sound like a lot, but volunteering in a National Park is a benefit in itself. Volunteers can enjoy the great outdoors while helping to sustain the amazing National Park system that stretches across the country, coast to coast. Volunteer for good, and get a whole year of free National Park admissions. That’s a win-win offer!

1 Not Ready For Fall? Seek Endless Summer In Miami

Not every traveler will be ready for the summer fun to end so soon. Fortunately, summer lovers have a cost-effective option. Travelers wishing to extend their summer can, surprisingly, visit Miami for relatively cheap. The city is home to a few trendy yet pocket-friendly hostels right on the public beach. Affordable accommodations coupled with a dizzying variety of inexpensive local eateries within walking distance means a cheap vacation to the Florida coast might be the best way to extend summer.