11 Historic Weekend Getaways Perfect for Fall

From charming and eclectic towns and burgs to heritage coastal climes, America’s historic areas are opening back up to welcome you for day trips, weekend getaways, or more. Enjoy Main Streets dining and shopping, rural bike rides, walks on the beach, and fascinating tours and museums—all of which were included in Preservation magazine’s fall 2020 issue as part of the "Weekend Getaways" advertising special.

Due to restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend checking local restrictions if you decide to travel during this period.

  1. Gulf shores al 5112012 cwr 0175 gulf shores orange beach tourism

    Photo By: Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism

    Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama

    Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are open and ready to welcome you this fall. Though the destination is most known for its beaches, many are surprised to hear that there is much history to be explored, specifically at Fort Morgan State Historic Site. Having played a crucial role in in the Battle of Mobile Bay, it’s a favorite for both history buffs and families. To start planning your fall getaway to the Alabama Gulf Coast, visit WWW.GULFSHORES.COM/BACK-TO-THE-BEACH or call 877-341-2400.

  2. Allegany county md nsl rb cumberland city aerial fall cumberland md allegany county tourism

    Photo By: Courtesy: Allegany County Tourism

    Allegany County, Maryland

    Home to America’s First Road Trip! Moving history starts here in Mountain Maryland, where stories of our nation’s early transportation milestones are told through our river, rails, trails, mountains, and towns. Celebrate the 170th anniversary of the completion of the C&O Canal National Historical Park.

  3. Calvert county md img 20200613 125548601 2 calvert county tourism

    Photo By: Courtesy: Calvert County Tourism

    Calvert County, Maryland

    Calvert County, on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, is home to two lighthouses, a park with 65 identified archaeological sites, a Smithsonian-affiliated art garden and a brand-new Barn Quilt Trail. Explore maritime history and enjoy waterfront dining, wineries, breweries, shops and galleries.

  4. Frederick roddyroadcoveredbridge credit ckurtholter visit frederick

    Photo By: Visit Frederick

    Frederick, Maryland

    Downtown Frederick is home to a bustling historic district full of specialty shops and celebrity-chef culinary experiences. History buffs can explore Civil War battlefields, learn about healing and compassion at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and walk in the footsteps of Francis Scott Key. Venture outside the city to see three historic covered bridges, and hike, bike or paddle in Frederick County’s state and national parks. Relax and drink in the view at a local winery, brewery, or distillery.

  5. Harford lock house cr sean simmons

    Photo By: Sean Simmons

    Harford County, Maryland

    Harford County is resplendent with beauty, history, culture, outdoor adventure, and rich heritage. The historic waterfront town of Havre de Grace has five museums, three National Scenic Trails, and stunning views. Plan a trip to Harford County.

  6. Cape girardeau mo preservation mag photo with caption visit cape girardeau

    Photo By: Courtesy: Visit Cape Girardeau

    Cape Girardeau, Missouri

    Nestled along the banks of the Mississippi river is the port town of Cape Girardeau. Cape is a blend of inspiring cultures, sports and entertainment, and tasteful temptations for the palette. And the atmosphere at these local favorites provides an opportunity to get lost in conversation. After you indulge, explore all Cape has to offer with eclectic shops, award-winning breweries and wineries, a full-service casino on the Mississippi Riverbank, or a comedy club bringing in national acts weekly.

  7. Stcharles lewisandclark frontierpark cr discover st. charles

    Photo By: Discover St. Charles

    St. Charles, Missouri

    Just west of St. Louis you’ll find St. Charles, a river city with a unique historical perspective, beautiful sights, friendly people, and a pace just a little slower than that of the big city. The people of St. Charles have labored lovingly to preserve and share its treasured river heritage. You’re invited to experience the charm and beauty of a city that has been welcoming visitors since 1769.

  8. Ste genevieve mo guibourd valle visitstegen tourism

    Photo By: Courtesy: VisitSteGen Tourism

    Ste. Genevieve, Missouri

    Looking for a getaway? Visit Ste. Genevieve, Missouri’s Oldest Town and soon home to a national historical park. The relaxing downtown features historic houses, charming shops, unique dining experiences. The surrounding countryside offers wineries, hiking, golf, more. Just one hour south of St. Louis on Interstate 55.

  9. Stjoseph 181012 cr st. joseph cvb pumpkinfest 001

    Photo By: St. Joseph CVB

    St. Joseph, Missouri

    Once a thriving trade stop and the starting point of the Pony Express, the town has held firm to its roots. Fascinating historical sites and museums commemorate the generations of folks who have made the area their home. It’s hard to even go a few feet in the city without coming across a historical marker that recounts an extraordinary story. Today, St. Joseph is home to 13 museums, a thriving arts and music culture, breathtaking architecture, and one-of-a-kind park system. During this uncertain time, we’re here for you when you’re ready to visit. Your safety is important to us. There is a mask mandate currently in effect. Please check our website for details.

  10. Lexington va naturalbridge luminary2016 steveshires

    Photo By: Steve Shires

    Lexington, Virginia

    The Blue Ridge Parkway, “America’s Favorite Drive,” offers inspiring mountain vistas and access to Rockbridge Country’s many indie-owned shops and eateries. Lexington, VA is an excellent hub for diving vacations, giving you the option to cruise scenic by-ways or explore nature at Natural Bridge State Park.

  11. Staunton va blackburn twelfth night

    Photo By: Courtesy: Staunton, VA

    Staunton, Virginia

    Five decades of historic preservation have led to a nationally acclaimed downtown, an astounding array of Victorian-era architecture, bustling shops and outdoor dining, two Historic Hotels of America, and six walkable historic districts. The American Shakespeare Center runs all year to critical acclaim, most recently from Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Staunton is just minutes away from two of America’s favorite fresh-air attractions, Shenandoah National Park/Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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