9 Fall Festivals Worth Traveling For

Like you needed an excuse.

By Megan McDonough

30 September 2018

Fall is in full swing, so start swapping those swimsuits for sweaters and gear up for your next getaway. Autumn is a great season to visit almost everywhere; the crowds are fewer, the harvest is in full swing, museums unveil new exhibits, and seasonal produce makes its way onto your plate. From spotting the elusive geisha in in Kyoto to feasting on wine and cheese in Ukraine, you’ll ‘fall’ in love with these nine festivals.

Harvest Fair Of Sonoma County

Where: Sonoma, California

When: October 4-5, 2019

For a last-minute festival and feast, book a ticket to California’s Sonoma Valley, stat. Their three-day October fair marks its 45th year. As always, you’ll taste world-class wines from the region, award-winning beer, and copious amounts of cuisine. There will also be some chef demonstrations, workshops, seminars and even a World Championship Grape Stomp. You’ll leave with a newfound respect for farmers and vintners everywhere.

Sonoma County Harvest Fair

Alba White Truffle Festival

Where: Alba, Italy

When: October 5-November 24, 2019

As if a trip to Italy wasn’t enticing enough already, there’s an actual white truffle festival and it’s right around the corner. Alba is the truffle capital of Italy, and every year in October and November, the town celebrates their most favorite food. Besides amazing cuisine incorporating the white truffle, there will be music concerts, races, food fairs, wine tastings and so much more. It’s a must-experience for any foodie.



Where: Germany

When: September 21-October 6, 2019

You’ll need to act fast to catch the latter part of Munich’s most famous festival. Of course, there are other Oktoberfests celebrated within 100 miles of the city, too. Tents fill up quickly, so it’s good to get a head start, especially on weekends. A typical beer is around 6% alcohol, which might contribute to a very large collection of items at the lost and found! Perfect for beer lovers and anyone wanting to live the Bavarian life.


Plisskën Festival

Where: Athens, Greece

When: December 4-9, 2019

You already know that winter is the best time to visit Athens, and now you have another excuse to go! While technically a fall festival, Plisskën takes place in December so you’ll get the perks of cooler temperatures. The mega music festival features more than 350 artists from around the world. You’ll hear all genres of music, so keep your minds (and ears) open! The lineup isn’t confirmed, but should be soon.


Jidai Matsuri And Kurama Fire Festival

Where: Japan

When: October 22, 2019

Fall is the most picturesque time to visit Kyoto (hello, momijigari season) and now there’s extra reason to celebrate. Held on October 22 every year, this parade procession is like stepping back in time—lots of ancient garb from the 8th to 20th centuries. You’ll also catch glimpses of geikos (geishas), who are rarely spotted out and about. The procession takes place in the morning, and the Fire Festival in the evening.

Nicole Ene

Festival Of Cheese And Wine

Where: Lviv, Ukraine

When: October 26-27, 2019

While less publicized than other cheese and wine festivals, this one is not to be missed. Now in its 9th year, the festival takes place in the square in front of the Palace of Arts. You’ll get to sample lots of local varieties, as well as several organic produce. Pairing France and Italian favorites—like Bordeaux and risotto with parmesan—with Ukrainian cuisine will definitely be a first for many!


The Melbourne International Arts Festival

Where: Melbourne, Australia

When: October 2-20, 2019

Ready to go Down Under? Now’s your chance! As its name suggests, The Melbourne International Arts Festival celebrates all forms of art, from dance and theatre to music, circus, visual arts and more. The festival spans 17 days, so there’s plenty of opportunities to see your favorite performances while also exploring the city. Many events require a ticket, but several are completely free of charge.

The Melbourne International Arts Festival

Iceland Airwaves

Where: Reykjavík, Iceland

When: November 6-9, 2019

Reykjavík has a reputation for being a stop-over city on your way to central Europe, but don’t underestimate Iceland’s capital. Iceland Airwaves features 220 acts from 30 countries, and if you’re not confined, check out the lineup for yourself. November is also a great month to catch the Northern Lights, so plan on sticking around for a few nights. VIP upgrades are already sold out, but you can still snag a general admission ticket.

Wendy Wei

Harvest On The Harbor Festival

Where: Portland, Maine

When: October 17-20, 2019

If you can’t quite commit to a full-blown European or Asian adventure, consider a road trip up the coast. Harvest on the Harbor is an affordable way to sample your favorite seafood, wines, and beer. There are different sessions and events to buy tickets for, like a lobster lunch, a happy hour hosted by the Maine Distillers’ Guild, and an ‘Oysterfest.’ Best of all, you’ll be right on the water and able to take in the cool, crisp sea breezes.