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Tips and ideas for a hot autumn vacation

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Posted: Monday, August 20, 2012 1:00 am

(ARA) - With summer again fading into fall, all around you people are prepping for the back-to-school season and even gearing up for the coming winter holidays. But who says you have to give up all the fun of summer just yet? Fall is a great time to indulge in a getaway, especially if you're heading to a locale that was crowded when the weather was especially warm.

Whether it's a group of singles looking for some fun time together, a couple seeking a long weekend break from the daily grind, or grandparents who want to spend quality time with their pre-school-aged grandchildren, travelers can find great opportunities - and deals - when they visit traditional summer destinations during the fall. With autumn's approach, temperatures become cooler and more comfortable for outdoor adventures. And with families focused on school obligations, crowds thin at popular spots like Myrtle Beach, S.C.

While some attractions will likely close for the winter at seasonal destinations, during fall months most will remain open. That means you can find a spot to sun yourself on the beach, be the first in line at the amusement park and avoid making a dinner reservation days in advance.

So what kind of traditional summer experiences can you savor during a fall vacation? Here are a few ideas:

Autumn outdoors

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors during autumn, you could fight the crowds and the traffic to head north for some fall foliage or, you could head in the opposite direction and hit the beach. Seaside resorts like Myrtle Beach offer plenty of outdoor activities, and its southern location assures you'll find sunny skies and warm temperatures well into fall.

A jog on the beach in the comfortable morning air can only be outmatched by peaceful water sports like kayaking. You'll find more availability at favorite fishing spots like Garden City Beach Pier in Myrtle Beach and can finally take your time to learn the art of crabbing.

Live it up with lodging

When high season ends and crowds thin, lodging options in destinations like Myrtle Beach open up. From top resorts with indoor waterparks to waterfront condos or economy motels - many hotels offer discounted rates and incentives to encourage fall and winter travel.

It could be a good opportunity to try a more luxury property you've had your eye on or stay a bit closer to the ocean than you'd usually be able. Look out for prime lodging at a fraction of what you might pay during summer. Plus, many hotels will partner with area attractions, entertainment venues and even restaurants to provide discounted rates or deals, adding further value to your fall vacation.

Attractive attractions and dining

Fall is a great time to savor harvest flavors at destination restaurants that may be crowded during summer months. Chefs often introduce new menus as the seasons change, so you can anticipate a fall flavor experience that is distinct from summer fare.

Theme parks, amusement parks and historic sites remain operating, usually without the crowds and the long lines that characterize a summer visit. If you're tight on budget for a "second-summer" getaway, free options - such as the sea lion habitat just outside Pirate's Voyage in Myrtle Beach or the public hammocks on Pawley's Island - are also available.

Whatever type of getaway you choose - an outdoor adventure, beach escape or relaxing retreat - the weather, affordability and more available attractions can help you warm up to the idea of an autumn vacation.

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