Did you know that October is the second-most popular time for couples to have a wedding? (June remains first.) This gorgeous month is perfect for super-romantic anniversary travel as well. The weather is glorious, attractions aren't crowded, and the colors, sights, and sounds of fall delight the senses. For couples eager to travel, these are nine of the top places to get away and celebrate an October anniversary.
Say Oui to Quebec City
Eastern Canada's most charming destination, Quebec City, will seduce you with its French-accented English, its celebration of culture and creativity, and its contagious joie de vivre.
Visiting Québec City’s Petit-Champlain district, site of the first French settlement in North America, is like being transported to France without having to make a long overseas flight. The Gallic influence is evident everywhere you look in the fortified city.
Celebrate your October anniversary by booking a room at the iconic Château Frontenac hotel, which just celebrated its own 125th anniversary. Later, time-travel back to the Prohibition Era at one of the city's discreet speakeasies, where the decor—sparkling chandeliers, lush banquettes—as well as the entertainment and well-stocked bar evoke a retro albeit perfectly legal atmosphere.
October is when fall foliage peaks in many locations, which makes it an ideal time for couples to take a leaf-peeping driving trip in honor of their anniversary. Finally, the heat of summer has subsided, and nature puts on a magnificent show of colors.
Head due north to see leaves of gold, orange, red, and purple. To get in the spirit, stop at an orchard or country store for fresh-pressed apple cider and cinnamon donuts, and pause to pick a pumpkin.
Consider renting a convertible for the occasion and driving top-down on country lanes. And select accommodations in or close to a forest. The fresh smell, particularly after a rain shower, is as intoxicating as the color show.
Book a visit to New Mexico far in advance, since October is when the increasingly popular, annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place, and the sky fills with vividly colored dirigibles.
If you want to ride in a hot air balloon ride, make sure you have a reservation, and rise early because flights depart at sunrise. Bring a light breakfast to eat as you take in the views of the Rio Grande and Sandia Mountains.
If you like to gamble, book a stay at one of Albuquerque's four-star casinos that have contemporary rooms as well as swimming pools, a spa, and golf. For a more romantic anniversary trip, head north to Santa Fe, and stay at one of its charming hotels.
Are you wine lovers, or want to learn more about the fruit of the vine? Plan your anniversary trip with a stay at a romantic inn and a wine tasting tour.
Since the year's wine grapes have been harvested and bottled, now it's time to see if it was a good year. To celebrate your anniversary in style, rent a limo to take you from winery to winery, sampling all the way and not having to worry about driving. For an even bigger treat, choose a winery that has an adjacent inn, and stay overnight or for a few days to experience the wines, the facility, and the nearby attractions.
Ask if the winery you visit has a vintage for sale that was bottled the year that you married. Drink it now, drink it later, or preserve it and pass it on to your children.
The best way to travel through Italy is via its excellent nationwide rail system, which makes it easy to experience more than a single destination on your visit (Rome-Florence-Milan is an especially popular route). And across the country, Italy is rife with festivals and food fairs in October.
Another plus: Fall is the season when hotel prices and airfare across the Atlantic both drop.
Just for fun, sign up for a group cooking class. Even if you don't know baccala from braciole, you'll end up with a scrumptious meal.
New Orleans, with its spirited parades and calendar filled with festivals, seems as if it’s constantly celebrating, and couples are welcome to join in.
If music moves you, don’t expect to sit still in New Orleans, which has more musical genres than a jukebox has song selections.
Find a souvenir to commemorate your specific anniversary here. Whether it’s silver, crystal, antique jewelry, or pottery, you’re likely to find prime examples in the charming shops along Royal Street.
Art-Deco pieces as well as 50s and 60s retro items on display as well. Browsers and those on a budget will appreciate the fun and funky Lower Garden District, along Magazine Street. Like the French Quarter, its restaurants and art galleries are nestled among shops carrying vintage collectibles.
It's always a good time to board a ship, and sail into the blue.
Sailing up the East Coast to Canada, scenic October cruises call at ports that may include New York City, Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Prince Edward Island, Montreal, and elsewhere.
Depending on were you dock, a variety of land adventures can take you deeper into each destination. And in October, the foliage is magnificent in this part of the country.
Many cruise lines offer special anniversary packages with amenities such as a bottle of champagne, a rose-strewn bed, a professional portrait, and other goodies to sweeten the voyage.
Before the chill of winter sets in, Ireland is a best bet for an October anniversary trip. In Dublin, the crowds have dispersed, so it's easier than ever to get into the city's museums and attractions.
For a private tasting experience in Dublin, make a reservation for two at the upscale Connoisseur Bar in the Guinness Storehouse.
Where did you go on your honeymoon? Did you love it? If so, consider revisiting the resort and destination. And if you can afford it, plan to stay for a few days longer than you did originally.
Do some of the things that you did the first time around, such as booking a romantic dinner at the beach for just the two of you. And add some new activities to the agenda. If you love being on the water and watching the colorful marine life, consider learning to scuba on this visit.
Upgrade to a better room or suite, and let the resort's general manager know why you've chosen to stay there and what you're celebrating.