Fall is a perfect time to hit the road in St. Louis. Summer heat and humidity disappears and there’s bright fall foliage everywhere you turn. There are several beautiful destinations within three hours of St. Louis. Here are some of our favorite places for quick fall weekend road trips.
A mere hour and a half away from St. Louis is Caledonia, MO, a small town with lots of charm and outdoor activities. Stay at The Old Caledonian, a B&B housed in one of Caledonia’s most historic properties. Stop by the Old Village Mercantile, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and candy shop steps away from The Old Caledonian on the town’s main thoroughfare.
You can also enjoy plenty of outdoor destinations in the surrounding area. Elephant Rocks, Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, and Hughes Mountain Natural Area are just a few places where you can hike and take in the beautiful fall leaves.
Shawnee National Forest, Illinois
A little under three hours from St. Louis, Shawnee National Forest will stun visitors with its natural beauty. The forest, which includes Garden of the Gods Recreation Area, is known for its spectacular bluffs and views. Scale giant rocks or take a hike through the woods. Don’t miss Devils Smokestack, a popular rock formation along the trail.
Ste. Genevieve, Missouri
Only an hour and a half from St. Louis is Ste. Genevieve, MO, one of the most charming small towns in the state. The city is fun to experience year-round but fall leaves and cooler temperatures make autumn a great time to visit. Stop by one of the town’s many historic attractions to learn more about its past as a European settlement. Go antiquing or enjoy Ste. Genevieve’s food scene.
If you want more of an outdoors experience, drive about a half an hour to Hawn State Park. The park has hiking trails for all skill levels.
Located about an hour and a half from St. Louis, Hermann is a wine lovers paradise. The town is home to a wine trail, a popular winery called Stone Hill, and several quaint bed and breakfasts. Don’t miss Hermann’s annual Oktoberfest, an event that pays homage to the town’s German heritage with food, drinks, and live music.
Pere Marquette State Park, Illinois
Last but certainly not least, Pere Marquette stuns visitors every fall with its vibrant foliage and views. Located a little over an hour from St. Louis, the park has several hiking trails with bluffs overlooking the surrounding area including the Mississippi River Valley. Take the scenic route to-and-from the park and take in more spectacular views along the Great River Road, which runs along the Mississippi River.
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