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While many are back from their summer vacations and settling into being home for a while, the fall marks a great time to get out and scratch a location off your bucket list. With tourist season down from the summer, many locations in the U.S. are looking to affordable pricing to fill their rooms. And in the Southern Hemisphere, locations such as Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro are drying out from their winter rains and warming up to spring. Let’s look at some of the best budget-friendly destinations in the fall and where to stay.

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New Orleans

The weather is cool and the humidity is low in New Orleans during the fall. Many flowers are blooming and the crowds have lessened, however, if you are aiming for a Halloween visit, you better book early. There are a lot of fall festivals and festivities, but none more celebrated this time of year than the day the ghosts and goblins come out. Don’t think that this is just for kids either! Here, all ages dress the part and celebrate the most ghoulish times of the year.

If you like B&Bs – you will love the opportunities at the Five Continents Inn, just blocks from the French Quarter. This 1880’s Greek Revival Mansion offers four private rooms as well as a cottage with secure off-street parking. During the fall, you can find deep discounts here with cozy $195/night rooms, sometimes available for as low as $100. All the reviews are high with a 4.8 star status!

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Cape Town

Cape Town is famous for its flowers and bloom season in its spring. Here you can also find the best whale watching locations in the world – in Hermanus or Plettenberg Bay. It could still be a bit cool, averaging about 15 degrees-c, or 60 degrees-f. Of course, there is a lot of wildlife with photo safaris available, and the stargazing is bright!

The variety of stay options is large in and around Cape Town, with low-cost B&Bs to more expensive apartments, and mid-price range high rise hotels. We would like to recommend the Colona Castle, a five-star country home with eight guest rooms. Colona Castle is close to Muzienberg Beach, as well as the Casa Labia Cultural Centre, Rhodes Cottage Museum and Masque Theatre. A room averages $162 a night – but be sure to ask if this is the best price available.

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San Francisco         

One of the most romantic cities in the States, and one of the most cultural, San Francisco is beautiful in the fall. Tourism is lessened, but all the attractions are still open such as a trip to Alcatraz, a walk through Chinatown and dinner on the Wharf. Ride a cable car and drive across the Golden State Bridge, and be sure to bring a credit card because you will want to go shopping – yes, this part may break outside of the budget, but you need new clothes, right?

A popular mainstay hotel at Union Square is Sir Frances Drake, but you’ve got to book quickly if you have particular dates in mind. Rooms here go quickly, especially when they get discounted to around $200 a night. You can walk to a lot of nearby attractions, but you can also catch the cable car right outside the doors. The rooms have been updated and modernized, although the hotel has been around for many years.

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Rio de Janeiro

They say the weather is always great in Rio – well, it is very nice in the spring, and the beaches are very nice, too! It has warmed up from winter and it is not yet seeing the heat and crowds of summer. This is a great time to visit the Tijuca Forest, Botanical Garden and Parque Lage. You can catch a helicopter sightseeing tour, go surfing, hang glide or try out other adventurous activities and tours here. And, you will want to seek out the nightlife – Rio loves a party!

Rio is filled with beach-front hotels, as well as lower-priced options just a bit outside of city limits. At Copacabana Beach, we found a top-rated, affordable Best Western – the Premier Arpoador Fashion Hotel. Rates are $154 and up for a King room for two in this clean, modern hotel.

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Las Vegas

Finally, it is cooling off in Vegas – at least with regard to the weather. Las Vegas is popular year-round, despite the heat in the summer. But, in the fall it cools off, and the summer tourists are gone. It’s still a busy place 24-7, but it isn’t quite as hectic. There are a lot of shows, stars and gaming tables, all within the four miles that constitute the Strip. But, there are other things to see and do including a trip on the world’s tallest observation wheel, the indoor theme park of AdventureDome and the CSI Forensic Experience.

Vegas has a wide range of pricing in its hotels. Most hotels offer a lot of deals, because they want you to take in their shows, and play their gaming tables while you stay. One of the best-known locations on the strip, the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, has close to 3,000 rooms. A fall deluxe room runs about $124/night.

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