BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Oct 2, 2012) - Time is flying. It seems like only yesterday we were planning summer vacations, and yet, suddenly, with the month of October kicking off, we are definitely into the fall season. The travel team at Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, was curious to find out, now that the temps are cooling, the leaves are changing and Columbus Day weekend is approaching, where Americans are looking to travel this month. We took a deep dive into the Cheapflights.com database and came up with our Top 10 In-Demand October Getaways featuring the destinations that saw the largest spike in October flight searches versus September's flights searches.
Below are the five cities that saw the biggest jumps, percentage wise, in searches for travel during October. Whether they are looking for off-season deals or fall foliage, our travelers are finding cities that have lots to offer.
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana (up 119% over Sept., 2012) - Home of Louisiana State University and Saturday night football games at Death Valley, Baton Rouge is energized in the fall, especially when the Bengal Tigers are in the Top 5. This October, the SEC home opener rolls around in mid-October; surely fans from near and far are planning their pilgrimage. However, there is more to October than football in Baton Rouge. The city also hosts one of the most acclaimed Halloween attractions: the 13th Gate. This haunted house, complete with a 40,000-square-foot graveyard, is where Hollywood meets horror to give you a trip into your worst dreams.
- Fort Myers, Florida (up 85% over Sept., 2012) - While the snow birds are starting to trickle in, our guess is it's the shoulder season appeal that's attracting other travelers to this popular beach community. If you love warm instead of hot, are not interested in dodging hurricanes and want to beat the high-season costs, this is a great time to go to the Gulf Coast. Of course, fish also react to the slightly cooler air and water, which also makes October a prime time for anglers to head to the Fort Myers area to chase the migrating tarpon as well as the fall crop of red fish and mackerel.
- Austin, Texas (up 85% over Sept., 2012) - A college town, state capital and popular year-round destination, what could make October particularly special in Austin? Well, how about back-to-back international festivals? First up is Austin City Limits (Oct. 12-14), eight stages and nine hours a day of big names, rising stars and new sounds. Then the city turns itself over to the movie industry for eight nights of films and parties during the Austin Film Festival and Conference (Oct. 18-25). Throw in a couple Big 12 Conference games for the Longhorns and great fall weather, and it's no wonder Austin is on this list.
- Albuquerque, New Mexico (up 82% over Sept., 2012) - Here's a town that has a different burst of color every October. Rather than fiery leaves, Albuquerque's fall splendor is from a sea of hot air balloons. The annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Oct. 6-14) is a draw for hundreds of thousands of visitors eager to watch, ride and photograph the mass ascension of the balloons as well as local food and entertainment. Of course, visitors to Albuquerque can also see Mother Nature's autumnal show, especially if they head up into the mountains. For a bird's-eye view, many take to the Sandia Peak Ski & Tramway, which carries you from the edge of the city 2.7 miles up to a 10,000-plus-foot summit.
- Knoxville, Tennessee (up 74% over Sept., 2012) - Is the draw here football or fall foliage? It's hard to say, since Knoxville has plenty of both to offer in October. A gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Knoxville is a great starting point for a "leaf peeping" road trip into some of the Southeast's most colorful mountains. And the city itself is building its own "Urban Wilderness," a series of trails designed to connect and expand nearby parks, historic forts and a state wildlife management area to make outdoor activities and the area's natural beauty more accessible. The other colors vying for attention this month, though, are the orange of the University of Tennessee Volunteers and Alabama's Crimson Tide, which roll into town on Oct. 20.
The next five cities that saw the biggest jump in flight searches for October on Cheapflights.com are: Toledo, Ohio (up 70% over Sept., 2012); Asheville, North Carolina (up 70% over Sept., 2012); Greenville, South Carolina (up 67% over Sept., 2012); Greenville, South Carolina (up 67% over Sept., 2012) and Columbus, Ohio (up 66% over Sept., 2012). To find out why these cities are worth a trip this month and to read Cheapflights.com's complete Top 10 In-Demand October Getaways, visit http://news.cheapflights.com/top-10-in-demand-october-getaways.
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