3 unusual inspirations for fall travel

Under the big sky of Big Sky, Montana, is Lone Mountain Ranch.In addition to horseback riding, the ranch has activities for the whole family.Grab a guide and bicycle, and hit the mountain bike trails.Fly fishing is an outdoor adventure everyone should experience at least once.Once you're done with the outdoors, enjoy live music at the ranch's restaurant

If you’re dreaming of a fall getaway, but aren’t quite sure where to go, you might find inspiration from some unusual sources.

From travel that’s inspired by your favorite binge-worthy TV show to destinations that appeal to ghost hunters, memorable trips can be jump started by the following themes:


Travelers worldwide — especially Gen Z and Millennial travelers — are attracted to destinations inspired by their favorite TV shows or movies, a study by American Express Travel found. This type of travel lets you see the cities and take part in some of the experiences you may have seen on the screen.

If you’re a fan of the western TV show “Yellowstone,” a trip to Yellowstone National Park is a natural choice. In the fall, cooler temperatures make hiking and exploring easier, enable you to see some amazing fall leaf colors and give you more chances to see animals, many of which are more active in cooler weather. You can even channel your inner Rip Wheeler on a horseback ride at the park with your choice of day trips or guided overnight backcountry trips.

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone.” (Cam McLeod/Paramount Network/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Credit: TNS

Can’t stop binging “The Bear,” FX’s hit show that features many Chicago restaurants? Plan a trip to try dishes like deep-dish pizza at Pequod’s in Lincoln Park or crispy short rib hummus at Avec in the West Loop as well as other dining destinations suggested by Midwest Living for their connection to the show.

Other screen-inspired destinations include the island of Maui in Hawaii if you loved the first season of “The White Lotus,” or Sicily if you drooled over the locations in the second season. You’ll find lodging connections to the show at Entertainment Weekly and Business Insider.

Spirited Destinations

If you can’t get enough of ghost stories, plan a fall trip around some spooky destination of note.

Travel expert Samantha Brown told the Washington Post that she visited Charleston’s Old City Jail twice and was left scared both times. She said she saw handprints suddenly appear on walls during one visit and heard footsteps behind her group on another visit when there was no one else in the jail at the time. While you’re in Charleston to visit the historic jail or other haunted locations, take time to visit the city’s popular restaurants, golf courses and much more.

Pirates’ House, the city’s oldest structure, built in 1753, started life as a tavern but is now a reputedly quite haunted restaurant that offers a very nice she-crab soup. Helen Anders for American-Statesman

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About a three hour and 45-minute drive from Atlanta, Savannah is known as the most haunted city in America. This was true even before the popular book and movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” boosted interest in the city’s spooky history. Visit Savannah recommends several haunted places to visit, including the 17 Hundred 90 Inn and Restaurant, where you might see Anna, a girl who supposedly haunts upstairs guest rooms, as well as other ghosts.

The Taylor Swift Effect

From her appearances at Kansas City Chiefs games to having a brief guest spot on “Saturday Night Live,” it seems like pop star Taylor Swift is everywhere these days. Her impact on the economy is so strong it’s been dubbed The Taylor Swift Effect as she increases ratings for Chiefs games and even inspires fall travel plans. As her tour stops in various cities this fall, they experience a rise in hotel occupancy rates, according to travelpulse.com. Unfortunately, that also means higher rates, so if you’re planning to travel to see Taylor, why not combine it with other activities while you’re there?

The singer is scheduled to perform in Indianapolis on Nov. 1-3, which makes it perfect for a stop at Eagle Creek Park, where you can rent a kayak, canoe, pontoon boat, pedal boat or sailboat, work your way through a ropes course or zip line through the fall leaves. Or add The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art to your itinerary to see world-class art and learn about their associated history and cultures.