Summer doesn't have to mean the end of vacation trips until the winter holidays. Fall can be the best time to travel, even if it's only for a long-weekend getaway, such as during the Columbus Day, Veterans Day or Thanksgiving holiday weekends. At almost every major destination in the U.S., the crowds are smaller, the prices are lower and the temperatures are just right. These five cities are especially fall-tastic choices.

New York City

Hotel prices and afternoon temperatures tumble as surely as multihued autumn leaves drift to the ground in Central Park in the fall. It's also easier to score theater tickets and weekend restaurant reservations in Manhattan once the summer hordes depart. And September and October weekends are prime time for sports fans to visit NYC, when bars and taverns overflow with high-energy Yankees, Jets and Giants fans crowded around the wall TVs on game nights. Those are just some of the reasons to spend a couple of autumn nights — whether you sleep or not — in “The City That Never Sleeps".

Austin

It's wise to avoid the nonstop triple-digit temperatures of summer in Texas's smokin'-hot capital city. But in the fall, temperatures become mild enough that you can enjoy hiking, biking or paddling on the Colorado River as it flows right past downtown. Next up: an outdoor meal at a barbecue joint and then a stroll down Sixth Street, where the live music flows out of numerous bars and clubs packed with University of Texas students. If you visit on either or both of the Austin City Limits Music Festival weekends (October 6-8 and 13-15), you can catch Jay Z, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Killers.

Boston

Fall is the ideal time to visit “America's Walking City" because the weather is perfect and autumn leaves color the city. Visitors interested in Revolutionary War history will cherish a walk on the Freedom Trail, which winds past the Paul Revere House, Old North Church and the USS Constitution. Visitors who adore fall colors are in for a treat while strolling through Boston Common and Public Garden and along the Charles River. And sports-minded visitors can head to storied Fenway Park to watch a Red Sox game or Gillette Stadium to see the world-champion New England Patriots.

Los Angeles

More than perhaps any other U.S. city, L.A. offers a wealth of activity choices for all ages and interests. Families love Disneyland, Universal Studios — and the beach. Couples may prefer visiting the world-class Getty Museum and taking a Hollywood tour — and hitting the beach. Friends and singles may want to hit the nightspots in Hollywood or West Hollywood after — you guessed it — the beach. LAX is close to all of it, especially the beaches, which extend about a dozen miles in each direction, north and south, from the beach mansions of Malibu to the hilltop estates of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Cincinnati

Vermont is more famous for its fall colors, but they are almost as abundant in this Ohio city's parks. Green Bay is better known for its rabid football fans, but Bengals fans are nearly as enthusiastic — and game tickets aren't impossible to get. Munich is more famous for its Oktoberfest, but the Zinzinnati Oktoberfest (September 15-17) is America's largest, drawing a half-million people — and if you can't make it then, Cincinnati has dozens of craft breweries that pour year-round. Put it all together — fall colors, fall football and great beer — and you have all the ingredients of a classic celebration of autumn.

If you go

United Airlines offers nonstops from many cities to these destinations. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your fall getaway.