Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Best Places in the US to See Autumn Leaves

Fall is upon us! And the best part of fall (besides those addicting pumpkin spice lattes) is the changing colors of the leaves. Are you planning a last-minute trip to see the trees in their autumnal garb? You’re in the right place, because we’ve compiled a list of the best places to see fall colors across the United States. Whether you’re in the East Coast or the Southwest or somewhere in between, here are the best places in the U.S. to see autumn leaves.

Aspen, Colorado

Love those yellow aspens? There’s really no better place to see these trees than the town named after them. Aspen definitely has more than its share of aspen trees, and the carpet of yellow creeping up the mountains is a sight you have to see at least once in your life. Visit from mid to late September for the best views.
 
Aspen, Colorado
The Catskills, New York

Visit the Catskills from mid-September to late October, and you will get a front-row seat to the brilliant colors of a New York fall! There are plenty of ways to enjoy the season, from hiking through the Catskills, taking a drive, or even spending time at the driving range.
The Catskills, New York
The Berkshires, Massachusetts

The only problem you’ll have with a fall trip to the Berkshires is deciding which trail to drive. The Mowhawk Trail has spectacular views, but so does the route from North Adams to Mount Greylock and the stretch of foliage along Route 41. Visit in late September to mid-October, and you really can’t go wrong with any of these drives.
 
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, New Mexico

New Mexico isn’t just adobe and great tacos. In the fall, parts of this state are lit up in a blaze of fiery fall colors! One of the best drives for autumnal visits is the Enchanted Circle. Drive this 84-mile loop in late September or early October to see Taos, the Red River Valley, and Angel Fire in all their glory.
 
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, New Mexico
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

If you procrastinated planning your fall trip, no worries! Even if you miss peak fall foliage season for most destinations, the Great Smoky Mountains will still be garbed in brilliant hues from early October to early November. See nearly a hundred different species of trees, including brilliant sugar maples and scarlet oaks.
 
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Michigan’s UP is one of the north’s most stunning fall destinations! The best time to see the leaves turn is from mid-September to mid-October. Although you can go pretty much anywhere and see beautiful hues, many visitors enjoy taking a fall colors tour.
 
Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Ozark Hills, Missouri

The undulating green waves of Missouri’s Ozark Hills take on an entirely new look for the fall. Come here to see the maple, ash, oak, a hickory trees display a warm symphony of bright colors! The best time to visit the Ozarks is during the last half of October, when the colors are at their most brilliant.
 
Ozark Hills, Missouri
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Drive through the loveliest part of the Blue Ridge Mountains! At 105 miles in length and a 35 miles per hour speed limit, this drive is long and slow. Take the road less traveled to enjoy this yellow (and orange and red) wood. The best time to see fall colors in Shenandoah National Park is during the middle weeks of October.
 
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Adirondacks, New York

Head to Lake Placid and its leafy surroundings this fall! The Adirondacks have one of the country’s longest fall seasons, so you can take your time to enjoy the autumn colors here. Depending on which region you’re visiting, you will be able to see peak fall colors from early September to late October. While you’re in the area, don’t forget to enjoy the region’s many fall festivals, from the Great Adirondack Moose Festival to Lake Placid’s Flaming Leaves Festival.
 
Adirondacks, New York
White Mountains, New Hampshire

This little slice of the Appalachian Mountains offers an incredible snapshot of the range’s fall display. The best way to see this region is to take a drive along the Kancamagus Highway during late September and early October. Don’t forget to stop at an apple orchard along the way for crisp apples and warm cider.
 
White Mountains, New Hampshire
Boston Commons, Massachusetts

This is an ideal fall foliage destination for the urbanite. If driving into the wilderness isn’t your thing, you can still get a brilliant eyeful with a walk through the country’s oldest –and arguably most beautiful – public park. Boston has a long fall foliage season, which lasts from late September to early November.
 
Boston Commons, Massachusetts
Lost Maples State Natural Area, Texas

Believe it or not, the Southwest really does get fall leaves! You might not find them in the brilliant multitudes that you’ll see on the East Coast, but there are places where the fall colors of the Southwest rival even the Catskills themselves. Lost Maples State Natural area is one of these destinations. This region’s fall colors peak late, so even if you miss the East Coast spectacular, you can visit Lost Maples to see fall colors from mid-October to mid-November.
 
Lost Maples State Natural Area, Texas
McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway, Oregon

Make this stunning drive from the western Cascades to the eastern Cascades for a trip through the northeastern United States’ most beautiful fall foliage. Plan your trip for late-September to mid-October, when the colors are at their peak! Be sure to stop at small towns along the way and perhaps take a wine tour or two.
 
McKenzie Pass Santiam Pass Scenic Byway, Oregon
The United States is full of fall colors from coast to coast! The autumn color-viewing window is pretty short, so be sure to take some time to see the fall foliage before it fades into winter. You can’t go wrong when you visit any of these spectacular places!

What is your favorite fall foliage destination? Let us know in the comments!
 

5 Comments

  1. Rachael Mills
    September 29, 2017 - 3:53 am

    These are all interesting places but the Great smoky mountains is where I would love to visit this fall if I have the means. Mainly because of the tunnel

    Reply
  2. Yassine
    September 30, 2017 - 6:26 am

    All those places are stunning, my favorite place is the white mountain in New Hamsphire

    Reply
  3. September 30, 2017 - 7:00 am

    OMG! You made me remember my childhood. I grew up in Virginia and always loved Autumn leaves. We used to play and hide running on leaves. It was so beautiful. I’m now in Massachusetts and I’ll definitely go visit Boston Commons. It’d be very romantic.

    Reply
  4. Caitlin
    September 30, 2017 - 5:55 pm

    All of these destinations are so lovely! I have never traveled to the Northeastern region of the country, myself, but I can certainly say that Lost Maples is a sight to behold. The best part is the weather here in Texas is significantly less harsh, even though our autumn leaves peak later in the season. I would say the most likely of these for me to visit, excepting my own personal experiences from the past, would be Boston. I have always wanted to go see the city and the beauty and charm of…

    Reply
  5. Richard G.
    October 3, 2017 - 2:53 pm

    These are all interesting places but White Mountains, New Hampshire is an awesome place to visit. Amazing scenery places to turn off and drink in the views. Several hiking trails along the way, not difficult hikes and each with a destination that is beautiful and interesting. Take your time, pack a picnic lunch. Near the Conway end of the highway is the lower falls area. You can and we have, spent an entire day here sunning on the rocks as the river runs through you. Picnic tables,…

    Reply

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