10 best places to see fall foliage in the United States
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. For those in temperate climates, the landscape bursts into an explosion of bright colors of red, orange and yellow. For the best place to catch autumn’s annual show of colors, stop by any of the spots on this list.
The entire Bar Harbor region is perfect for fall leaf viewing. With the backdrop of the natural harbors of Maine’s rugged coastline, the scenic views of Acadia National Park and the Maine Central Coast contrast the bright reds and yellows of the leaves with the deep blues of the Atlantic Ocean. September, October and November are the best times to view, with October usually being the sweet spot for viewing. While November will bring the most vibrant colors, you might find more leaves on the ground than on the trees.
The forests of northern Arkansas are almost exclusively deciduous hardwoods, making for a superb autumn show. The national forest provides trails for hiking, horseback riding and canoeing, giving you a wide range of activities for your leaf viewing. Generally late October to mid-November are the best times for viewing with some slight variations depending upon weather conditions.
One of the best spots in the country to enjoy fall is New York’s Catskill Mountains. Temperatures are mild, the hills burst into beautiful shades of orange and yellow and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy while you view the changing foliage. Everything from inter-mountain ziplines to peaceful campsites are available in the Catskills.
For scenic drives in an autumnal paradise, it’s hard to beat the Pocono Mountains. The Poconos are laced with long, winding wooded roads perfect for leaf viewing. The leaves change colors depending upon their altitude giving the Poconos a distinctly varied landscape. Generally, leaves begin changing from mid-September to mid-October. Any trip during those times is sure to catch this natural color tapestry.
For a truly spectacular fall show, head to the high deserts of New Mexico. Taos lies in the foothills of the Southern Rockies and makes for a beautiful spot for fall foliage. The colors can range from bright yellows to deep purples and accentuates the surrounding mountains and deserts. The area is perfect for hiking, camping, or relaxing driving tours.
As the days grow shorter, the forests of Stowe emerge in a spectacular display of color. Nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont, the small town of Stowe has shops, cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy the beauty of fall in a relaxing, rustic environment. Along with fun lantern tours, farmers markets and pumpkin festivals, just walking through the town will give you a great taste of autumn.
The Pacific Northwest is a great place to experience the changing leaves of fall. The Columbia River Gorge is beautiful any time of year, but as the leaves change from green to yellow, and yellow to red, the valley explodes in color. Clear, blue streams dissect forests of red and orange in this beautiful display of the changing season.
In the foothills of the Colorado Rockies is an annual show of autumn colors that rivals any in the country. Here you’ll find reds, yellows and oranges mixing with the earth tones of pines and evergreens for a unique mosaic of color. It also doesn’t hurt that Aspen is one of the great outdoor recreation towns in the country with plenty to do like hikes, river rafting, camping and horse-back riding.
The most-visited National Park in the country, the Great Smokey Mountains offer plenty of views to visit year-round. But the park really is most beautiful each fall as the hills come alive with nature’s colors. The scenic drives in the park are a great place to see some spectacular displays of fall leaves. And with the National Park nearby, you and the family can enjoy one of the country’s great natural sites.
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is one of the most pristine and untouched pockets of wilderness in the country. This land of pines and rivers is also spread out over a labyrinth of lakes that give the peninsula a special beauty. Here you’ll see forests of red and orange reflected in the calm blue waters of the Great Lakes.
Any of these fall destinations is sure to be great for the whole family. Book your next trip through Expedia today!