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Best Destinations to See Fall Foliage in the United States

Last Updated on September 10, 2022

Come learn about the best places in the United States to view fall colors and foliage!


In the fall, the United States is full of beautiful destinations for viewing fall foliage and color! At these destinations, you’ll see the forest bursting with fall colors. So get your camera ready and let’s explore the best places to explore fall colors and the best fall foliage destinations in the United States!

Top Places to See Fall Foliage in the United States

Mount Saint Helens

A great place to see splendid fall colors is Mount St. Helens, a U.S. National Monument in Washington State. Before heading to the mountain to admire the colorful leaves, pay a visit to the Mt. St. Helens Visitor Center to learn more about the eruption on March 27 in 1980.  

Here you can see how this major eruption drastically changed the shape of Mount St. Helens. About 57 people lost their lives on that tragic day and the ecosystems around Mt. St. Helens have significantly changed since this eruption.  

After your time at the Visitor Center, head to the east side of the park on the NF-99 (via Randle) to Windy Ridge. This road is often listed as one of the most scenic drives in Washington State and the views along the way are truly spectacular. Even more so in autumn, when the leaves have turned into different hues of reds, yellows, and orange.  

The best time to view the fall colors is in mid to late October, after that the NF-99 generally closes because of snowfall. At Windy Ridge, there is a great viewpoint over Mount St. Helens and Spirit Lake. You’ll have to climb up 368 steps but the views are worth the effort. The Harmony Trail is another worthwhile hike, it’s only 1 mile but leads down to Spirit Lake where you can see the dead trees floating in the lake up close.  

Contributed by Lotte from Gezond Weekmenu 

Shenandoah National Park 

One of my favorite times of the year is Autumn! I love when the weather gets cooler, pumpkin spice and cinnamon scents are everywhere, and apple pie and cider are acceptable snack choices. Of course, the best thing about Fall is the changing color of the leaves! There are many different places to see the Fall Foliage, one of my favorite places to visit is very close to home! Shenandoah National Park is a beautiful destination to see the Fall Foliage.

There is nothing better than packing your favorite flannel or sweatshirt and driving up to the mountains. Spend the evening relaxing around a campfire, eating smores, and spotting a constellation or two.

If you are especially adventurous, pick your favorite hike and spend the day in nature. There are many different hikes, some lead to gorgeous overlooks and others to waterfalls! Don’t forget your picnic lunch to enjoy at the overlook!

If you only have a day, consider taking an epic road trip down Skyline Drive! Be sure to take your time at the many overlooks and spot the Shenandoah river on a clear day. Soak in the beautiful splashes of reds, oranges, and yellows as you drive up the mountain. Be on the lookout for the many different types of wildlife, including deer, rabbits, squirrels, and black bears!

The leaves start to change color around the end of September, however, peak time is usually around late October to early November. Keep in mind the busiest times are on the weekends, so be sure to be there early!

Contributed by Emily of Daltons Destinations

Kenosha Pass, Colorado

Kenosha pass is one of the famous locations to view the fall colors when traveling from Denver, Colorado. With accessible trails that are easy for any hikers, avid, or those just wanting to gaze upon the wonders of the Aspen trees, you’ll be sure to find many colors of fall here!

Just a little over an hour from Denver off Highway 285. Traffic can be a factor, especially during peak colors. Getting an early start to your day to get a parking spot is a good idea or consider risking the late afternoon storms once the morning crowd has left or considered camping. After the first week in September, campgrounds are first come first serve.

You can drive through the area to see some fall colors but it is best-experienced hiking. There are two main trails. One that heads west into the Continental Divide. The other heads southeast towards Lost Creek Wilderness.  The trail that heads west is about 7 miles long out and back with 1089ft elevation gain. It’s rated a moderate trail but you can easily hike part of it to view the aspen groves then turn around when you get tired if 7 miles is a bit much for you. The trail to Lost Creek is 29.1 miles with a 3,100ft elevation gain rated as a moderate trail, but again you can easily hike a part of this trail then turn around. Make sure to pack your snacks and water as there are no nearby places to get food or drinks.

If hiking isn’t your cup of tea then driving up to North Twin Cone Peak via County Road 872 with your OHV is another option to view fall colors in Kenosha Pass. The road is 14.5 miles long with a 2,775ft elevation gain. Please don’t go off-roading in a non4x4 vehicle or without previous experience.

To catch the fall colors you’ll want to research in late August when the colors will peak for this area of Colorado. Usually, it’s sometime in September but can be as early as late August and rarely into early October. The colors can linger for a week or two at the longest but a sudden frost or snowstorm can cause them to change quickly. So, if you’re planning a trip to Colorado to see the fall colors make sure to have a few backup locations in different areas of the state.  

Wondering what to bring for your Colorado trip? Check out Celebrate Again’s Colorado packing list.

Contributed by Emmy of Celebrate Again

Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff, Arizona, nestled in the Coconino National Forest in Northern Arizona, has some of the most underrated fall foliage destinations in the Southwest! Flagstaff is a perfect small college town, home to Northern Arizona University, that also sees many Grand Canyon tourists a year and despite being in the Southwest desert, has incredible four seasons.

The highlight of Flagstaff in the fall is when you can see beautiful yellow aspens mixed in with evergreen mountain pines. Aside from driving around Humphrey’s Peak, Flagstaff’s highest mountain, one of the best places to view fall foliage is Lockett Meadow where a 4×4 vehicle is recommended. The road up to Lockett Meadow is rough and rocky, but the hiking, camping, and views are worth it in the fall! Once you arrive, park your car and take the 3.5-mile inner basin trail for views of the aspens and pines. This area can get very busy in the fall, especially the weekends, so it’s recommended to go earlier in the day.

The best time to view fall foliage in Flagstaff is late September through October and don’t forget your sunscreen and plenty of water. Flagstaff sits 7000 feet above sea level and Lockett Meadow ascends even higher, so you will feel it.

Contributed by Alanna Koritzke of Periodic Adventures

Rocky Mountain National Park 

Visit one of the most beautiful national parks in the country this fall at Rocky Mountain National Park. Home to some of the best fall hikes in Colorado, this national park is a fall color hot spot. Check out the Sprague Lake and Bear Lake Trails or opt to drive up Trail Ridge Road, one of Colorado’s most scenic drives. Stop at one of the many overlooks and enjoy a sea of incredible fall colors expanding across the mountains, from the brilliant yellows of the aspens, to the deep reds of the turning grasses.

The fall colors in Colorado peak at different times every year depending on how much rain has fallen the year prior. However, typically, the third and fourth week of September marks the peak season for colors in Rocky Mountain National Park. However, be warned, you will not find solitude in Rocky Mountain National Park this time of year. The secret is out, and this is an extremely popular destination.

In 2020, you are required to reserve your entry time in advance in order to access the park. Keep in mind that even though the park is operating at a lower capacity, it’s still quite crowded. Bring a mask and wear it (per Colorado law) and expect parking lots to fill before sunup. There is a shuttle bus that offers transport to the popular areas of the park such as the Glacier Gorge and Bear Lake parking areas. Dogs are not allowed in the park off of the pavement, so keep Fido at home.

With a little preparation, and proper planning you can experience the true beauty and magic of Rocky Mountain National Park during the fall.

Contributed By Meg Atteberry of Fox in the Forest.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina is, hands down, one of the best places to see fall colors in the United States.  People flock there for the month of October and for good reason.  It’s just a short drive from the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the best scenic drives in the US that is glowing with yellow, orange, and red in the fall.  But if you just want to visit one place, Asheville is it.  You’ll find a ton of awesome hikes, fantastic food, a great city, and, of course, the best fall foliage out there.  

As far as when the colors peak, that will depend on the elevation of where you are.  The higher elevations up on the parkway outside of the city will change earlier in October and lowe elevations later.  It will also depend on temperatures and a few other conditions.  The best way to see fall colors in Asheville will be to take a drive out on the parkway to do some hikes and admire the rolling Appalachian Mountains from the overlooks.  There are hundreds of waterfalls in the area, too, that you can easily hike and drive to for prime color admiration.  The Pisgah National Forest is where you’ll find a lot of them with some of the best drives in the area, too.  When you’re ready to cross this off your North Carolina bucket list, just make sure you take your Dramamine for these drives and pack your camera!

Contributed by Megan of Red Around the World

The Great Smoky Mountains 

The fall season is one of the best times of the year to explore the region surrounding the Great Smoky Mountains. This is when the air begins to cool and the foliage of the scarlet oaks, red maples, sugar maples, and birch trees turn from deep greens to vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange. However, it is important to know that timing is crucial when it comes to viewing the changing seasons. Arrive too early or too late and you completely miss the spectacle. The fall colors start at the highest elevations around the middle of September and continue down the mountains and hills in the weeks that follow.

This is all dependent on temperatures, the length of the day, and many other factors, making it difficult to determine a peak foliage forecast. Generally though, the best time to visit is between the middle of October to early November. This area is well known for its particularly vibrant sunrises and sunsets and scenic overlooks are a great way to view the changing landscape. Popular activities include hiking, fly-fishing, horseback riding, and zip-lining. Recommended scenic drives include Newfound Gap Road, Cove Creek Road, Foothills Parkway, and Balsam Mountain Road. The Great Smoky Mountains in the fall are well worth the time and effort required to visit and should not be missed.

Contributed by Rai of Rai of Light

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

An off-the-beaten-path town for Fall Foliage is Harpers Ferry, West Virginia! This hidden gem, an hour away from Washington, D.C., is located at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and at the point where Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland meet. Because of its location, Harpers Ferry is a great city-escape fall foliage destination! Its geography makes it the perfect place for numerous outdoor activities, as well as tons of history about its significance during the Civil War.

While a visit to Harpers Ferry is great all year long, the fall months are particularly gorgeous due to the changing leaves. To get the best view of the Fall foliage, it is worth the moderately challenging hike on the Maryland Heights Loop trail. To access the trail, take the pedestrian bridge from Harpers Ferry across the Potomac River and follow the signs. This hike has a spectacular overlook to enjoy views of the town, the rivers, and all the surrounding foliage. Even the hike itself is great for leaf-peeping since hikers will be surrounded by vibrant yellows and oranges during the hike. The best time to visit for peak color varies each year, but mid-October to early November is usually best. Harpers Ferry is a can’t-miss destination for some of the best Fall foliage in the country.

Contributed by Jordan of the Solo Life

Hudson Valley, New York

The Hudson River Valley in New York is a long valley on either side of the Hudson River as it stretches north from New York City to Albany.   The Catskill Mountains line the west side of much of the valley.  These make it a perfect location to see fall foliage in the U.S.  The color starts in the north in late September and spreads slowly south, ending in NYC around early-mid November.  The mid-Hudson valley is typically at peak for the middle two weekends in October, but even there, there is a variation with altitude.  The Catskill Mountains and other smaller hills in the valley like the Shawangunks have color earlier whereas the flatter, lower areas turn later. This gives you good chances of seeing the colors at their peak no matter when in fall you go there. 

There are many ways to see the color.  The main Amtrak train line between New York City and Albany runs right alongside the river.  Sit on the left going north and the right going south for stunning views of the Hudson Highlands and other forested areas.  There are also several scenic drives around the area that you can do.  

The best way to see the fall color, however, is to hike through the woods and up to scenic overlooks.  I have several favorite spots in the Hudson valley that you can hike to for fall color, including overlooks just off the Minnewaska Lake trail and on the High Peter’s Kill trail, both in Minnewaska State Park. Both of these hikes have breathtaking views of forests spread out below, ablaze with the colors of fall at their peak.  Other top picks are the Ashokan Reservoir, Hudson Highlands State Park, and Mohonk Preserve.

Contributed by James Ian at Travel Collecting

Zion National Park

Zion National Park in Utah is the most beautiful in the fall, which makes it a perfect fall foliage destination! There are numerous rock cliffs, waterfalls, and a river in the park. Zion Canyon Scenic Drive leads through the park, from which you can admire the beauty of the canyon. The deep Virgin River valley cuts the parking area. There are over 900 species of plants in the park. Bushes, trees, and forests not only exist at the bottom of the canyon but also climb the walls of the ravines. In the fall, poplars, oaks, maples, and ash trees sparkle with golden, rusty, and red colors. The most beautiful colors are from September to mid-November. The park can be visited both by using the shuttle bus and by going on numerous hikes in Zion.

Shuttle Bus
The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is only accessible by a free shuttle bus to protect wildlife. So, the Zion Canyon road is served by a free shuttle bus from early April to late October. As a result, you have to leave your car on the car parking next to Visitor Center and take a shuttle bus from the parking. The buses ride every 15 minutes, or even more often, and start services from 6 am. You can get off at any of the 9 stops and admire the colors of autumn from the overlook points or go hike.

Hikes in Zion
Riverside Walk trail, which starts at the last stops, offers stunning fall colors. Autumn is also the best weather for hiking in the park. There is no hot weather anymore; the temperatures are pleasant, which makes hiking more comfortable. Moreover, the water level in the river is lower, which makes it possible to hike in the water, for example, the Narrows hike or the Subway hike, where you can admire the colors of fall. These and other most exciting trails in Zion, such as Angels Landing, Weeping Rock Trail, Emerald Pool, are detailed described in article Things to do in Zion National Park.

Contributed by Agnes from The Van Escape

Kancamangus Highway, New Hampshire

New Hampshire is well renowned for its incredible fall foliage, and one of the top places to visit is the Kancamagus Highway. This piece of road, also known as NH-112, connects the ski town of Lincoln with the charming town of Conway, crossing through the White Mountain National Forest, and is 34 miles long. The scenic drive is worth the visit alone – a charming winding road that cuts through the White Mountains is beautiful all on its own.

Not only is the drive beautiful but there are dozens of stopping points to stretch your legs, have a picnic, or enjoy a short hike to see even more beautiful landscapes and the tapestry of fall colors. The Hancock Overlook is a hugely popular stop on the route but often is short on parking so aim to visit it early. If you can’t find parking then carry on to the Pemigewasset Overlook as your consolation stop, just a bit further down the road and with plenty of parking. Towards the end of the route make sure that you take the turn off to see the Albany Covered Bridge.

The drive itself is a little less than an hour, but I would plan for a minimum of three to allow for stops and short hikes. You could spend an entire day on the Kancamagus and enjoy every nuance of what it has to offer.

Fall foliage is at its height in New Hampshire around mid-October.

Tip: Before heading to the Kancamagus, have breakfast at Polly’s Pancake Parlor (in Sugar Hill), you won’t regret it.

Jamie of Travel Addict

Midland, Michigan

Midland Michigan offers outstanding hiking and biking opportunities through thickly wooded areas dotted with scenic ponds and rivers.  These areas are especially beautiful during the fall season as the trees are ablaze with color. 

Midland City Forest, located on the north side of town, offers several exciting single-track trails for avid mountain bikers.  Narrow paths will lead you through dense trees, over narrow wooden bridges, up steep inclines, and along the scenic river, all with magnificent views of the red, yellow, and orange leaves.  There are also miles of wider trails for hiking and biking that offer breathtaking views of the changing trees, sparkling ponds, and lush marshes.  Entrance to the Forest is free.

Visiting Dow Gardens and Whiting Forest is another great way to see the fall colors and foliage.  These two locations are connected by a scenic blue bridge so your entrance ticket will allow you to explore both areas.  Dow Gardens is widely known for its spectacular botanical gardens during the summer and iconic red bridges, but the Gardens are magnificent in the fall too.  While visiting, you will wander past a roaring waterfall, gurgling stream, a stone bridge, and several strikingly beautiful red bridges. 

Whiting Forest is home to the Nations Longest Canopy Walk.  Strolling 40 feet above the ground amongst the treetops is a showstopper, especially during the fall.  The close-up spectacular views of the jewel-toned trees surrounding the three ponds is a breathtaking sight.

Contributed by Sherry Trautman of Traveling Michigan

Saratoga Springs National Historic Park, New York

Around 30 minutes north of Albany, NY sits the small Saratoga National Historical Park – a park that chronicles in great detail the Battles of Saratoga in the 1700’s – in the town of Stillwater. While I learned a lot inside of the museum, I also took away a huge appreciation for how beautiful the eastern United States is in autumn, and in particular, how breathtaking this small stretch of New York State really is.  

In October, the fall foliage is radiant, and this is the best month to visit.  Albany was pretty but this tiny park is unbelievable, mostly because you can truly leave civilization behind for a while.  The vast forest surrounds the road, featuring bright red, yellow, and orange hues as far as the eye can see.  It is truly a gorgeous little corner of New York State to stop and visit the fall colors.  

There are paths that are walkable throughout the park, flat and easily manageable.  The trails feature different plant life and battlefield information as you go, such as cannons and historical plaques.  The best way to see both the fall foliage and the battlefield is by car.  For anyone interested in history, the park offers an audio tour to listen to while you drive.   

Contributed by Monica from This Rare Earth 

Cleveland City Parks, Ohio

One of the best places to experience fall colors in the USA is in Ohio and especially in the lovely Cleveland metro parks which is a string of lovely parks in the metro area that easy to explore and enjoy. The city’s metro parks district has so many beautiful parks with the natural landscape, wonderful hiking trails, waterfalls, and beautiful rock outcrops, streams or lakes, and other nice landscaping and viewpoints. Many of the park hiking trails offer scenic vista points or some highlights along the trail to discover like a gorgeous waterfall, rock outcrops, or beautiful natural landscaping and you’ll find a large array of fall colors.

The fall timeframe to visit when the trees change colors paints a dramatic effect on the landscape and it’s such a wonderful time to be outdoors in Cleveland’s many beautiful parks. For more inspiration, check out my post on visiting Cleveland’s metro parks here for details of what to see and do especially in the autumn season when you definitely want to be outdoors and see all the magnificent change of colors in the landscape.

Contributed by Noel of the Travel Photo Discovery

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs from Afton, Virginia all the way down to Cherokee, North Carolina winding its way through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Along the way, you’ll find many hikes, beautiful overlooks, and interesting stops like old farming homesteads or mills. And it’s a wonderful fall foliage destination!

In the fall all these amazing views begin bursting with vibrant red, orange, and yellow colors from the trees covering the landscape. One of the easiest ways to enjoy the view is by pulling off at the many overlooks that line the Parkway. Some of these overlooks have parking spaces where you can get out and stretch your legs, maybe even enjoy a picnic if you think ahead. Others are just pull-offs where you can snap a photo and move on down the road.

If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to see the fall colors then take one of the many hikes from trailheads that begin right on the Parkway. You’ll find many trail options in Doughton Park or Linville Falls in North Carolina. In Virginia, the Peaks of Otter area is popular or hop on a section of the Appalachian Trail.

Peak leaf-peeping season comes in October for most sections of the Parkway. Of course, at the higher elevations, the leaves peak earlier than the lower elevations. It can get very crowded during this time so if possible visit during the week or plan a getaway in mid-September or mid-November. A great resource for planning your trip is the Blue Ridge Parkway Association’s website and be sure to check for road closures especially if you visit in November. 

Contributed by Anne of Stuck On the Go

Eastern Sierra, California

The Eastern Sierra along California’s Highway 395 is one of the best places in California to experience fall colors and foliage. The colors peak at a different time each year, but you can generally expect to see bright yellow and orange hillsides from mid-October through the end of the month. Mono County Tourism updates its website with the latest information to see which area is peaking. 

There are so many hikes where you can see fall colors or if you’re looking for a more leisurely trip where you can drive and see fall colors, you have that option too. June Lake Loop, Lake Sabrina, Convict Lake, and Lundy Canyon are some of the best places to see fall colors. 

You can do this trip on a weekend or spend a week exploring the different areas that make up the Eastern Sierra. 

October is also a great month for hiking and backpacking since the weather is cooler and there are fewer crowds. The days are mild and the nights will be chilly, so if you’re camping, bring a sleeping bag and sleeping bag that will be warm enough. During the day you can also stand up paddleboard and kayak on the variety of lakes around the area.

Contributed by Jenny of Campsite Vibes

Salt Lake City, Utah

If you are looking to see the beautiful fall colors, Salt Lake City is a great place to visit for fall foliage.  Not only will you see the beautiful yellows and reds of the leaves, but it will also be a lot cooler and more comfortable in Salt Lake City.  Most people do not spend a lot of time in Salt Lake City when they visit Utah but it’s worth staying in Salt Lake City for a few days.

One of the best ways to see the fall colors near Salt Lake City is to go hiking in the canyons around Salt Lake City.  One of my favorite places to go hiking is Cottonwood Canyon.  This is a beautiful place to visit any time of year but in the fall it is especially beautiful with all the changes in the colors and the bright reds, oranges, and yellows found here.

A nice easy hike in Cottonwood is the Silver Lake Loop Trail.  This one-mile loop trail goes around Silver Lake and is an easy track.  Along the way, you can spot birds and other wildlife plus you are surrounded by the trees and fall foliage.  This is a great simple hike for all ages and great to do with kids as well. 

Contributed by Nicole of American SW Obsessed

Dahlonega, Georgia

No doubt about it, any season is a good season to visit Dahlonega, Georgia, but there’s something extra special about the destination during the fall.

About an hour north of Atlanta, the Appalachian Mountain town is best known as the country’s first U.S. gold rush site in 1828, predating California’s by 21 years. You can learn more about the area’s defining moment at the Dahlonega Gold Museum, and if you want to try your hand at panning for gold, there’s the Crisson Gold Mine and Consolidated Gold Mines. The town is also home to the Gold Rush Days Festival held annually on the third full weekend in October on the downtown square.

In the fall, gold isn’t the only color you’ll see in Dahlonega. Typically around mid-to-late October into November, the surrounding foliage changes into the jeweled tones of yellow, orange, and red. Some of the best places to see autumn’s rich color palette include any of the wineries, where you can soak in the views as you sip and savor wines, and orchards, that allow you to also walk away with some of fall’s bounty — apples.

Further immerse yourself among the bursting colors by kayaking down nearby Chestatee River or scenic drives like the Lumpkin-Union Loop, including waterfalls, views, and more. Another option is exploring Amicalola State Park, near Dawsonville, Elijay, and Dahlonega, home to Amicalola Falls, the third-highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River and the southern end of the Appalachian Trail.

Contributed by Apryl the feature writer of Southern Hospitality Magazine Traveler.

Sonoma County, California

For a unique twist on seeing the fall colors in the United States, take a trip to Sonoma County  The lesser-known sibling to Napa wine country, Sonoma is more laid-back and rustic, whereas Napa is a bit more built up and sophisticated. Sonoma County is best known for its Pinot noirs, which are light-bodied and full of vibrant fruit — the perfect fall wine! — as well their rich and warm old vine Zinfandels. They’re also known for tasty full-bodied Chardonnay and zesty Sauvignon Blancs, which are nice for a warm fall afternoon, and you’ll get many of those in Sonoma County once the morning fog burns off!

The best way to see the fall colors in Sonoma County is to visit the vineyards! While most of California is full of evergreen trees like redwoods that don’t change colors, in Sonoma, the vines turn a beautiful yellow and orange during the fall months. The vineyards start to change colors around the start of September through the end of November, but the colors really are usually at their peak from mid-October on. The best way to enjoy the vineyards, of course, is with a tasting! My personal favorite vineyard in Sonoma County is Iron Horse Vineyards in Sebastopol, but that’s because I adore sparkling wine and that’s really where they shine!

If you want to go for a fall hike to walk off all that wine tasting, check out the beautiful fall foliage around Jack London State Historic Park north of Sonoma. It’s a great way to break up the wine tasting and sightseeing!

Contributed by Allison of California Crossroads

Black Hills, South Dakota

The Black Hills in South Dakota is an amazing (and underrated) place to see fall foliage in the US.  It may not be quite as impressive as out east, but it’s still totally worth visiting.  One of the best places in the Black Hills to see color is going to be the Needles Highway, which also happens to be one of the best scenic drives in the area.

The best time to see the fall colors in the Black Hills is going to be mid-September to mid-October.  Of course, that will also depend on weather conditions and temperatures, but it’s a pretty good time to go either way.  The Black Hills area is most known for Mount Rushmore, but there are tons of wonderful hikes and drives to get outside and enjoy the changing leaves.  Sylvan Lake and the Cathedral Spires trail are two great spots to get out and admire the leaves and stretch your legs on the Needles Highway. 
No matter what park you visit or the scenic road you drive, there will be plenty of opportunities to stop at overlooks to check out the sprawling views of prairies and changing trees.  Plus, the weather is going to be nice and cool but not too cold making being outside even more enjoyable.  

Door County, Wisconsin

Suppose you’re wondering what to do this autumn, consider visiting Door County, Wisconsin, which is one of the best destinations to see Fall colors and Foliage in the USA. Precisely, autumn is all about the vibrant fall colors and getting out to explore it in a beautiful place, like- Door County, Wisconsin! It’s located on a peninsular between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Wisconsin. The easternmost County is mostly known for its long shoreline and multiple beautiful parks. 

This lovely destination indeed offers a splendid and impeccable place for an autumn recess, filled-up with a colorful scene everywhere, in the fall season. Moreover, there are a few unique park locations that provide the best place to see the fall color and foliage, like the “Old Baldy, Whitefish Dunes State Park.” Old Baldy is the tallest dune in whitefish dunes state park, and it also somewhat resembles sandy on top. But to reach the exact spot, take the Red Trail for 2.8 miles round trip hike from the main park entrance, which will take you by the Old Baldy lookout. Further, from there, you can spot plenty of stunning treetops reflecting the Fall Colors and Foliage in between the panoramic overlook of Clark Lake to the northwest, and Lake Michigan to the east. 

Otherwise, you can additionally visit the vibrant and heavenly Ellison Bay Bluff Country Park or go for a scenic train ride within the Door County, and endure the opportunity to witness most of the pleasing Fall Colors and Foliage in the County. However, the best time to experience cool fall festivals in Wisconsin, Door Country, is mainly from the late-September to mid-October. Yet, if you are busy during this time, you don’t need to worry as the spectral fall foliage color can be observed in the region throughout the entire autumn

Contributed by Paulina of Paulina on the Road

The Poconos, Pennsylvania

One of the best places for fall foliage in the United States is the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. The Poconos are one of the best day trips from Philadelphia and dotted with hiking trails, lakes, and untouched forest that turn brilliant autumn colors each year.

The forests in this part of Pennsylvania are well-maintained and lush with maple, sumac, sweetgum, oak and birch trees. By mid-October, the leaves have painted the landscape with bright yellow, orange, and red hues. Their brilliant lasts until early November so a weekend getaway to the colorful Poconos is a wonderful adventure to enjoy the changing seasons.

One of the best state parks to get up close to the autumn leaves is Ricketts Glen State Park. The massive park stretches across three Pennsylvania counties and over 13,000 acres of land. The park is known for having 22 named waterfalls, the largest of which is Ganoga Falls at 94-feet. During the month of October, colorful foliage makes a beautiful backdrop to the waterfalls. In the area, you’ll find many campgrounds and cabins to rent for lodging. There are also hotels for visitors who prefer more modern accommodations. 

Other destinations for admiring the fall colors are Lake Wallenpaupack, a popular destination for nature lovers. If you’d prefer to drive through the region, PA Route 6 is the road to travel for admiring the trees. It’s not far from Wallenpaupack and there are many small towns to stop at for meals or stretching.

Contributed by Mike and Derek of Robe Trotting

Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Autumn is all about the encountering lively fall colors and exploring it in a lovely place, like- Apostle Islands, Wisconsin, which is one of the best destinations to see fall colors and foliage in the USA. Located in northern Wisconsin, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a combination of 22 islands in Lake Superior, off the Bayfield Peninsula. This place features a massive archipelago with stunning views, famous red sandstone ocean caverns, and rich legacy. It’s undoubtedly an awe-inspiring, and an impeccable spot for an autumn-time break topped off with a vivid scene in the fall season.

Further, to experience the Fall Colors and Foliage in Apostle Island, Wisconsin, visit the following destinations:

1. Lake Superior- Go kayaking or sailing in Lake Superior to experience the fall colors. It’s a beautiful sight to cruise in the island’s peaceful environment while enduring a panoramic overlook of the color-changing leaves.
2. Autumn Waterfalls- Couples from multiple regions visit this island to spend quality time, getting the spectacular view of the waterfalls and the Foliage together
3. Annual Apple Festival- Nearly over 50,000 people all across the globe travel to Bayfield to enjoy the fall colors and Foliage, alongside attending the Annual apple festival.
4. Go for a hike or ride a bike- You can significantly experience the fall by biking or hiking around the Bayfield area. The region offers a variety of adventure trails, which gives several opportunities to watch the fall colors closely.

Moreover, the fall colors mainly remain at its peak in the October month for almost two weeks. So, the best time to experience the fall period in Wisconsin, Apostle Islands, is from late September to mid-October. Besides that, plan your stay at some of the luxury resorts in Wisconsin, like the AmericInn by Wyndham Ashland or the Best Western The Hotel Chequamegon

Contributed by Paulina of Paulina on the Road

Central Park, New York City

Central Park is the perfect place to see fall colors when visiting New York City. Located in the middle of Manhattan, Central Park is well known for its beauty, especially areas like The Pond, The Mall, Bethesda Fountain, The Lake, and Belvedere Castle. 

Those also happen to be one of the best places to see autumn foliage in the park. The Pond with Gapstow Bridge makes for a picture-perfect view of fall leaves and their reflections. Be sure to take a walk along the colorful tree-lined path that is The Mall towards Bethesda Terrace. When you get to Bethesda Terrace, you’ll be treated to gorgeous oranges and yellows alongside Bethesda Fountain and The Lake. Belvedere Castle is also in a beautiful fiery glory with surrounding vegetation all lit up in fall color. 

The best time to see fall colors in Central Park can vary depending on the weather however it can be seen later in the season than cooler areas further north such as Boston, Maine, and upstate New York. Typically the autumnal foliage in Central Park can be seen by early November and sometimes as late as mid-November if the weather is warm. 

Visit New York City on a weekend in the fall for a perfect view of these gorgeous leaves. 

Contributed by Constance of Adventures with a Panda Bear

Ouray, Colorado

The charming town of Ouray is the perfect fall destination. As the temperatures begin to drop visitors can take advantage of hiking in cooler temperatures while at the same time enjoying the fall colours in the Colorado mountains. The best time to go is mid September to early October when foliage is at its most vibrant.

The six-mile Perimeter hike offers a birds-eye view of the town. You’ll pass by four waterfalls, five bridges and beautiful fall scenery. However, for a larger network of trails, head to nearby Box Canyon Park. It’s highlight is the 85-foot waterfall which calls the park home. 

Ouray is also known for its geothermal activity. The crisp fall air makes the natural pools at Orvis Hot Springs all the more enjoyable. There are ten unique pools ranging in temperature from 65 to 112 degrees. Most of them are outside in a pristine mountain setting, making it an ideal place to see the fall colours near Ouray. 

However, our favorite place to see the area’s foliage is along the Million Dollar Highway. This stretch from Ouray to Silverton is one of the most picturesque in the nation. As the leaves change colors to yellow, orange, and red the road becomes all the more special.

Contributed by sustainable travel bloggers Oksana & Max from Drink Tea & Travel

Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania

Located in the hills of the Appalachians, you’ll find the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. During the fall, the rolling hills turn hues of red, orange, and yellow. The Laurel Highlands has been named one of the top destinations for fall color in the United States. There are countless state parks and forests for viewing fall colors in the Laurel Highlands. To view fall colors in the Laurel Highlands, consider taking a drive along the Lincoln Highway, or old Route 30 or by taking a hike on one of these hikes in the Laurel Highlands. Colors in the Laurel Highlands typically peak in late September or early October.

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Pam & Kathrine

Hello! We are sisters from southwestern Pennsylvania sharing with you the best of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and beyond!

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