Summer’s coming to a close, the nights are getting shorter, but that’s no reason to barricade yourself indoors and way for the warm weather to come around again! In fact, fall is the perfect time to take a vacation because what it lacks in warmth, it makes up for in beauty. The changing of the seasons makes for incredible photo opportunities and a chance to appreciate the natural beauty of the US.
In this post, we’ll take a look at 6 of the best places to see fall foliage in the US. Hopefully, it’ll help you plan your fall vacation and help you make the most of some of the most beautiful spots in America!
Aspen is spectacular throughout the year, but especially in fall. It’s never a given when the best time to visit will be, but usually, the 3rd week of September will give you the opportunity to see the yellow leaves against that clear blue sky. There are plenty of highlights that will make your trip special. Because the weather is still relatively good and the daylight hours are still fairly long, you can tackle some of the legendary hiking routes in Colorado.
Make sure you head out towards Maroon Bells, some of the most photographed peaks in North America. It’s really not hard to see why! If hiking sounds a bit too strenuous for you, there are plenty of scenic drives where you’ll be able to stop and take incredible photos of the foliage. And really, just to appreciate such a beautiful time of year!
The Catskills, New York
If you need a few weeks extra to plan your trip, then the Catskills are a great bet. Usually, the best fall foliage in this beautiful part of New York doesn’t fully bloom until early to mid-October. You’ll want to take a scenic drive here to uncover some of the secrets of Catskills. Roadside stands sell fresh regional produce, with harvest festivals aplenty.
In a tradition stemming from Germany, Catskills even has its own Oktoberfest. Actually, it has a few Bavarian beer festivals at this time of year but the one of Hunter Mountain is the best! By the way, we’re absolutely not encouraging you to drink and drive – no matter how good the beer nor how scenic the drives are. For an alcohol-free attraction, check out the Heritage Craft Fair at Bronck’s Museum!
Whether visiting this place for work or vacation, this vibrant city inspires many to visit and experience the liveliness of the place. And this is not a difficult place to stay as there are many vacation rentals in New York for you to comfortably stay and rest.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
You’ll find the mountain region of the Berkshires up in the west of Massachusetts. And while it may be a much-loved vacation break from New York and Boston’s residents, it’s still a bit of a secret to the rest of the world. The Berkshires encompasses more than 30 towns and the cities of North Adams and Pittsfield.
If you decide to visit the Berkshires, you’ll be following in the footsteps of esteemed company. In the late 19th century, New York industrialists and famous writers built their mansions here, and who can blame them?! Nowadays, it’s not just the picturesque scenery, but culture, art, and the culinary scene should get you excited too!
Fall foliage is normally at its peak in mid-October, the best time to enjoy the views and photo opportunities throughout this stunning rural region.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Heading over to the Pacific Coast now, and the Columbia River Gorge. This area is made up of 80 miles of forests along Interstate 84. Interestingly, it was one of the first parts of the United States specifically designed with scenic tourism in mind. And it’s really not hard to see why! Roadside overlooks provide you with vistas of forests in the most mesmerizing shades of yellow, orange, and red.
If you’re specifically planning out a road trip, you can find some great views at Crown Point Vista House in Corbett. However, seeing where the road takes you is as good an option as any. This is a stunning part of the United States!
If you want an update on how the foliage is in Columbia River Gorge, no problem. The Oregon Fall Foliage Hotline is free to call a number which gives daily foliage updates!
Green Mountain Byway, Vermont
Between the towns of Waterbury and Stowe, you’ll find one of the most scenic drives in the United States. If not, the entire world! The road passes right through the Green Mountains and you’ll see the peaks of the Worcester Range to the east too. If the jaw-dropping vistas of mountains aren’t enough for you, you’ll also pass historic farmsteads, three state parks, and quaint villages and towns. This area is also where you’ll find the highest peak in the state: Mount Mansfield.
To turn your self-drive tour into a guided one, there’s an app you can download. The Gypsy Guide is an excellent way to learn more about the area’s history!
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, New Mexico
When you think of New Mexico, perhaps you think of dry and arid desert landscapes punctuated by cacti and pueblo-style dwellings. Well, allow the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway to shatter those expectations and be prepared for your jaw to hit the floor! Beginning and ending in Taos, this 84-mile loop will take you past some of the most incredible scenery in New Mexico.
Not only will you be able to take in fantastic foliage views, but you’ll also have the chance to see elk peacefully grazing. If you want to split this trip into a multi-dayer, there are several campsites along the way where you can pitch up for the night. Why not try to get one with a view of New Mexico’s highest peak, Mount Wheeler?!
So, get booking before fall turns into Winter!
You’ve got quite a short window to plan a trip this fall, so if it sounds a little too much you could also enjoy an organized tour instead! Check out the Take Tours website for help from their friendly travel experts in planning your break. Who knows, you might find some travel inspiration for next summer too!