6 of the Best Places to See Fall Foliage in the United States
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It’s time for sweater weather, spiced lattes, and best of all, seeing the leaves change from the lush greens of summer to vibrants golds, oranges, and reds of fall. While most people associate fall foliage with the Northeast, there are plenty of places to see the stunning views throughout the country during late September and Mid-October. So, without further ado, here are the best places to see fall foliage in the United States.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor is a charming resort destination on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, complete with incredible views of mountains and ocean. In mid-october it comes alive with swathes of color. Take a drive through Acadia National Park’s scenic Park Loop Road and tackle Gorham Mountain for colorful views of the harbor below.
Aspen, Colorado is named for its gorgeous aspen trees that turn the perfect yellow-gold in the fall. To immerse yourself in the scenery, head to Behind the Trail Sign, Montezuma Basin Road, or the Government trail. The Maroon Bells are also a perfect spot for a view of the golden Rockies.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon and Washington
The Columbia River Gorge between Washington and Oregon is always a gorgeous sight, but throw in fir, cottonwood, maple, ash and pine trees ablaze in a wash of golden-hued leaves and it becomes something else. Check out Dry Creek Falls and the Cape Horn Loop for great leaf peeing.
Taos, New Mexico
Believe it or not, Taos is one of the best places to view fall foliage. This Southwestern landscape is beautiful in the fall, especially when driving around one of America's most scenic drives: The Enchanted Circle. This 83-mile drive connects the towns of Taos, Eagle Nest, Red River, and Questa — and it contains some spectacular views. Hiking the Columbine Trail or taking a chairlift ride at Chairlift Ride at Angel Fire Resort are also great ways to enjoy the foliage.
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
With more than 100 species of trees, most of them deciduous, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has an impressive variety of fall color—and one of the longest fall foliage seasons as well. Head to Clingmans Dome for 360 views from the highest spot in the park, brave the crowds at Cades Cove for the most classic view, or hike out to 80ft Rainbow Falls.
Stowe, Vermont is known as as “Fall’s Color Capital” and in 2015 TripAdvisor named it the #1 place to see fall foliage in the United States. Head to Smugglers’ Notch State Park, the narrow pass in the Green Mountains where Vermonters used to smuggle liquor from Canada during Prohibition. Drive this famously scenic road, and then stretch your legs by hiking the Sterling Pond Trail.
There you have it: the best places to see fall foliage in the United States. The best part? We offer trips in several of these locations! Check out our getaways to Acadia National Park and the Columbia River Gorge.