Ten Best Places to See Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage VacationsSummer is simply an overture to nature's greatest annual spectacle: fall foliage. The cause of this  dramatic show of color is more scientific than romantic; leaves lose their chlorophyll and trees go into a sort of hibernation. But the effect is anything but boring. Here are Vacation Rentals.com's picks for the Best Places to See Fall Foliage (bundled with some great vacation rental suggestions, which make it cheap to leaf peep).

Asheville, North Carolina 

Peak time to go: October 24 – November 3

Take leaf peeping to a whole new level – literally – in Asheville. While downtown is full of color for select weeks, there’s always a portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains that’s putting on a performance during the fall. So, drive the Blue Ridge Parkway up about 5,000 feet for the most rewarding views.

Catskills, New York

Peak time to go: last 2 weeks in September

Go for a scenic drive or climb up the Catskills Mountains, or specifically the Shawungunk Mountains, for, what could very well be, New York’s most dazzling display of color.

Aspen, Colorado

Peak time to go: mid-September

Aspen was named after a beloved Colorado tree (nearly a state mascot). The tear-shaped leaves of the Aspen trees turn a brilliant golden-yellow every September. And with the Rocky Mountains and a clear blue sky as their backdrop, it’s love at first sight! For that perfect family photo, head to the Maroon Bells wilderness area.

Stowe, Vermont

Peak time to go: Late September to early October

Come to the Green Mountains when, well, they’re not quite as green. Of all the New England fall foliage hot spots, Vermont takes the (colorful) cake.

Fall Foliage Vacations

Berkshire Mountains, Massachusetts

Peak time to go: early to mid-October

Autumn in Massachusetts. Has a ring to it, even movie title potential. Hike or drive through the Berkshires and paint every town red, or better yet – gold, yellow, orange, and purple.

Litchfield, Connecticut

Peak time to go: mid-September to late October

After you’re done with the Berkshires, travel down to its foothills, which are located in the historic town of Litchfield. In the fall, driving turns into a favorite pastime. But walking is just as fun, as the White Memorial Foundation Center has plenty of picturesque trails.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Peak time to go: late September and October

The view from Cadillac Mountain, especially in autumn, is downright to die for. Don’t just dilly dally, though – drop by the Wild Gardens of Acadia to learn about what you’re looking at!

Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama

Peak time to go: October and November

Alabama gets very little credit for its enchanting natural layout. Besides Gulf Shore’s sunny beaches, there's the Oak Mountain State Park, featuring the breathtaking Peavine Waterfalls and an impressive mix of fall foliage colors.

fall foliage vacations

Leavenworth, Washington

Peak time to go: mid-October 

Leavenworth turns into the land of red and orange hills in the fall, making even the most strenuous hike a joy. Share your love of leaf peeping with others at the Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival!

Book a Leavenworth fall foliage vacation

Glacier National Park, Montana

Peak time to go: early October

During autumn, Glacier National Park has voluptuous red, yellow, and gold forests that contrast with snow-capped mountains, rendering it one of the more unusual destinations on this list.