Asheville, North Carolina
Peak time to go: October 24 – November 3
Take leaf peeping to a whole new level 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 in the Catskills Mountains. Before the snow flies, head to Hunter Mountain for New York’s dazzling display of color.
Peak time to go: mid-September
Aspen was named after a beloved tree native to the Rockies. 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.
Peak time to go: Late September to early October
The Green Mountains are not quite so green in autumn. Of all the New England fall foliage hot spots, Vermont takes the (colorful) cake.
Berkshire Mountains, Massachusetts
Peak time to go: early to mid-October
Hike or drive through the Berkshires and paint every town red, or better yet – red, gold, yellow, orange, and purple. Picturesque and luxurious Lenox is a great destination for a fall getaway.
Peak time to go: mid-September to late October
Historic Litchfield, birthplace of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Ethan Allen, is a pretty town in the Berkshire foothills. In the fall, driving and leaf peeping are a popular pastime. Get out of the car and up close to nature, 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 more about what you’re looking at.
Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama
Peak time to go: October and November
Alabama’s sunny Gulf Shore beaches get a lot of attention, but don’t miss the Alabama mountains. Spend time near Lewis Smith Lake in the Bankhead National Forest for an impressive mix of fall colors and lake views.
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 in late September.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Peak time to go: early October
During autumn, Glacier National Park’s forests turns red, yellow, and gold to contrast with snow-capped mountains, rendering it one of the more unusual and spectacular destinations on the list.