The best US fall destinations to watch leaves change
Fall is in the air, which means it’s time to celebrate everything pumpkin spice, cozy clothing, and, of course, the captivating fall colors! Watching the leaves change into red, orange, and yellow hues is the perfect way to experience the beauty of nature with the whole family.
Before winter sends you indoors, pack up the car, grab the kids and explore. To encourage an autumn adventure, check out our picks for US destinations to admire the fall foliage.
Acadia National Park, Maine
This 47,000-acre park lies along the coastline of Maine. In this locale, you can experience a wide range of panoramic views, including the rocky edges of the Atlantic Ocean, the Porcupine Islands, soaring mountain tops, and vivid sights on the Acadia All-American Road. Early October is when things really begin to blossom, so plan your trip now. And don’t forget to find yourself a delicious lobster dinner while in town.
Known for its natural beauty and scenic hiking trails, no list of US fall destinations would be complete without a stop in Vermont. From maple syrup, local cheese, and charming views, Stowe, Vermont, is the perfect family getaway. Surrounded by Sugar Maple trees that explode with color through the end of October, find yourself a comfy little lodge around these parts and get ready for true beauty.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
Located west of Boston and filled with stunning mountain peaks. The area has extensive hiking trails with vibrant foliage for the whole family to see. The season starts in late September, hitting its peak in the middle of October.
Bucks Country, Pennsylvania
Welcome in the fall at Bucks County. All while experiencing the natural beauty, families can explore the rich history of the Revolutionary War and the impressive arts community. The last two weeks of October are the best time to go, so book a charming B&B now and embrace the season during one of the most picturesque times in the countryside.
Highlands, North Carolina
Now we’re swinging down to the top tip of the southern United States for some gorgeous scenery. Highlands is a mountain town 4000 feet above sea level and boasts striking sights within the Nantahala National Forest. One of the country’s few temperate rainforests, take your family exploring the plethora of waterfalls, including Dry Falls, Bridal Veil, Glen Falls, and more, plus outdoor activities like hiking, fly-fishing, and exploring locally-owned stores downtown. The season runs until the first week of November.
Payette River, Idaho
Moving towards the west, the byway of the Payette River in Idaho delivers tons of trees, glistening waterways, and even some natural hot springs. When you get there, a favorite family-friendly activity is rafting the whitewater rapids. The season runs from the end of August to mid-October, so get a jump start on planning if visiting this destination.
The highest elevation on our list, Colorado’s Breckenridge, is over 9,500 feet above sea level, deep in the Rocky Mountains. These magnificent peaks are golden through September and October. With the crisp mountain air, it’s a perfect time to hike, bike and take your family through the 22-mile-long Boreas Pass Road. You can also try your luck and head underground to pan for gold.
Lake Tahoe, California
Although the west coast is not typically known for its fall leafage, the lush surroundings of Lake Tahoe are an exception. Set in the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountains, with a massive lake at its center, Tahoe delivers a range of fun family activities, including paddleboarding, hiking, kayaking, and plenty of hiking trails. The water will be pretty chilly, so keep that in mind before dive in headfirst. Travelers can also discover delicious restaurants and lodges nestled among these unforgettable views.
We hope our list of the best US destinations for fall foliage gives you inspiration on how to spend your autumn days and enjoy an unforgettable adventure with your family.
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