vacation spots

Fall is a great time for rest and refreshment. What better way to do that than to go on a trip to the best vacation spots to see the leaves change? 

Taking a fall vacation might be exactly what you need to feel inspired again. Cozy up in a cabin, go on a hike, or do a fall photoshoot with your loved ones. But there’s nothing like seeing the vibrant red, orange, and yellows of fall leaves. 

It can be difficult to find the perfect spots to experience these incredible fall sights. Not only that, but it’s also a huge challenge to catch the colors on time. You can use this as your guide to catch those stunning leaves in the right place and time this fall!

Best Cities for Fall Foliage

North East

  • Connecticut: Essex, Kent, & Litchfield
  • Delaware: Winterthur
  • Maine: Bar Harbor, Bethel, & Camden 
  • Maryland: Swanton
  • Massachusettes: Williamstown, Ashburnham, & Shelburne Falls
  • New Hampshire: Conway, Franconia, Jackson Village
  • New Jersey: Belleville & Netcong
  • New York: Wilmington & Bear Mountain
  • Pennsylvania: Bedford & Wellsboro
  • Rhode Island: Jamestown, Bristol, & Newport
  • Vermont: Stowe, Manchester, & Woodstock

Midwest

  • Illinois: Galena
  • Indiana: Nashville & Chesterton
  • Iowa: Decorah & Boone
  • Kansas: Kansas City, Parkville, & Weston
  • Michigan: Tawas City & Munising
  • Minnesota: North Shore
  • Missouri: Hermann
  • Nebraska: Nebraska City & Bellevue
  • North Dakota: Walhalla & Fargo
  • Ohio: Hocking Hills & Lake Erie
  • South Dakota: Sisseton, Sioux Falls, & Garretson
  • Wisconsin: Bayfield & Hubertus

South

  • Alabama: Huntsville & Double Springs
  • Arkansas: Jasper & Hot Springs
  • Florida: Bristol
  • Georgia: Helen, Atlanta, & Marietta
  • Kentucky: Slade & Louisville 
  • Louisiana: Bastrop
  • Mississippi: Natchez Trace
  • North Carolina: Asheville
  • Oklahoma: Broken Bow
  • South Carolina: Gaffney & Cleveland
  • Tennessee: Gatlinburg & Chattanooga
  • Texas: Tyler, Palestine, & Athens
  • Virginia: Roanoke & Fancy Gap
  • West Virginia: Fayetteville & Buckhannon

West

  • Alaska: Atigun Pass,
  • Arizona: Cottonwood, Prescott, & Flagstaff
  • California: Mammoth Lakes, Big Bear Lake, & Oak Glen
  • Colorado: Aspen, Howard, & Steamboat Springs
  • Hawaii: Hawaii has incredible foliage that is not exactly your traditional fall trees, but maybe even better!
  • Idaho: Pocatello & Bear Lake
  • Montana: White Fish & Great Falls
  • Nevada: Nevada City & Grass Valley
  • New Mexico: Taos
  • Oregon: Willamette Valley, Portland, & Ashland
  • Utah: Sundance, Park City, & Cedar City
  • Washington: Leavenworth
  • Wyoming: Moose/Grand Teton

Timing is Everything

Knowing the spots to see these stunning fall colors is only the first half of the battle. Next, you must figure out how to catch the colors at their peak time.

Catching fall foliage in its prime can be a difficult task. The leaves change so fast that finding the “perfect location” is only half of the struggle. You have to make sure you catch them in time as well!

Although there’s no guarantee, there are tips you can use when planning your vacation to spot autumn leaves. Generally, fall leaves begin to show themselves around mid-September through November. However, the challenge is that this changes depending on the year, location, and weather conditions in that area.

Some ways that you can find fall colors are:

  • Researching what trees have Carotenoids and find them! These are the pigments that produce those beautiful brown, yellow, and orange colors that are so unique to autumn.
  • The length of the night and weather changes also have a lot to do with when the colors change. Keep an eye on the weather patterns! If it’s a colder fall, the leaves will die much faster. 
  • Fall frost is an early sign of autumn passing quickly, while wet autumn is a sign of delayed colors.
  • Too much rain can knock down the leaves prematurely. This means there’s a more limited time to see those colors.

Don’t forget that this is about rest!

Don’t get so wrapped up in catching the sight of those colorful leaves that you miss out on rest. Chasing things that might or might not be present at the time of your vacation can become exhausting. Try not to miss out on the fun and rest of just getting away from typical life!

Make sure you plan your vacation around more than something as fluctuant as the season’s changes. That way, even if you miss that small window of color, you will still have a fantastic vacation.

That being said, go find fall foliage near you and experience a true fall vacation!





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