Best places to view Fall Foliage in the US.

It’s that time of year again. Time for apple picking, leaf-peeping, and cooler weather. It’s my favorite time of year. There is so much to do and the best foods are in the fall! Apple pie, apple cider, apple cider donuts…come to think of it, anything apple, really. Then there are the die-hard fans of pumpkin. Don’t get me started on those. In the fall the air seems a little bit cleaner. We get to break out our sweaters and warm scarves. So grab your favorite warm beverage (apple cider, pumpkin spice latte, hot chocolate, etc.) and let me show you some places where you can see spectacular fall foliage in the US.

New England

Upstate New York

There are few places in the world with as varied a variety of colors as in the North East. Bright reds, crisp oranges, vibrant yellows, and deep purples. Really anywhere from New York to Maine you will find amazing colors and fall activities. In upstate New York,  you can see the leaves begin to change in mid to late September. Coastal Maine sees the peak of their leaf changing around mid-October. Massachusetts and Connecticut will see leaves begin to change toward the last week of September and Vermont and New Hampshire you can start to see leaves changing a little before that.

No matter where you go in New England you will find a great many things to do and gorgeous drives. Route 1 in Maine is a beautiful coastal drive to take during the height of autumn. The Mount Graylock Scenic Byway through the Berkshires of Massachusetts is a great way to spend a couple of hours driving through thick forest and stopping at breathtaking vistas.

Columbia River Gorge & Coastal Oregon

 Cannon Beach

I was fortunate enough to travel through Oregon on a road trip and it is one of the most beautiful states I have visited. With dramatic and dynamic coastlines and thick lush forests, it’s an outdoor lovers dream. Leaves usually turn in mid-October to early November so plan a road trip up the coast or to the Columbia River Gorge.

If you’re a fan of the Goonies or Twilight head to Cannon Beach. It’s one of the most recognizable beaches in the area due to its rock formations sticking out of the water. The town of Cannon Beach itself is a great place to make your home base to explore coastal Oregon. The town has cute shops and great coffee houses, not to mention spectacular beaches. If you’re exploring the Columbia River Gorge use Hood River as your home base. Known as one of the extreme sports capitals you can learn to windsurf the river or attempt to summit Mount Hood while taking in the beautiful changing of leaves.

Taos, New Mexico

A desert? Yes. Believe it or not, deserts have seasons as well. I lived in Las Vegas and was surprised to see the leaves changing in late November but it does happen. One of the best places to see the desert change color is in Taos, New Mexico. In Taos, you can see the leaves changing at its peak in mid to late October.

One of the best ways to see the colors is to take a drive on the Enchanted Circle. This 84-mile route is known to be one of the best drives in America. This drive circles Wheeler Peak which is the highest point in New Mexico and passes through Red River, an old west town complete with saloons!

Colorado

Although Colorado may not get as diverse a color change as the Northeast it is still a must to see leaves changing. In mid to late October you can see shades of orange and gold blaze through the state of Colorado. Colorado tends to get snow during that time too so you could be skiing while viewing some spectacular foliage.

Check out Aspen or Breckenridge if you’re looking for this type of experience. Both are fantastic ski towns. Breckenridge is a little less expensive and has a homier feel to it, so it will depend on what you’re looking for when deciding to visit.

Blue Ridge Mountains

Yes, it’s a mountain chain but it is one of the most gorgeous. Stretching from southern Pennsylvania to northern Georgia, this mountain chain is home to beautiful scenic drives, breathtaking hikes, and fun hill towns, like Ashville, NC.

In early November you can see the Blue Ridge Mountains erupt with color. Head to the Biltmore to see one of the Vanderbilt’s grand houses and take a wine tour of their vineyards while taking in the views of the changing colors.

Road Trip to see great fall colors

Autumn is when most of us want to enjoy being cozy and warm while driving through lush forests full of golds, oranges, reds, and purples. 5 on Your Side put together a fall foliage prediction map so you can hit peak color times wherever you choose to travel this fall. Follow the link here: 5 on Your Side Fall Foilage prediction map

Where are some places you go to see gorgeous fall colors? What are some of your favorite fall destinations? Let me know in the comments! Until next time.

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