The Best Places to See Fall Foliage in the United States

The Best Places to see Fall Folliage

Best Places to See Fall Foliage

It’s getting close to that time of year where the weather will cool down in much of the country and the green trees will start to take on the colorful hues of Autumn. There are several places in the US that you can go to enjoy the splendor and beauty that this time of year offers up. Get in the car and take a ride to some the most spectacular views of the season!

Mount Mitchell State Park

Boasting the highest peak in the Eastern US, Mount Mitchell State Park is located in the beautiful mountainous region of North Carolina. Here you can travel down the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy the splendor of the rolling mountains as they change into blazing hills. The optimum time to enjoy the change of the leaves in mid-October. This is when the trees have fully turned and the colors will be the most vibrant.

We traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway a couple of months back and saw Mt Mitchell – rather, we would have seen it if there wasn’t so much fog!

best places to see fall foliage

Michigan’s Gold Coast

We all know that New England touts itself as being the most beautiful spot to enjoy autumn in the US. Lake Michigan won’t let you down when it comes to beautiful foliage and colors of fall. The trees change a bit earlier in this region because it becomes cold sooner in the fall then in states down south. Here you will take in the beautiful colors of the fall leaves that stand out against the amazing evergreen trees. Not only will you enjoy the beautiful forest, full of color, but you will also be driving close to the northeast shores of Lake Michigan. The contrast of the beautiful sand dunes against the colorful trees is a sight to behold. This is a drive that is worth the time.

Coastal Maine

Continuing the drive from New England we head north to the coast of the beautiful state of Maine. The drive takes you up the route to where the trees are a striking variety of colors. On this jaunt, you will enjoy the palatial seaside mansions and also experience some of our nation’s most beautiful lighthouses. You can stop off in Cape Elizabeth to take a break from driving to do some hiking in the beautiful foliage. It’s a great way to enjoy the cool fall air and see all the colors up close. This is destined to be a favorite fall drive.

best places to see fall foliage

Olympic Peninsula

Skipping across the country to the western coast, we find Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Most of it is still as wild as it was when the country was discovered.  Over here, you will find a 350-mile route that takes you down the northern coast and over the scenic and famous hurricane ridge. The massive ranges are lined with amazing fall foliage that is striking to behold. The snow-capped mountain ranges are a beautiful contrast against the color. Along the way you can choose to hike on foot and experience the vast terrain and hidden waterfalls. In town you will be able to experience the Victorian way of life as many of the buildings still echo the history of old.  The experience is as historical as it is beautiful making it one of the best places to see fall foliage.

Ozarks, Arkansas

The Ozarks in Arkansas are a fun and beautiful place to go to enjoy autumn weather. There is a 197-mile route that takes you through Eureka Springs, one of the “must stop” places along the way. This little town is made of beautiful gingerbread-like houses and is full of art galleries that you can enjoy. You can take US Highway 62 and also Highway 21 through beautiful hardwood forests and enjoy all of the fall foliage that Arkansas has to offer. You can stop for a boat ride along the way if you’re feeling adventurous.  It is a 10-mile trek through the upper Buffalo National River where you can experience amazing 500 foot cliffs that back up against the beautiful forest.  Stop in the Ozark Café which is famous for its pecan pie in the town of Jasper or visit the 86 acre Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks.

best places to see fall foliage

Lake Placid

In the northern region of New York State, you will find the majestic Adirondack Mountain chain. This is one of the largest natural wilderness areas in the eastern US. The Adirondack Park itself boasts 6,000,000 acres that are impenetrable to the construction of any kind. You can follow Route 86 to Lake Placid where you will be able to see high cliffs, topped by beautiful maple trees, beech trees, and yellow birch trees that display vivid and dazzling colors in the fall. It only happens once a year and the color change window is very narrow.  It is a drive you will not soon forget.

Any other suggestions for best places to see fall foliage? Leave a comment down below!

Ashley Hubbard

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Anne Klien ( Meanne)

    My favourite season….. I love how you capture it beautifully and thr reflections on the water its fab.

  2. Carmen @ CarmensTravelTips

    That’s the one thing I miss living in Florida is seeing the trees changing colors in the fall. All the colors of the leafs. Some of these places have some beautiful foliage. Makes me miss being up north.

  3. Daidri | Thee Getaway Gal

    Fall is such a beautiful time of year and a great time for hiking!! I’ve seen the Olympic Peninsula but not during Fall, I need to plan a visit during this time of year. Seeing the fields of Aspens in Utah is also stunning during fall.

  4. Heather Cole

    Amazing photos! I love Autumn and the colours it brings, has to be my favourite month. It’s pretty amazing here in the English Lakes too, but would love to see New England one day (guess it’s called that for a reason 🙂

  5. Hannah

    I love fall, and we get absolutely stunning colours here in my area of Canada- especially at my Cottage in Quebec. The leaves are just starting now but Im thinking the next week or two will be the peak!

  6. Sammi Wanderlustin'

    Gorgeous photo’s, I really like the look of Lake Placid

  7. Kate

    Stunning photos and really great suggestions. I’ve always wanted to see Maine in the Fall. The change of the seasons is so beautiful with gorgeous golden hues and reds sweeping through forests. The UK has some gorgeous places during Autumn too. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Espen @NerdNomads

    Wow, some really beautiful fall colour photography! Some of these remind me of how it can be in Norway in the fall. Also makes me miss the clear, brisk fall air of the season.

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  10. Beautiful photos! Great selection of places. I love Fall season especially with color displays like these. We’re not treated to such displays here in Southern California. I wish I was traveling to the New England are soon which was one of the best places to go for Fall.

  11. Katie

    VERMONT! My home for the last 8 years and the most beautiful fall scenery I have ever experienced! It is my first fall not living in Vermont and I miss it! I think I will have to post about! So many great places in the US and world though, nice list!

  12. Lauren

    Beautiful places to see Fall foliage! I’ve always wanted to go driving through Vermont and New Hampshire when the leaves change color. It is a beautiful time of year!

  13. I’ve never lived anywhere that experiences the teeniest bit of fall colour, so I’ve always wanted to do a leaf peeping trip. I’ve seen some of these places in the middle of summer and would like to see them again decked out in their autumnal best.

  14. Evanne | Poplar Travels

    Fall is my favorite season and I’m so sad to be missing the changing leaves! No pretty colors in Thailand 🙁 Sadly, I haven’t been to any of the places on your list! But the Blue Ridge Mountains are incredible as well

  15. Jen Seligmann

    Simply incredible photos Ashley. I’m really keen to do a fall time road trip through part of the US someday. The fall colours just look so amazing.

  16. Lyn - A Hole in my Shoe

    Lovely photos Ashley. We don’t experience that kind of colour in Autumn in Australia but I did get a taste of it in Europe this time last year. Thanks for sharing.

  17. SJ @ Chasing the Donkey

    Those colours are all so amazing. I do like the change of each season, it always feels so exciting.

  18. Esther

    Sooo beautiful, fall is my favorite season.

  19. Mandie @ RamblingMandie

    Ha!! Great minds think alike – we keep posting the same things. 🙂 I actually JUST did that hike along the Buffalo River a few weeks ago. Sadly, it was too early for the leaves to be changing…I might have to take a road trip…

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