One of the highlights of the fall season, if not the highlight, is the brilliant autumn foliage that North America has to offer. These fall travel destinations are so spectacular they’re well-worth planning a vacation around.
I’ve always spoken of “fall” as more of a destination than a season since it’s so driven by travel to beautiful places. Last year we took a road trip from Tennessee to Virginia and it was incredible.
Best Place to Visit in the Fall Season
The best place to visit when it is time to see that colorful autumn foilage we all love is where the colors are the most vibrant and the landscape so stunning it looks like a painting. Here are the best places to travel to in the fall for an awesome experience.
The Lakes Region, New Hampshire
Nearly 10 million visitors were expected to arrive in the state of New Hampshire last fall, according to the state’s Division of Travel and Tourism, many of whom come to experience some of the world’s most brilliant flaming reds and golds of autumn. Some of the best bright hues can be discovered inland in the higher elevation areas like The Lakes Region.
Made up of Mirror Lake, Lake Ossipee, Squam Lake, Lake Winnipesaukee, Lake Winnisquam, and Newfound Lake, peak season here typically lasts an entire month, from late September through late October. By paddling out in a canoe, paddleboat, or kayak on any of the lakes, you’ll get a wonderful perspective of the fiery red maples along the shoreline that are reflected in the still water.
There are also hiking and bike trails for your enjoyment as well as other recreational activities.
Litchfield Hills, Connecticut
Litchfield Hills and the surrounding area is a postcard-perfect destination, located at the foot of the beautiful Berkshires in Connecticut. One of the best places to travel to in the fall, this area boasts a vibrant palette of color in autumn, with a blanket of birch, beech, aspen, and maple trees covering the mountains, perfect for fall. The landscape is amazing with stunning waterfalls and hills and many activities to keep you busy as you appreciate all that is around you and connect to nature.
By taking a tranquil scenic drive from New Milford to Cornwall, you’ll be available to take in those quintessential New England covered bridges and the highest waterfall in the state at Kent Falls State Park, too. There is practically an endless number of routes — you might even want to search for your new home among the houses for sale in CT, as you’d probably have to move here to experience them all.
The Berkshire Mountains spread through Massachusetts as well and are famous for providing some of the state’s most magnificent autumn displays. The tranquil country roads that wind through the area are lined with golds, reds, and even deep scarlet shades, along with sparkling lakes, quaint barns, and meadows, with the mountain peaks providing an impressive backdrop.
Taste the delicious food, enjoy the culture and scenic views, go on a hiking trail, visit one of the historical sites, see the monuments and statues, nature and wildlife, and there are horses if you would like to spend time with them. Don’t miss the locally grown fruits, vegetables, baked goods, cheeses, meats, and more.
Bash Bish Falls Park gets its name from the 60-foot waterfall Bash Bish Falls, the highest waterfall in Massachusetts. Forests of beech, maple, and oak surround the waterfall and add to the beautiful scenery.
There is a variety of different wildlife at the park such as black bears, bobcats, porcupines, timber rattlesnakes, and the peregrine falcon. Leashed dogs are allowed at the falls as well as on the trail. Making this the best place to visit if you have a canine companion.
From Bash Bish Falls State Park, you can soak up panoramic views of three states, dotted with golden yellows and crimson during the season.
Door County, Wisconsin
In the Midwest, Door County is the place to go for color and more. Drive the lakeside of Door Peninsula along Highway 57, to view bursts of russet, vermillion, gold, and scarlet, with the trees forming gorgeous canopies over peaceful lanes.
Along the way, visit lighthouses, u-pick apple orchards, charming small towns, hosting antique stores, galleries, and restaurants.
Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains put on an impressive show that can be enjoyed from early October through as late as mid-November in the lower elevations. By basing your stay in Gatlinburg, in the heart of the Smokies, you’ll be perfectly situated for viewing miles of landscapes that are all ablaze, including Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the state.
This is the best place to visit if you love that pure mountain air and want to be surrounded by vibrant autumn colors. Set within Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the vista showcases a remarkable kaleidoscope of color from 1,400 feet above sea level.
There’s always time to travel during the fall. Enjoy the fresh air, stunningly vivid autumn colors, cool blue waterfalls and lakes, tasty food, and more as you make these incredible fall travel destinations your own.
Pick your own absolute best place to visit from this list for vibrant colorful displays of beautiful autumn scenery. Seeing this wonderful display will motivate and inspire you.
After a long hot summer, it’s time to roll the sunroof down, let the cool air flow through your hair, and get on the road for some beautiful autumn scenery. Check out my all-new best online prices comparison page for the best places to travel to and planning online.