While the leaves piling up in your yard or on top of your car windshield may not be very convincing, one of the best things about entering the fall season is no doubt seeing the colors change. With the cooler weather comes an array of autumn colors that can contribute to beautiful views all around the country. Whether you’re a photographer or just like to take in beautiful scenery, it’s well worth the effort to find a sought-after fall foliage spot and treat yourself to the spectacular view. We’ve narrowed it down to the best five places in the U.S. to see a spectacular view of red, orange, and yellow-covered trees in the autumn outdoors.
It seems to be a general consensus that Vermont is one of the best places in the country to witness the seasons change. The entire state is full of beautiful colors during the fall season, so it’s hard to pick a single destination. Drive along the roads in Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, visit the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, or get in on all kinds of fall activities at the Newfane Harvest Festival in the town of Newfane, Vermont. Embark on a short hike in West Bolton to get to the beautiful view from Libby’s Lookout (above).
White Mountains, New Hampshire
It’s no secret that many of the best places to see Fall foliage in the whole world are in the Northeastern section of the U.S., and New Hampshire is no exception. White Mountains in particular boasts incredible views and plenty of hikes for every level. The area is full of small towns and scenic roads that will make the Northeast fall seem as quintessential as can be. If you’re up for a drive, make your way along the Kancamagus Highway or around Mt. Washington for spectacular scenic views. Hiking paths along the Kancamagus vary in level and will also give you a great opportunity to see the leaves.
Rocky Mountains, Colorado
It’s no secret that some of the best places to see Fall color in the world are in the Northeastern section of the U.S., but there are a few spots in the Western half of the country, too. It’s a different kind of color, but the Aspen trees that fill the areas around the Rocky Mountains in Colorado turn a bright golden yellow in the fall that contrasts beautifully with the ever-blue sky and white-peaked mountains. Visit Rocky Mountain National Park for over 300 miles of hiking paths, or drive the Peak-to-Peak Scenic and Historic Byway that will take you from Black Hawk to Estes Park.
Shenandoah Park, Virginia
If you’re looking for the best scenic drive in the pack for leaf-peeping the fall colors, look no further. Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is home to the beautiful 105-mile Skyline Drive, which runs along the Blue Ridge Mountains. The road is the only public road in the entire park and can be enjoyed by either car or bike. For a more athletic option, 101 miles of the famous Appalachian Trail are within the National Park.
Acadia National Park, Maine
In another section of the Northeast, Maine offers a quiet atmosphere and brilliant red colors in the Fall. Visitors can bicycle along the old carriage roads for some of the best colors, or drive the 27-mile Acadia National Park Loop Road, which includes everything from lakes and ocean to forest and mountains. In Washington County, you can do something a little unusual and take in the stunning fall foliage in a canoe tour along the St. Croix river. Don’t forget to have your fill of lobster along the way.