It’s that time again…for those that enjoy experiencing different seasons, of course. Summer is slowly making its exit as fall takes over. From the crisp, cool air to the beautiful colors of fall foliage, the U.S. has some great destinations for travelers looking to take advantage of nature’s autumn show.
Fall is also a great time to travel the US. The summer crowds start dwindling, which means less people and more opportunities to enjoy the trip without the hassles of dealing with too many tourists. Fall is also a great time to hit popular beach spots too. The weather is still nice enough for a stroll or swim. And the beaches will be less crowded.
So where in the US is a good place to go to enjoy nature’s fall beauty? Well that really depends on what part of the country you’d like to visit. Of course, the northeastern part of the country is famous for its brilliant fall foliage. But there are also some great spots in the Midwest and even farther west as well. Here’s a look at 5 destinations to consider when planning your fall foliage getaway…
THE CATSKILLS, NEW YORK
Located in the southeastern part of the state, the Catskills are known for the awesome fall colors. The area itself is around 6,000 square miles and is home to thirty-five mountain peaks and six major river systems. It’s typically a year-round destination for locals and travelers alike. But in the fall, the colors of the hillsides really come alive.
Brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges make the mountains come alive with color. And the area also holds several harvest festivals and craft fairs at the local historic villages. The best time to visit the Catskills for prime fall foliage viewing is the last week of September through late October.
The town of Aspen is named after its famous trees. And these aspens do put on quite a splendid show in the fall. The leaves of the trees turn a rich yellow color, dotting the mountainsides and shimmering in the breeze when hit by rays of sunshine. An Aspen fall is definitely not something to miss out on.
Aspen tends to slow down a bit crowd-wise during the fall. Since it’s a popular ski resort destination, the best time to visit for the fall foliage is mid-September through the first week of October. After that, visitors will likely see more leaves on the ground than on the trees themselves.
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OREGON
Columbia River Gorge cuts into the Cascade Mountains and forms a natural border between the states of Oregon and Washington. And fall is an excellent time to visit and take in the amazing sights the fall foliage has to offer here. You’ll find cottonwoods, big-leaf maples, firs, and Oregon ash showing their colors.
There are a few options to consider for viewing in this location. Visitors can drive along the Columbus River route for some prime golden and bronze hue sights. There are also a variety of hiking trails if you’re a fan of the outdoors and want to see the trees up close and personally. And for the adventurers…rafting and kayaking options are also available. The best time to hit up this fall foliage location in mid-September through mid-October.
GREEN MOUNTAIN BYWAY, VERMONT
Vermont is one of the more famous destinations for travelers looking to take advantage of beautiful fall scenery. So if you’re thinking of heading for this northeastern state, a trip along the Green Mountain Byway is a must. This eleven mile route passes through three state parks and two state forests. Maple, beech, and birch trees are among the stars here showing off their vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds.
It’s quite a relaxing and scenic drive. You’ll even pass through the home of the creators of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, a popular ice cream brand in the US. There’s also the famous ski area of Stowe, where gondolas offer a chance for a birds-eye view of the fall trees and provide easy access to hiking trails. The best time to head to this part of Vermont for fall foliage viewing is the second week of September into mid-October.
THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS, NORTH CAROLINA/TENNESSEE
If you’re looking for the jackpot of all things fall foliage, then a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National park is a must. It’s one of the most visited national parks in the country. And with all of the gorgeous fall colors, it’s easy to see why. Here you’ll find over 100 species of trees. Maples, scarlet oaks, hickories, and sweet gums are just a few. And the color display these trees put on is definitely something to behold! Visitors will be treated to orange, crimson, golden and even purple foliage.
And there’s over 800 miles of scenic roads and hiking trails. With that much opportunity, you’re bound have an awesome time exploring while taking in the abundance of Mother Nature’s fall show! The best time to see the fall colors at the park is from early October into early November.