Whitney Russell
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7 Destinations for Spectacular Fall Foliage

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Autumn is the perfect time to plan a road trip to savor the seasonal changes outside. Vibrant foliage is one of the most welcomed fall changes to celebrate. Whether you prefer leaping into leaf piles or snapping photos of scenic woods, here are seven prime U.S. locations that boast stunning fall colors around these estimated peak times.

Staten Island Greenbelt

Staten Island Greenbelt
Photo: Hippo.TV

7. Greenbelt Conservancy, Staten Island

New York is a popular destination for tourists seeking fall colors and Staten Island is an underrated site for those craving vivid hues. The Greenbelt Conservancy boasts 2,800 acres of park and woodland habitat to explore. Tree species range from maples and oaks to beech and hickory, peaking in mid to late October.


Stowe, VT

Stowe, VT
Photo: Anthony Quintano

6. Stowe, Vermont

Visit Stowe to experience a foray of colors. For brightest shades, plan your stay for when the trees climax from mid-September through mid-October. (Bonus tip: After capturing the breathtaking landscape via camera, travel just 10 miles south to Ben and Jerry’s Waterbury Factory, to taste seasonal ice cream flavors.)


Acadia in the fall

Acadia in the fall
Photo: heipei

5. Acadia National Park, Maine

Take in the lively fall hues that Maine has to offer by browsing the trails at Acadia National Park. Sprawling over 47,000 acres, the park delivers unforgettable views and brilliant colors. Leaves start turning in September, although they usually peak in mid-October.


Copper Harbor
Photo: JMart Of The U.P.

4. Copper Harbor, Michigan

For a more varied fall landscape, head to Copper Harbor in North Michigan to enjoy dark coniferous trees that contrast with the plethora of warmer-colored deciduous trees. Late September through mid-October will provide the most vibrant shades. Make sure to navigate through US-41 as you drive into Copper Harbor for the “Tree Tunnel” photo op.


Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains
Photo: Michael Hicks

3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC & TN

Many flock to this area in summer to imbibe lush greenery and pastoral solitude, however this region is a perfect area to witness a conflagration of colors. Locals claim that Looking Glass Falls is one of the best places to view fiery foliage. Plan your trip during the last three weeks of October for peak saturation.


Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls
Photo: Jay Huang

2. Columbia River Valley, OR

Another understated location that offers a wealth of fall colors is Columbia River Valley. Feast your eyes on an abundance of intense hues at Multnomah Falls. The leaves are most dynamic from September through October.


Shenandoah National Park

Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park
Photo: Nicolas Raymond

1. Shenandoah National Park, VA

Head to Shenandoah National Park, to the Skyline Drive, to meander a 105-mile stretch of flamboyant shades. Native sumacs, maples, hickories, and Virginia creeper present a spectrum of hues. To catch the trees at peak intensity, visit during mid to late October.


Sources: Newsday, Thrillist