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While some people may not be happy when summer comes lớn an end, there is a silver (or multi-colored) lining thanks to lớn foliage season in many parts of the U.S.

Autumn brings a spectacular show of màu sắc to the trees và foliage across the country. While not every state sees big changes as fall arrives, many vì see vibrant displays of red, orange, yellow, & gold as trees give a big send-off before the winter.

As you might imagine, seeing the changing leaves is a big attraction thanks to the natural beauty, outdoor time with family, và the fact that it costs nothing to look at and enjoy.

Although this may sound lượt thích a perfect opportunity for a road trip, 1 thing to keep in mind is timing. Foliage season starts at a different time every year based on the weather and location.

That being said, with a little planning and a little flexibility, a fall foliage tour is a great idea for a full vacation or even just a weekend trip.

Table of contents

Where to lớn See Fall Foliage in the NortheastWhere khổng lồ See Fall Foliage in the SoutheastWhere to lớn See Fall Foliage in the MidwestWhere lớn See Fall Foliage in the Mountain StatesWhere to See Fall Foliage in the Pacific States

Table of Contents

Where to lớn See Fall Foliage in the NortheastWhere lớn See Fall Foliage in the SoutheastWhere to lớn See Fall Foliage in the MidwestWhere to See Fall Foliage in the Mountain StatesWhere to lớn See Fall Foliage in the Pacific States

When Is Foliage Season?

Lake Champlain in Vermont at the start of foliage season. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

“Leaf peepers” are surely keeping an eye on the weather patterns và local foliage maps to try & time the perfect trip, but mother nature can be unpredictable.

In general, you can see leaves changing colors between September và November, with New England leading the way in both variety & vibrance of color as well as timing.

Colors often start changing in the north where it is colder. The phenomenon moves south as autumn progresses.

New England is a popular destination for a foliage tour thanks khổng lồ its variety of trees — especially maples — that turn bright red & orange và make for some stunning photos. However, there are plenty of other regions throughout the U.S. That change màu sắc as the temperatures drop.

From the Pacific Northwest lớn the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and beyond (heck, even Texas & Florida see some màu sắc changes in the fall), you can find fall foliage almost anywhere — & we’re here khổng lồ help you find the best spots.

We’ve assembled a list of the best places khổng lồ see foliage this fall in the U.S., separated by region.

Where to lớn See Fall Foliage in the Northeast

1. Connecticut

Connecticut fall foliage. Image Credit Kristina Delp via Unsplash

Connecticut is a great place to lớn see foliage later in the season as it’s the southernmost state in New England.

Whether you’re just passing through on your way from Boston to New York, or planning a quick road trip during your stay in NYC, Connecticut has some beautiful options lớn see the foliage.

With covered bridges, plenty of state parks & forests, và even the Connecticut Wine Trail, the colored leaves may be the main attraction, but they won’t be the only ones.

Connecticut is dotted with cute coastal towns & quintessential New England farms that create stunning scenes when the leaves start changing.

Peak Foliage Time: Mid-October until early November

Hot Tip: Taking a train is a convenient way lớn explore the Northeast; here is our đánh giá of business class aboard the Amtrak Northeast Regional.

2. Maine

Acadia National Park in Maine. Image Credit: National Park Service

Maine is full of natural beauty, and it only gets more colorful when autumn rolls around.

Fall foliage is a big khuyến mãi and big business in Maine. Regions are broken up into zones & tracked daily during the fall to keep visitors và residents up lớn date with the latest foliage conditions.

Leaves start changing early in northern Maine, but peak foliage may not happen until a month later in the southern regions, which may be helpful when planning a vacation.

With state và national parks (the most famous being Acadia National Park), mountains, a stunning coastline, farms, & plenty of scenic byways, Maine is a classic fall destination. & don’t forget lớn get a lobster roll while you’re there!

With some regions just an hour away from Boston, Maine is surprisingly easy to lớn drive to. If you’re flying, Portland International Jetport (PWM) is served by most major U.S. Airlines.

Peak Foliage Time:

Northern Zones: Late September until early OctoberSouthern Zones: Early October until late October

Hot Tip: For a charming và luxurious stay in the area, kiểm tra out our favorite boutique hotels in Portland, Maine. 

3. Massachusetts

Boston Public Gardens in Boston, Massachusetts during fall foliage. Image Credit: Amanda Murphy via Unsplash

Massachusetts is a great place to lớn kick off a New England foliage tour road trip.

Visitors can get a taste of the fall foliage in & around Boston, but heading out towards the Berkshires is where the colors really shine. Foliage peaks from west lớn east, so as you drive out from Boston, the views will only get better.

With dễ thương towns, villages, mountains, and hiking trails, Massachusetts has plenty of options to take in the colors.

If you want to lớn explore some more, Massachusetts shares a border with New York, Vermont, và New Hampshire, so if you’re early in the season, just drive north.

Peak Foliage Time: Early October until late October

4. New Hampshire

New Hampshire lake during foliage season. Image Credit: Peter Lewis via Unsplash

New Hampshire is famous for its White Mountains, picturesque lakes, và stunning drives that only get prettier when fall comes around.

Bordering Massachusetts to lớn the south and Quebec, Canada to lớn the north, there’s a lot of ground khổng lồ cover during a trip to the đá hoa cương State — which means it’s a great destination for a foliage road trip.

Visitors should consider driving up the Mt. Washington tự động Road (or take the charming cog train) khổng lồ reach the Northeast’s highest peak, or take your time driving the 140-mile Sunapee Loop which is full of Instagram-worthy small towns, antique shops, and lakes.

Of course, don’t forget khổng lồ stop by a pumpkin patch or an táo bị cắn orchard for a true autumn experience!

Peak Foliage Time:

Northern Zones: Late September until early OctoberSouthern Zones: Early October until late October

5. New York

Central Park in new york City during foliage season. Image Credit: Pierre Blache via Unsplash

New York has so much lớn offer year-round, but it’s not often at the đứng đầu of the danh mục when it comes lớn foliage season. However, the largest state in the Northeast has plenty to offer for leaf peepers.

While there’s always stunning foliage in và around Manhattan (Central Park is particularly great in the fall), heading north will mở cửa up a whole new world of fall foliage.

The CatskillsFinger Lakes are popular destinations year-round & are spectacular destinations in the fall. If you want khổng lồ keep heading north, The Adirondacks and Lake Placid always put on a show when the leaves start changing. & don’t forget about Niagara Falls!

With countless drives, parks, and trails, thành phố new york state is a great destination for those looking for classic fall foliage.

Peak Foliage Time:

Northern Zones: Mid-September until early OctoberSouthern Zones: Mid-October until early November

Hot Tip: Taking the family to lớn New York? Don’t miss our ultimate travel guide to thành phố new york City as well as tips for great things to do with kids in thành phố new york City. 

6. Vermont

Stowe Community Church in Vermont in the fall. Image Credit: Michael via Adobe Stock

Vermont is home to some of the most classic and iconic New England sights, và when fall rolls around, the Green Mountain State bursts with color.

Visit charming small towns lượt thích Stowe and Woodstock, get some pictures of covered bridges, take a sail on Lake Champlain, pick some apples, drink some cider, và take in the beauty as the mountains turn vibrant colors all around you.

With everything from farm-to-table dining, fresh maple syrup, và an impressive craft beer scene, the leaves will make a stunning backdrop to lớn a memorable Vermont foliage trip.

Just lượt thích New Hampshire, Vermont borders Massachusetts khổng lồ the south and Canada khổng lồ the north, so there’s plenty of ground khổng lồ cover. No matter if you take the main highways or meander through the backroads, the views will be spectacular.

If you don’t feel lượt thích driving lớn Vermont, Burlington International Airport (BTV) is conveniently located and has flights from many major airports, including from nearby cities lượt thích Boston và New York.

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Peak Foliage Time:

Northern Zones: Late September until early OctoberSouthern Zones: Early October until late October

Hot Tip: If you visit Stowe, here is our nhận xét of Destination by Hyatt’s The Lodge at Spruce Peak.

Where to lớn See Fall Foliage in the Southeast

7. Arkansas

Sam’s Throne in the Ozark National Forest. Image Credit: Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, và Tourism

Arkansas may not be the first state that comes to lớn mind when you think of fall foliage, but with an abundance of mountains, parks, & wilderness, there are some great trips for anyone looking for some quintessential fall scenery.

Since Arkansas sits further south, visitors can enjoy the vibrant leaves later into the fall season.

The Ozark Mountains are a popular destination thanks to the massive amount of trees. There are even some parts of the state where you will be able to only see uninterrupted shades of red and orange for miles.

Whether you’re looking for a hike, drive, or a dip in a natural hot spring, Arkansas is a great option for a foliage tour.

Peak Foliage Time: Late October until mid-November

8. North Carolina

Snowbird Creek at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Image Credit: Jeff DeWitt via Unsplash

North Carolina is a popular destination in the fall with thousands of people heading to lớn the Blue Ridge Parkway & the Appalachian Mountains khổng lồ see the leaves turn yellow, orange, red, and even purple.

With plenty of high peaks và low valleys, peak foliage season can last longer than in many other places, especially by the ocean.

While driving across the state is a great way lớn take in all of the different fall colors, North Carolina is full of great parks và hiking trails that are truly special when the leaves start changing.

Peak Foliage Time: Early October until early November

9. Tennessee

Tennessee railroad tracks covered in fall foliage Image Credit Silviu Zidaru via Unsplash

Tennessee is known for its long & hot summers, but as fall arrives so does the cooler air and colorful leaves.

From Memphis to lớn Chattanooga & beyond, there are countless destinations in the state to enjoy the colorful foliage. Whether it’s in a riverboat cruising along the Tennessee River or a hiking trip into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll be sure khổng lồ have a memorable experience in the Volunteer State.

It’s no surprise the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the country because when the leaves start changing, it turns into one of the most beautiful displays of nature around.

Peak Foliage Time: Early October until early November

Hot Tip: Don’t miss our menu of the best boutique hotels in Chattanooga, Tennessee!

Where to lớn See Fall Foliage in the Midwest

10. Illinois

Cloud Gate, or “The Bean,” in Chicago, Illinois during foliage season. Image Credit: Antonio Gabola via Unsplash

Illinois is an excellent place to enjoy fall foliage. It’s trang chủ to over 100 different species of trees that turn into spectacular shades of yellow, orange, và red.

If you’re starting your expedition in Chicago, you’ll be able to enjoy the colors popping in the many parks and gardens in the city, as well as along the shores of Lake Michigan, before venturing out into the rest of the state.

Whether you’re hitting Route 66 for an extended road trip or exploring the many state parks, Illinois is an excellent choice for your fall foliage tour. & don’t forget to địa chỉ cửa hàng some apple picking khổng lồ your itinerary!

Peak Foliage Time: Mid-October until early November

Hot Tip: Leaf peeping with the family? Here are the best things to vị in Chicago with kids! 

11. Michigan

The Porcupine Mountains in Michigan. Image Credit: Dave Hoefler via Unsplash

Michigan has everything you want in a fall foliage tour. From táo khuyết orchards lớn pumpkin patches, whether you’re driving across the state or hiking và camping your way around, there’s plenty to bởi in the fall in the Great Lakes State.

With over 19 million acres (yes, you read that correctly) of forests, once the leaves start changing, the state turns into a dazzling display of yellow, orange, & red hues.

Michigan has shores on 4 of the Great Lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, & Lake Michigan. Along those shores, you’ll find state parks, campgrounds, hiking trails, and hundreds of miles of xe đạp paths.

If you’re looking for a road trip, you’ll find plenty of scenic drives throughout the state including the epic Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route in the Lower Peninsula.

On vị trí cao nhất of all of that, Michigan is home khổng lồ over 100 vineyards và 300 breweries for adults to enjoy while the kids run through corn mazes and sip on some fresh táo apple cider.

Once you’ve filled up on cider donuts, mix your GPS lớn the Porcupine Mountains and seek out the famous Lake of the Clouds which will provide endless opportunities for perfect photos.

Peak Foliage Time:

Upper Peninsula: Late September until early OctoberLower Peninsula: Mid-October until early November

12. Minnesota

Minnesota during foliage season. Image Credit: Jaime Dantas via Unsplash

Minnesota is delightful in the fall thanks khổng lồ clear skies và beautiful fall foliage. With plenty to lớn see in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities area, you can get your foliage fix without straying too far from the city. But the real magic starts when you start exploring.

Minnesota is ripe with countrysides that are perfect for spotting changing leaves. With many varieties of maple trees, foliage season is especially bright with a stunning phối of golds và reds that make for a beautiful backdrop along the more than 10,000 lakes throughout the state.

If you’re looking for a classic, scenic byway, the Chippewa National Forest has some charming back roads with plenty of stops lớn enjoy lakes & hiking excursions as you hunt for the perfect photo. The Iron Range Loop is also a popular spot with golfers & travelers with ATVs.

From the shores of Lake Superior khổng lồ the winding roads & rivers that criss-cross the state, searching for fall foliage in Minnesota is as fun as it is rewarding.

Peak Foliage Time: Mid-September until mid-October

13. Missouri

A waterfall in the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. Image Credit: Connor Wilkins via Unsplash

Missouri has plenty to lớn offer anyone making their way around the Midwest in search of beautiful foliage. The Show-Me State really does put on a show when its oak, maple, hickory, và ash trees start changing colors.

The Lake of the Ozarks is extremely popular in the summer months, but once fall rolls around, things get really special. With fewer crowds and still-enjoyable weather, being on the water surrounded by fall foliage is an unmatched experience.

As popular as the mountains và state parks can be, fields và prairies are also enjoyable on a foliage road trip as grasses & wildflowers turn shades of gold, purple, & olive throughout October.

Nature-lovers should plan on visiting the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (part of the National Park Service), which was the first national park area khổng lồ protect a river system. It’s the perfect place for hikes or canoe trips in the fall.

Whether you’re looking for a day trip from Kansas city or St. Louis or are planning a longer road trip throughout the state, Missouri is an excellent destination khổng lồ see fall foliage.

Peak Foliage Time: Mid-October until mid-November

Hot Tip: Many of the route suggestions in our guide khổng lồ the best road trips in the U.S. Are ideal for those on the hunt for amazing fall foliage.

Where khổng lồ See Fall Foliage in the Mountain States

14. Colorado

Maroon Bells peaks in Aspen, Colorado during foliage season. Image Credit: Shelby Smith via Unsplash

Colorado is a popular outdoor destination year-round. Whether you’re into hiking, mountain biking, or skiing, there’s always something to vị in và around the Rocky Mountains.

Take your pick from Denver, Boulder, Aspen, Vail, và more as your home base & start exploring the seemingly endless beauty.

One unique advantage of Colorado: there are 3 different climate zones within a 2-hour drive from Denver. Basically, that means that visitors can experience different stages of foliage season all during a quick drive.

No matter if you over up exploring a state park, driving the 236-mile San Juan Skyway, riding the historic Georgetown Loop Railroad, or just hiking the closest trail lớn your hotel, you’re sure khổng lồ have a great experience hunting for leaves in Colorado.

Peak Foliage Time: Mid-September until mid-October

Hot Tip: Be sure lớn read our guide lớn the best times to lớn visit Colorado (by seasons và interests).

15. Montana

Glacier National Park fall foliage. Image Credit: National Park Service

Montana is stunning year-round & only gets better in autumn.

Montana is home to 2 of the most visited national parks in the country: Glacier National Park & Yellowstone National Park. With fewer crowds và cooler temperatures, visiting Big Sky Country during the foliage season is always a good choice.