The Best Fall Foliage Spots in the United States
Enjoy the Autumn Fall Foliage Surroundings All Over the USA
Fall foliage, contrary to what everyone may tell you, is not just a New England thing. For most of the country there are great places to see leaf color change not too far away. While New England has been most famous for its foliage, other parts of the country have equally stunning leaf color with mountain backdrops, rock canyon vistas, lakeside scenes, or sprawling vineyards.
Intro image of fall foliage available at AllPosters.com.
Often overlooked are the southwestern states for foliage, but it's a great time to visit or view the foliage. Northern Arizona, New Mexico and and southern Utah, including the National Parks, will peak in mid-October. This means cooler temps in the desert region, making for easier hiking and the bonus of fall colors added to the already wide spectrum of red and brown canyons.
Try Arches, Zion or Canyonlands National Park in Utah, or the red rocks of Sedona. Northern Utah, western Colorado and western Wyoming will peak in early October/late September. Here you'll find the beautfiul parks of The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, the Rocky Mountains (and Rocky Mountain National Park), and more, along with Salt Lake City and the grand views of Hells Canyon in Idaho.
What's your Favorite Place to See Fall Foliage?
- Arizona Fall Foliage
Foliage in Arizona is mainly concentrated in the northern area, near Sedona and Flagstaff.
- New Mexico Fall Foliage
You wouldn't think you'd have much of an opportunity to see fall color in New Mexico, but you do!
- Texas Fall Foliage
Where to find the best foliage in Texas...it does exist!
- Utah Fall Foliage
Perhaps the most underrated fall foliage state, Utah boasts incredible leaf color.
- Colorado Fall Foliage
What better time to visit Colorado than fall? You'll find amazing sites and color in the early fall months.
- Napa Valley Fall Photos
Let pictures tell you how great Napa Valley is in the autumn months!
- Yosemite National Park Fall Foliage Photos
Another reason to visit Northern California in the fall is Yosemite National Park.
Washington, Oregon, and the inland areas of northern California, including Napa, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park will peak much later, in mid-late October. Here you'll find a wide variety of colors including the intense purples and reds from Napa and Sonoma harvest, the beautiful contrast of Yosemite National Park's granite rocks and multicolored leaves, and the always fun, intriguing Lake Tahoe. Also, you'll see some color in inland Oregon and Washington.
Recommended Fall Foliage Books - Find the best fall foliage hotspots and photos!
Fall foliage is something that lurks everywhere on the east coast, in pockets and hidden spots. You can find it on a creek, near the ocean, high in the mountains, or in the center of a busy city. These books will give you an idea on where you can find these leaf peeper hot spots all across the United States.
Skip over to the midwest and you'll find more foliage in mid-October in the states of Iowa, southern Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The Appalachian Trail is beautiful and worth the ride, you'll see gorges, orchards, scenic trails, and mountains...this part runs along West Virginia and features several large parks and scenic areas.
National Parks--Which Ones? - National Parks in the USA that are perfect for fall foliage
Which national parks would you visit for fall foliage?
The Northern Midwest, the Great Lakes Region, peaks in early October. This includes Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, the northern Michigan peninsula, and northern Michigan. The Great Lakes area has some awe-inspiring water views, lighthouses, rocky cliffs, sand dunes and pine forests.
A visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan or Pictured Rocks National Seashore will greet you with beatuful contrast of the sienna grass against the rocks and light blue autumn skies.
often peak before lower ones. If you're headed near any mountains, you'll notice the base is much more green in the early fall than the top.
If you're looking for a long, relaxing, yet utterly breathtaking drive to see fall colors, there is no drive better known than the Blue Ridge Parkway. This road traverses the mountainous border between Tennessee and North Carolina, and covers a majestic 469 miles. That's more miles than driving from Boston to Washington D.C.!
The Blue Ridge Parkway also has the benefit of being a late bloomer in fall color, peaking in mid to late October. That's a few weeks beyond the peak times of the northeast, so you can space out your journey from your recent summer vacations.
The main purpose of the Parkway is to connect Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and offers gorgeous in late October. Along the route and nearby, you'll find small towns like Blowing Rock Brevard, and Asheville.
Above: Linville Gorge, North Carolina, near the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Northern Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and South Carolina won't peak until early November, just before Thanksgiving! There's still plenty of foliage down south.
Most of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina will peak in late October. However, the Appalachian area will peak a few weaks earlier in early-mid October. The Blue Ridge Parkway and the Smoky Mountains are a favorite area for fall foliage, with the breathtaking mountain views, rolling autumn fog, and countryside appeal. Visit Smoky Mountain National Park for the ultimate experience.
Peak Foliage Times
Peak foliage times vary yearly, and often vary greatly within short distances. A town 20 miles from where you are may be experiencing its peak, while the town you are in may be fully green. Check the foliage finder here.
Foliage Links for the Southern States
It's just not true that foliage can only be seen in the northeastern states of the USA. Great fall color can be seen throughout the country, from Northern California to the Western Carolinas, even into Georgia! Below are some great spots for leaf peeping in the South, including one of the best in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains.
- Great Smoky Mountain Fall Foliage
What, where and when of fall foliage in Smoky Mountain National Park.
- Georgia Foliage
Foliage in Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests of Georgia.
- South Carolina Color Update
Best in the upstate region, you can view great color in South Carolina.
- Alabama Fall Foliage
Even Alabama looks better in the fall!
- Best Places in Virginia to see Fall Foliage
Virginia has some excellent autumn leaf color to see.
- Southeast States Fall Foliage
The Foliage Network is a great place to get started and find great fall foliage info.
- Maryland Fall Foliage
It's updated weekly with leaf changes in the state.
Where Foliage Isn't...
You won't find much foliage in Florida, parts of Texas, most of Southern California, Lousiana, Southern Arizona, Southern New Mexico, and along the coast of the the Carolinas, along with the Badlands stretch of the Dakotas.
Mount Monadnock, NH in October
Finally, the Northeast will peak in early October for the most part. New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, southern New York (including New York City and Central Park), and southern Massachusetts will peak in late October. Northern New England peaks in late September through early October.
The city will offer great views, like Manhattan's Central Park, or visit Long Island for a fall experience including pumpkin patches, coastal retreats and sandy beaches.
Connecticut will offer beautiful rolling hills along the Connecticut River Valley, and Rhode Island's rocky coast will provide stark difference to the inland foliage.
The Blue Hills of Massachusetts offer grand views of the city of Boston and hillside walks. This area will peak in late October, along with most of the rest of coastal Massachusetts.
The Hudson River Valley of New York and the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts will peak in mid-October. These areas offer unmatched riverside viewpoints, brilliant foliage, rough rock-filled mountains and quaint village towns. Camping, hiking, fishing, and shopping will be abundant. Be sure to bring your camera!
Upstate New York, southern Vermont, southern New Hampshire and most of Maine will exhibit peak foliage color in early October. The Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountain region of New Hampshire are argued as the best in the country in terms of fall leaf color display.
Small towns along the ride in Vermont and New Hampshire will give you the ultimate autumn experience. Try taking a ski-lift up the mountains in middle Vermont, and you'll see babbling brooks, white birch with fire-intensity oranges and yellows against the tall pines. Maine as well, will offer unparalleled vistas of the coastline paired with the foliage, however it might be more intense inland. Northern Vermont and New Hampshire will peak earlier, in the last week or so of September.
Northeast Fall Foliage Links
- Fall Foliage in Pennsylvania
Live cams of Pennsylvania fall foliage (unless it's not fall!).
- New Jersey Fall Foliage
Things to do, see, and go to in New Jersey during peak foliage time.
- Fall Foliage Driving Tours in New York
New York has some of the best foliage of any state, and some amazing highways and backroads to see it on.
Foliage on Mt. Killington, Vermont
New England Fall Foliage Links
- 8 Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Connecticut
It's a small state, but the foliage here is amongst the best.
- Rhode Island Fall Foliage
Coastal fall foliage can be some of the most interesting autumn has to offer, but may come later in the season, like on RI's coast.
- Massachusetts Fall Foliage Driving Tours
From the Berkshires to Cape Cod, the landscape varies greatly in Massachusetts, and the peak leaf times also vary just as much.
- New Hampshire Fall Foliage Driving Tours
Know ahead what's the best to see in this state. Watch out! Crowds are humongous in this small state, so you might want to book way ahead.
- Foliage Vermont
Perhaps the best foliage anywhere in the country can be found in Vermont. Live foliage updates and more.
- The Best Fall Foliage in Maine
Go west for the best fall foliage in Maine, not to the coast!
- Top 5 Best New Hampshire Fall Foliage Sightseeing Drives
This could be the best state to view foliage in the USA. Presented here are five incredible routes which you shouldn't miss out on.
Fall Foliage Books on Amazon
One of the Best Times of Year for Photography
Where have you been lately that the foliage was outstanding? Share it with the world here!
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