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Where to Find the Best Fall Foliage in the U.S.A.

Posted on: September 15th, 2014 by Quik Shade

Fall is the best time to drive around and look at the fall foliage colors. Most people only consider the east coast as having the brilliant colors of fall, but there are places all around the U.S. that feature picturesque vistas filled with yellow, orange, and red leaves that signal the cold weather is just around the corner.

Southeast New Jersey

Southeastern New Jersey offers beautiful drives and views of the changing leaves, especially around Belleplain State Forest, which is home to the Lake Nummy. Around this lake are many different varieties of trees, including oak, red maple, sweet gum, black gum, cranberry and evergreens. With such a diverse array of leaves and colors, you will have a real treat. Additionally, it is more southern and has a more temperate climate, which means that the fall foliage season is later. You can enjoy the leaves from late October through early November.


Lake Champlain Islands

Vermont is one of the best places to go and view fall foliage, and one of the most famous for it. The central and southern areas, especially Lake Champlain Islands, the Green Mountains and Burlington, feature superb colors on their leaves. There are more than 20 drives around the state to see all that it has to offer, anywhere from 30 to 210 miles long, provided by the state’s tourism website. When you experience these drives, be sure to stop at apple orchards and other not-to-miss sites.


Massachusetts is also well known for its typical New England fall foliage, especially the Berkshire Mountains. Many people enjoy the popular Mohawk Trail, which takes you along the mountains and through many small and picturesque villages. There are several maple trees with vivid reds, oranges and yellows. This area is legendary for its beauty in the fall.


Although New England is famous for its foliage, it is not the only destination in the U.S. to see it. The Rocky Mountains of Colorado feature many beautiful aspen trees that turn bright gold and orange. Amidst these aspens are several evergreens, making a nice mixture of green amongst the yellows and golds. Aspen is one of the best areas to see the beautiful foliage, and you can experience the town with the off-season rates. You can hike and cycle among the mountains, enjoying the lovely views.


Wisconsin has some beautiful scenic drives around Lake Michigan with beautiful fall foliage. Door County, which is on a peninsula between Green Bay and the lake, offers the best driving for the foliage. You can also enjoy cruises on the lake, or enjoy many other fall festivities. There are many apple orchards in the area, with farmers’ markets and roadside stands selling fresh apple cider.


Texas may not seem to be the best place to go for fall foliage, but Lost Maples State Natural Area, which is about an hour and 45 minutes away from San Antonio, offers brilliant fall foliage. You can hike around the area or go camping and enjoy the beautiful fall foliage. Because it is so far south, the best time to go is towards the beginning to middle of November. Other areas of the state, especially in east Texas, also have beautiful drives and hikes through the foliage.


The West Coast is no stranger to fall foliage either. In Oregon, especially near Portland and the Columbia River, not only can you enjoy the beautiful fall foliate, but you can also walk through areas with waterfalls, dramatic river gorges, and beautiful gardens. Driving along the Columbia River Highway provides many picturesque vistas, especially of waterfalls and tall cliffs. You can also enjoy many local wineries in the area.

These are just a few of the many beautiful places to experience fall foliage throughout the U.S. Whether you want to go hiking one weekend day, take a long weekend vacation, or go on an extended holiday, you can easily find an area to experience the beauty of fall. 

photo credit: john weiss via photopin cc

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