The Best Fall Destinations For Leaf Peeping

Fall is in the air, and with it comes a whole new batch of outdoor experiences to enjoy! As the sweltering heat of summer subsides, it’s time to shift gears from backyard BBQ’s and lakeside views, to Friday night lights, delicious fall harvests, and seasonal foliage. As temperatures begin to cool down, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy nature with less worries about aggressive heat waves. By far, one of the most anticipated fall outdoor activities is leaf peeping, with over 25 million US households anticipating to go out this year! (source) Here is our guide to help you get out and join the leafing community.

Vermont

Vermont is a clear choice for your next leafing expedition. With forests covering three quarters of the state, you’ll find no shortage of foliage. With tons of events, festivals, pumpkin patches/apple orchards, and delicious maple syrup, there’s countless reasons to visit Vermont in Autumn. According to Vermont.com, leaf peeping season in effect from September 14-October 29th (with some seasonal variation). For early season viewing, you will want to base your trip based on elevation more than location. Low elevations will provide wetter terrain and cause the foliage to change quicker than their higher counterparts. That being said, visiting a high elevation offers the benefits of scoping out the low valleys below, and will help you find the best spots around you!

Maine

Renowned for its sprawling forests, pristine lakes and rivers, and delicious seafood – Maine is a world class choice for leaf peeping. With over 4,000 local fishing guides and thousands of miles of freshwater rivers and lakes (source), Maine is an excellent choice for any fisherman looking to get out and enjoy the Fall colors. Although there is no live-update tracker, you can view the regional breakdown based on historical estimates here. If you’d rather order your fish than catch it, you can check out one of the many restaurants along the coast for some unbeatably fresh seafood.

New York

PC – Anthony Quintano via Flickr

Although your first thought of New York may be of New York City’s towering skyscrapers and bustling streets, there is a phenomenal amount of green space to enjoy, in and outside of the city. Upstate New York is home to some incredible natural views, including the Catskills, Finger Lakes, Niagara Region, etc.. Using the New York Foliage Report, you can browse region-to-region and see what’s in peak for the best experience! If you’ve got an itch for the concrete jungle, Autumn is also a great time to visit NYC. You can find some breathtaking views throughout Central Park, and never be more than a few moments from the rich culture, food, sports, etc., of New York City.

California

California is one of the most diverse landscapes in the US. Whether its the sunny coast, lush wine valleys, or majestic mountain ranges, there are countless sights to see. Autumn is an excellent time to visit since the scorching summer heat subsides to much more tolerable temperatures. Wine harvests are also happening throughout wine country, which offer some exciting activities. Get down and dirty in the annual grape stomps, or just sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the views. If you’re feeling up for more of an adventure, you can head north to some of California’s famous National Parks. Seeing the snow capped mountains of Northern California wrapped in cascading ambers of the natural foliage will be a sight you wont soon forget.