There’s nothing quite like the explosion of color that crisp autumn weather brings to forests across North America. The greens, yellows, oranges and reds are worth taking the time to enjoy each fall. Unless you live nearby, it can be hard to plan a trip around peak foliage. Our recommendation is to play it safe and go slightly before leaves are suppose to peak. Luckily, we aren’t the only people interested in leaf peeping! There are many websites that closely track foliage changes and offer forecasts for optimal times to help you with your planning. At the beginning of last October, we headed to New England for the first time and visited Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts for some gorgeous fall foliage (as seen in this post, this post, this post, this post, this post, this post, this post, this post and this post). Since that time of year is just around the corner, I wanted to share a list of my 5 favorite spots for fall colors for those of you looking to plan a trip!
Apple Hill, CA
Back when we will still lived in San Francisco, we used to drive up to the foothills to visit my parents. During the fall, the leaves would change to different shades of gold, red and green, and apples and pumpkins would be ready for harvesting. We’d take our annual tour of the many farms and orchards in Apple Hill. I still haven’t had a better apple cider donut, which we always made sure to get first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. I actually grew up visiting Apple Hill from when I was a little girl, picking apples in the fall and our Christmas tree in the winter, so this area holds a special place in my heart.
Our trip to New England last fall was nothing short of magical, so we’ve decided to get our yearly fix by returning again. We stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast called The Pitcher Inn in Warren, VT. It was a prime location for exploring to the north and south. We made our way as far north as Smuggler’s Notch, just past the town of Stowe. We went west to Shelburne and the banks of Lake Champlain. We strolled the streets of Woodstock in central Vermont and went apple picking near Brattleboro. We eventually spent our last two nights in an Airbnb in southern Vermont on an old farm, steps from Massachusetts. Covered with fall colors and blanketed with leaves, it was quintessential fall viewing at its best.
White Mountains, New Hampshire
We only spent one day exploring the White Mountains of New Hampshire, but it was a stunning day! While we arrived a little beyond peak foliage, we still saw some amazing scenery. The elevation changes in this area leads to plenty of opportunities to pull over and enjoy the view with nothing but fall colors as far as the eye can see. Spots that stood out were Bear Notch and Crawford Notch.
We visited Asheville for only a short amount of time this past July and we were amazed by the dense forests and rich green leaves. They reminded us of the trees we had seen up in Vermont and New Hampshire, so we can’t wait to go back up and explore this area when the leaves change this fall. Another benefit of Asheville being further south is that the leaves don’t start turning colors as quickly as they do up north. That means we can get our final fall fix closer to home.
The aspen trees of the Rocky Mountains are a sight that I’m dying to see in all their fall splendor. We only witnessed a few glimpses of them when we visited southwestern Colorado in November a few years ago, but are hoping to change that this season with a trip to visit during peak color change.
What are your favorite spots for catching the beauty of fall foliage?