Fall Foliage: Top Ten Destinations

Now is that time where summer is quickly fading into the horizon and the cool crisp air of fall begins to slowly overcome us and nothing says autumn like the dramatic colors that blaze through the fall trees. So courtesy of ShermansTravel here are the top 10 foliage destination of fall.

Aspen, CO
While Colorado’s aspens don’t offer the vibrant fall color spectacle of say, the Northeast, the yellows, golds, and bold oranges that cover the mountainsides here, against a backdrop of intermittent evergreens, are still reason enough for a visit. Mid- to late-September is the ideal time to catch the show.

Hotels in Aspen

The Catskills, NY
Dubbed “America’s First Wilderness,” this beautiful region harbors a variety of trees – maple, oak, birch, and beech among them – that come into their prime during the last two weeks of September or early to mid-October. Historic towns boast charming B&B’s that make great bases for discovering the family-friendly harvest festivals, farmers’ markets, pick-your-own orchards, crafts fairs, and antique shops that define the region at this time of year.

Hotels in Catskill

Columbia River Gorge, OR
A geological wonder, the gorge itself weaves its way through the Cascade Mountains, forming the border between northern Oregon and southern Washington, and is loaded with lush fir forests and twisted pines, big-leaf maple, cottonwood, Oregon ash, and vine maple trees that show their colors from mid-September to mid-October. The area is also known for its dazzling waterfalls, the remarkable 620-foot Multnomah Falls chief among them.

Hotels in the Columbia River Gorge

Eastern Townships, QC
This section of Quebec stretches as far east as Maine, perhaps explaining why some consider the region to resemble neighboring New England, but with the French influences you’d expect of the province. It is probably no surprise that the maple leaf is the star of the show here, and visitors can enjoy a fiery display on horseback or on foot, particularly from mid- to late-September when the foliage season reaches its peak.

Hotels in Eastern Townships

Great Smoky Mountains, TN & NC
Nestled between North Carolina and Tennessee, the most-visited National Park in the United States is home to 100 species of trees with an awesome display of turning leaves. Peak fall colors are predicted for mid-October through early November; the most memorable foliage coming courtesy of sugar maples, scarlet oaks, sweetgums, red maples, and hickories.

Hotels Near the Great Smokey Mountains Nat’l Park

Litchfield Hills, CT
The Litchfield Hills is a spectacular sight each autumn when the maple, oak, aspen, beech, and birch trees are ablaze with color. You can take in the splendor on one of the many driving itineraries available or see it from the sky on a hot-air-balloon ride. Whatever your pleasure, try to visit in mid-October, when the colors are at their most vivid.

Hotels Near Litchfield

Lost Maples Natural Area, TX
While many think cacti is the main source of green in Texas, the Lone Star State is in fact home to the Lost Maples State Natural Area, which welcomes a beautiful flush come autumn, thanks in no small part to the relatively uncommon uvalde bigtooth maples, whose reddish blush is most spectacular from mid-October through mid-November.

Hotels Near the Lost Maples Natural Area (San Antonio)

Move over Madison County, Pennsylvania rules when it comes to covered bridges – the state boasts more then any place in the world. If you’re an admirer, you’re in luck – covered bridges figure heavily on several different driving itineraries worth doing through the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia countryside. Pine, hemlock, and maple trees dominate, and the colors (think gold and flaming red) reach their peak in early October.

Washington County, ME
For hard-core foliage enthusiasts looking to escape the crowds that plague much of New England each fall, Washington County, in Maine, is paradise for a leaf-peeper seeking solitude. The fall colors range from burnt orange to blazing red to golden yellow on the region’s birch, maple, oak, aspen, and ash trees, and are most vibrant from early to mid-October.