Where to See Fall Colors in the USA


Right now fall foliage is approaching full splendor, moving from rich green into amber, tangerine, and scarlet. It’s difficult to determine the supposed peak time, so you might as well go now. Here are some of the best places to see the leaves change across the country.


New England is a longtime favorite destination in autumn. Consider visiting southern Vermont for a hike through Green Mountain National Forest, or spend an afternoon in the nearby small town of Bennington, whose historic covered bridges are a regional classic. While you’re in the area, visit the Usdan Gallery for a contemporary art exhibit, located on Bennington College’s leafy campus.


Not every traveler would associate the Midwest with fall foliage, but the unassuming state of Indiana gets a healthy burst of color. Spend a night in Bloomington and wander from the downtown square over to Indiana University, regularly voted among the nation’s prettiest campuses. Then take a drive through Brown County State Park, Indiana’s largest park with numerous lakes, hiking trails, and viewpoints.


While some stretches of Wyoming are tree-less desert, there’s a great abundance of mountainous forest that’s streaked with color this time of year. Take a nice long drive through Bighorn National Forest, then walk up to the Medicine Wheel (a sacred ceremonial ground for Native American tribes) for an expansive view.


The Pacific Northwest is about to begin its rainy season, but Oregon has so much beautiful woodland, it’s worth putting on your rain gear (or not, as many locals do). Portland is even more lovely and homey than usual as the leaves change, or grab a double espresso and head out to the nearby Columbia River Gorge for a hike.

What’s your favorite state for fall colors?


About Author

Sarah is the North America Editor for Go! Girl Guides and she wrote the New York City guidebook. Raised in rural Texas on mesquite barbecue and barrel racing, Sarah lived in Indiana for two years before moving to New York by herself. Some of her favorite experiences in North America include snowmachining outside of Anchorage, exploring Caladesi Island off the coast of Florida, touring a Cold War bunker in West Virginia, watching the sun set over Chicago from Lake Michigan, and taking an overnight train from Montreal to Halifax.

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