Even though there might be a lot of people out there that are simply not ready for summer to end, the crisp and cool weather has begun to make its appearance. But hey, it’s not all bad news. While October slowly creeps up on us, so do things like hot apple cider, sweet pumpkin treats, the comfiest knit sweater, and most important of all, the bright and colored foliage that’s oh so characteristic of the fall season.
Piles of autumnal gold, orange, and red leaves fill the sidewalks and every tree branch you cast your gaze upon. And we bet that this year, more than ever, just the thought of getting out of your four walls to marvel at nature’s palette of colors is enough to make anyone bolt to the door. But what if you crave to go further from just 5 steps off your porch? What if there are more stunning autumnal views for you to gawk at and you’re missing all of it? Better yet, what if you can just get into your car for the weekend and drive there? Let’s just say we’ve got you covered.
Whether you feel like hiking up to the mountains or taking a nice coastal drive, we’ve rounded up the 7 places you won’t want to miss on your next autumn getaway. Just don’t forget that jacket and scarf that’ve been stuffed in the closet all these months, because if you’ve already welcomed a warm duvet into your bed, you already know chilly weather can be unforgiving.
Upper Peninsula, Michigan
As the leaves give their green color to the orange and red hues of fall, the scenic views of the Upper Peninsula turn into an autumn paradise. Every road you decide to take will show you rows of trees ranging from every autumnal pantone color there is.
If you’re looking for that perfect spot for a great fall picture, look no further, it’s right then far north by Copper Harbor. You can even take a quick detour and stop by the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for a kaleidoscopic view of U.P’s vast wilderness.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor is a pleasant mix of salty, sea breeze with the stunning colors of autumn. Right next to it you’ll come across Frenchman Bay, where there are kayaks available for rent. If you want to be blown away by a truly autumnal view, hop on one and paddle along Mount Desert Island’s coastline. Later in the evening, take some time to visit Galyn’s for a seasonal cocktail to fight off the brisk weather.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA by Unsplash
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Home to the well-known 105-mile Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park should be your go-to drive this fall to fight off the cool weather. With colorful trees surrounding every road, photo-worthy sunsets, and golden hills, we advise you to stop at one of the 70 overlooks along the drive for a mindblowing view of the foliage. If you’re going for a weekend getaway, consider staying at the Blackburn Inn, home of 80 acres of charming grounds as far as the eye can see.
The perfect mountain getaway. The peak of the autumnal foliage hits the Berkshires in mid-October, and you don’t want to miss any of it. Travel along the stunning river valleys, watch the famous sugar maple leaves change color, and try to catch the harvest of cranberries. After some foliage gazing, take a detour to Berkshire’s Botanical Garden where you might catch a glimpse of local vendors selling their local produce along with live music.
Known as Fall’s Color Capital, from September all the way through mid-October you can drive to Vermont’s highest peak and find shades of yellow, orange, and red you never even knew existed. Stowe is the perfect place for a fall getaway. If you enjoy hiking, don’t miss out on Stowe’s legendary hiking trails with options for all ages. If the weather is a bit too chilly for your liking, opt for a scenic drive down the Mt. Mansfield instead.
When you think fall, Aspen might be one of the first locations in the U.S. that comes to mind right? Shimmering golden trees, blue skies, and snow-capped mountains, what’s not to love? And guess what? It’s just a 160-mile drive southwest from Denver. For a gorgeous vista, don’t miss out on the Maroon Bells. The Mirror Lake and iconic peaks are just about enough to make you want to stay there forever.
Denali National Park, Alaska
Fields of copper, orange, and golden foliage. Snow-capped mountain peaks. And above all, cotton-candy skies that make the Denali National Park seem like you’re stepping inside a painting. While Alaska might seem a bit far to drive to for fall foliage, especially if you’re residing in the continental part of the U.S., it’s more than worth the trip. Treat yourself to a chance to catch some of Denali’s wildlife, ranging from bears, moose, and even elks.