9 Stunning Fall Foliage Trips to Take this Fall

Most of us have recently had, or are having some pretty hot weather, and I know I am ready for fall and all that comes with it: cooler weather, pumpkin everything, fall festivals, and of course, foliage. 

9 Best Fall Foliage Destinations

Here are 9 of the world's best spots for leaf peeping this fall. 

Vermont

I’m starting with the quintessential here. Vermont is the grandfather of fall foliage destinations. Mountains, lakes, maple syrup and apple cider make for the most classic leaf peeping experience around. Fly into Burlington, and take in the views along Lake Champlain, or rent a car and drive to some spectacular spots.

Smugglers Notch, just north of Stowe provides some of the most stunning views you’ll find. Things to do: Flynn Center for the Performing ArtsStowe Cider, or the King Arthur Flour headquarters further south in Norwich. Places to Stay: Hotel VermontTrapp Family Lodge (started by the real Von Trapp family that inspired the Sound of Music) or Stowe Mountain Resort, both just a short ride away from the Notch. 

Typical Peak Foliage: October 1 

Ready to plan your trip?

Check out our listings to Burlington from all over the US and Canada. 

Berkshires, MA

It should come as no surprise that there is more than one New England spot on this list. Berkshire county in western Massachusetts is known for its amazing fall color. Not only can you get some leaf peeping in, but as a top tourist spot, there are plenty of other things to do. You have lots of options for flights. Fly into Boston, which is 2 hours away, or you can fly into Hartford, Connecticut, just over an hour away, or Albany, New York, which is less than an hour away. Suggested spots: Mount Greylock, in North Adams,  Olivia’s Overlook in West Stockbridge, and Monument Mountain in Great Barrington for the best views. Other things to do: Norman Rockwell Museum, Mass MoCA, or The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home.

Stay at the historic Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, or the Porches Inn at MassMoca in North Adams. 

Typical Peak Foliage: Mid October

Ready to plan your trip? 

Check out our listings to Hartford from all over the US and Canada. 

Check out our listings to Albany from all over the US and Canada.

Check out our listings to Boston from all over the US and Canada.

Great Smoky Mountains

If you’ve wanted to see the Smoky mountains but weren’t sure when was the best time to go, now you know: October. The mountains are impressive on their own, add autumn colors to that, and your camera won’t be able to keep up with the sites. Fly into Knoxville or Ashville, which are both less than an hour away. Suggested spots: Clingmans Dome, driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Purchase Knob. Other things to do: Elkmont Ghost TownHistoric Ogle Log Cabin

Places to stay: Tremont Lodge & Resort or  Lodges at the Great Smoky Mountains.  

Typical Peak Foliage: Last 2 weeks of October

Ready to plan your trip? 

Check out our listings to Knoxville from all over the US and Canada. 

Check out our listings to Ashville from all over the US and Canada.

Michigan

Michigan has been pushing tourism with its “pure Michigan” slogan, and their fall foliage certainly is pure. Fly into Detroit or Grand Rapids for your foliage trip. Try the sunrise coast, which is the east side of the Upper Peninsula, or route 22 on the west side. Pinckney is another hot spot which is just an hour and a half from Detroit, with some great foliage views. Visit Muskegon State Park for more spectacular colors.  Fly into Detroit or Grand Rapids. Other things to do: Sunrise Pedal Trolley, Howell Nature Center, and Muskegon Museum of Art. Places to stay: Sunset Cove Bed and Breakfast, Staybridge Suites, or the Shoreline Inn

Typical Peak Foliage: Late September - Mid October

Ready to plan your trip?

Check out our listings to Detroit from all over the US and Canada

Check out our listings to Grand Rapids from all over the US and Canada

Colorado

As you might expect, there are a lot of mountainous areas on this list. Not only are the leaves gorgeous in the fall, but the mountains give you the best views. Colorado is no exception. Fly into Denver, Grand Rapids or Aspen, Denver tends to be cheaper than Aspen or Grand Junction, but you never know when a deal will pop up. Suggestesd spots for spectaclar color: Kebler Pass , Grand Mesa, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Aspen. Things to do: Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art, Aspen and Evergreen Gallery, and Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey Tour in Denver. 

Places to stay; Lodge at Mountaineer Square, The Art

Typical Peak Foliage: Mid September - Mid October 

Ready to plan your trip?

Check out our listings to Denver from all over the US and Canada

Check out our listings to Aspen from all over the US and Canada

Check out our listings to Grand Rapids from all over the US and Canada

Kyoto, Japan

While there are many spots in Japan for leaf peeping, Kyoto is almost always top on any foliage list in the world. Fly into Tokyo, and take a train down, so you can catch some other foliage on the way. Fly into Osaka, which is less than an hour away, while Tokyo is over 5 hours by car.

Some of the best spots for fall colors are the Eikando Temple, Arashiyama (where you can view the trees from a riverboat), Kibune Shrine (where you can take a cable car), or the Shorenin Temple. Things to do: Ran Theatre Kyoto, Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine,  and the Kyoto Samurai and  Ninja Museum. Stay at the Mitsui Garden Hotel or the Villa Aneyakoji.

Typical Peak Foliage: Mid November - Mid December

Ready to plan your trip?

Check out our listings to Kyoto from all over the US and Canada. 

Check out our listings to Tokyo from all ovr the US and Canada.

Iceland

Iceland has quickly become a top tourism destination, with both Icelandair and WOW Air offering super cheap flights to Reykjavik, so this might be the perfect foliage getaway for you.

Offering breathtaking views even without foliage some great spots are Hraunfossar Waterfalls, Lake Myvatn, and Akureyri. Other things to do: Ice Cave Tour, Eimverk Distillery,  and the Old Farmhouse Laufas. Places to stay: Kvosin Downtown HotelLamb Inn Ongulsstadir

Typical Peak Foliage: Late August - Mid September

Ready to plan your trip?

Check out our listings to Reykjavik from all over the US and Canada. 

Scotland

Castles plus brilliant colored leaves? Yes, please! Travel to Scotland, sip some whiskey, and take in the views. Fly into Edinburgh, where you can take the train or rent a car and drive. With all of the discount airlines for transatlantic travel now, Edinburgh is easier and cheaper to get to than ever before. 

Suggested spots:  Loch Awe,  Loch Faskally, Edinburgh, and Comrie. Other things to do: St. Conan's Kirk, Edinburgh Castle, and Inchcolm Abbey and Island.  Places to stay: Ben Cruachan Inn,  The Raeburn, or the Davaar House Hotel

Typical Peak Foliage : Mid September - October

Ready to plan your trip?

Check out our listings to Edinburgh from all over the US and Canada

Loire Valley, France

Flying to France is more affordable than ever these days, so why not head there in the fall where you can sip wine plus get some beautiful foliage shots? Fly into Paris, and either take a 35 minute high-speed rail train to Tours, or rent a car and drive about 2 hours. Suggested spots: Chaumont-sur-Loire , Chambord, Chenonceau Castle, or visit Domaine Due Closel, and take their Harvest adventure tour, which is available in English! 

According to their website, "after admiring the exceptional landscape, you will be taught how to harvest manually, to feetstamp the grapes and to crush with an old press in order to make your own wine." 

Where to stay: Les Hauts de Chaumont, Les Moulin de Crouy or Auberge du Bon Laboureur

Typical Peak Foliage: End of September - Beginning of October


Ready to plan your trip?

Check out ore listings to Paris from all over the US and Canada.


Comments