Best Places to Discover the Vibrant Colors of Fall

autumn fall scene beautiful

The fall season has already started, and only now you start looking for the best places to discover the vibrant colors of fall?! Well, if it weren’t for most people taking summer holidays, I’d say you lost your chance. Still, with the discounted prices, it’s best to hurry up and book that inn or hotel room while they’re not booked up. 

So get your boots out, prepare for the sweater weather and start planning your fall holiday. You don’t have long, and I know I’m not the only one dreaming of cozying up on the porch with my favorite book and a coffee in hand. If you’ve also been dreaming of a relaxing fall vacation where you have nothing else to do but be left wondering why do leaves change color in the fall while being amazed at the vibrant colors of fall, then this article is for you.


How to Describe Fall Colors?

autumn leave berries background colors

Whether it’s inside or outside of the country, fall is a season that can be experienced across most of the world, and we can not say that the best places to discover the vibrant colors of fall are only in the US. The shades taken by the foliage during this season are sure to mesmerize anyone who takes an extra moment to look. Many authors came up with different ways to describe fall colors, and probably most of them felt inadequate. Still, if you want to know how to describe fall colors, one thing that can help is visiting some of the locations where it’s best to observe this natural phenomenon.

Figuring out which are the best places to visit in the fall depends entirely on what you want from this trip. There are many destinations to choose from if you like to be surrounded by mountains where the colors of fall transform the entire landscape. On the other hand, falling by the sea won’t particularly limit your chance of learning how to describe fall colors, but you need to know where to go. 

Why do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?

Throughout this article, we won’t explain why do leaves change color in the fall as the explanation is scientific. However, the gist of it is – chlorophyll breaks down as the changes in temperature and length of dayling stop the leaves’ ability to create their own food. The green is overtaken by yellow and oranges and leaves people struggling with how to describe fall colors due to the resulting splendor. We are, however, going to list a few of the best places to discover this spectacle of nature in the fall.

Stowe, Vermont

autumn view of church in vermont

For those of you that didn’t know, Stowe, Vermont, was actually nicknamed the “Fall’s Color Capital”. If you choose this destination for your fall vacation, you’ll be wondering about those quiet streets lined up with some of the most colorful trees that you’ve ever seen. In the area, you can go on family hikes and explore the great outdoors or go for a bike ride either in the village or around Cady Hill Forest, located in the middle of the village. The colors of fall will infuse your heart with the warmth brought by apple pies and hot teas as you look around at the surrounding scenery and just relax as the leaves are letting go of their trees, covering the ground in red, orange, and yellow carpets that don’t cause carpet burn.

After a good physical exercise, you’ll want to treat yourself to something delicious, so don’t hesitate to test out their local drinks at Stowe Cider, where fresh-pressed hard cider is always available on tap. Still, if you haven’t gotten enough of the colors of fall, drive over the Green Mountain Byway to see Vermont’s highest peaks as you make your way through Stowe and Waterbury. If you get all the way to Waterbury, don’t miss out on the opportunity to tour the Ben & Jerry’s factory and try out some of their fall flavors while you’re at it.

The Berkshires Near Lenox, Massachusetts

fly fisherman on deerfield river

If you ever find yourself in The Berkshires and you’re not busy hiking, biking, skiing, rafting, boating, or simply enjoying the color of fall from late September to mid-October, you’ll have plenty of festivals to have fun with. Don’t miss out on the Lenow Apple Squeeze and the Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival, just to mention a few of the festivals in Berkshire during the fall months. The Berkshires know how to make sure that you feel the fall season as you pass through areas where the colors of fall surround you on all sides. Check out the Berkshire Mountain Lodge located in Pittsfield if you need a place to stay. The beautiful resort is located in the middle of nature, with easy access to any and all outdoor mountain activities.

Still, some of the best views of fall foliage can be appreciated in the 1,100-acre wildlife sanctuary in Pleasant Valley Sanctuary. This fall natural wonderland can be visited along the slopes of Lenox Mountain, but make sure to pack some supplies as you’ll be able to explore its seven miles of hiking trails where the colors of fall will challenge your ability to take in the incredible combination of shades and hues of fall.

Mount Ascutney State Park in Vermont

dramatic road in autumn view

While we already mentioned Vermont as the “Fall’s Color Capital”, we can’t overlook Mount Ascutney, State Park. As one of the first state parks in Vermont, Mt. Ascutney has over 12 miles of hiking trails where you can get a first-hand experience that will teach you how to describe fall colors. Furthermore, you’ll have plenty of time to understand why do leaves change color in the fall in this up-close and personal experience. Just make sure you have your hiking boots on foot and plenty of things to snack on cause the journey won’t be a walk in the park. It’s hiking. You won’t be able to enjoy it safely without them. Now, we’re not saying that you go full lumber-jack, but an extra flannel, hoodie or jumper will come in handy.

Still, if you want a more laid-back experience, you can set your hiking boots aside and start driving on the nearby Rute 44A, which will take you on a 4-mile ride along the mountain’s beautiful fall foliage. Once you’re done driving and only then, you should stop by the Harpoon Brewery and try their full-bodied pumpkin beer that works perfectly with the colors of fall surrounding you on all sides.

The Catskill Mountains in New York

colorful autumn view

You probably heard of Upstate New York as an ideal and upscale fall destination, and we weren’t about to miss out on the opportunity to showcase just what the area has to offer its visitors regarding fall foliage. The Catskills come with 6,000 square miles of mountains, rivers, and thickly wooded hills that offer an incredibly colorful landscape during fall months. With hues of reds, yellows, and oranges, it looks like Halloween is in charge of the decorations and many New Yorkers come here to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city. There are 98 peaks where you can explore the innate beauty of mother nature, and the waterfalls work as landmarks in this lush of vegetation.

Besides all the colors of fall, in the Catskill Mountains, you’ll find numerous ski resorts, hiking trails, and places to explore that are maintained and managed by the municipalities in the area. Many historic villages can be found in the area with things like craft beer, festivals, and farmer’s markets, including the favorite fall festival, Taste of the Catskills. Here you can also enjoy the emblematic fall family activities as there are plenty of apples to pick. The only problem is that you’ll have to get to a stove before they’re all out of apples for the traditional apple pie.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

michigan upper peninsula

When it comes to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, you’ll have more than 20 state parks to choose from to enjoy the colors of fall that are spread across almost 4 million acres. The reason for which Michigan’s Upper Peninsula stands out among the best places to discover the vibrant colors of fall in the US is that you won’t only get to see reds, oranges, and yellows in the forests’ foliage but also in the reflection from the three Great Lakes that surround these wooded areas. So as you look at the trees from your rental cabin’s porch, also look at how the trees are reflected in the turquoise and dark navy waters of the lakes nearby. The crystal-clear waters don’t only do justice to the colors of fall but also give a deeper, denser, and darker method for those trying to discover how to describe fall colors. If you’re a writer, you’ll discover new words to describe the color of fall as you’ll see them in ways you haven’t witnessed before.

This contrast also provides the perfect backdrop for your fall family photoshoot, so make sure to pack some matching jumpers as you gather around a fire and roast marshmallows. If you want to find the best cherry pie in the area, as Michigan’s state fruit, stop by the viewing platform at Kitch-iti-kipi or along the scenic Brockway Mountain Drive.

Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

entering shenandoah national park

If you find yourself on Skyline Drive, along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as it was named one of “America’s Best Fall Color Drives” by Travel+Leisure Magazine, keep your camera nearby. Roll down your windows and start recording as the cool autumn air takes you along the byway. With around 70 overlooks, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to capture some stunning imagery in Virginia while organizing your own photoshoots with the family at your discretion. Take a breather and enjoy the views around you because while photos can be taken as a reminder back home and can also be shown to friends and family, the few minutes you take to enjoy what’s before your eyes can not be captured in any photograph. Take your time and take it all in. It’ll help you by the time you get back to your hometown, even more so if you live in a big city.

A few stops along the way that you should not miss are the Stable Craft Brewing, where a quaint little suite on a farm is available for rent. Similarly, the Candlewood Suites is a pet-friendly alternative only a short drive away from the park, near the downtown area of Harrisonburg. Also, if you have the chance to make a stop, don’t miss the best fall festivals of Fairfax, Virginia. The Iris Inn is a cozy little cottage that’s overlooking the mountains if you want to be able to explore the surrounding area from a closer base camp.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

great smoky mountains national park

Aside from being one of the best national parks in the US, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the best places to see the vibrant colors of fall as they change. Seeing as this astounding national park is spread across Tennessee and North Carolina, it provides great things to do if you’re visiting Gatlinburg and other nearby adventures you can explore. As temperatures cool in the fall, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the nearby hiking trails, go fishing, and discover the park’s four historic districts. Don’t miss out on the local theme park, either.

If you want to go to the highest peak in the national park, look into the Clingmans Dome observation tower for the most astounding view of the mountains and the show of the colors of fall. The fall season is truly embraced in Gatlinburg, so if you stop by, you’ll have the Oktoberbest at Ober, the annual Taste of Autumn, and many other festivities.

Aspen, Colorado

aspen colorado autumn views

There’s no way to write an article about the best places to discover the vibrant colors of fall without mentioning Aspen, Colorado. But while you might expect the usual display of red, orange, and yellows, you’ll be surprised to see that the foliage here turns golden. The treetops, the mountains, and the wooded areas all around will be covered in golden leaves in different shades and hues, all showing off the splendor of the fall foliage. 

Some of the best places to witness these stunning views in Aspen are Maroon Bells, Castel Creek Road, Independence Pass, and Aspen Mountain and Snowmass chairlifts. If you like a bit of adventure during your trip, you can go paragliding over those golden peaks and see what it feels like to fly over a sea of gold. Still, if you want to get into the Halloween spirit a bit early, there are some spooky adventures for you and your kids available in the area. The historical, paranormal buildings in the Ashcroft Ghost Town will surely get the job done, and you’ll have a great bonding experience with your kids.

Lake Tahoe National Scenic Byway, California

lake tahoe in autumn views

Another opportunity to be blown away by the golden glory of fall foliage is along the Lake Tahoe National Scenic Byway, considered the “Most Beautiful Drive in America” as well as one of the best places to visit in California. The colors of fall provide some dramatic views of the alpine lake and the vibrant colors surrounding the area. Among some of the best things to do in Lake Tahoe when you traveling in the area is to stop by Camp Richardson Oktoberfest, go to South Lake Tahoe for the Food & Wine Festival, and stop by Taylor Creek for the Fall Fish Fest, where you might just see spawning salmon.

There are many other things to explore while in the area, and the Emerald Bay lookout is just one of the. As one of the most photographed places in the world, you are guaranteed to get some of the best holiday pictures here, which will surely get you a lot of likes on Instagram. If you stop by in the colder months of fall, you’ll also have plenty of snowy outdoor activities to indulge in, so make sure to consider that when packing your bag. You won’t want to forget your sky gear if there’s a chance of skiing when you go to Lake Tahoe.


Wherever you go during your fall holiday to enjoy the vibrant colors of the season, don’t forget to be present in those moments. Forget about your phone, social media accounts, internet connection, or work-related obligations. Even if it’s a short weekend trip, just unplug yourself from any job responsibilities, turn off your phone, and look at the colors surrounding you.

Let us know in the comments section below if there is any one particular place where you like to enjoy the vibrant colors of fall. There are many others that we didn’t mention, but we simply considered the ones listed above as the best across the US. Like & Share this article with friends and family, especially if you know that they are planning to take a trip during this fall season.


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