Autumn foliage is soon arriving across the map. September is known as the most beautiful month to travel in the country. Little do you know that it’s also the cheapest month to travel. Travel experts claim that airlines drop their prices up to 50% after Labor Day. With kids back to school and vacations winding down, this is the time to book your next destination to see the most beautiful fall foliage!
1) Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Black bears to elk, white-tailed deer to Yellow Warblers. Hiking, fishing, bicycling, waterfalls, camping, horseback riding and historic architecture. You’ll be sure to discover it all in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Located in the Appalachian Mountains, bordering North Carolina and Tennessee. There are three main entrances to the park. These include, Gatlinburg, TN; Townsend, TN; and Cherokee, NC. Above all, any will get you into the beauty of nature, on your way to experience one of the most beautiful places present on the East Coast. It is free to enter the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, though beginning March 1, 2023, there will be a $5 daily vehicle charge. There are numerous, breathtaking sites to see.
Foothills Parkway, split into multiple sections, provides unique views of the Great Smoky Mountains. There are several hiking loops, leading to the waterfalls. North Carolina’s Deep Creek is one of the few trails that permit bicycles. While in the Elkmont area you’ll discover historic cabins, summer homes, stables and hotels, built in Tennessee in the early 1910’s and 1920’s. North Carolina’s Cataloochee Valley is one of the best in the park for sites of historic buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Tennessee’s Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in the park and offers spectacular 360° views of the Smokies and beyond. No matter your journey, in the Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll be sure to experience spectacular views all around!
2) Napa Valley, California
Wine country will not disappoint in the autumn months. Napa Valley is located in Northern California, 50 miles northeast of San Francisco. Known for world-class wine, offering more than 400 wineries, Napa Valley offers near perfect weather. Sipping wine throughout the vineyards, will be one of the most beautiful sites on the West Coast, during the Fall months. Stroll through the vineyards, and become an expert on winemaking. Cabernet Sauvignon is known to be “the king of the red grapes” in Napa Valley, with a total valley of 55% of the crop value.
Hop on the Napa Valley Wine Train and experience one of the most vintage locomotives and traveling restaurants. Several of the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley include, Beaulieu Vineyard, Cakebread Cellars, Faust Haus, Darioush, Alpha Omega and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Overall, being just a short drive to San Francisco and Sonoma, Napa Valley is perfect for a day trip.
3) Catskill Mountains, New York State
The Catskill Mountains provide another breathtaking attraction, viewing the turnover of autumn leaves. This venue is a beautiful nature setting, located in southern New York State. Being known for the Catskill Forest Preserve, the Catskills will not be a disappointment in wildlife. Bring your hiking shoes to venture into some picturesque views. Rich wildlife will surround you, for some exquisite captures.
Experience a spiritual awakening visiting Kaaterskill Falls. A two-stage waterfall located on Spruce Creek. There are three locations to view the falls. Surprisingly, the top view is known to be the easiest hike, as it is the closest to parking. The entire hike is approximately 1.6 miles to experience the entire view of the falls. Nearby cabins and resorts are located within driving distance, if you’re looking for overnight accommodations. Check out the Delhi horse farm B&B, offering a private lake and tour of the horse farm. Its scenery is not to be missed!
4) Berkshire Mountains, Massachusetts
A popular vacation destination, known for fall foliage. Beautiful towns and landscapes, showing off cultural experiences and incredible shopping. Plenty of outdoor activities to choose from, along with historic treasures. Berkshires is named in honor of Sir Francis Bernard, named after his home county in England. Certainly be sure to check out the beauty of local towns in The Berkshires. Stockbridge is the home to the Norman Rockwell Museum, showcasing the artist’s work and studio.
Walk down Main Street and step back in time. You will get to visit The Naumkeag Estate, including an 1886 mansion and gardens. Pittsfield is the largest city in Berkshire County. Discover history in Pittsfield, including Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, and Reverend Thomas Allen, “The Fighting Parson” from the Revolutionary War. Whether walking through the villages or hiking throughout the cascade of the Berkshire Mountains, you’ll be sure to enjoy the beauty of autumn.
5) Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Stretching 3,000 miles from British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and down to New Mexico, the Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are known to be the world’s best mountain range. Rocky Mountains National Park greets more than 3 million visitors a year, being one of the most popular national parks in the United States. This 415-square-mile protected land occupies a large portion of Colorado.
The park celebrated its 100th anniversary in September 2015. A great destination for hikers, rock climbers, wildlife watchers and photographers year round. More than 3,000 elk live in the park. Bighorn sheep, mule deer and moose will visit you on your hikes. With 355 miles of walking trails, choose from flat lakeside walks to the more intense mountain climbs. Enjoy the view of the changing of leaves throughout your visit all along the Rockies pristine landscape. An all-terrain wheelchair is available to explore, by calling in advance for reservations.
6) Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville will give you the most glorious view of the east coast mountains, filled with natural wonders. Mountain views to romantic dinners, street festivals with live music, vendors and food & beer trucks, the excitement is endless. Art will be displayed from over 100 artists on the streets. Check out the local distilleries to taste some speciality drinks. Check out Chimney Rock State Park for some spectacular bird watching! Bring the family on local farm tours and experience how food is grown and raised. Live music, comedy shows, and dance is
hopping at any of the numerous theaters in Asheville and surrounding areas. The fall foliage in the mountains start changing around the end of September into October. Downtown Asheville sees the most color at the end of October. Steaming donuts, corn mazes, spiced cider and of course, seasonal apple picking, are all must-dos at nearby orchards. Go online and check out the Asheville Fall Color Forecast to plan out your trip. Remember though, Mother Nature is not always predictable!
Travel across New England, witnessing spectacular autumn views. Scenic drives to moose tours, fairs and festivals. There will not be a shortest in beautiful Maine during the stunning fall months. This is the perfect getaway for Maine’s coastal towns, without the summer high pricing. Seafood galore, never too far away! A fall foliage train tour is one of the most popular things to do in Maine during the fall. . Canoers can disappear in the blazing fall colors, while paddling down the 92-mile long Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Moosehead Lake, Maine’s largest lake, offers adventures, including a three-hour narrated cruise past Sugar Island. Apple picking, pumpkin patches and blueberry fields will be one of the most majestic views on the New England Coast.