Top Autumn Getaways : Where to See the Best Fall Colors in the US

Written by: Chelsey Chalk



Time to read 2 min

As the warmth of summer yields to the crispness of fall, nature adorns itself in a breathtaking tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows. The United States boasts a wealth of destinations where you can witness the enchanting transformation of foliage, making autumn a truly magical season. In this blog, we'll guide you through some of the most captivating places in the US to experience the beauty of fall foliage. 

Insider Tip: I love using the Fall Foliage Prediction Map on the Smoky Mountains website to see when colors will peak in my area or my autumn vacation destination. 

Acadia National Park, Maine

Fall foliage in Acadia National Park.
Acadia National Park in the fall with vibrant colors looking over the coastline.

Nestled along the rugged coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is a haven for fall foliage enthusiasts. This diverse landscape encompasses rocky shores, pristine lakes, and towering granite peaks. In autumn, the park's maple, birch, and oak trees burst into fiery hues, contrasting beautifully with the deep blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Must-See: Don't miss the scenic drive along Park Loop Road or the rewarding hike up Cadillac Mountain for panoramic views of the fall foliage.

When to Go: Mid-October

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee

Fall foliage on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Fall foliage in Smoky Mountain National Park.

Spanning the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is celebrated for its biodiversity and stunning fall foliage. The park's rich assortment of tree species, including sugar maples, red maples, and hickories, creates a breathtaking display of colors each autumn.

Must-See: Head to Cades Cove for a picturesque drive and the chance to spot wildlife amid the vibrant fall scenery.

When to Go: Mid-October 

Aspen, Colorado

Vibrant fall foliage in Aspen with breathtaking mountains in the background.
Bright yellow fall foliage along a lake in Aspen.

While New England often takes the spotlight for fall foliage, Aspen, Colorado, offers a unique and captivating display of its own. Nestled amid groves of aspen trees, the town transforms into a golden wonderland in the fall, creating a striking contrast against the evergreen forests and majestic Rocky Mountains.

Must-See: Journey along Independence Pass for a scenic drive or hike the Maroon Bells for iconic views of fall foliage.

When to Go: Mid-October

Utah's Breathtaking Canyons and Parks

Breathtaking views and vibrant fall colors along Alpine Loop Scenic Drive.
Bright yellow fall foliage and red rock  in Capitol Reef National Park.

We obviously had to include our home state! Utah offers a unique blend of fiery red rock formations and the changing leaves of cottonwoods, oaks, and quaking aspens. Destinations such as Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway showcase an unforgettable fusion of fall colors and dramatic landscapes.

Must-See: Explore the crimson canyons of Zion or be awestruck by Bryce Canyon's hoodoos adorned with the vibrant hues of autumn. In Northern Utah, embark on a scenic drive along the Alpine Loop, where the winding mountain roads come alive with breathtaking displays of reds, oranges, and yellows.

When to Go: Northern Utah - Early October + Southern Utah - End of October/Early November

The Berkshires, Massachusetts

Vibrant fall foliage in the valley of The Berkshires.
Bright fall foliage along the lake in The Berkshires.

Nestled in western Massachusetts, the Berkshires are a picturesque retreat for fall foliage aficionados. This region boasts charming small towns, rolling hills, and dense forests that come alive with reds, oranges, and yellows during the autumn months.

Must-See: Explore the scenic byways, immerse yourself in the world of Norman Rockwell at his museum, and savor the cozy ambiance of towns like Lenox and Stockbridge.

When to Go: Early October 

As the curtain rises on autumn's grand spectacle, these top destinations offer a front-row seat to the breathtaking beauty of fall foliage in the United States. Whether you're drawn to the rugged coastline of Maine, the majestic peaks of the Great Smokies, the golden groves of Aspen, the fiery canyons of Utah, or the quaint charm of the Berkshires, there's an ideal fall getaway waiting for you. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and immerse yourself in the splendor of autumn in these picturesque locations. Don't let this chance slip away to witness nature's masterpiece before winter's embrace.