Thursday, October 2

Are You A Leaf Peeper?

I AM! And here we are again, it's the most colorful time of the year! We're deep in the heart of leaf-peeping season and the leaves, they are a-changin'. I could not be happier! Beautiful shades of orange, red, and yellow as leaf-peeping kicks into
full swing. Whether you're a fall foliage fanatic, or just in the mood for a scenic drive through the fabulous fall scenery, you will not want to miss these great seasonal spots. All across America you can enjoy the leaves in all their colorful splendor in any region. So, fasten your seat beltshere we go!

It goes without saying that Vermont is one of the most well-known places in the U.S. when it comes to fall foliage—especially in the central and southern parts of the state, the Lake Champlain Islands, areas near Burlington, and in the beautiful Green Mountains. As of right now, most of the state is already experiencing peak colors, with late, more subtle changes in color still slated to happen over the last three weekends of October. Up for a scenic fall foliage drive? Vermont's Tourism website offers a printable list of more than 20 drives around the state ranging anywhere from 30 to 210 miles long, as well as regional and historical points of interest, apple orchards, and popular local attractions you shouldn't miss along the way.  source 

NEW YORK                                                                                                                                 
Whether you're planning to venture upstate in search of fall fun or opt to stay in the big city, New York gives you plenty of options—visit I love New York for a detailed list of all the great spots within the state to view fall foliage as peak levels tend to change depending on where you are. A few outdoorsy leaf-peeping activities include renting kayaks on Lake Otsego or hiking among the gorgeous fall colors at Glimmerglass State Park. For an fun day trip, take the family to Barton Orchards, located about a 90-minute drive north of NYC in Poughquag, New York, and home to hayrides, train rides, a corn maze, haunted house, and the chance to pick perfect farm-fresh apples, pumpkins, corn and other seasonal vegetables to take home as delicious fall souvenirs. Don't miss the Farm Bakery Market where you can pick up maple syrup, seasonal mixes, spices and baked pies. Or if you'd rather stay in the heart of the Big Apple, go for a stroll around Central Park in the fall for vibrant color changes during the last few weeks of October into November—pick any spot in the park for a fall picnic. It;s beautiful!  source

Estes Park is the perfect place to view not only fall foliage, but also elk and other area wildlife this time of year. Nature lovers can go fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding in nearby Estes Valley. Autumn is also the best time of year to take a drive on the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, one of the prettiest drives in Colorado. Other scenic leaf-peeping hot spots in Colorado include Kebler Pass near Gunnison-Crested Butte, the 236-mile loop of San Juan Skyway, The Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway, Trail Ridge Road, and Rocky Mountain National Park showcase the state's world-famous golden Aspens. A ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad is also a memorable way to see the fall colors.  source

WEST VIRGINIA                                                                                                                         
Grant County is home to some of the most beautiful fall foliage in the country, and the best way to see it is by train. For one night only, Oct. 18th, the Autumn Splendor Dinner Train will travel through Petersburg, West Virginia, just in time for the red and gold leaves to make their debut. You'll start by sampling local delicacies during a food and wine tasting at the South Side Depot in Petersburg while you wait for your train, and enjoy a West Virginia-made dinner of beef brisket, shrimp, potatoes, green beans, and your choice of homemade chocolate fudge turtle cake or pumpkin cheesecake for dessert, all while admiring the view. It is a trip not to be missed! Tickets are $70 per person for adults only; reservations required.  source

In Tennessee's southeastern corner about two hours from Nashville lies Chattanooga, the state's fourth-largest city nestled alongside the Tennessee River, and a prime spot for viewing fall foliage. The best part: not only is Chattanooga known for having a terrific network of hiking, biking, and nature trails, but you also have the unique opportunity to view fall foliage by boat. Enter the Southern Belle Riverboat, sailing several times a day from Pier 2, with dinner cruises, lunch cruises, sunset cruises or 90-minute sightseeing cruises up and down the gorgeous Tennessee River. Prices for their three-hour Fall Leaf Cruise—available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays Oct. 11th thru Nov. 16th—start at $35.95 for adults and $17.95 for children ages 3-12.  source

If you're looking for the ultimate scenic fall drive, Branson and the Ozarks are home to three of the area's best fall foliage driving tours aimed to please any leaf-peeping enthusiast. Stop by the Welcome Center located at Highway 65 and State Highway 248 for free maps and tips about local attractions, then set off on your fall road trip adventure. The first driving tour takes you on a 90-minute loop around Table Rock Lake and Kimberling City, while the second takes you on a 70-minute loop from Downtown Branson around Forsyth and Rockaway Beach. The third, more in-depth fall foliage drive is a four-hour long journey through Bull Shoals, Peel Ferry, and Mark Twain National Forest.  source

One of America's favorite places to view fall foliage is Door County, Wisconsin. This undisturbed peninsula between Lake Michigan and Green Bay is not only known for its lakes, art, and cherries, but also as a leaf-peeping viewing destination. Be sure to check the Fall Color Report for the latest foliage updates. Embrace changing seasons with any number of available outdoor activities ranging from cruises on the lake, horse-drawn wagon rides around town, to even a scenic airplane ride over the area. The best part about visiting Door County this time of year: all the roadside stands and farmers' markets selling fresh, hot apple cider among other farm fresh produce and wines from local vineyards.  source

Located about an hour and 45 minutes outside of San Antonio near the town of Vanderpool is Lost Maples State Natural Area, one of best spots for fall foliage in all of the Lone Star State. Spend some time admiring the colors of nature during a fall hike, picnic or drive in the park. In this part of the country, the leaves tend to change color closer to early-to-mid-November, so there's still plenty of time to see the beauty of the Texas Hill country—check the Fall Foliage Report, updated weekly from October thru November. Keep an eye out for vibrant red, orange, and golden colored leaves near Daingerfield, Martin Creek, Lake Bob Sandlin, and Martin Dies Jr. State Park in East Texas, known for its oaks, elms, and sweetgums. You'll also find golden and bright yellow cottonwoods throughout Palo Duro Canyon and Caprock Canyon State Park, as well as rusty-colored leaves that contrast with a swampy, Spanish moss-covered Caddo Lake State Park.  source

In the greater Portland and Columbia River area, fall foliage is served up with a side of waterfalls, majestic gardens, and dramatic river gorges. Take a drive down the scenic Columbia River Highway for views of 900-foot tall cliffs and steep flowing waterfalls overlooking the vast valley. Fall colors can be seen throughout the vineyards of Willamette Valley, where grape vines light up in a variety of reds and yellows. Visit the Portland Japanese Garden, located in Portland's west hills above the Rose Garden in Washington Park, for the ultimate color contrast between deep green colors and fall foliage highlights. Hiking enthusiasts can also make the 1.2-mile, 600-foot ascent to Multnomah Falls for stunning views of the valley below.  source

Yosemite is a wonderful place to celebrate fall and an ideal time of year to visit without having to worry too much about crowds and high hotel prices. Mono County, in California's Eastern Sierra region, is also known for its colorful mix of evergreens, big-leaf maples, Pacific dogwoods, black oaks, and other trees that usually reach their peak colors in mid-to-late October.  source

SOUTH DAKOTA                                                                                                                         
Each year South Dakota is draped in color, from the yellow Aspens, elm, ash, and oak trees, to the bright reds of the sumac and maple trees. The Iron Mountain Road, is a scenic 17-mile drive that winds its way through the Black Hills between Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park, both of which are definitely worth visiting. Drive the Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway, another twisting mountain road that features six rock tunnels and views of the area's mighty Aspens. The Spearfish Canyon State & National Forest Service Scenic Byway is also worth a look, as it offers beautiful forest views and all the colors of its spruce, aspen, pine, oak, and birch trees as it winds its way along the Canyon's limestone cliffs.  source

Wherever you live, whatever region or state, get out there and enjoy this beautiful weather and gorgeous fall foliage!


  1. Fall in New England is the best. Sacramento is actually a really beautiful town in the fall. It's a random season. Sometimes it doesn't peak until Thanksgiving. Sometimes it peaks around Halloween, but there are so many trees in the city, especially near Sacramento State University, that it just bursts with color.

    1. We love the Sacramento area! Sometimes we don't have a lot of color here in North Texas until Christmas! Such a shame!