5 Best Places to Visit in Fall by Region

Crisp air, sweater weather, football and pumpkin spiced lattes. Fall is the best season! It’s a great time to travel and get outdoors to see the magical fall colors. We’ve put together the our list of best places to see fall foliage based on your region in the USA. This fall bucket lists includes the best places to visit in fall with kids and the timing based on peak fall foliage maps.

Peak fall colors map
Peak Fall Colors Map. Red indicates peak color. | Credit: SmokyMountains.com

Throw on some warm layers unless you live in South Florida like us. Our Fall consists of finally getting down to 80 degrees from 90! It might be time to catch a flight or a road trip to feel those cooler temps.

Here’s our list of best places to visit in fall usa:


If you’re in the Northeast

Letchworth State Park, NY

Middle Falls in Letchworth State Park
Middle Falls in Letchworth State Park | Credit: hvhappenings.com

Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East”. The park boasts more than 60 miles of trails, ranging from challenging hikes to easy kid-friendly walks through the surrounding forest. Letchworth State Park has three major waterfalls on the Genesee River, Middle Falls being the largest. Park entry is only $10/ car.

Fall Colors Peak Time: New York will hit its peak fall foliage the week of Oct. 4, but there should be great viewing from Sept. 20 through Oct. 25.


If you’re in the Midwest

Traverse City, Mi

Traverse City, MI - take a road trip along M-22
Traverse City, MI – take a road trip along M-22 | Credit: midwestliving.com

If you’re looking for fall colors in Michigan, Traverse City is your spot. Traverse City is also known as the Cherry Capital of the world. This town has so much to offer. Not only are the forests in full crimson hues, make sure you visit one of the over 40 wineries during this time. For the kids, take a day trip to Sleepy Bear Dunes where you can see the vibrant colors overlooking Lake Michigan on massive “mountains of sand”.

Take a road trip along M-22. This scenic road trip is 100 Miles long on the coast of Lake Michigan where you get the best of both worlds – gorgeous fall leaves and lake views.

Fall Colors Peak Time: With warmer fall temperatures this year, predictions of Northern Michigan’s peak fall colors start October 15 through October 29.

Related: See our latest beach trip and the best things to do in South Haven, MI.


If you’re in the Southeast

Asheville, NC

Omni Park Grove Park Inn
Omni Park Grove Park Inn | Credit: omnihotels.com

Did you know Blue Ridge and the Great Smoky Mountains have one of the longest autumn color seasons in the country? They have highest peaks in eastern USA. We love Asheville in the fall because there is so much to do and see. Take a drive on Blue Ridge Parkway to soak up the Autumn beauty. Omni Grove Hotel is a mountainside resort that has the most spectacular views year-round. It’s a great place to stay but also worth a trip to enjoy a cocktail on the terrace with fall leaves all around.

Biltmore Estates is another great fall experience as its decked out with colorful mums in the gardens. It’s actually very kids friendly, they have a farm with animals you can pet, a bowling alley, pool and childrens nursery!

See more Asheville scenic road trips.

Asheville Fall Colors Peak Time: October 20th – 31 around Asheville. Leaves in the surrounding areas and in higher regions will turn first so early October. See Asheville Fall Color Map.

Biltmore Estate garden full of fall mums
Biltmore Estate garden full of fall mums | Credit: biltmore.com

If you’re in the South West

The Enchanted Circle, NM

Cottonwood trees changing colors in New mexico
Cottonwood trees changing colors at Angel Fire Resort in New Mexico | Credit: angelfireresort.com

New Mexico’s landscape is a must-see in the fall, especially along one of the USA’s most beautiful drives: The Enchanted Circle. This 84-mile drive connects the towns of Taos, Questa, Red River, Eagle Nest, and Angel Fire — circling Wheeler Peak, New Mexico’s highest elevation. On this drive keep a lookout for sheep and deer. Red River is a Western Town like you’d see in the old shoot out movies, kids will love it. You might even catch a reenactment. Just head south and Angel fire is a ski resort that also offers ziplining, hiking trails, and even a chairlift to the top.

New Mexico Fall Peak Colors Time: Late September into early October is the best time to see the Aspens turn colors in Carson National Forest. The Cottonwoods turn in late October.

Enchanted Circle Driving Map
Enchanted Circle Driving Map | Credit: taos.org

If you’re in the West

Northern California

Napa Valley vines during fall
Visit Napa Valley during fall | Credit: candlelightinn.com

California might not come to mind when looking for the best places to visit in fall but we love California in fall! In wine country, miles and miles of grape vines turn beautiful ambers and reds. It also happens to be harvest season when it’s the best time to go as wine makers are picking their grapes and the cities come alive. Drive south to San Francisco where there is so much to do in the city with kids. Lemos Farm is the Bay Area’s most well-known pumpkin patch with hayrides and a petting zoo. Another drive south on the coastline to Big Sur you can see different plants and bushes turning bright reds on the rugged cliffs next to the Pacific Ocean.

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Where are your favorite places to see fall colors? Comment below and let us know!

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