The changing of the seasons every three months is one of the simplest pleasures in life that can be easily enjoyed with all the senses.
Summer turning into Autumn is one of the most spectacular transformations in the Northern Hemisphere when the vibrant green leaves of the deciduous trees give way to burnt oranges, reds, yellows, and browns which create a stunning mosaic that can look like a painting at times.
The United States is one of the best spots on earth to witness this natural, almost magical event each year beginning at the end of September.
Usually, you don’t have to travel very far to see some vivid fall transformations, but there are definitely a few spots we recommend that certainly stand out.
So grab your go-to pumpkin-spiced drink, cuddle up on the couch and enjoy the spectacular vistas that Autumn presents.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Being located so close to Acadia National Park, it’s no wonder this sleepy little town is one of the top destinations for leaf hunters and fall enthusiasts.
Located across the Atlantic from Nova Scotia, bar harbor is actually an island and popular resort destination with some stunning views.
We recommend heading to Acadia National Park if you want to make the most out of your trip and witness the most stunning fall foliage you’ll see on the east coast.
You can drive around the Park Loop Road and climb up Gorham Mountain which offers the best views. If you want something closer to the town, alternatively you can check out Cadillac Mountain for equally impressive vistas.
With forests full of sugar maples that turn bright red and orange in the fall, it’s no wonder Stowe is considered one of the best spots in the country to witness the magical autumn transformation.
The tiny town has many easy hiking and biking trails which makes it an ideal spot to enjoy the colors. It’s also popular for its ski resorts during the winter months.
The Poconos, Pennslyvania
Around a 2-hour drive from New York, you’ll find the unique Poconos mountain range full of waterfalls, river beaches, trails, resorts, and many recreational activities such as fishing, hunting, skiing, and water sports.
In the fall this popular transforms its foliage into some of the most beautiful canvas of colors you’ll anywhere in Pennsylvania.
Catskill Mountains, New York
Another stunning destination just 2 and a half hours north of New York City are the Catskill Mountains, with its 700-acre forest preserve becoming a picturesque spot in the fall with waterfall and rivers dotting the landscape.
Rich in wildlife and hiking trails, be sure to check out the Catskills Scenic Trail and Buttermilk Falls at Peekamoose for the best scenery.
The Great Smoky Mountains
One of the most picturesque mountain ranges in the eastern US, the Great Smoky Mountains are a must-visit during the fall.
With over 100 different species of deciduous trees, it’s no surprise that this is one of our favorite destinations in the fall with such a smorgasbord of colors to enjoy.
Gatlinburg is one of our favorite little towns to visit in the fall thanks to its annual Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival, which celebrates the annual harvest, lasting from mid-September to late November.
Sequoia National Park, California
It’s about time we give the West Coast some love – yes they have Fall out there as well, though with more coniferous and evergreen trees it’s definitely not as noticeable as the Eastern US.
No, the giant evergreen Sequoias don’t change color at any time during the year, but the red dogwoods scattered throughout the forest offer an intense contrast of colors from the stark green of the Giant Sequoias.
Beneath the towering canopy below you’ll find a variety of ferns also changing color and covering the forest floor in a spectacular orange-yellow.
This far down the list and we haven’t even mentioned Massachusetts yet! This state may be one of the most famous for its colorful fall foliage, and Lenox is of course no exception.
With close access to the nearby October Mountain State Forest, it’s no wonder this is the best town in the state to enjoy autumn.
The best spots to view the fall colors is from Kennedy Park, the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and Mount Greylock with its numerous hiking trails and scenic lookouts.
Lake Placid, New York
We wouldn’t dare leave Lake Placid off of our list of the most beautiful spots in the US to witness the colors of fall.
A cute little lakeside town located in the Adirondack Mountains, its popular Olympic Trail offers some of the best views of oak, maple, birch, and aspen trees changing colors with the contrast of the sublime Lake Placid in the backdrop.