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Best Places to See the Leaves Change in the Fall

One of my most memorable weekend getaways was a road trip up to Martha’s Vineyard from New York City in early October several years ago. The air was light and crisp. We stayed in a bed and breakfast in Oak Bluffs, which turned into a quiet and sleepy town after the summer crowd was gone. The local New England cuisine was phenomenal: creamy New England clam chowder, buttery and briny lobster roll, sticky salt-water taffy and fudge. But the best part of the experience was the drive back home. My friends and I stopped by local farm stands to buy fresh fruits and veggies along the way, and we enjoyed the colorful display of fall foliage as we listened to and sang to the radio.

The autumn months of September and October (which many tourist destinations refer to as the fall shoulder months of the summer peak season) can be a great time for short trips and to travel close to home. The crowd is thinner and the prices are normally cheaper. Accommodations are discounted and many of the local shops and restaurants have not yet shuttered their business for the winter or off-season.

In places where they experience the four seasons,  going on the road to travel to these destinations can be rewarding in and of itself as you get to enjoy the changing leaves and marvel at the beautiful changing colors of the fall.

If you’re planning for a quick weekend getaway or a short vacation this fall, we think that these top vacation destinations are a must visit. These places offer plenty of activities for adventure seekers and they provide a breathtaking natural backdrop for anyone who wants to enjoy a relaxing weekend in the comforts of a cabin or their vacation home rental.

Great Smoky Mountains

autumn leaves and waterfall

The Great Smoky Mountains straddle the states of Tennesse and North Carolina. As one of the busiest and most visited national parks in the US, the Great Smoky Mountains offer amazing natural sceneries throughout the year.

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are just a couple of vacation spots in the National Park. The fun doesn’t end in Gatlinburg just because the summer season has ended.

With the changing foliage, the waterfalls and nature trails offer exciting views of the autumn seasonal change. There are also plenty of events throughout the months of September and October.

From September 8th to November 6th, you can catch the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival where there are plenty of activities for everyone from toddlers to centenarians throughout the fall months.

If you’re into sports fishing, the Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament is happening on September 29th-30th this year.

In October, you can’t miss the OktOBERfest in Ober Gatlinburg and Ripley’s Fright Nights on the weekends.

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Maine

lake surrounded by trees and with view of mountain

Nothing beats a New England autumn, and Maine offers one of the most stunning displays of fall foliage in the region. There are also plenty of fun activities for you to do. You can participate in the fall harvest and go apple picking, or you can visit the local farmer’s markets and buy fresh produce to bring back home.

Maine is also a great destination for whale watching, canoeing, kayaking, and going on a hike. If you’re into more leisurely activities, Maine has amazing restaurants that offer the best local New England cuisine, seafood, and Maine lobsters! You can also visit local shops to buy artisan products.

Rangeley Lakes is one of the destination spots in Maine with beautiful scenic surroundings if you’re looking for serenity for your fall getaway. There are also plenty of ‘quiet’ things to do such as the Kennebago River Canoe and Kayak Trip. You can also go on lake cruises in the mid-afternoon or early evening.

The 4th Annual Rangely Regatta also takes place on September 28th, followed by the Rangeley Oktoberfest and the Maine Forestry Museum’s 26th Annual Apple Harvest Festival on the following day.

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Colorado

colorado lake and mountain

The state of Colorado is blessed with a beautiful natural scenery, which makes it a popular travel destination throughout the year. Aspen and Denver normally spring to mind when we think of Colorado, but the state has dozens of smaller cities that offer picturesque views of nature and plenty of activities.

Evergreen is a great destination in Colorado that offers plenty of things to do, especially in the fall. You can visit Evergreen Lake and the Alderfer/Three Sisters Park. Rock climbing is also a popular sport in Evergreen as the natural landscape is perfect for this activity.

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Mount Baker/Pacific Northwest

mountain landscape

Mount Baker in Glacier, Washington is a popular destination in the summer and winter months, but the changing colors of the fall foliage make this vacation spot a must-visit in autumn as well. The Pacific Northwest offers some of the most scenic drives in the world as you criss-cross through mountain paths and ride along the coast and enjoy a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.

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If you’re inspired to go on a fall trip this autumn, don’t forget to click on the buttons to search vacation home rentals (cabins, lodges, cottages, etc) in our Top Places to See the Fall Foliage Change!

Feature Image by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Images Courtesy of Pixabay

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