Top Fall Destinations in the United States

Telluride | Tim Peterson

Numerous towns and cities throughout the U.S. offer incredible sights during autumn. To help you make the most of peak foliage season, we’ve gathered a list of renowned and idyllic fall destinations in the United States.

Gatlinburg, TN

Gatlinburg is an East Tennessee community along the Great Smoky Mountains. Its easy access to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a premier locale for fall scenery, makes Gatlinburg a desirable autumn destination. For a unique view of the area’s stunning fall foliage, take the 2.1-mile-long Gatlinburg SkyLift. This cable car ride provides immaculate vantage points of the thickly forested mountain setting.

Ober Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg | Peter Hansen

Telluride, CO

Telluride, a historic community in the Rocky Mountains, is one of Colorado’s most renowned fall destinations. Autumn’s crowds thin out before the town’s winter ski rush, allowing visitors to relish the tranquil charm of this picturesque mountain retreat. Telluride offers endless areas for enjoying its mountain scenery, from densely forested hiking and biking trails to golf courses against magnificent backdrops. Also, fall brings seasonal festivals, including the Telluride Horror Show Film Festival

Telluride | Alex Fredrich

Asheville, NC

Asheville, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, stands as one of North Carolina’s most popular year-round destinations. Fall is an ideal time to immerse yourself in this city’s abundant natural beauty. Meandering hiking trails pass through brightly colored forests and lead to breathtaking vantage points overlooking vast valleys. Also, Asheville is a festive community with fantastic seasonal events. Attend Carolina CiderFest, scheduled for October 21st this year, or the Haunted Trail at the Adventure Center of Asheville, which takes place every weekend in October. 

Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville | Monochromatic Eye

Burlington, VT

Burlington is a lively city on the shores of Lake Champlain. It comprises renowned historical architecture, bustling pedestrian areas, and delicious dining options. This fall paradise stands out, offering various seasonal attractions, from charming local farmers markets to nearby farms with apple picking and pumpkin patches. Also, visitors can enjoy a scenic stroll along the shores of Lake Champlain on a pleasant autumn day.

Burlington | Prateek Pisat

Bar Harbor, ME

Bar Harbor is a stunning island paradise on Frenchman Bay. Although it is a popular summer getaway, fall might be the best time to explore this community. Bar Harbor is known for its quaint stores and restaurants that serve savory fall flavors. The gorgeous Acadia National Park, encompassing vast forests, mountains, and oceanside cliffs, borders the town. Bar Harbor serves as a main entry into the park, which is considered one of the top locations in the country for leaf peeping.

Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor

Mackinac Island, MI

Lake Huron surrounds the historic Mackinac Island. This one-of-a-kind vacation hotspot boasts remarkable architecture, horse-drawn carriages, famous lighthouses, and spectacular scenery. Those who visit Mackinac Island during autumn can enjoy its forests, waterways, and delectable dining options against a beautifully colored autumn backdrop. With quaint bed and breakfasts, charming inns, and sleek rentals, this little island is the perfect location for a romantic fall getaway.

Mackinac Island | Lori Stevens

Williamsburg, VA

Williamsburg is renowned as one of the country’s most historic communities. It maintains its captivating past with living history museums, preserved architecture, and cobblestone streets. The area’s brilliant fall foliage makes it all the more enchanting, and there are many farms and orchards just outside the city to visit. A Haunted Williamsburg tour is a fun autumn activity, allowing you to hear spooky details of the town’s eerie past.