Four Fantastic Destinations to View Fall Foliage
Four Wonderful Destinations to See Fall at Its Finest
The fiery, festive colors of Autumn in North America grab the attention of millions of nature enthusiasts every year. While most places nationwide offer at least a bit of the beauty of nature in its fall finery, a select few country areas raise the bar when it comes to fall foliage viewing. And while we can't make a comprehensive list of all the most beautiful destinations here, we will at least mention these four of our absolute favorite goals in the continental United States.
4. The Catskill Mountains, New York
Nestled in southeastern New York state, the Catskills NY comprises 6000 square miles of rolling hills and mountains. Though a destination for tourists the whole year round, the region comes to life between mid-September through October, when the hickory trees, red maple trees, and sugar maple trees shed their chlorophyll and show off their true fiery fall colors. The Catskills, NY, offers many significant areas to view the fall foliage, with many hikes and drives of varying lengths. Top-notch lodging and dining accommodations make the Catskills a 5-star fall destination.
3. The Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg Tennessee
The southern stretch of the Appalachian Mountain Range is home to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Gatlinburg TN Smoky Mtns house some of the most beautiful scenery in the country and offer a wonderfully rustic taste of rural Appalachia. From mid-October through November, the region explodes with the vibrant colors of yellow birch trees, American beech, mountain maple, hobblebush, pin cherry, and sugar maple trees, scarlet oak, red maple trees, sweetgum, and the hickory trees. The Gatlinburg TN Smoky Mtns is also home to one of the nation's best aquariums, skiing, and many other outdoor attractions for the outdoor-oriented the whole year through.
2. Great River Bluffs MN
The Great River Bluffs State Park in southeastern Minnesota is home to King's and Queen's Bluffs, two Scientific and Natural Areas. From atop the bluffs, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the vibrant Autumn colors of the Mississippi River Valley, as well as the myriad of wildlife it houses. Great River Bluffs MN is mainly celebrated for its stunning views of the eagles, hawks, and waterfowl that use the Mississippi River as a flyway. With its convenient access near interstate I90, the Great River Bluffs of Minnesota is a true wonder from mid-September through October, when brilliantly vivid foliage dresses the harsh landscape. Just a short drive from Minneapolis, the beautiful area is a must-see for any visitors to the region at any time of the year, especially in the fall. Dedicated leaf peepers would do well not to miss this oft-overlooked autumnal treasure.
1. Aspen Colorado
Known the whole world round like a top-class vacation destination and skiing paradise, Aspen Colorado is also home to some of the most breathtaking views of autumn's vibrancy anywhere on the continent. Situated on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains 11 miles west of the Continental Divide, Aspen is a wonder to see all year long. Seated just below 8,000 feet in the Sawatch Range, the opportunity for viewing the phenomenon of fall foliage cannot be understated. The popularity of Aspen as a world-class skiing destination tends to take attention from the town's unmatchable value to leaf peepers. Still, anyone who has been there from early September through October wouldn't even dare to deny the awe-inspiring beauty of the steep mountain bases and endless rolling foothills when coated in fall's fiery reds, oranges, and yellows. Aspen has some of the most beautiful lodging and dining accommodations worldwide, making it a true paradise on earth in autumn. A nice long ride up a mountain on one of the many ski lifts in the area is sure to provide one with memories that last a lifetime.
Though some may not care for the cold weather that inevitably follows the crisp autumn days, nature always provides a reason to enjoy each season. Those of us who live in or have the opportunity to visit regions that experience the full effect of all four seasons should consider ourselves lucky. Plan an unforgettable trip to one of these true autumnal wonders this fall.