5 Travel Spots to See Great Fall Colors

| September 13, 2012

Country Dirt Road With Autumn Foliage In Vermont

Leaf peeping makes an excellent activity to build a vacation around. Not only do you see nature in all of its glory, you also have many quaint lodging options from which to choose, no matter the state. Check out these five travel spots where you can see great fall colors, and then use DexKnows to find the best hotel or bed and breakfast nearby.

1. Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona, Ariz.

The red rocks of Sedona serve as a stunning visual year-round, but fall colors elevate the drive though Oak Creek Canyon on Highway 89 to simply breathtaking. Cottonwood, velvet ash, Arizona sycamore, alder and willow form a canopy over the road, while sumac and canyon grape add to the reds, oranges and yellows flying by.

When to visit: late September through mid-October.

Where to stay: Look for hotels and lodging options in Sedona proper or the nearby village of Oak Creek.

2. Shenandoah Valley in Virginia

So beautiful are the changing leaves of this area, thousands gather for the annual Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival. It features routes ranging from 10 to 100 miles through country roads and rolling hills, all ablaze with color. If you prefer to leaf peep by car, nearby Shenandoah National Park offers plenty of opportunities.

When to visit: mid-October through mid-November.

Where to stay: Dozens of hotels and B&Bs in and around Staunton offer special rates for festivalgoers.

3. Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

More than 30 varieties of trees, including golden aspens and tamarack, contribute to the show in this 880,000-acre park with more than 100 miles of shoreline on Lakes Michigan, Superior and Huron.

When to visit: late September through mid-October.

Where to stay: Nearby Munising and Wetmore offer a variety of hotels and rental property vacation rentals.

4. Central Park in Manhattan

If you would like to leaf peep but know the country will bore you silly after a couple of days, plan a trip around seeing the fall colors in New York City’s Central Park. The American elms in the park turn a glorious yellow, while the pin oak displays a scarlet hue. The park itself offers much to see and do, no matter the time of year, and the city’s many museums, cultural attractions and shopping opportunities easily will fill in the rest of your stay.

When to visit: late October through early November.

Where to stay: From chain hotels offering inexpensive (relatively speaking) options to luxury hotels, you will have no shortage of options of lodging in New York, even during the busy travel season of fall.

5. Anywhere in Vermont

This northeastern state ranks atop most every single list of best places to see fall foliage. Your best bet for staying busy involves choosing a location based on an event. The Annual Newfane Heritage Festival draws thousands of visitors looking to leaf peep and partake in Vermont hospitality. The nearby Route 100 also offers plenty to see as the north/south route through the Green Mountains.

When to go: Columbus Day Weekend for the festival; late September through early October otherwise.

Where to stay: The few hotels in Newfane book up pretty far in advance, so expand your search to nearby DoverTownshendWilmington and Brattleboro.

The trick to planning the best possible vacation around leaf peeping involves keeping an eye on the foliage reports, as Mother Nature can cause fall colors to arrive earlier or later than expected. No matter where you decide to visit, DexKnows can help you find plenty of hotels and lodging options.

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Category: Hotels & Lodging, Travel

About the Author ()

Pamela Mitchell spent more than 15 years at daily newspapers such as the Hartford Courant and Houston Chronicle before becoming a full-time freelancer. She now writes about a variety of topics, from dining and entertainment to pets and travel.