While summer is still in full swing for many, before you know it, the leaves will be changing colors, painting cities in beautiful hues of red, orange and yellow. Savor the best of sweater weather while exploring some of the most iconic fall foliage destinations in America.
With stunning 6,000-foot peaks and deep valleys, Asheville, North Carolina is known to provide one of the longest fall foliage seasons in the country thanks to its mountains and foothills. While a simple tour of the Biltmore Estate or drive around the Blue Ridge Parkway will grant you postcard-worthy views, the best way to take in the season’s glory is to gear up for a hike through some of the state’s most scenic spots:
Graveyard Fields Trail: Incredible autumn colors pair perfectly with impressive waterfalls throughout this 3.3-mile trail off Blue Ridge Parkway.
Roan Mountain on the Appalachian Trail: Savor 360-degree panoramas of autumn’s golden hues on this popular 4.7-mile hike.
Beacon Heights Trail: Foliage fans seeking a shorter hike can head to this popular 0.8-mile trail, offering unrivaled views of the nearby Grandfather Mountain.
Football and pumpkin-spiced everything are not the only things to love about Boston in the fall. With crisp autumn air and leaves changing all over the city, there’s a new energy and excitement to embrace in Beantown.
While there are several fall foliage tours offered around New England, you can experience the season’s colorful spirit just as easily by strolling around some of the city’s most desirable destinations:
Boston Common & the Public Garden: Situated in the heart of the city, these adjacent hot spots are a must-see for spotting the season’s superstars against the city’s skyline, statues and ponds.
Boston Esplanade: The tree-lined park along the Charles River is the perfect spot to snap scenic shots along the water. Walk, run or bike while enjoying views of the orange and gold reflections across the river.
Rose Kennedy Greenway: In addition to fall-colored trees, perennials and ornamental grasses, Boston’s newest park is home to a classic carousel, art installations, food trucks and picnic spots, perfect for enjoying a feast under the leaves.
From mid-September to mid-November, Denver’s trees dance in bright shades of gold and orange to celebrate harvest season. Set on the plains of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the Mile High City has five climate zones within a two-hour drive of downtown, so you can pick your elevation and escape for an afternoon of unrivaled views. Get your fall foliage fix while exploring the endless acres of parkland in and around the city:
Cherry Creek Bike Trail: Follow the fall colors along this tree-lined trail from downtown Denver to Cherry Creek State Park and discover why USA Today named it one of the top five bike paths in the country.
City Park: Do your leaf peeping in the city at Denver’s largest park, home to several lakes and the Mile High Trail, as well as the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Denver Zoo.
Sloan’s Lake Park: While swimming is no longer in season, Denver’s largest lake is a great spot to get a taste of the fall spirit while hiking, fishing or enjoying a sunset boat ride.
While this Southern city is a sight to see any season, there’s something extra special about Nashville in the fall. Its rolling hills and tree-lined rivers light up in shades of orange, red and yellow, causing even the most technology-obsessed crowds to look up from their phones and reconnect with nature.
Don’t believe us? See for yourself as you explore some of the city’s most jaw-dropping sites just minutes from downtown:
Warner Parks: As the largest municipally administered parks in Tennessee, you’ll find almost 3,000 acres of forest and field to picnic and fuel your fun in the crisp autumn air.
Cheekwood Estate & Gardens: Just a 15-minute drive from downtown Nashville in the neighborhood of Belle Meade, this 55-acre botanical garden and art museum offers a variety of fall backdrops and family-friendly harvest events.
Cumberland River: September through October, gather you crew to check out the season’s sweetest sights during a fall color cruise down the Cumberland River.
Every year, before the brutal winter begins, the Minneapolis area attracts visitors from all over the country eager to see the city’s display of fall colors. While generally speaking, the foliage begins mid-September and is gone sometimes before its even time for trick-or-treating. Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources diligently updates its fall color status map so you can confirm the area you’re visiting is still in peak season. Embrace all of autumn’s glory while exploring these area hot spots:
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: Winner of the USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Botanical Garden in the country, these grounds are sure to be a fantasy come true for foliage fanatics.
Lake Minnetonka: Switch up your seasonal sightseeing when you head to the lake for a two-hour fall color cruise, or be your own guide by renting a kayak and exploring the legendary lakeside hues for yourself.
Summit Avenue: Walk, drive or bike through this 5-mile stretch in St. Paul’s historic Hill District, home to hundreds of beautiful old trees in front of equally beautiful homes.