We’re on the cusp of that time of year when the leaves start to change in glorious arrays of colors, an explosion of magnificent reds, vibrant yellows and glowing oranges. Forests become nature’s own landscape as she paints the hills and valleys in stunning hues, putting on a breathtaking art show that’s free every year. There are some places in this country where the vistas are particularly beautiful, places where people go out of their way to visit. Mower Source the 7 best bets for this year’s fall colors.
This location gets the top spot because of its sheer size and enormity. You can see gorgeous landscapes for miles and miles, with craggy mountaintops poking their heads through the trees. The only downside is the fall colors viewing season in Aspen is short, so head there as soon as you’ve finished this article.
There’s the field of entrants in the country’s best fall colors, and then there’s this show-stopper in Stowe, Vermont. The nickname for Stowe (that it calls itself, anyway) is “Fall’s Color Capital”, and it’s easy to see why when cruising down the Mount Mansfield Auto Toll Road. You feel like it was designed just for you.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia/North Carolina
Pack up for a 500-mile road trip that’ll take you through some of the most dazzling fall colors display you’ve ever seen. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the best known routes for viewing the changing colors, and it seems like the road’s been set up just for this: it moves with the land instead of cutting through it.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Sometimes, you want just that extra bit of something special with your fall colors, so how about a waterfall? The Columbia River Gorge is a sort of unofficial border between Oregon and Washington, cutting through the Cascade Mountains. One of the best vantage point for seeing firs, cottonwoods, big-leaf maples, and Oregon ash is on the tall, tall bridge.
Moosehead Lake Region, Maine
No fall colors list would be complete without including Maine, but veer off the trodden trail and check out something a little more different. Drive close to the Canadian border where Moosehead Lake is, and let yourself be entranced on the dipping and rising highway as the stunning display comes into view. At about 75 miles, it’s more than easily doable as a day trip.
Green Mountain Byway, Vermont
Vermont’s another one of those magical areas that seems like it was specially designed to host a staggeringly beautiful art display. The route is 11 miles long, so instead of driving through it, park the car and hike it. You’ll get a much better chance to really soak in the natural beauty here, and there’ll be plenty of photo ops along the way. Just remember to start early so you can avoid the inevitable crowds all arriving for the same reason as you.
Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/Tennessee
The last selection on this list may appear to be a bit of a cliche, but it’s only viewed as such to people who’ve never been here before. If you have, you know that absolutely nothing compares to the 800 miles of roads and hiking trails and huge impressive show of fall colors. The beauty is that you’ll run out of oaks, maples, sweetgums, and hickories in one of America’s most visited national parks, giving you plenty of opportunities for return trips to keep seeing something new.