12 Postcard-Worthy Places to Watch the Fall Colors Change

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Bucket List Worthy  

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The end of summer may seem like a drag, but there’s no denying that fall offers some of our favorite yearly activities. As the green foliage of summer in the Northern Hemisphere starts to fade, hills and mountainsides turn into breathtaking displays of orange, red and yellow. So after you’ve tasted your first pumpkin latte of the season, pack your bags for one of these postcard-worthy fall foliage destinations.

#1. Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada

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Mont Tremblant isn’t just your winter skiing destination anymore. In fact, it’s one of the best places in the world to visit before the snow even falls. The Laurentian Mountains display sugar maples, yellow birch and American beech trees so visibly, you’ll be able to admire them whether you’re on the hiking trails or at the golf course. Don’t forget to take at least one gondola ride to snap photos of the panoramic views.

Best time to visit: Early to mid-October

#2. Lake Champlain Lowlands, Vermont, United States

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The Lake Champlain lowlands and Green Mountains of Vermont are home to some of the most famous fall foliage drives in the world. The state’s tourism site maps out over 20 scenic drives that range from afternoon excursions to overnight road trips, so you can fully submerge yourself in the bright reds, yellows and oranges of fall in Vermont.

Best time to visit: Late September to early October

#3.  Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Cruise the Cabot Trail on the north coast of the Island for fall foliage scenes that will be hard to believe. Trees topped with leaves of gold, orange, and fiery red stretch for as far as the eye can see.

Best time to visit: The first two weeks of October

#4. Aspen, Colorado, United States

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Take an upscale getaway to see the remarkable, golden aspen trees that gave this posh Colorado ski town its name. Aspen’s mild fall temperatures make it an ideal time to hike, bike, fly-fish or golf, but nothing beats a fall foliage cruise along Maroon Creek Road or Independence Pass.

Best time to visit: Late September through mid-October

#5. Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada

Photo credit: Stephen Downes
Photo credit: Stephen Downes

Fundy National Park’s deep reds and oranges will blow away even the most seasoned leaf peeper. Cruise the shore of the Bay of Fundy to admire the area’s unique mixture of beaches, boulders, waterfalls and breathtaking leaves. When you’re looking for a fall foliage getaway that’s visited by more animals than people, Fundy National Park is the place to be.

Best time to visit: First two weeks of October

#6. The Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina, United States

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Use the artsy mountain town of Asheville as your jumping point for admiring one of mother nature’s best fall foliage displays in the tree-covered Blue Ridge Mountains.  Cruise the Blue Ridge Parkways (snapping photos at every scenic lookout), then retreat back to downtown Asheville for some shopping and local eats at night.

Best time to visit: October through Early November

#7. Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada

Photo credit: Carl Thomasson
Photo credit: Carl Thomasson

The yellow leaves of the Fallgold Ash trees smothering the Whiteshell Provincial Park in Manitoba (but close to the Ontario border), give leaf peepers a different experience than most other popular fall foliage sites. Reflections of the golden trees on the park’s numerous lakes make for majestic photos.

Best time to visit: Mid-September through mid-October

#8. Traverse City, Michigan, United States

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When the summer crowds filter out of Northern Michigan, it’s the perfect time for fall color seekers to filter in. Cruise along the pristine Grand Traverse Bay where the red maples and oak leaves contrast beautifully sandy shores, blue water and dark green pines and firs.

Best time to visit: Late September to mid-October

#9. Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada

Photo credit: Mike Burke
Photo credit: Mike Burke

The lush green vineyards of Annapolis Valley look even more vibrant against the backdrop of gold, orange and red leaves. Take in the traditions of fall at some of Annapolis Valley’s apple orchards, farmer’s markets and pumpkin patches, but don’t forget to stop and admire the colors along your drive.

Best time to visit: Early to late October

#10. Litchfield Hills, Connecticut, United States

Photo credit: phoca2004
Photo credit: phoca2004

Every fall foliage enthusiast should visit Litchfield Hills — at the foot of Connecticut’s Berkshire Mountains — at least once. The tree-covered mountains are bursting with vibrantly colored beech, maple, oak, aspen and birch trees. The covered bridges and picturesque New England scenery make Litchfield Hills an exciting place for more low-key travelers.

Best time to visit: Early to late October

#11. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Photo credit: Billy Wilson
Photo credit: Billy Wilson

There’s no better way to take a fall color tour than in the comfortable seat of an old-fashioned locomotive. Hop aboard the Agawa Canyon Tour Train for a full day of stress-free fall foliage viewing.

Best time to visit: Mid to late September through the first week of October

#12. Lake Placid, New York, United States

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The Adirondack Mountains are known as a must-visit destination among fall color seekers, and the explosive oranges, yellows and reds never seem to disappoint. Use the outdoorsy mountain town of Lake Placid as your jumping point for scenic drives, then cozy up in a quaint cabin or B&B.

Best time to visit: Early to late October

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About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a freelance writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, learning new cultures and surfing new waves.

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