6 Unexpected Places to See Amazing Fall Foliage
It’s the most wonderful time of the year (and no, we’re not talking about the holidays). Autumn boasts pumpkin spiced lattes, plaid sweaters, and of course amazing fall foliage. But where should people go to experience the brilliance of leaves turning yellow, orange, and red?
It turns out not only New England provides the best views of fall. In fact, many places around the U.S. give you a good look of nature in its best form. Here are some surprising places one may not expect to find fall:
1. New York City, New York
We know what some might think: New York City is full of concrete, not wilderness. Yet, think again. The Big Apple has some true pockets of beauty, including Central Park—843 acres of greenery, including 25,000 trees. For a good look, trek to the North Woods where visitors will see oaks, elm, red maple, and black cherry trees with Manhattan’s towering skyscrapers in the background.
2. Middlesboro, Kentucky
And now to the midwest! Middlesboro’s quaint downtown is near Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, and brings just as much fall splendor as its big brother—Great Smoky Mountain National Park—with a fraction of the people. The Gap has 24,000 acres of pure wilderness, along with elk-viewing tours and various fall festivals.
3. Trail Ridge Road, Colorado
Move over east coast; the Southwest may have a run for your money. Trail Ridge Road, located in Northern Colorado, is the highest continuous paved road in North America, and goes through Rocky Mountain National Park. The road reaches 12,183 feet above sea level—and often towers above treeline—making it an incredible vantage point for turning aspens, pine, and fir trees. To reach the road, rent a car from Denver’s international airport, which is only two hours away.
4. Park City, Utah
Speaking of the Southwest, Utah is not all desert. Park City, a place readily known for world-class skiing, and a mere 30 miles from Salt Lake City, is also a great place to experience fall (without the crazy tourist crowds). The main street in downtown Park City is lined with delicious outdoor restaurants that overlook the ski mountains— covered in colorful foliage before turning into a white blanket of snow.
5. Door County, Wisconsin
Cheese curds, The Green Bay Packers, and…autumn leaves? Yes ma’am. Head to Door County to witness the striking blue water, craggy rocks, and gorgeous trees. This 75-mile peninsula sits between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, and boasts tons of farmers markets, hot cider and donut stands, and even airplane tours to see the trees from high above.
6. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Double the color by traveling to the Tetons in Wyoming, where the tree’s reflection on the numerous lakes provides a stunning sight. Get swept up in the bright yellow aspens and cottonwoods, and take a fall hike, where willows and other shrubs turn the trails into a mystical tunnel of orange and reds. Plus, visitors will also get to experience the fall backdrop with elk, moose, and bison in the forefront. Fly intoJackson Hole, steps away from the park and all its splendor.
*Note: Peak foliage depends on location, temperature, and climate, so check out the foliage reports on the Foliage Network to figure out the best time to visit!