You will absolutely fall in love with some of America’s most scenic deciduous forests. Whether you are itching to be out in the great Western Wilds, like a quaint New England Autumn, or the serenity of the Great Lakes at the close of Summer, this list can guide you to destinations sure to be painted in a rosy (and orange) hue.
The Top Places For Fall Color In The U.S.
Nestled in the foothills of Colorado’s Front Range, Boulder sits between the sweeping vastness of the Great Plains and the towering majesty of the Rocky Mountains. Those seeking time among the changing leaves will find plenty of low foothills to wander around to their heart’s content. Between late August and mid October the air is warmed by the sun all afternoon and cools slowly throughout the evening, making twilight the best time to picnic on a hillside overlooking downtown Boulder and watch the sunset over the mountains.
This autumn, why not spend a few days in one of America’s most beautiful cities, with a history as old as America itself? New Haven hosts plenty of public green spaces. Where travelers of all stripes can stop for a moment to watch the slow turning of the seasons as the autumn leaves flutter on the branch, some falling to make crunchy piles for reveling in, others, holding fast in spite of the persistent breeze. autumn pairs nicely with the gothic architecture of Yale University, and the people of New Haven have flocked there to witness the magic of autumn for centuries!
Come down from the Great Lakes to discover the marvelous trees that sit beside the Great Plains. Reddening leaves loom over pumpkin patches just waiting for an inspired Jack-o-lantern carver to adorn some of the thousands of orange gourds. Get lost and find your friends in a cornmaze! Visit Hill Prairie Winery, just forty minutes south of Springfield, and enjoy a crisp white wine or cider as you crunch fallen leaves walking along the vineyard grounds, the autumn wind ruffling your coat softly.
The Willamette Valley cradles some of the most beautiful land in the country between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountain range. The climate allows for modest rain and mild summers and early autumn, which is the best time to visit. Between late September and early November, the air is pleasantly chilly, a light mist permeates everything, and the leaves turn a magnificent crimson. Downtown Salem features a sprawling greenbelt. Bush Park, with its sprawling green fields perfect for dog walking and games of catch, also features a babbling brook that runs through a grove of oak and maple trees complete with wiley squirrels. Take a short walk east to Willamette University for some of the oldest trees in the city of Salem, as well as an excellent student run coffeehouse, The Bistro, whose baristas will happily serve you some hot cider to sip as you trundle through the dewey grass and leaves onto the Oregon State Capitol grounds. There you will find dozens of oak, maple, and other trees turned every hue of orange, red and yellow.
Grab a light jacket and book a few nights in Burlington, a quaint state renowned for its beautiful landscapes, forests, and eco-friendliness. In 2015 Burlington was the first city in the U.S. to run entirely on renewable energy. Maybe thats why the trees are so beautiful, they’re so well cared for by the city! Burlington sits at a crossroads of older East Coast city architecture and the ruggedness of a pristine northern wilderness. Take a stroll through the Church Street Marketplace which is located in the center of town and features farmers markets, art walks, and regular music and activities fairs! In Burlington autumn leaves pair well with Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, founded and made in Burlington since 1976!
As the air cools, a persistent breeze moves in from the Great Lakes and as it does it stirs the leaves that grow more crimson daily until, finally, they begin to fall one by one. Meanwhile, those fortunate enough to be in Michigan’s state capitol can expect spectacular photo ops, mild fall weather, and scores of folks who embody the spirit of ‘Midwest Nice’. In addition to the state grounds, Lansing has several parks, including Hawks Island and Kaynorth park that offer extensive green space, perfect for picnics, get togethers, and even a nice evening stroll by yourself among the cool air and fluttering leaves.
Come get a taste of Big Sky country in Montana! Hikers will delight in the winding shallow streams and tree lined riverbanks. Fly fishers, hunters, and all who love the outdoors will find plenty to do in the Helena national forest. This is somewhere special for those who really appreciate wide open spaces, and what better place to see the changing leaves than under a wide open, clear blue sky? Helena is the place to be for those who love the rugged outdoors and the calm, cool days of autumn.
This article was written by Nic Shipley.