As the summer months come to a close, most folks put away their travel gear, patiently waiting for the next summer’s vacation. Why get in a crispy cool funk when you could be planning an autumn road trip instead? Fall can be a heavenly and vibrant time to visit many places; masses tend to start hibernating, temperatures are contentedly crisp (but, thankfully, not cold), and fall- and All Hallows Eve-themed holidays tend to keep leaf peepers and locals busy and happy. It’s also the season of spookiness, with ghost tours celebrating Halloween horrors. So don’t hibernate the suitcase or wanderlust for the winter months just yet; and instead check this list for our fall trip picks for America’s prettiest rustic hues of crimson, marigold, amber, and emerald.

Whitefish, MT

Montana, without a doubt, has something beautiful to offer everybody. But there is something magical about this spectrum state during the crisp air of fall that everyone should experience at least once. Late September to mid October offers dripping Aspens and Tamaracks that stand like golden giants. After a cool and colorful fall hike one could finish off the fall trip with the Oktoberfest festival- complete with Beer, bratwurst, music, and polka dancing.

Whitefish, Montana

Photo via Pixabay

Camden, ME

Voted one of the three most beautiful towns in New England, the choice to stay and play in Camden during autumn is a no brainer. A climb of either Mt. Megunticook or Mt. Battie for sweeping views of Camden, nearby islands, or Penobscot Bay is perfect for fall leaf peeping. If one isn’t into hiking, Mt. Battie is a suggestion because it bargains an automobile road where one can take in the vibrancy of the crisp, surrounding hillsides.

camden maine

Photo: Steve Dorsey via Flickr

Snowmass Village, CO

Colorado, much like Montana, has the ability to give anyone what they’re looking for. In autumn, however, it might be just a tinge more spectacular for any leaf peeper. Snowmass offers warm days for hiking and cooled off evenings for exploring and cuddling. Snowmass Village, thanks to the 2.3 million acres of surrounding national forest, becomes almost gilded with fiery Aspens. Snowmass offers over 50 miles of hiking trails and ruby red undergrowth meadows. Whether one is looking for one last go around before winter or a chance to take some stunning flora and greenery photos; Snowmass is waiting for you.

Snowmass Village , CO

Photo via Max Pixel

Salem, MA

This 17th century coastal town had to make the cut. Salem offers soul to autumn and also to All Hallows Eve. It is town full of color and history; given that Halloween lands during autumn only adds to the ruby, burnt orange, and citron setting of this quaint shoreline town.  Salem has a lot to offer for a family outing filled with homes and buildings from the 17th century. Obviously, home of the witch trials, Salem offers darker energy that is welcomed by any occult enthusiast. Caution, Color, and Beauty; what more could one want on a fall trip?

Salem, MA

Photo: Massmat via Flickr

Sedona, AZ

The twisting highways in Arizona that pass through Oak Creek Canyon running from Flagstaff to Sedona is shocking and breath taking anytime of the year but blasts off with hues of magenta, wine, tangerine, and marigold throughout the crispy autumn months. Sedona has really so much to do, see and feel. She was born of artists and it shows. Galleries, Chakras, hikes, priceless views; Sedona has it all no matter the time of year; but during autumn the beautiful art city becomes just a little more artsy and a little more vibrant.

Sedona, AZ

Photo via Public Domain Pictures

Saranac Lake, NY

2017 looks bright, literally, for Saranac Lake in New York, The days are still quite warm (70s) with the nights dipping right below freezing. The drastic temperature change from day to night and night to day has led to one very beautiful thing: vivid foliage.  Over sixty five percent of the Adirondacks have already started to change. Truly a BLAZE of Glory for New England. Saranac Lake could be a great family destination or a hotspot for lovers. The quaint town really brings it all to the table, especially at this time of year.

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Photo: Mwanner via Wikimedia Commons

Mackinac Island, MI

If you’ve only been to Mackinac Island during the summer (most have never been there at all), you owe yourself a fall trip. You’ll find wonderfully deserted hiking trails and bargain hotel rates. You can not get much better than Fall near the water. And this is, after all, an Island. Merits to the cloistering results of the Great Lakes region the color performance last almost six weeks on the Island. The island gives its guest a chance to skip through the tunnel of trees, or walk amongst the tree tops. This is a Northwood’s charmer, and it needs to make more Leaf peeper lists. Honestly.

Mackinac_Island Michigan USA - 1024 x 723

Photo: Roman Eugeniusz via Wikimedia Commons

Townsend, TN

Townsend is a charming town in the regal Great Smoky Mountains. Boasting a population of fewer than five hundred this is the perfect bargain for a fall getaway; not to mention it’s absolute splendor. Townsend also features it’s self proclaimed “Townsend Fall Heritage Festival.” This is a gathering of people, food, arts, crafts, genuine bluegrass music, and you guessed it – a beautiful view. If you’re looking for solitude and seclusion during this equinox, Townsend may be the destination for you.

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Great Smoky Mountains. Photo: Courtesy of National Park Service

Harper’s Ferry, WV

West Virginia, which is regarded as the “Mountain State, “ is a wonderful target for fall leaf peeping. With nearly 80 percent of West Virginia covered in trees (how many leaves is that???), there are countless happenings to enjoy that rejoice the autumn season; from picturesque walking trails to local chateaus with sprawling mountain views, Harper’s Ferry is a destination for impressive, and almost magical, fall foliage. Did I mention the population of this West Virginia town? 290! Also, Harper’s Ferry is located in Shenandoah Valley. So much like Townsend in Tennessee, you are able to get the beauty but leave behind the crowds during your fall trip.

Harpers Ferry West Virginia

Photo: Jesse Lee Tucker via Wikimedia Commons

Keene, NY

Keene is a little larger than the last two foliage hot spots, but not by much. Keene has a population fewer than 1,500 and is a hop, skip, and a jump from beautiful Lake Placid. The drive between Keene and Lake Placid spans about 12 miles and bids a sequence of grandiose and breath taking views. The differences in the elevation means that one will see color at various stages of change produced by peak and temperature in about a half hour. A fan favorite is when one climbs across the canyons and valleys of Black Cliffs near Cascade Lakes. The reflective water, shadowy bluffs, and gilded leaves of the snowy birches make this drive one that pleads it’s visitors to stop, stare, breathe, and capture the beauty and light.

So bust out the flannels, leggings, and scarves and make sure you haven’t packed away your wanderlust this fall. Whether it is a day trip a long weekend fall trip: refresh and replenish the soul this vibrant and colorful season.

Also Read: 

7 Most Scenic Fall Drives in America

Autumn in Germany: Hainich National Park in Gold