The 8 Most Beautiful Fall Towns in America
Apple picking! Hot cocoa! Cozy oversize sweaters! Our fall obsession knows no bounds, so we’re hitting the road to find the most beautiful places to see autumn colors across the country.
In this small town in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, the leaves begin changing in August, earlier than almost anywhere else in the country. From Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in Tennessee, you’ll peep a panorama of brightly colored trees stretching as far as the eye can see.
Stowe’s rolling countryside explodes in crimson red, fiery orange and burnt auburn leaves, making it one of the most incredible spots for fall foliage in all of New England. Visit Smugglers’ Notch State Park or Moss Glen Falls or just walk along the Stowe Recreation Path to view the gorgeous changing leaves.
Lake Placid, New York
It’s better known as a Winter Olympic Village, but you’ve never seen anything quite as beautiful as this Adirondack town during fall. Take a scenic railroad ride from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake and see the flaming colors stretch from the mountains to the valley. In October, the town hosts the annual Flaming Leaves Festival with bluegrass music, beer and barbecue to celebrate the season.
Breckenridge is famous for its winter skiing, but this Rocky Mountain town bursts into color with golden aspen trees during fall. If leaf peeping isn’t enough to get you packing, September is also the start of festival season, featuring an annual Oktoberfest, wine classic and film festival.
Door County, Wisconsin
The vibrant fall leaves peak around the middle of October, making Door County one of the most stunning fall destinations in the Midwest. One of the best ways to take in the beauty is by driving the Door County Coastal Byway, a 66-mile road that weaves along Lake Michigan and through the waterfront towns of Sturgeon Bay and Northport.
South Lake Tahoe, California
For a little taste of New England on the West Coast, look no further. Hike the trails of Hope Valley, Markleeville and Ebbetts Pass and you’ll find giant colorful aspens casting reflections into the surrounding creeks and lakes.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Crisp autumn air and gorgeous colors mark the beginning of fall in Bar Harbor, a coastal town in Maine west of Nova Scotia. As summer crowds dwindle, fall brings colorful leaves all along the rocky Atlantic landscape. Walk through the forests surrounding Jordan Pond or hike Cadillac Mountain to witness some of the most incredible scenery.
Taos, New Mexico
There’s a reason New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment. Just visit the artists’ colony of Taos in the fall and you’ll understand. Go in October when the leaves are beginning to change and drive the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, passing lakes, canyons and some of the most scenic peaks in the state.