As summer winds to a close, temperatures begin to drop as Mother Nature gears up for her annual spectacle of fall color. To prepare for the season, USA TODAY 10Best asked readers to vote for their favorite places to go leaf peeping in a contest for Best Destination for Fall Foliage. Scroll to see the top 10 winners.
10. Asheville, North Carolina.
Fall color sweeps across the landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains around Asheville beginning in early September and tends to stick around for six weeks. The city makes an excellent base for autumn leaf peeping adventures to Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell State Park and Pisgah National Forest.
9. Finger Lakes in New York.
Many Finger Lakes communities celebrate the fall arrival of color with seasonal festivals and events. Though many of those events have been canceled in 2020, you can still enjoy the gorgeous scenery.
8. Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.
The Pocono Mountains are vibrant with hues of red, orange and yellow come autumn, thanks to the area’s 127 species of indigenous trees, plants and shrubs. Leaf peepers can hop in the car for a scenic cruise along Route 507 near Lake Wallenpaupack or climb aboard a fall foliage train.
7. Ozark Mountain Region in Arkansas.
A variety of tree species, including maple, hickory, sycamore and oak, paint the landscape of the Arkansas Ozarks in warm fall colors each September and October. This mountainous landscape attracts leaf peepers who want to get outdoors for an autumn hike in the mountains.
6. Stowe, Vermont.
Vermont is well known for its fall foliage, particularly in the Green Mountains. For the best leaf peeping, make the drive along the Green Mountain Byway between the towns of Waterbury and Stowe. Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak, sits along the way.
5. Door County, Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s best fall foliage can often be found in Door County. Leaves reach their peak of color between late September and mid-October, when visitors from around the country come to drive its tree-lined roads or hike its trails.
4. White Mountains in New Hampshire.
The annual display of fall color in the White Mountains of New Hampshire typically takes place each September and October, attracting millions of visitors from around the globe. One of the best places to take it all in is along the 34-mile Kancamagus Highway as it cuts through White Mountain National Forest.
3. Laurel Highlands in Pennsylvania.
Fall foliage in the Laurel Highlands usually peaks in mid-October, making the Pennsylvania region an ideal fall getaway destination. Go for a drive along Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway with a stop to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater framed by colorful leaves, or take a scenic hike in Ohiopyle State Park.
2. Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Autumn is one of the most popular times to visit the Smoky Mountains, thanks in large part to the spectacular fall foliage and cool temperatures. Gatlinburg travelers have their choice of several aerial tramways and chair lifts for taking in an bird's-eye view of the landscape before or after a trip into Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
1. Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Just about the entire Upper Peninsula puts on a display of fall color that peaks during the last two weeks of September and the first week of October. A favorite fall experience for leaf peepers is the drive on M-26 along the shores of Lake Roland and past the trees of Copper Country State Forest.
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