by Maurie Backman | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on Sept. 8, 2019
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Get ready to leaf-peep like nobody’s business.
For some people, the ideal vacation involves relaxing on a beach. But if you're into nature and love gorgeous scenery, a leaf-peeping trip during the fall could be the ideal trip for you.
Fall foliage generally peaks between the middle of September through late October, but in some places, it hits its prime earlier or later. Here are a few amazing spots worth checking out.
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Though it's known as a ski town, there's plenty of incredible scenery to be witnessed if you visit Aspen in the fall. Foliage in Aspen generally peaks in mid to late September, so get in there before the leaves hit the ground and the skiers start rushing in to hit the slopes.
Northeastern New York's Adirondack Mountains offer unbelievable views and hiking trails galore. The prime time to go is mid- to late-October, when you'll see vibrant splashes of color pretty much everywhere you look. Lodging in the area is fairly cheap, even during prime foliage season. If you're up for it, you can also just bust out your tent and camp to save some money on your travels.
About two hours from Boston, The Berkshires are another must-visit spot if you're into fall foliage. Tourism in the area tends to peak during summertime, but if you travel in October, when foliage is at its prime, you might get some trails all to yourself. Head out during the midpoint of the month to maximize your chances of seeing great colors, but pack a sweatshirt -- it can get chilly.
There's a reason this national park gets a ton of foot traffic -- with hundreds of miles of hiking trails, it's an outdoor lover's dream. If your goal is to catch the leaves at their prime, head over during the month of October -- though often, you'll still see some nice colors in early November.
Glacier National Park has a very limited peak tourist season of July and August. The reason? Snowfall before and after that window often makes key roads impassable. Luckily, fall foliage in Glacier is at its best throughout September, and if the weather holds, you might manage some incredible hikes without the crowds.
Stowe is your gateway to Vermont's Green Mountains, and October is the prime time to visit. While it's certainly possible to hike your way through the area, scenic highways allow you to see the sights without having to bust out the heavy-duty boots.
New England is known for its fall foliage, and New Hampshire is no exception. And within the Granite State, the Kancamagus Scenic Byway (known by locals as "the Kanc") is quite possibly the best place to take in those colors. The byway runs through White Mountain National Forest, so plan to get out and do some hiking along the way. Your prime time to visit is early- to mid-October, though sometimes, the colors can linger into the latter part of the month. No matter where you’re planning to take in fall foliage this season, be smart about planning that trip. If you have a travel rewards credit card, use it to book your lodging and flights. Or cash in your miles to make your getaway less expensive. The great thing about fall foliage trips is that they don’t need to break the bank -- especially if you’re willing to rough it out in the wild.
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