America's Best Leaf Peeping Destinations

by Megan DuBois

America's Best Leaf Peeping Destinations

by Megan DuBois

Leaf peeping is a quintessential fall activity for many travelers. However, a vacation around those blazing reds and oranges can be tricky because there’s no definite time for when the leaves are going to be at their most colorful. To inspire your autumnal adventure, we've rounded up the 10 best places for leaf peeping in the US.

Leaf peeping is a quintessential fall activity for many travelers. However, a vacation around those blazing reds and oranges can be tricky because there’s no definite time for when the leaves are going to be at their most colorful. To inspire your autumnal adventure, we've rounded up the 10 best places for leaf peeping in the US.

10
Courtesy of Paws Up
1 of 10
Austin, Texas

Austin, along with the surrounding Texas Hill Country region, offers incredible lead peeping opportunities thanks to its stunning landscape, which features woods and waterways aplenty. The expansive Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa, which is set across 4,000-plus acres, is the perfect place to experience the changing of the seasons. For an even closer look at the leaves, embark on a self-guided hike -- the property has on-site trails for guests to enjoy -- before refueling with a meal at one of the on-site eateries.

Austin, along with the surrounding Texas Hill Country region, offers incredible lead peeping opportunities thanks to its stunning landscape, which features woods and waterways aplenty. The expansive Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa, which is set across 4,000-plus acres, is the perfect place to experience the changing of the seasons. For an even closer look at the leaves, embark on a self-guided hike -- the property has on-site trails for guests to enjoy -- before refueling with a meal at one of the on-site eateries.

2 of 10
Newberg, Oregon

The Pacific Northwest continues to attract countless leaf peepers. In our opinion, the foliage is best experienced in Oregon's Willamette Valley, where rolling hills, peaks, and mountains come alive with vibrant reds, oranges, golds, and yellows. Book a room at The Allison Inn and Spa, which features lush landscapes and incredible mountain vistas. Don't miss the on-site restaurant, JORY, which boasts an elegant ambiance, upscale cuisine featuring locally sourced ingredients, and 800-plus wine labels. (This is wine country, after all.) 

The Pacific Northwest continues to attract countless leaf peepers. In our opinion, the foliage is best experienced in Oregon's Willamette Valley, where rolling hills, peaks, and mountains come alive with vibrant reds, oranges, golds, and yellows. Book a room at The Allison Inn and Spa, which features lush landscapes and incredible mountain vistas. Don't miss the on-site restaurant, JORY, which boasts an elegant ambiance, upscale cuisine featuring locally sourced ingredients, and 800-plus wine labels. (This is wine country, after all.) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chatham Bars Inn
3 of 10
Chatham, Massachusetts

New England is famous for its foliage, and Chatham, Massachusetts is one of the region's best spots to visit. Here, you'll find lush, tree-lined landscapes leading out into the ocean -- plus bright-orange leaves that rival the stunning sunsets. Consider a stay at Chatham Bars Inn, where you can take part in harvesting trips and pumpkin patch picking at the resort's eight-acre farm. In the evening, enjoy a farm-to-table dinner as you soak up the last few minutes of sunlight.

New England is famous for its foliage, and Chatham, Massachusetts is one of the region's best spots to visit. Here, you'll find lush, tree-lined landscapes leading out into the ocean -- plus bright-orange leaves that rival the stunning sunsets. Consider a stay at Chatham Bars Inn, where you can take part in harvesting trips and pumpkin patch picking at the resort's eight-acre farm. In the evening, enjoy a farm-to-table dinner as you soak up the last few minutes of sunlight.

4 of 10
Greenough, Montana

Greenough, Montana's secluded locale in the heart of the Montana wilderness makes for fabulous foliage viewing.  At The Green O, a luxe adults-only property from the folks at The Resort at Paws Up, each of the units here comes complete with floor-to-ceiling windows -- so you can take in the views without leaving your room. Alternatively, take a hike (literally): The property offers more than 100 miles of hiking trails for guests to enjoy. Lastly, don't miss out on a meal at the sun-drenched Social Haus, where you can drink and dine around a cozy indoor fire pit. 

Greenough, Montana's secluded locale in the heart of the Montana wilderness makes for fabulous foliage viewing.  At The Green O, a luxe adults-only property from the folks at The Resort at Paws Up, each of the units here comes complete with floor-to-ceiling windows -- so you can take in the views without leaving your room. Alternatively, take a hike (literally): The property offers more than 100 miles of hiking trails for guests to enjoy. Lastly, don't miss out on a meal at the sun-drenched Social Haus, where you can drink and dine around a cozy indoor fire pit. 

5 of 10
Westerly, Rhode Island

Westerly, Rhode Island is especially great for leaf peepers in search of a serene coastal escape. Roll down the car windows and soak in the crisp autumn air as you cruise down Route 1A or Route 102, both of which offer breathtaking foliage views. Then, check into Weekapaug Inn, where you can partake in guided hikes and peaceful tide pool walks with the property's naturalist, Teddy Beahm. Come sunset,  sit back and lounge out in a lawn chair to admire the leaves as they dazzle against the colors of the sky. 

Westerly, Rhode Island is especially great for leaf peepers in search of a serene coastal escape. Roll down the car windows and soak in the crisp autumn air as you cruise down Route 1A or Route 102, both of which offer breathtaking foliage views. Then, check into Weekapaug Inn, where you can partake in guided hikes and peaceful tide pool walks with the property's naturalist, Teddy Beahm. Come sunset,  sit back and lounge out in a lawn chair to admire the leaves as they dazzle against the colors of the sky. 

6 of 10
Highlands, North Carolina

North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains are famous for their leaf peeping displays.  Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to take in all that the region has to offer during the natural phenomenon. Along the way, you'll come across the quaint town of Highlands, which is home to the recently opened Skyline Lodge. The upscale property, which debuted in July 2021, makes an excellent home base for exploring the area. Take in the panoramic mountain views from your private balcony -- and don't forget to snap a photo or two: No filter necessary.

North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains are famous for their leaf peeping displays.  Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to take in all that the region has to offer during the natural phenomenon. Along the way, you'll come across the quaint town of Highlands, which is home to the recently opened Skyline Lodge. The upscale property, which debuted in July 2021, makes an excellent home base for exploring the area. Take in the panoramic mountain views from your private balcony -- and don't forget to snap a photo or two: No filter necessary.

7 of 10
Silverthorne, Colorado

If being fully immersed in the glory of nature is at the top of your list this season, then you'll want to visit Silverthorne, Colorado, STAT. The 250-acre Triple Creek Ranch by Cuvée offers two spacious cabins for rent, which makes it especially ideal for larger groups and families. While the luxe property offers incredible private hiking trails, the best way to admire the foliage, in our opinion, is on horseback.   

 

If being fully immersed in the glory of nature is at the top of your list this season, then you'll want to visit Silverthorne, Colorado, STAT. The 250-acre Triple Creek Ranch by Cuvée offers two spacious cabins for rent, which makes it especially ideal for larger groups and families. While the luxe property offers incredible private hiking trails, the best way to admire the foliage, in our opinion, is on horseback.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 of 10
Washington D.C.

While our nation’s capital is best known for its springtime cherry blossoms, you don't want to miss out on the city's fall foliage opps. As summer fades, the rich fall hues take center stage along the National Mall -- especially around the Tidal Basin, which overlooks the Jefferson Memorial. When it comes time to unwind, retreat to your room at The Riggs Washington D.C.  The property puts you within easy walking (or biking) distance of the city's best attractions. The hotel also offers complimentary bike rentals as an added bonus. 

While our nation’s capital is best known for its springtime cherry blossoms, you don't want to miss out on the city's fall foliage opps. As summer fades, the rich fall hues take center stage along the National Mall -- especially around the Tidal Basin, which overlooks the Jefferson Memorial. When it comes time to unwind, retreat to your room at The Riggs Washington D.C.  The property puts you within easy walking (or biking) distance of the city's best attractions. The hotel also offers complimentary bike rentals as an added bonus. 

9 of 10
Franklin, Tennessee

The 444-mile-long Natchez Trace Parkway, which cuts right through the middle of Franklin, Tennessee, is one of the most beautiful drives in the US. Find a safe place to park along the side of the road at one of the scenic overlooks before walking over the Natchez Trace Bridge, which offers postcard-worthy views of the picturesque rolling hills. Stay at The Harpeth Hotel in historic downtown Franklin, which puts you in close proximity to all of the stunning scenery. 

The 444-mile-long Natchez Trace Parkway, which cuts right through the middle of Franklin, Tennessee, is one of the most beautiful drives in the US. Find a safe place to park along the side of the road at one of the scenic overlooks before walking over the Natchez Trace Bridge, which offers postcard-worthy views of the picturesque rolling hills. Stay at The Harpeth Hotel in historic downtown Franklin, which puts you in close proximity to all of the stunning scenery. 

10 of 10
Bristol, Virginia

Bristol, Virginia is flanked by the Appalachian Mountains, which makes it an ideal leaf peeping locale. Here, travelers can explore the Appalachian Trail and Cherokee National Forest, both of which are great for hiking, strolling, picnicking, and -- you guessed it -- foliage viewing. At The Bristol Hotel, where the rooftop bar offers panoramic views of the city: plus blazing colors, of course.

Bristol, Virginia is flanked by the Appalachian Mountains, which makes it an ideal leaf peeping locale. Here, travelers can explore the Appalachian Trail and Cherokee National Forest, both of which are great for hiking, strolling, picnicking, and -- you guessed it -- foliage viewing. At The Bristol Hotel, where the rooftop bar offers panoramic views of the city: plus blazing colors, of course.

Up next...

11 Reasons a Non-Cruiser Would Want to Take a Cruise

Milford Sound, New Zealand
Go Back
Find The Best Cruises
Find a cruise

Find the best deals!

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices