Five Road Trips to Take This Fall

From September to early November, from Vermont to California, Mother Nature does her best to wow us with a dazzling display of red, gold, and orange leaves. Don’t let her efforts go unappreciated.

Grab your favorite flannel and a dozen apple cider donuts for the road; here are seven road trips to take to get the best leaf-peeping of the season.

Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

While Shenandoah National Park has plenty to offer visitors year round, it really shines in the fall, when its thousands of trees turn. To fully experience the fall colors, simply spend a day driving down Skyline Drive. The road runs 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, winding through the natural wonders of the park. While you’re admiring the leaves, be sure to keep your eyes on the road for the deer, black bear, wild turkey, and other woodland animals that call Shenandoah National Park home.

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula explodes into reds and golds in fall, and there’s no better way to see it all then with a drive down the historic M-22. The 116-mile stretch winds from Traverse City to Manistee along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Along the route there are quaint towns, restaurants, and wineries to explore—all made particularly picturesque by the surrounding ash, aspen, maple, and birch trees.

Glacier Mountains National Park (Montana)

 
 Glacier Mountains National Park (Montana)
Acadia National Park (Maine)
Hocking Hills Scenic Byway, Ohio

Acadia National Park (Maine)

Maine’s fall color show starts on historic Route 1. Start your drive outside Portland and wind north along the coastal road. For a day trip, stop at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens outside Boothbay for a walk along the wooded paths. To make a fall weekend, head toward Acadia National Park. To soak up the maximum color, head out along the Park Loop Road south of Sand Beach. The scenic 27-mile scenic loop begins at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and winds around the park with plenty of opportunities to admire the leaves.

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

For a fall adventure in a surprising location, head to the tree-filled town of Torrey, Utah. Head down Utah Highway 24 and through Capitol Reef National Park where the high desert mesas give way to fruit trees. Tucked inside the park is a small town called Fruita, which was settled in 1880 by pioneers looking for a place to call home. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the town’s orchards are open to visitors who come each fall to help bring in the apple harvest. After you pick your fill of apples, head along the 25-mile Capitol Reef National Park Scenic Drive to see the desert in bloom with fall colors.

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