Don't miss the opportunity to experience this seasonal spectacle—kickstart your trip planning today and marvel at the unmatched splendor of nature's yearly work of art.
Fall is a magical time of year when landscapes across the United States come alive with vibrant hues. One of the best ways to experience this awe-inspiring transformation is by visiting our nation's national parks. From the fiery reds of maple leaves to the golden glow of aspens and oaks, the beauty of autumn is on full display in these natural havens. Here are some of the top spots to witness this annual spectacle.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, this UNESCO World Heritage Site serves up a visual feast for the eyes. Renowned for its biodiversity, it outshines all other parks in terms of the number and variety of animals, plants, fungi and other organisms. Among its half-million acres, more than 100 native species of trees explode with a kaleidoscope of colors, creating an unforgettable, dazzling display. And, to top it off, there's no entrance fee here, setting it apart from many other national parks.
Acadia National Park
Situated on the rugged coast of Maine, Acadia offers an enchanting blend of rocky shorelines, lush forests and majestic mountains. The park's maple, birch and oak trees erupt in a mosaic of reds, yellows and oranges against a backdrop of crashing waves and granite cliffs. Take a hike up Cadillac Mountain for panoramic views of the picturesque surroundings, or drive along the Park Loop Road to take in the breathtaking beauty.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
For those in the Midwest, Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio is a hidden gem. Because of its dense woodlands, the fall foliage is truly stunning. You’ll find a range of habitats, including wetlands, forests and rolling hills; plus plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, biking and canoeing. Take a relaxing ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad to enjoy the view without breaking a sweat.
Shenandoah National Park
Just a short drive from the nation's capital, Shenandoah National Park is a leaf-peeping paradise in the heart of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. With more than 200,000 acres of pristine wilderness, it’s home to some of the most eye-catching foliage in the Eastern United States. The Skyline Drive, a 105-mile scenic highway, winds its way through the park and provides unparalleled views of never-ending valleys surrounded by a captivating panorama of colors.
Guadalupe National Park
This lesser-known park in West Texas may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking of fall foliage destinations, but we promise it’s worth the visit. The park's unique blend of desert flora—including sotol, big-tooth maples and oaks—undergo a striking transformation, painting the arid terrain with crimson reds, deep oranges and vivid yellows. McKittrick Canyon, known as the "Crown Jewel of Texas," is the star of the show, offering a magical hiking experience through a mesmerizing tunnel of changing leaves.