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America's Best Adventures for Fall Foliage

It’s that time of year again!

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

We’re always sad to see summer come to an end, but the good news is that aside from pumpkin-flavored everything and the return of sweater season, this time of year of course also brings gorgeous fall colors. From the golden aspens in Colorado to the stunning red maples in New England, the entire country is dotted with locations bursting with autumn beauty.

Here are some of our favorite places around the U.S. to see the seasons change (with a pumpkin flavored something in hand, naturally). Pick a few favorites, make a bucket list, and we’ll see you out there!

The West

The dominant color out west during the fall is aspen gold and it really is tough to put into words just how stunning the already-gorgeous mountain landscape is when it's covered in streaks of bursting golden color. From Glacier National Park down to Colorado and out to the Sierra Mountains in California, fall is always beautiful out west.


The Midwest

The coasts tend to get most of the hype around outdoor adventures in general but we know for a fact that the Midwest is home to a plethora of exciting adventures and jaw-dropping landscapes. And there's no difference when it comes to fall foliage. With epic lakeside views highlighted by the colorful shoreline and winding gorges filled with tumbling waterfalls carrying red, yellow and orange leaves, the midwest delivers in autumn.


The East Coast

It may be a bold claim, but the East Coast is potentially the best region of the U.S. for fall foliage. What the East Coast lacks in epic mountain landscapes that the West has or the Great Lakes of the Midwest for fall leaves to contrast with, it makes up for in endless rolling hills completely covered in a wide variety of colors. East Coast fall leaves are almost too much to take in...almost. 

Note: Our thoughts go out to the regions of the East Coast that have been affected by Hurricane Florence. We've featured destinations on this list that may still be under closure. Please do research before heading out. We hope for speedy recoveries for all of the damaged regions and we encourage you to visit the communities affected as soon as they're able to host visitors. For communities damaged by natural disasters, tourism stimulates recovery for the local economy.

Cover photo: Sarah Giek

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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