As summer dwindles to a close, the season for leaf peeping looms around the corner. While fall is a great time for road trips so you can get an up-close view of the changing leaves, you still need to get to them—that’s where we come in.
Whether you fly to take just one of these road trips or set out to hit all of them, make sure you put aside time to enjoy the beauty of the changing seasons this fall. Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the most beautiful drives in America for spotting the warm hues of fall foliage.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway begins just outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the small town of Cherokee, North Carolina. It runs through the Blue Ridge Mountains, which begin in Georgia, and trails up through North Carolina and into Virginia. Popular stops along the way include Asheville and Roanoke. Its Southern charm and amazing scenery has earned it the nickname of “America’s Favorite Drive.”
Even in summer, the Blue Ridge Parkway makes for a great drive thanks to its views of the Blue Ridge Mountains—so named for the bluish haze that seems to characterize these mountain peaks.
Ohio’s Idyllic Highways and Byways
When it comes to leaf peeping on a relaxing drive, you couldn’t ask for a better destination than Ohio. The state of Ohio has some of the best fall foliage in the States, with popular leaf peeping routes including the Covered Bridge Scenic Byway, Gateway to Amish Country, the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway, and Old Mill Stream Scenic Byway.
Get outside Columbus and stop in Dublin, where you can peep the $3.2-million collection of over 70 public art installations, including Field of Corn—A.K.A. Cornhenge—which features 109 six-foot tall ears of corn that each weight 1,500 pounds. Fairfield County, another ideal Ohio destination in the fall, is home to seventeen original covered bridges plus the Route 33 Brew Trail, so you can sample the local hops as you take in the bucolic setting.
Taking Route 6 through Pennsylvania will grant you pretty views a’plenty. In fact, National Geographic called it “one of America’s most scenic drives,” and the 400-plus miles of tranquility through small towns and scenic sites that you’ll encounter on Route 6 will grant you a deeper appreciation for the rich heritage of New England.
Vermont’s Scenic Drives
It doesn’t get much more fittingly fall than a drive through Vermont’s scenic countryside. Pepper your road trip with stops for maple syrup, cider, and photo ops in front of fall leaves that display hundreds of shades of orange, yellow, red, and golden.
Travel 134 miles along Lake Champlain Byway for lakeside water views, or drive Route 30, which will take you along the 30-mile Stone Valley Scenic Byway. The 11-mile Green Mountain Byway is the perfect way to keep it short and sweet—literally. Along the way, you’ll find the Ben and Jerry’s factory, a must-stop in Vermont. Vermont’s quiet countryside makes for the perfect trip in preparation for a cold winter season ahead.