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13 Best Places For Leaf Peeping in the U.S.

You might have to go further than your own backyard.

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Vergennes, Vermont

The tiny Vermont town packs a punch when it comes to peak leaf peeping. Grab a coffee at the charming 3 Squares Cafe then explore mid-to-late September through late October.

Aspen, Colorado

Skiing isn’t the only reason to visit Aspen. Hit it up before the snow falls (the last week of September through mid-October) for spectacular fall mountain colors by hiking Aspen Mountain Summer Road trail.
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Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Depending on the elevation, you’ll see different forms of foliage in this National Forest. At 2,000’ feet look for big red maple leaves. At 4,000’, peep blueleaf huckleberry transforming into orange and crimson.

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Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina

Low lying clouds that hover like pipe smoke give the Great Smokies its name, but this ancient mountain range looks even more stunning when its 520,000 acres change colors in mid-October.

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Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

The 26-mile path that surrounds the entirety of Lake Geneva is a veritable leaf peeping paradise with a rainbow of colors reflected along the waterfront.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ohio

Between Cleveland and Akron you’ll find this scenic park that comes to life the third week of October when its sugar maples and white oaks explode in a sea of color.
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Galena, Illinois

Take in peak foliage in Galena from mid-September to late-October via strolls, drives, or Long Hollow Canopy Tour, 6 ziplines that allow guests to cruise 75 feet above the forest floor.

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Glacial Hills Scenic Byway, Kansas

For a truly stunning road trip, head to the northeast corner of the state in late September to see the seasons change in real time.

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Columbia River

The Columbia River, or "Nch'i-Wana” in the Native Sahaptin language, offers extraordinary foliage, especially along the west coast where it meets the Pacific Ocean.

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Garrett County, Maryland

Dazzling hues of scarlet, amber, and umber take over the westernmost county of Maryland come fall. And you can celebrate the vivid colors at the annual Autumn Glory Festival October 13-17 this year.

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Williamsburg, Virginia

If you already have Williamsburg as a must-see destination this year, time your visit to leaf peeping season. You’ll feel like you’re strolling amidst the chilly fall of 1700 in the Colonial Village.

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Taos, New Mexico

If gold foliage is what you’re after, you won’t find any better than Taos where the high desert town becomes gilded in mid-October thanks to the plentiful aspen tree landscape.

Brooklyn, New York

Fall foliage in the big city? You bet. Brooklyn’s beautiful parks become brilliant with fall colors as the season changes. Visit Picnic Grove at Empire Fulton Ferry to see a colorful mix of old and new trees change in October.
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