Weekend Trips for Fall Foliage

Whether it’s the bright red maples of New England, the vibrant orange aspens of the Southwest, or the impressive pines of the Northwest, it’s no doubt that mother nature's most vibrant colors make fall one of the best times of the year for a road trip. And why not stop and relax at a B&B along the road to enjoy the crisp fall air?

Here are some of the best US regions for autumn road trips and a few tips for getting the best views. Also be sure to check out our infographic for road trip ideas in the southeast.

New England

When to go: You can’t go wrong with the end of September or beginning of October. And the color should carry through until at least the end of October.

New England Fall Foliage

Where to drive:

  • The Green Mountain Byway between the Northern Green Mountains of Vermont is one of many can’t-miss routes to view picturesque maples and brilliant birch trees of New England.

  • The Maryland Tourism Office provides a list of the best scenic byways that will surely keep you busy and on the road in search for the brightest leaves.

Where to stay:


When to go: Leaves start turning in mid-October and peak at the end of October, with some color trickling into November.

Northwest Fall Foliage

Where to drive:

  • The Willamette Valley of Oregon has more than 200 wineries. The leaves at the vineyards turn beautiful colors, so be sure to take a drive through the wine country on Oregon Route 99W or 99E.

  • Scenic Washington State recommends the White Pass National Scenic Byway, to enjoy the view of autumn a midst two active volcanoes.

Where to stay:


When to go: Late September to mid-October is the best time to catch the brightest fall colors before the trees start dropping their leaves in November.

Midwest Fall Foliage

Where to drive:

  • The Michigan Economic Development Corporation provides a plethora of recommended autumn road trip routes that won’t disappoint.

  • The Illinois Office of Tourism suggests taking Great River Road along the western edge of Illinois for a scenic view of the Mississippi River and the fall woodlands.

Where to stay:


When to go: Leaves begin to change in mid-September, peak in mid-October and are typically gone by beginning of November.

SouthwestFall Foliage

Where to drive:

  • The Colorado Tourism Office says that one of the best driving routes is taking Colorado 550 from Ridgeway south through Ouray and Silverton to Durango.

  • The New Mexico Tourism office recommends that you leave your car and travel back in time on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad as an alternative way to enjoy the fall views.

Where to stay: