The seasons change, the leaves turn colors, and pumpkin spiced everything is everywhere. We throw on the flannel and hit the road for the best leaf peeping in America. What is leaf peeping you ask? Well, you hop in the car and drive around the countryside looking for the best places to see the fall foliage change colors. Growing up in Michigan this was always one of my favorite things to do when Fall arrived.
Best Leaf Peeping In America
I’ve been to almost every state in America, minus Hawaii and Alaska. But I haven’t been able to leaf peep in every state, that would be a dream come true. I will tell you my picks below were amazing, almost mesmerizing. To see such beauty is something everyone should experience.
In no particular order, I’ve picked out my favorite place to head to for the best leaf peeping in America. I may be particular to Michigan, you know, it will always be my home, but Vermont is definitely a must when it comes to leaf peeping, along with Kentucky, Colorado, Montana, you know, just get out there and explore.
Michigan Leaf Peeping
Growing up in Michigan I never appreciated what I had when I was a kid. As a teenager, I loved Fall because the leaves would turn into these beautiful colors. I grew up on a lake that was surrounded by trees, so it was as beautiful as a painting every year.
One of the great things about Michigan, is the leaves change at different times depending on which part of the state you live in. So if you want to catch the leaves changing early, head north to the Upper Peninsula, even in Gaylord, MI, where my dad and brother live they start to change in late September.
Where I grew up in South Western part of Michigan, the leaves start to change in mid October. My hometown of Marcellus has 36 lakes, and many places to stay and catch the leaves change. There are some great restaurants in my hometown too, like Amy’s Fabulous Diner, The Rock, and a few new places like the Railway Cafe, and Regina’s.
Another great thing about Michigan in the Fall is the apple picking. There are local farms everywhere that will allow you go go pick your own apples, it’s a great time for the whole family.
Kentucky Leaf Peeping
I was lucky enough to visit the hills of Kentucky during leaf peeping season a few years ago. We stopped at a little convenience store on the side of the road and asked the locals where they thought we should visit while we were there.
They suggested we take the ferry across the river to get to Mammoth Cave.
You get there by driving through the most beautiful trees, and a very narrow road.
We never did get to see the cave, but we did get to see some beautiful landscape.
Vermont Leaf Peeping
Visiting Vermont was definitely a must-do for me, but visiting it during the Fall season was a dream come true. I stayed in Stowe, Vermont at the Top Notch resort. It’s a luxury hotel and spa, with tennis, an amazing restaurant, and beautiful hiking trails. The leaves hadn’t started changing completely, but as we were about to leave, we caught a glimpse of what was about to happen. I highly recommend visiting Vermont during leaf peeping season, it was absolutely beautiful.
Colorado Leaf Peeping
My mom lives in Colorado so I visit this beautiful state quite often. I’ve been there for every season, and though I love winter in Colorado, the leaf changing season is absolutely beautiful. The Aspens begin to turn in mid September, and the rest of the trees continue into October. If you ever get the chance to visit Colorado, I highly recommend a stop in Evergreen, Breckenridge, and of course Aspen. Colorado Springs is a definite too, so much to do, and very pet friendly.
Texas Leaf Peeping
Who knew you could leaf peep in Texas. I have lived here a little over 30 years, and I am always on the hunt for the leaves that change in the Fall here. Lost Maples is a great place to see them change, and I found out a couple months ago that just up the road from where I live, Blanco, TX is a great place too. The Blanco river is surrounded by trees that change in late October, early November. There are great restaurants there, and a few wonderful shops.
Montana Leaf Peeping
Oh Montana, how I love thee. I have had the privilege of visiting Montana in the summer and the Fall. I would move to this state in a heartbeat if I could. Montana stole my heart the first time I crossed over the state line. When I went in June there was still snow in Glacier park, a lot of snow. So much that we weren’t able to see the East side of Glacier Park. But when I visited in September, it was something out of one of those movies that shows the best a place has to offer. The leaves had started to change, the rivers were perfect for river rafting, and the view was definitely worth a 1000 everything. Everywhere you looked was beauty. From mountains to wildlife, to the small town kindness we received in every town we visited.
Indiana Leaf Peeping
I was born in Indiana, so I guess technically it is my home state. Most of my family still lives there, and I get back to visit as much as possible. My granny had this tree in her front yard that to this day was the most beautiful tree I have ever seen. My uncle, who lives in the house now, said the tree is even bigger and more beautiful now. If I could I would have a yard filled with trees like that one. There are so many great places to leaf peep in Indiana, heck, you can just drive down the road and see them change.
No matter what state you live in, get out there and explore. This is a fun adventure for the whole family to do, make a weekend of it. Try some local restaurants and coffee house, and ask the locals what their favorite place to go is.