The United States has a plethora of picturesque destinations for a fall road trip. Here are some of the best fall road trips that showcase the country’s stunning autumn colors and natural beauty. According to the “Colder mountainous regions like the western Rockys and the eastern Adirondacks see the first of the  year’s fall foliage in September followed by the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and western Plains in October.  Most of California and the deep South enjoy peak fall foliage in early November.

New England – The New England states, including Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, are famous for their vibrant fall foliage. Scenic drives, such as the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire, or the Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts, reveal breathtaking views of red, orange, and yellow leaves. 

Accommodation Recommendation: The Water’s Edge Resort & Spa is Shelly’s favorite hotel in Connecticut. She has stayed here at least 3 times in her trips to Connecticut (one of her favorite States). This piece of heaven is part of the Historic Hotels of America and has been operating for over 30 years as a top New England beachfront resort for vacations and getaways. Perfectly landscaped gardens, acres of grounds overlooking the water, a private white sand beach, restaurants, entertainment, a premium spa and so much more. The rooms are full of old world charm, the restaurant serves delicious food, and the property radiates relaxation. You can’t help but wake up, look out your window and smile.

Perks when booking with Traplanz:

  • Breakfast for Two Daily
  • $100 Hotel Credit per Stay (to be used on services such as spa, dining, or selected amenities valued at $100 or more)
  • Hotel Welcome Amenity and Welcome Note
  • Complimentary In-Room Internet
  • Room Upgrade (subject to availability)
  • Priority Check-in and Check-out (subject to availability)

Blue Ridge Parkway – Running from Virginia to North Carolina, it is a popular destination for a fall road trip. The parkway is renowned for impressive mountain vistas, wooded landscapes, and fall foliage.

Recommended Tour: Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour from Asheville – this tour is perfect during Fall Foliage Season. Hike the best of the Blue Ridge Parkway on this guided day trip to three scenic waterfalls from Asheville. Take in views of the mountains as you tour the classic road in a comfortable van and hear stories about the area’s natural history and culture from your local guide. Watch for blooming laurels and rhododendron as you walk the easy to moderate trails through lush oak and hickory forests. Enjoy light refreshments along the way with plenty of time to relax by the falls before returning to Asheville.

Great Smoky Mountain National Park – Bordering Tennessee and North Carolina, the park boasts colorful foliage, diverse wildlife, and numerous hiking trails to explore.

Accommodation Recommendation: Watch the sun rise over the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains at one of America’s greatest hidden treasures, Blackberry Farm. Its 4,200 acres have been a mountain haven and tranquil escape for family, friends and guests for more than 80 years. Over the years it has turned from a family home to a B&B and now a luxurious resort of breathtaking scenery, divine cuisine and escape the world pastimes. Book with us to receive perks.

Pacific Northwest – Oregon and Washington have some beautiful fall drives. Check out the Columbia River Gorge, or the Mount Hood Loop, where you can witness the changes leaves against the backdrop of impressive landscapes.

Tour Recommendations:

Half-Day Columbia River Gorge and Waterfall Hiking Tour – Head out to the Columbia River Gorge for half a day of visiting cascading waterfalls and scenic overlooks with this tour from Portland. You’ll visit Multnomah Falls, the highest waterfall in the state, as well as lesser-known falls throughout the region. You’ll also have the chance to take mini-hikes in the area to get better views of waterfalls and the surrounding scenery.

Columbia River Gorge Waterfalls and Mt Hood Tour from Portland – Experience the unrivaled beauty of the Columbia River Gorge, Cascade Mountain Range and Mount Hood on this full-day trip from Portland. In the comfort of a luxury vehicle, enjoy a guided tour of the Gorge’s top destinations, including dramatic waterfalls, the Bridge of the Gods, Hood’s Timberline Lodge, and the charming city of Hood River.

Colorado – In late September and early October, Colorado’s aspen trees transform into a golden hue, creating a magic atmosphere. Take a drive along the San Juan Skyway, or the Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway for unforgettable views.

Accommodation Recommendation: Madeline Hotel & Residences is the only Forbes 5 star resort in Telluride. It is your adventure basecamp, with ski-in, ski-out access, and located steps away from where hiking trails start and access to the rugged Colorado backcountry begins. When you’re staying slopeside, you’re at the center of it all. Madeline Hotel’s brand new outdoor swimming pool and hot tub— the latter in particular offering amazing views of sunsets behind the Rocky Mountain tops. The complimentary mountain gondola station also awaits just outside, providing easy transportation to the heart of Telluride and a perfect view of the leaves changing.

Perks when booking with Traplanz:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early Check-In / Late Check-Out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

The Ozark Mountains – Spanning across Arkansas and Missouri, provide stunning fall scenery with rolling hills, clear streams, and amazing foliage. The Pig Trail Scenic Byway and Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway make for the perfect fall road trip.

Accommodation Recommendation: The Lodge of the Four Seasons has been welcoming guests and offering unparalleled hospitality at their gorgeous waterfront resort for over 58 years. The Lodge has a 36 hole championship golf course, the Spa Shiki, casual and welcoming restaurants each offering fresh, approachable American cuisine, in a picturesque lakefront setting. Experience your own thrilling Lake Ozark adventure.

Northern Michigan – Often unexplored, this region of Michigan weaves a beautiful tapestry of color in the fall. Of the many scenic drives, the best two are along the Keweenaw Peninsula, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Another option is to make your way to Mackinac Island and experience an old fashioned getaway in a place with delectable fudge, plenty of restaurants, cute shops, and the only modes of transportation are horse drawn carriage, boats and bike…no cars. It’s a lovely way to spend a weekend.

Accommodation Recommendation: Since 1887, Grand Hotel allows guests to slow time and spend time. It’s a place where old-world meets new charm. Experience the tradition of Afternoon Tea in the Parlor, dressing up for dinner, nightly dancing to the sounds of a live orchestra, and sitting in a rocking chair on the world’s longest porch overlooking the Straits of Mackinac. And don’t forget to take a dip in the Esther Williams swimming pool. If you enjoy Jazz don’t miss the Labor Day Jazz Weekend next month. Book with us for that extra special treatment.

Shenandoah National Park – Located in Virginia, Skyline Drive is a wonderful journey through the Appalachian Mountains, showcasing the areas beautiful fall colors.

Accommodation Recommendation: Nestled within the heart of Virginia’s horse and wine country, just one hour from Washington, D.C., on over 340 breathtaking acres, Salamander Middleburg is the first destination resort in the D.C. area to receive the Forbes Five-Star Awar. A resort offering gracious hospitality and historic charm, Salamander Middleburg offers boundless and inspiring activities that will delight guests including treetop zip-lining, the renowned Salamander Spa, and outstanding wineries.

Perks when booking with Traplanz:

  • Breakfast for Two Daily
  • $100 Hotel Credit per Stay (to be used on services such as spa, dining, or selected amenities valued at $100 or more)
  • Hotel Welcome Amenity and Welcome Note
  • Complimentary In-Room Internet
  • Room Upgrade (subject to availability)Priority Check-in and Check-out (subject to availability)

Utah – Known for some of the best national parks in the US, Utah’s mountains and canyons provide a canvas splashed with red, yellow, and orange colors. Consider driving through the Wasatch Mountains or along the Scenic Lake Mirror Byway.

Recommendation: Head to Snowbasin for the day and enjoy hiking and sightseeing, mountain biking, mini-golf, and more. SnowWiesn Oktoberfest is coming up. Enjoy the German-themed fall festival with Bavarian food, cold drinks, live music and fun activities. Takes place on Sundays from September 3 to October 8.

Napa Valley, California – Besides being a famous wine region, Napa also offers endless rows of grapevines turning into yellow hues during the fall season.

Accommodation Recommendation: Alila Napa Valley is a sanctuary for adults set amid Beringer Vineyards and surrounded by historic wineries. This hidden enclave feels a world away, yet is only minutes from downtown St. Helena. It is ideal for those seeking a conscientious escape and understand that slowing down is an opportunity to savor each moment. Here, guests don’t merely visit wine country—they become a part of it.

Perks when booking with Traplanz:

  • Welcome letter
  • Welcome amenity provided to guests upon arrival.
  • Daily complimentary full breakfast at a hotel restaurant for up to two guests.
  • Property credit (value varies by property).
  • Priority for room upgrade (subject to availability)
  • • Early check-in/late check-out/connecting rooms (subject to availability)

Remember to plan your road trip well in advance, check for weather conditions, and book accommodations early if needed. Each of these road trips has its unique charm and offers an unforgettable fall experience. 

Happy Travels,

Shelly & Joric

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