Autumn is easily the most beautiful time of year – the leaves are changing colors, the weather is perfect for you and your family to enjoy, and there are plenty of breathtaking views to go around. Let’s explore some of the best destinations for this fall road trip.
Bryce Canyon, Utah
Bryce Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in the world, no matter what season you are visiting. Located just outside of Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon offers stunning views year-round. However, when autumn approaches and the leaves change colors, it’s an entirely different experience. With reds, oranges, and yellows, the views are breathtaking. Best of all, Bryce Canyon offers free tours year-round.
Black Hills, South Dakota
Located in southwestern South Dakota, the Black Hills’ beauty is unmatched. One of the many sites you won’t want to miss is Mt. Rushmore, The 60ft high sculpture represents the faces of four of the United States presidents. While there’s much more than just this one monument to explore, you’ll definitely want to make time for a scenic drive through this national park and take advantage of the stunning views.
Blue Ridge Parkway
This amazing route runs from North Carolina to Virginia and includes some of the most beautiful views in the eastern US. The highway stretches 469 miles through rural towns and cities, mountains, and rolling countryside. Whether you’re looking for a quick road trip or planning an extended vacation, the Blue Ridge Parkway is an excellent choice for either.
Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is one of the most well-known destinations in the United States, and with good reason! Sitting on the border between Arizona and Nevada, this natural wonder offers incredible vistas of red rock formations, deep canyons, and the Colorado River. The massive canyon spans 277 miles across Arizona and offers breathtaking views from all angles. Whether you go hiking, take the tours, or even just look out into the canyon, it’s a sight everyone should see at least once!
Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio
Ohio is not necessarily a common vacation destination for most people, but if you’re looking for a true adventure, then Hocking Hills State Park should definitely be on your list. Located in the southeast part of Ohio, this amazing state park offers everything from waterfalls to caves and even natural arches. As you travel through Hocking Hills State Park, keep an eye on the trees and leaves as they turn colors throughout autumn.
Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
Spanning over 300 miles of underground trails, Mammoth Cave National Park is the longest cave system in the world. While you’re exploring these incredible caverns, be sure to check out some of the hiking trails and look out foursome amazing views as autumn sets in. The leaves change colors throughout the park and even into early winter, so you’ll see a multitude of colors that span across the entire labyrinth of trails as you go.
Mount Washington Auto Road, New Hampshire
Located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Mount Washington is home to the highest peak in the northeastern United States. The road to the summit of Mount Washington is open all year long, but it’s best to visit during autumn when you can enjoy views of fall colors as you climb up above tree-line. Once at the top, you’ll be treated to a panoramic view of New Hampshire and the surrounding areas. These views are especially stunning at sunset and sunrise.
North Cascades National Park, Washington
If you’re looking for a drive that’s full of adventure and gorgeous scenery, then check out North Cascades National Park. The park offers a variety of hikes, from short and family-friendly to extreme treks that take you above tree-line. Luckily, the park also offers a scenic drive from the town of Sedro-Woolley all the way up to Washington Pass for incredible views at any time of year, but even more incredible during the fall.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Rocky Mountain National Park is a must-see spot in the United States, and is popular for its views. Home to incredible vistas and fun activities, this park is a year-round destination that offers plenty of reasons to visit. With great hikes and winter sports, it’s an excellent place for exploring all four seasons – and the fall colors are definitely a sight to see.
Sequoia National Park, California
Located in central California, Sequoia National Park is home to some of the largest trees in the world and has plenty of amazing views. While you’re exploring this great national park, make sure to take time for some scenic drives to get the best views. The autumn colors are especially beautiful in this area of California, and this park is chock full of sights you won’t want to miss.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
If you’re looking for a popular fall destination that’s easy to get to, then head to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Located about 3 and half hours north of the Blue Ridge Parkway, this park offers 105 miles of natural beauty. You will encounter a plethora of scenic views and photo ops. While you’re exploring this great national park, keep an eye out for the great autumn colors lining the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Located just 30 minutes south of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Valley National Park provides a great view of the changing fall colors along your drive. With more than 33,000 acres to explore, there is no shortage of things to do at this park. You can take a hike through some beautiful wooded areas or hop on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for an enjoyable ride around the park. Either way, you’ll be able to catch some wonderful views, and weather, on the way through.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Home of the stunning Grand Tetons, this national park is a must-see destination for any nature lover. This park offers plenty of activities year-round – but autumn is definitely the best time of the year to visit. The changing leaves create a beautiful backdrop for the mountains and offer plenty of stunning photo opportunities.
Zion National Park, Utah
Known as one of “The Mighty 5,” Zion National Park is home to some of the most awe-inspiring views in all of North America! With three different climate zones and more than 150 miles of hiking trails, there’s plenty to explore in Zion National Park. It’s known to have the most epic hikes in the world and a must-see scenic drive. But it’s at night when these views really come alive with a beautiful display of stars paired with colorful fall leaves.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Another must-visit national park in North America is Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Filled with lakes, canyons, waterfalls, and of course – Old Faithful! As you make your way through this great national park, make sure to take plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. From watching wildlife to enjoying the beautiful autumn colors, there are so many great reasons to visit Yellowstone National Park during the fall.
The Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Located along the North Carolina and Tennessee border is where you’ll find another one of North America’s most popular national parks: The Smoky Mountains. This beautiful park offers some incredible hiking trails for adventurers of all levels as well as scenic drives that are certainly worth checking out. The fall is the best time to visit because you’ll get a chance to see the color change amplifying the beauty of the landscape.
Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts
An awesome spot for seeing the beautiful colors in New England is Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts. This national seashore offers plenty of different activities like swimming, camping, hiking, biking, and more! There are plenty of scenic views to be seen all around the park during this time of year. You’ll see plenty of autumn leaves as well as some beautiful beaches that you won’t want to miss.
Niagara Falls, New York
Of course, no list of the best fall road trip destinations would be complete without mentioning Niagara Falls! One of the world’s seven natural wonders, this spot provides some great photo ops for taking scenic pictures during your travels. And it’s not only the leaves that make for some beautiful views; you can also visit Cave of the Winds where you can get up close and personal with the falls.
Where are you headed first?
There are so many great places to visit during your fall road trip. Make sure to get out there, explore this beautiful country we are in, and take in these incredible views for yourself!