Michigan's Upper Peninsula wins title of Best Destination for Fall Foliage

Leaf peepers love this fall season favorite

The kids are back in school, temperatures are starting to drop and Mother Nature's gearing up for her annual spectacle of fall color. 'Tis the season for leaf-peeping, so we asked our readers to vote for their favorite destinations.

  • Upper Peninsula

    Just about the entire Upper Peninsula puts on a display of fall color that peaks during the last two weeks of September and the first week of October. A favorite fall experience for leaf peepers is the drive along M-26 along the shores of Lake Roland and past the trees of Copper Country State Forest.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Michigannut

  • Lake of the Ozarks

    There are plenty of ways for leaf peepers to take in the fall display in and around the Lake of the Ozarks. Take a narrated scenic cruise on the lake, drive down Highway 65 or hike one of the hundreds of miles of trails in the area.
    Photo courtesy of Lake of the Ozarks

  • Pocono Mountains

    The Pocono Mountains are ablaze with hues of red, orange and yellow come autumn, thanks to the area’s 127 species of indigenous trees, plants and shrubs. Leaf peepers can hop in the car for a scenic cruise along Route 507 near Lake Wallenpaupack or climb aboard a fall foliage train.
    Photo courtesy of Joyce Bambach

  • Door County

    Wisconsin’s best fall foliage can often be found in Door County. Leaves reach their peak of color between late September and mid-October, when visitors from around the country come to drive its tree-lined roads or hike its trails.
    Photo courtesy of Door County Visitor Bureau/Jon Jarosh

  • North Conway & the White Mountains
    New Hampshire

    The annual display of fall color in the White Mountains of New Hampshire typically takes place each September and October, attracting millions of visitors from around the globe. One of the best places to take it all in is along the 34-mile Kancamagus Highway as it cuts through White Mountain National Forest.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Ron_Thomas

  • Fayetteville & the Ozark Mountain Region

    A variety of different tree species, including maple, hickory, sycamore and oak, paint the landscape of the Arkansas Ozarks in warm fall colors each September and October. This mountainous landscape attracts leaf peepers who want to get outdoors for an autumn hike in the mountains.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / DenisTangneyJr

  • The Berkshires

    Visitors to the Berkshires in the autumn have numerous options for taking in the fall color. One popular option is the Mohawk Trail along Route 2, a road affording spectacular views of the fall leaves. Another common leaf peeping trip is Route 8 from North Adams to Mount Greylock, the highest peak in the state.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / DenisTangneyJr

  • The Catskills
    New York

    Autumn is one of the most popular seasons in the Catskills, thanks to the spectacular display of color painted across the region’s hilly terrain. Visitors can soak up the views while zip lining at Hunter Mountain, sipping cider at a local orchard or attending one of many fall festivals.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / brandtbolding

  • Black Hills & Badlands
    South Dakota

    South Dakota might not immediately come to mind when you think of fall foliage, but the state’s Black Hills & Badlands region is a hidden gem when it comes to autumn color. Perhaps the best place in the state to enjoy it is along the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / photosbyjim

  • Taos
    New Mexico

    Taos, located in Northern New Mexico, sets the scene for a picturesque leaf-peeping road trip. Trees lining the High Road to Taos put on a show come autumn, as do the national forests surrounding parts of the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / northforklight

The top 10 winners in the Best Destination for Fall Foliage category are as follows:

  1. Upper Peninsula - Michigan
  2. Lake of the Ozarks - Missouri
  3. Pocono Mountains - Pennsylvania
  4. Door County - Wisconsin
  5. North Conway & the White Mountains - New Hampshire
  6. Fayetteville & the Ozark Mountain Region - Arkansas
  7. The Berkshires - Massachusetts
  8. The Catskills - New York
  9. Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota
  10. Taos - New Mexico

Congratulations to all these winning autumn destinations!

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