Some of the most beautiful places to see fall foliage in the South

  • The South puts on a beautiful fall display

    The Southern United States probably isn't the region to come to mind when you think "brilliant fall foliage," but it could give New England a run for its money.  Here are some of the most beautiful places to enjoy the season.

    Photo courtesy of iStock / aheflin

  • Alabama - DeSoto State Park

    DeSoto State Park in northeastern Alabama shows off shades of golden, crimson and orange, which are particularly beautiful when reflected by the water.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / James Deitsch

  • Alabama - Lake Guntersville

    The mammoth Lake Guntersville, the largest lake in the state, offers plenty of opportunities to catch a glimpse of changing leaves.  With 75 miles of lake to explore, you're sure to savor some autumn splendor.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Picturethisllc32536

  • Arkansas - Hawksbill Crag/Whitaker Point

    Hawksbill Crag, also known as Whitaker Point, might just be one of the most photographed places in Arkansas. Who could resist a view like that? Accessible via a moderate hike, the view is surreal at any time of year, but even more so in autumn.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Mitchell Wessels

  • Arkansas - Mount Magazine

    Located in the state park of the same name, Mount Magazine is the highest point in Arkansas.  That means sweeping, foliage-speckled views that will take your breath away.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / GracedByTheLight

  • Florida - Suwannee River

    Florida probably isn't the first place you'd think of when searching for spectacular fall foliage, but there's plenty to be seen.  Autumnal colors contrast beautifully with the spring-laden Suwannee River.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to mid-November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Michael Warren

  • Florida - Wekiwa Springs

    Canoe or kayak the emerald Wekiwa Springs for a different perspective on the changing leaves.  You'll probably see some wildlife along the way, too.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to mid-November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / dosecreative

  • Georgia - Tallulah Gorge

    Tallulah Gorge is legendary.  It's served as the filming locations for movies like Deliverance and Grizzly, and it was the setting for Karl Wallenda's heart-stopping high-wire walk.  And it has jaw-droppingly gorgeous scenery in autumn.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / SeanPavonePhoto

  • Georgia - Lookout Mountain

    Right on the Georgia-Tennessee border, Lookout Mountain boasts some amazing sights.  For instance, a 100-foot waterfall and the Rock City Gardens where you get amazing views of the local flora.   Did we mention you can see seven U.S. states from here?  That's a whole lot of leaf-peeping.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / gnagel

  • Kentucky - Pine Mountain

    Located in the Appalachians, Pine Mountain was Kentucky's first state park.  Savor the spectacle with a stay in the onsite lodge.
     
    Peak foliage times: Mid-late October

    Photo courtesy of iStock / jctabb

  • Kentucky - Cumberland Falls

    Cumberland Falls is the crown jewel of the Cumberland Falls State Resort Park.  Often referred to as "Little Niagara," it becomes even more spectacular when surrounded by hues of gold, orange and scarlet.
     
    Peak foliage times: Mid-late October

    Photo courtesy of iStock / alexeys

  • Louisiana - Kisatchie National Forest

    The sole National Forest in Louisiana, Kisatchie's hundreds of thousands of acres put on a brilliant color show come autumn. It's also a great spot for bird watching.
     
    Peak foliage times: Early November

    Photo courtesy of finchlake2000 / Wikimedia

  • Mississippi - Tombigbee State Park

    Tombigbee State Park in Tupelo enjoys close proximity to the Natchez Trace Parkway, famous for its fall colors. The generously-sized Lake Lee serves as a brilliant mirror for the multi-colored leaves.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / CapturedAudience

  • North Carolina - Grandfather Mountain

    One of the Blue Ridge's highest peaks, Grandfather Mountain is awash in the most brilliant autumn hues that seem to go on forever.  Join in on a Fall Color Ramble to learn more about the trees putting on the show.
     
    Peak foliage times: Mid-October

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Sean Pavone

  • North Carolina - Cullasaja River Gorge

    Cullasaja River Gorge near the town of Highlands is home to three amazing waterfalls, which visitors can access by driving the scenic Waterfall Byway.  You can actually walk behind Dry Falls, pictured here, for a really atmospheric autumnal experience.
     
    Peak foliage times: Mid-late October

    Photo courtesy of iStock / WerksMedia

  • Oklahoma - Talimena National Scenic Byway

    This scenic drive leads you over 50 miles, allowing you to explore historic towns and take in amazing views.  The view pictured here is in the Ouachita Mountains.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / LumiCreativeStudio

  • Oklahoma - Turner Falls Park

    Turner Falls is Oklahoma's largest waterfall, tumbling 77 feet into a pool below.  It's an ideal place to enjoy a fall picnic and revel in the surrounding colorful foliage.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Alice-L

  • South Carolina - Greenville

    Greenville, S.C. and its surrounding areas serve as a fantastic place to enjoy all of the shades of autumn.  For an especially scenic perpsective, visit the idyllic Campbell's Covered Bridge.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Kruck20

  • South Carolina - Table Rock State Park

    Easily recognizable in the Upstate South Carolina landscape, Table Rock's exposed rock surface serves as the backdrop for Pinnacle Lake.  The small body of water makes for a stunning contrast when the leaves turn.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / JillLang

  • Tennessee - Cades Cove

    Drive through Cades Cove – a broad valley in the Great Smoky Mountains – during autumn, and this is what you'll see.  Its picturesque and pastoral beauty is only enhanced by the transforming trees.
     
    Peak foliage times: Mid-October to late November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Dean_Fikar

  • Tennessee - Newfound Gap

    A truly unique view awaits at Newfound Gap, a mountain pass straddling the Tennessee-North Carolina border. The nearly-mile-high pass is home to an evergreen spruce-fir forest, which magnificently accents the bold colors of the deciduous population.
     
    Peak foliage times: Mid-October to late November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Sean Pavone

  • Texas - Lost Maples State Natural Area

    Brimming with year-round interest, Lost Maples becomes especially lovely in autumn. It's home to Uvalde bigtooth maples, a difficult-to-find species with fall foliage of stunning reds and golds.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October to early November

    Photo courtesy of iStock / Richard McMillin

  • Virginia - Shenandoah National Park

    This massive national park in the Blue Ridge Mountains spans hundreds of thousands of acres.  Exploring via Skyline Drive offers unforgettable views of the technicolor trees.
     
    Peak foliage times: Mid-late October

    Photo courtesy of iStock / tonda

  • Virginia - James River

    The James River is an excellent stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway, presenting a striking image of mirrored autumn color.  Even better if you can enjoy it by boat.
     
    Peak foliage times: Mid-late October

    Photo courtesy of E+ / DenisTangneyJr

  • West Virginia - Babcock State Park

    Bucolic in character, Babcock State Park's Glade Creek Grist Mill surrounded by dappled trees might be as autumnal as it gets.
     
    Peak foliage times: Late October

    Photo courtesy of E+ / Ron_Thomas


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