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Top 6 Fall Scenic Drives In The USA

It is said that in no other country will the fall foliage be so vibrant and colorful as it is in the United States.

Once the cooler temperatures and shorter days of early autumn appear, leaves across the entire country begin to turn. The green of chlorophyll is replaced with yellows, reds, oranges, purples, and browns, resulting in a patchwork quilt of beauty spread over hills, plains, and valleys. Maples, oaks, birches, poplars, and locust trees all add their splash of color to the autumn scene.

The fall foliage display is as brief as it is spectacular, so once a touch of frost is in the air, it’s time to start planning your fall scenic drive. You can find beautiful displays in nearly every part of the country, so grab your sweaters and cameras and head out to enjoy nature.

  • New England offers some of the most fantastic fall foliage in the country, and Maine can provide vistas of bright colors and panoramas throughout the state. One of the favorite fall scenic drives is the ‘Maples and Mountains’ tour. This begins and ends in Naples and includes not only fall foliage but a trip through the Maine Lakes Region.
  • Chicago from across Lake Michigan.

    Chicago from across Lake Michigan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    The fall drive through Michigan’s Gold Coast will reward those who are willing to travel a bit off the beaten path. This is a 100 mile long route that begins in Traverse City, and meanders along the edge of Lake Michigan. Still mostly untouched by commercial development, this will make a relaxing and refreshing excursion.

  • A longer scenic tour, 500 miles, winds through the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. The drive begins in Roanoke, Virginia, and exposes you to untouched views of mountains blanketed with color. Because this is such a long drive, plan on taking at least 2 days to complete it.
  • The West Coast is well represented by the Washington State Olympic Peninsula fall foliage tour. This begins in Seattle and winds its way through Olympic State Park. This, too, is one of the longer tours, 350 miles, and gives you the chance not only to view foliage, but also catch a glimpse of some of the peninsula’s abundant wildlife.
  • The Ozark National Forest is a great place to enjoy bright foliage in the southern central region. The tour is between two Arkansas towns, Mountain View and Mountain Home. Those who are a bit more adventurous will try the Glade Top Trail (this is a dirt road) in Ava, Missouri. This does offer some one-of-a-kind scenery from the tops of the hills and mountains.
  • The West Elk Loop in Colorado touches 3 national forests, and allows a great view of the yellow, gold, and orange of the aspen forests. For contrast to the yellow of the aspen and green of the spruce and pine, oak trees add a deep red color. This route is approximately 200 miles long and begins and ends in Gunnison, Colorado.

Take advantage of the palate of color provided by nature before winter sets in by taking one of the USA’s fall foliage drives.

Noc enjoys road trip and often stay with Travel Advantage Network.

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