5 Fall Color Vacations Beyond New England

published on September 14, 2021 by

The east coast isn’t the only game in town when it comes to spectacular fall color. This year, shake things up and explore the many destinations that offer autumn magic, from Wisconsin to Colorado. 

Baraboo, Wisconsin

Fall Color Peak: Early to mid-October

Leaf Peeping Opportunities: Baraboo is the gateway to Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin’s largest and most popular state park, spanning 9,000 acres. When you visit in the fall, you’ll be blown away by the spectacular foliage that covers virtually every inch of this natural attraction. The maple trees in Devil’s Lake turn a luminous shade of yellow; take either the East Bluff or West Bluff trails for amazing leaf-peeping and views of 500-foot-tall quartzite bluffs. 

Where To Stay: Wyndham Vacation Resorts at Glacier Canyon’s location offers the best of both worlds — it’s just a short distance from both Devil’s Lake State Park and the family friendly fun of the Wisconsin Dells (the waterpark capital of the world.) During your stay, you’ll enjoy the property’s own massive waterparks and the championship Glacier Canyon golf course. 

Boyne Falls, Michigan

Fall Color Peak: Early October

Leaf Peeping Opportunities: The country roads of Boyne Falls offer Midwest autumn beauty at its best, with brilliantly blues skies and crisp, fresh air complementing the gold, red and oranges of northwestern Michigan’s countryside. The region celebrates the season in similarly colorful style, with an array of pumpkin patches, Oktoberfest events, and traditional barn dances. In other words, Boyne Falls is an autumn paradise. 

Where To Stay: Mountain Run at Boyne Mountain is close to one of Michigan’s most beloved ski areas, but the fall here is just as fun. The property boasts easy access to trails for biking and hiking, not to mention a state-of-the-art spa for when it’s time to unwind. 

Vail, Colorado

Fall Color Peak: Mid-September to mid-October

Leaf Peeping Opportunities: Go for the gold in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. During September and October, the state’s famous aspen trees go from green to an awe-inspiring gold, bringing countless sightseers out to catch a glimpse of the seasonal show. In Vail, North Trail is a great option for all ages, with easy-to-navigate terrain, thousands of aspens, and a payoff in stunning panoramic views that stretch from majestic peak to majestic peak. 

Where To Stay: Set amidst those majestic peaks, you’ll find The Ritz-Carlton Club, Vail, an alpine escape like no other. Here, you’ll find the perfect mix of luxury and laid-back, with a huge, heated pool, cozy firepits (s’mores, anyone?), and comfortable accommodations that range in size from two-bedrooms to four-bedrooms. 

Aspen, Colorado

Fall Color Peak: Mid-September to mid-October

Leaf Peeping Opportunities: As you can probably guess, Aspen (the town) is a renowned for its aspens (the trees). Established as a gold rush town back in the 1800s, this upscale mountain town now offers a multitude of chances to revel in Colorado’s autumn gold. Take the Silver Queen Gondola up to the top of the 11,212-foot-tall Aspen Mountain for a bird’s eye view of the foliage or walk along the trails that follow the Roaring Fork River. 

Where To Stay: Hyatt Grand Aspen is an ideal home base for your fall adventures in the Rocky Mountains, with a location that’s just steps from Aspen’s famed fine dining and stylish shopping scenes. When the sun goes down, retreat to your private furnished balcony, equipped with a gas fireplace to keep you warm. 

Ridgedale, Missouri

Fall Color Peak: Throughout October

Leaf Peeping Opportunities: Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Ridgedale delivers some of the Midwest’s finest fall foliage. The Top of the Rock is a must-visit natural attraction year-round, but it outdoes itself in the fall, with a burst of rich color that must be seen to be believed. While there, you can also check out ancient caves, a natural history museum, and more. 

Where To Stay: Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Big Cedar Wilderness Club offers rustic elegance overlooking the 43,000-acre Table Lake. An extremely family friendly escape, the resort’s pool is a centerpiece, with a lazy river, waterslides, and a waterfall.

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