Home Suburbs Leaf Peeping Locations: Here Are Our Top Ten in the US

Leaf Peeping Locations: Here Are Our Top Ten in the US

Leaf Peeping Locations: Here Are Our Top Ten in the US

Leaf Peeping? Really?

Leaf peeping – it sounds rather scandalous, but most Americans know it’s nothing of the sort. Instead, it is a playful name for the practice of visiting places where the foliage changes color in the fall.

The views are often breathtaking and the local atmosphere can provide interested individuals with plenty of opportunities for fun and excitement. After all, the best locations for leaf peeping boast not just beautiful landscapes, but also all sorts of other amusements and attractions that can keep visitors occupied for days at a time.

How Do People Go Leaf Peeping?

foliage nh photo
Photo by Bob Linsdell

First and foremost, it is important to note that leaf peeping is not a modern marvel but has remained popular for decades.  The beauty of nature has always fascinated people, so it’s no surprise that fall colors have always been a source of attraction for the multitudes.

Of course, just because all sorts of people have been leaf peeping in all sorts of places for who knows how long, it does not mean that leaf peeping in the present is the same as leaf peeping in the past. In fact, it would be rather strange if that was the case, seeing as how the increasing ease of travel has resulted in a similar increase in the number of businesses catering to travelers, with leaf peeping in New England and other regions of the United States being no exception to this rule.

As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that people who want to see some fall foliage can do so in the manner of their choosing, whether that means heading out by car, by train, by coach car, or in some cases, even by a river boat. Better still, they can even complement their leaf peeping with other activities, amusements, and attractions, thus creating travel experiences that are perfectly suited to their particular needs and preferences.

So Here Are Our Ten Favorites!

10. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Some rights reserved by annette_keeter
Some rights reserved by annette_keeter

Gatlinburg is a mountain resort town. To be precise, it is a mountain resort town located on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is the single most visited national park in the whole of the United States. So, it should come as no surprise to learn that Gatlinburg offers plenty of sites and sights for would-be leaf peepers, ranging from the famous Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the fabulous view from the Gatlinburg Sky Lift or the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram.  Each turn in the road brings another fabulous vista.

9. Jefferson, New Hampshire

By Someone35 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
By Someone35Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

In the great north woods of New Hampshire there is a town called Jefferson, which happens to be situated close to White Mountain National Forest. Technically, the National Forest is not one, but three, discontinuous areas, offering a wide range of scenery for people who want to have some fun while camping, hiking, or just peeping. All three of the areas are well-known for their natural beauty, but when fall arrives, they transform into a remarkable spectacle when acres of deciduous trees shed turn from their summer green into the bold and brilliant shades of the season.

8. Munising, Michigan

Some rights reserved by Jim Sorbie
Some rights reserved by Jim Sorbie

Munising, Michigan offers the most remarkable range of environments for viewing fall foliage. Found on the southern shore of Lake Superior, the city of Munising, Michigan is a popular starting point for people who want to visit either the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore or the Grand Island Recreational Area. Given their names, it should come as no surprise to learn that the first is famous for its fascinating rock formations while the second is famous for a magnificent stretch of coastline. Munising is also famous for it’s wonderful waterfalls, providing another viewing option for leaf peepers.


Alan Lee Travel expert, writer for America Unraveled.


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