50 Best Leaf Peeping Small Towns Across the Country

Meet the most stunning fall foliage spots in America.

best small towns fall foliage
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No fall would be complete without pumpkin picking, apple treats, cozy sweaters, and, of course, gorgeous foliage. Mother Nature puts on a breathtaking autumnal show year after year, which is why so many rightfully call fall their favorite season. But if you’re itching to take your leaf peeping hobby beyond your neighborhood this year (or just want the perfect seasonal getaway), you definitely need to book a trip to one of these beautiful small towns in the United States, known for their autumnal displays and views. No matter where you live, there’s a quaint spot just a hop, skip, and a jump away for your fall viewing pleasure. Soak up mountain locales—like Utah and Colorado—before ski season hits for primo leaf peeping pleasure. Or, get views and brews with a journey to the "Bourbon Capitol of the World" in Kentucky. Nature-lovers of all ages will also thrive in picturesque places like Bayfield, Wisconsin, or Taos, New Mexico. From the California coast to New England and Vermont, these are the absolute best places to travel to this leaf peeping season. For even more autumn enjoyment, check out the best fall foliage train rides across the country and must-visit fall festivals.

fall foliage saranac lake new york
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Saranac Lake, New York

The region is already known for its beautiful fall colors, but this scenic village in the Adirondacks also offers miles of lakes, mountains, and hiking trails to enhance your leaf peeping experience.

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fall foliage gatlinburg tennessee
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Gatlinburg, Tennessee

One of the best ways to glimpse fall colors? Cascading down the Great Smoky Mountains, which surround this eastern Tennessee town. Expect to see vibrant trees at various elevations throughout the season.

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fall foliage stowe vermont
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Stowe, Vermont

Vermont's known for having some of best fall color in the world, and no place proves it better than this charming town. Home to the famous Trapp Family Lodge, the quaint spot also boasts the most brilliant color peaks from the last week of September through the first few weeks of October.

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fall foliage breckenridge colorado
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Breckenridge, Colorado

The Boreas Pass Road and all nearby trails give visitors an up-close look at the colorful mountain views. We also recommend timing your trip around the area's annual Breckenridge Oktoberfest.

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fall foliage harpers ferry west virginia
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Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Prepare to take a step back in time once you book a trip to this historic national park, which sits between the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.

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fall foliage jefferson new hampshire
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Jefferson, New Hampshire

This charming New Hampshire town makes a name for itself in the fall, not only because of its spectacular scenery and vibrant colors, but also because of its quiet farmland and proximity to the White Mountains.

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fall foliage wellsboro pennsylvania
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Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

Considering the Grand Canyon of the east lives here, Wellsboro is an absolute must-see when covered in beautiful foliage.

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fall foliage munising michigan
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Munising, Michigan

Nestled on the southern shore of Lake Superior, this Upper Peninsula town's beautiful waterfalls get a bright makeover once fall rolls around.

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fall foliage cherokee north carolina
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Cherokee, North Carolina

This charming town will take you straight into the breathtaking Blue Ridge Parkway, but make sure you spend ample time in the southern locale itself for its rich Native American culture.

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fall foliage camden maine
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Camden, Maine

Deemed as the spot "where the mountains meet the sea," this seaside residence is big on small town history.

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fall foliage calistoga california
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Calistoga, California

Situated in Napa County, this beautiful town offers vineyards covered in fall foliage. Leaf peeping while sipping on wine? What could be better!

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fall foliage kent connecticut
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Kent, Connecticut

This long-time farming community offers old-fashioned charm. Visit Macedonia Brook State Park for views of Harlem Valley and the Catskill Mountains.

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fall foliage parkville missouri
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Parkville, Missouri

Hidden just outside out of Kansas City, this small town is known to locals for antiquing. Sounds like the perfect way to take a break from leaf peeping along the Missouri River, doesn't it?

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fall foliage galena illinois
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Galena, Illinois

From Galena Oktoberfest to tours of its historic homes, this midwest town offers many season-specific events that your whole family will love.

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fall foliage oakland maryland
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Oakland, Maryland

A leaf-peeping trip to Maryland is not complete without a visit to Swallow Falls State Park, where bold yellows reflect off of the Youghiogheny River.

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fall foliage fish creek wisconsin
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Fish Creek, Wisconsin

Whether you're in town for Fall Harvest Fest or just to visit Peninsula State Park, brilliant fall hues are guaranteed.

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fall foliage park city utah
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Park City, Utah

While you may have been to this destination in winter, its fall-covered mountains make it worth visiting before ski season is in swing.

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fall foliage keene new york
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Keene, New York

This small town is known as the home of Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in the Adirondacks, so it's not surprising that it offers some of the most breathtaking views of the region. Of course, it only gets more beautiful in the fall when the mountains are alive with rich fall color.

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Fayetteville, West Virginia Fall Getaway
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Fayetteville, West Virginia

Scenic drives are a must in this cool town that's home to the arched New River Gorge Bridge.

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fall foliage bristol, rhode island
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Bristol, Rhode Island

This patriotic town may be home to the oldest 4th of July parade in the country, but we'd rather take a peek at its historic architecture covered in red, orange, and yellow.

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fall foliage pigeon forge tennessee
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Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

To get a glimpse at golden leaves along the Great Smoky Mountains, time your trip from October to the beginning of November. And if you're looking for fall colors in their full glory, a visit to Cades Cove is in order.

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fall foliage buckhannon west virginia
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Buckhannon, West Virginia

Explore quaint shops along main street, then head to Audra State Park for breathtaking wilderness views covered in fall foliage.

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fall foliage mountain lakes new jersey
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Mountain Lakes, New Jersey

This town offers such beautiful lakeside views, you'd never guess it was a suburb of New York city.

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fall foliage sugar hill new hampshire
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Sugar Hill, New Hampshire

Incorporated in 1962, Sugar Hill is one of the youngest towns in New Hampshire. Named for its abundance of sugar maples, it offers plenty of leaf peeping opportunities, in addition to its charming Country Church, shown here, when covered in bright foliage.

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fall foliage jasper arkansas
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Jasper, Arkansas

This town may be small, but its big in natural beauty, thanks to its prime location in the Ozark Mountains.

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fall foliage milford pennsylvania
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Milford, Pennsylvania

To see the Pocono Mountains come alive with fall color, book a trip to this scenic town for a weekend in October through November.

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fall foliage petersham massachusetts
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Petersham, Massachusetts

Century-old maple trees come alive with blazing reds, oranges, and yellows by late September in this hilly town.

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fall foliage clayton georgia
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Clayton, Georgia

Can't get away until later in leaf peeping season? Not to worry— you can find beautiful fall colors in this mountain town until late October. Chattahoochee National Forest offers picturesque views and outdoor activities.

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fall foliage manchester vemont
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Manchester, Vermont

No leaf peeping season is complete without a dose of New England charm. Located at the foot of Mount Equinox, this town offers abundant autumn colors that peak from late August into early September.

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fall foliage lilydale minnesota
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Lilydale, Minnesota

If you've never visited Minnesota in the fall, add a trip to your bucket list now! Visit Lilydale Regional Park for stunning lakeside foliage along the Mississippi River.

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