Hit the Road to See the Glory of Autumn Leaves
Here in Florida, we are fortunate when it comes to our beautiful beaches, stunning sunrises and sunsets, incredible cloudscapes and more. What we don’t have – and it’s a reason many people choose to live here – are the dramatic changes of season that those just a bit to our north enjoy.
Even in places as close as Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas, fall foliage lights up with reds, oranges and yellows. And because those places ARE so much further south than, say, Vermont and New Hampshire, their colors last longer into the season. Fall color in parts of New England is over well before Halloween most years, but in the south, it can go well into November (depending on the year). Of course, it’s a much easier drive to Helen, Georgia, than to Portland, Maine, too!
Consider packing up the car and taking a road trip for some leaf peeping, closer to home.
The Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina and TennesseeThere are more than 100 species of trees native to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, making it a feast for the eyes each autumn. The park includes 800 miles of scenic roads and hiking trails, with vistas galore, so make sure your camera phone is ready at all times!
Shenandoah National Park Skyline Drive, VirginiaThe 105 mile Skyline Drives runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park. With 75 overlooks, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to check out the amazing views.
Greenville, South CarolinaConveniently located halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte, Greenville offers lots of opportunities to hike, check out state parks or take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Amicalola Falls State Park, GeorgiaPart of the Appalachian Trail, Amicalola Falls State Park offers 12 miles of hiking trails and beautiful foliage-framed waterfalls to enjoy.
Helen, GeorgiaCharming and whimsical, Helen, Georgia, is an Alpine-looking town in the mountains of Georgia. It is home to the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River and a spectacular Oktoberfest each year that lasts for most of September and October. Anna Ruby Falls, in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest, offers an easily accessible, beautiful fall landscape, sure to dress up your Instagram account!
Chimney Rock State Park, North CarolinaIf you’ve seen the movie “Last of the Mohicans,” you’re familiar with Chimney Rock State Park. The spectacular vistas seen in the movie are available to park visitors every day. Located about an hour outside Asheville, Chimney Rock is also close to Lake Lure, featured in the movie “Dirty Dancing.”
Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North CarolinaThe grand estate of the Vanderbilt family, Biltmore offers about 8,000 acres to explore, including the family mansion, vineyards, gardens and more. Each year, they have an autumn harvest festival from right after Labor Day until after Halloween. Stay in Asheville and explore the town’s brewpubs, fine dining and entertainment options after a day at the Biltmore!
Even if you don’t make it this year, hang on to this list and plan your road trip for next fall! There’s a world of color to see, just over the state line.