Nothing says fall quite like colorful leaves, and the outdoors are a peaceful refuge that can help restore the body and mind, which is particularly important during these trying times. Countless studies have supported the health benefits of going outside for a walk and some fresh air, like this Harvard study that found that exercise not only reduces depression and anxiety but also slows cognitive decline.
With wellness and color in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best places in the US to view stunning fall foliage. (And when you return, look into upgrading your bathroom with our Smart Shower with steam that allows you to control all aspects of your shower experience, including relaxing nature scenes with Tranquility mode on the ThermaTouch control, and a full spectrum of LED lighting emitted by the Serenity Light, Sound, Rainhead.)
But back to the outdoors. Let’s go!
Acadia National Park-Maine
The land and sea combine with 47,000 acres of craggy Atlantic coastline interspersed with striking autumnal foliage at Acadia National Park, which also serves as the home of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the US East Coast. With a variety of wildlife from moose to bears to seabirds and whales, and a quaint bayside town of Bar Harbor, Acadia offers something for everyone.
Known as “Fall’s Color Capital,” the town of Stowe offers spectacular sites for hiking and mountain views, with dense forest filled with plants that turn various shades of yellow, red and orange. Take the Auto Toll Road to the summit ridge or experience the Smugglers’ Notch State Park with a narrow mountain pass near the base. The Stowe Recreation Path follows part of the Little River through town with surrounding mountain views.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina/Tennessee
America’s most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains, offers a kaleidoscope of orange, yellow, and red in the fall as the most biodiverse of all the parks in the National Park System. Whether looking to take a scenic drive through the various motor trails, lookout points in downtown Gatlinberg, hiking trails or walkways off-the-beaten path, the Smoky Mountains are a nature-lover and leaf-peeper’s dream.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
If you are a fan of waterfalls (who isn’t?!), consider a visit to Columbia River Gorge, home to more than 50 water falls! Located between Washington and Oregon and situated near Mount Hood, Columbia River Gorge offers breathtaking fall foliage and mighty river views that combine to offer beautiful opportunities for hiking, biking, and photography.
Taos, New Mexico
Fall foliage is not just for the Northeast! The desert of the Southwest also offers beautiful changing fall colors at the scenic driving destination of The Enchanted Circle. This 83-mile drive connects the towns of Taos, Eagle Nest, Red River, and Questa, looping through spectacular mountains, valleys, mesa and national forest with fall colors on beautiful display.
Do you have a favorite destination to view fall foliage? Let us know in the comments!