Going on a fall foliage drive with kids is a fun way to explore new parts of your region and help your children better appreciate the simple beauty of nature. Whether you’re just taking a day trip to check out local trees or planning a long cross-country getaway, planning your family vacation around natural attractions (like stunning views of changing trees!) is definitely a fun way to go. It also makes a fun science lesson for kids, as you can talk about everything from why the leaves change colors to why we have different seasons. I love finding educational opportunities while exploring as a family!
To help you make the most of your fall foliage drives, we’ve gathered up five of the most beautiful places in the U.S to see colorful trees and landscapes. Check them out!
Other reads: Best Fall Foliage in Canada
Best Fall Foliage Drives in the U.S.
Aspen is named after the popular aspen tree, so you know this town has to have some spectacular foliage. The foliage season here starts in the middle part of September but peak time is towards the end of the month and will end after the first week in October. It is not a very long foliage season compared to other places. The most notable foliage drives here are following the Colorado River around the Glenwood Canyon and Castle Creek Road, passing through the town of Ashcroft.
Other reads: Best National Parks for Viewing Fall Foliage in the US
The Catskills, New York
The Catskills are spread out over 6,000 square miles and feature 35 mountain peaks and 6 river systems. The best time for viewing the fall foliage here is the last 2 weeks in September and the first 2 weeks in October. The best scenic drives here include Route 52, Route 17 and the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway.
Upper Peninsula, Michigan
The state forest system in Michigan is the largest in the eastern United States, stretching out close to 4 million acres. The Upper Peninsula is home to over 20 state parks that feature lush forests including trees such as oak, ash, sycamore, beech, maple and birch. The best time for viewing peak foliage season here is the first two weeks in October although foliage season starts in the middle part of September. Recommended foliage drives include through Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and along Mount Brockway.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
The Berkshires are known not only for their art and culture scenes but also their foliage season. Foliage season usually starts the last week of September and lasts throughout the month of October, with the peak happening in the middle part of October. For some great foliage viewing, try the Mohawk Trail, which runs from Greenfield to North Adams.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park is great to visit any time of the year, especially during the foliage season. Here you also get an added bonus because not only do you see bursting colors but you also see Montana’s wildlife, like bears, elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goats, getting ready for winter. Most of the trees start changing colors in the middle part of September with the exception of the larch trees, which don’t change until the middle part of October.
How gorgeous are these fall foliage drives? I want to hop in my car and start exploring right now! Start planning your family vacation to one of these destinations! If you’re heading out for a long road trip, check out our tips for traveling with kids!