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Top Fall Destinations In The US

Fall is almost here and before we know it leaves will be changing and landscapes across the country will be taking on an entirely new look. There is no better way to enjoy the fall season than to head on out and enjoy what the great outdoors has to offer. This includes taking road trips to some of the nation's best places to visit in the fall.

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The Catskills, New York

Located in the southeastern portion of New York, the Catskills offer a cool and colorful escape in the fall. With 35 mountain peaks and six major water systems flowing through the area, visitors are sure to find plenty to do. Things start to transform in late September and most of October, when landscapes start changing from green to variations of yellows, reds and oranges. The colors are just as beautiful as the fall weather in this area. With temperatures averaging in the mid-60s, this is the best time of year to visit, especially when looking for a fall retreat.

In addition to exploring the area and looking at the amazing colors, there are a few must-see attractions when visiting the Catskills in the fall. These attractions include Pratt Rock, Catskill Forest Preserve, Hunter Mountain Skyride, Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Hudson-Athens Lighthouse and Kaaterskill Falls.

With such beautiful weather expected in the fall, the Catskills hosts a variety of festivals and events. Popular events include the Catskill Chill Music Festival, the Harvest Festival, Jack-O-Lantern Jamboree, The Bagel Festival and the Garlic Festival.

The Catskills is home to a variety of different places to stay, including hotels, bed and breakfasts and resorts. Popular places to stay when visiting the area in the fall include the Inn at Lake Joseph, Beaverkill Valley Inn, The Roxbury, Villa Roma Resort Hotel, River Run Bed and Breakfast and Alpine Osteria Bed and Breakfast.

There are many different restaurants to enjoy while visiting the Catskills. Visitors will find everything from chain restaurants to locally-owned cafes and casual quick-service locations to formal fine dining restaurants. Top restaurants in the area include Barnwood Restaurant, Creekside Restaurant, Pomodoro's and Tatiana's Steakhouse.

Green Mountain Byway, Vermont

Visitors will be pleased by the views along the Green Mountain Byway in Vermont. This eleven-mile stretch of road is surrounded by maple, beech and birch trees and takes travelers through some of the state's most dazzling displays of color. The Green Mountain Byway is set between the towns of Waterbury and Stowe, which is where most visitors find a place to stay and eat after a long day of driving back and forth on the byway. Fall starts in this area in early September and peaks during the first week of October.

There are many places to stop along the Green Mountain Byway, making it possible to get out of the car and explore the area on foot or by bike. Visitors will have the chance to try various outdoor activities including paddling, golfing, hiking and bicycling during the fall season. While exploring the area, visitors will be treated to spectacular views of farmlands, forests, meadows and a stunning mountain backdrop. There are also many small villages, mill sites and historic homes along the byway that are happy to welcome travelers in for a look.

Many travelers choose to stay in the towns of Stowe or Waterbury, putting them on either end of the byway. This makes it possible to travel from one end and back while taking time to explore. Popular places to stay when exploring the Green Mountain Byway include Topnotch Resort, Grunberg HausOld Stagecoach InnMoose Meadow Lodge and Garden Tower Bed and Breakfast.

Many travelers of the Green Mountain Byway like to bring along a picnic lunch and find a quiet place to sit back and enjoy the view. Those who want a sit-down meal at a restaurant will enjoy dining at Harrison's Restaurant, Green Goddess Café, Gracie's, Park Row CaféMaxis Restaurant and the Reservoir. While in Stowe, make sure to stop in for some ice cream and a tour of the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory.

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The Berkshires, Massachusetts

The Berkshires in Massachusetts is the perfect destination for those wanting to escape city life and relax during the fall. Winding roads take visitors through the area that is filled with bright foliage and quaint spots to sit and look out over the autumn landscape. Those wanting to see the fall colors should plan to visit during Columbus Day weekend, when the colors peak. Though this is when colors are at their brightest, fall colors can be enjoyed through the end of October. Temperatures during this time of year average between highs in the 60s and lows in the mid-30s.

When planning a getaway to the Berkshires, you do not want to miss out on seeing the Norman Rockwell Museum, Arrowhead (the home of Herman Melville), the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum, Hancock Shaker Village and Historic Deerfield.

Fall is a time when residents and visitors from across the country gather to celebrate the harvest and other fall-inspired festivals. Popular fall festivals and events in the Berkshires include the Berkshire Botanical Garden Festival, the Fall Foliage Festival and the Founder's Weekend Celebration.

Travelers wanting to plan a weekend getaway, or even a longer vacation, will have plenty of hotels, resorts and bed and breakfasts to choose from. Popular places to stay when visiting the Berkshires include the Blantyre, Cranwell Resort, The Porches Inn, Orchards Hotel, Yankee Inn, Black Swan Inn and the Vacation Village in the Berkshires.

Visitors in the fall will find a variety of different restaurants available to dine in. Many of these restaurants offer outdoor seating for warmer days and have large picture windows, making it possible to still enjoy the landscape while taking a break from exploring the area. Popular restaurants in the area include the Grouse House Restaurant & Inn, Alpamayo and Chocolate Springs Café.

Related: Best Bed and Breakfasts for Your Romantic Getaway 

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Travelers who aren't in the know will quickly discover just how amazing the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is. Especially when the ash, aspen, birch and maple trees found in the area start turning into golden red, yellow and orange colors. The many forested areas of the state are complemented by the tranquil waters that reflect the vibrant colors of fall. Colors start to change in mid-September, but the best time to visit is in mid-October when the fall season is at its peak. Average temperatures get as high as the upper 50s and as low as the high 30s during this time of year.

Fall is a big time in the Upper Peninsula, and this area is home to many fall festivals that draw visitors from all around the world. Top fall festivals in this area include the Brimley State Park – Harvest Festival Weekend, City of Gladstone Fall Fest, Seney Fall Color Float, Fayette Historic State Park – Fall Fest and the Annual Drummond Island Fall on the Island Festival. Must-see attractions in this area include Castle Rock, Grand Island National Recreation Area, Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Island, Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Kitch-iti-kipi (Big Springs).

The Upper Peninsula offers plenty of quaint and cozy places to stay. With so many choices the only way to decide which hotel or bed and breakfast to sleep at is to determine which area of the peninsula you want to explore the most. Popular places to stay in this section of Michigan include Sand Hills Lighthouse Inn, Grand Hotel Mackinac, Bay View Bed and Breakfast, Bogan Lane Inn and Chamberlin's Ole Forest Inn.

Travelers looking for a place to eat while in the Upper Peninsula will be pleased to know they can find everything from pizza joints to Mexican restaurants and breakfast cafes to fine dining establishments. Popular places to eat while in this area include Café Rosetta, The Ambassador, Clyde's Drive-In and Congress Pizza.

Related: 5 Must-See National Parks In The U.S.

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Glacier National Park, Montana

This fall, visit one of America's iconic national parks. Glacier National Park undergoes a complete transformation during the fall months (September/October) as the forests start to change color. With the Continental Divide in the background, views from the national park are absolutely breathtaking. Wildlife is still active during the fall months, so there is a chance to see elk, mountain goats, bears and bighorn sheep. Temperatures during these months start to cool off, but highs still hover around the low 50s while lows dip down into the high 30s.

There are so many things to see and do while visiting Glacier National Park, including hiking, ranger-led activities, driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road, camping, photography, bicycling and fishing. In addition to what there is to see and do at the park, there are some must-see attractions located nearby. Make sure to venture out and explore the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Big Hole National Battlefield and Nez Perce National Historical Park. In addition to the things to see and do in the Western Montana area, check out some of the popular festivals happening in the area, including Great Northwest Oktoberfest, Scarecrow Festival and Tamarack Festival and Brewfest.

Visitors can enjoy staying at any one of the different lodges located in and around the Glacier National Park area. Popular classic cabins and lodges include Reynolds Creek Wildland Fire, Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Cabins, Lake McDonald Inn, The Village Inn at Apgar and Rising Sun Motor Inn and Cabins.

Though the concessions within the park close in September, there are plenty of area restaurants to visit in the Western Montana area. Popular restaurants in this area include Belton Chalet Grill, Dining Room and Tap Room, Café Kandahar at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Great Northern Brewing Company and Minnie's Montana Café.

Plan a quiet getaway to some of the top destinations in the U.S. during the cool fall months. These destinations offer plenty of things to see and do, plus the weather is still beautiful and perfect for exploring.

Heather Landon (Heather Leigh Carroll) is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions - writing and travel - to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at

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