By Indi Rooney
Imagine driving down a winding country road. The trees are ablaze with red, yellow and orange. The smell of cinnamon and apple cider permeates your nostrils. Pumpkins are sitting plump in the fields, ripe for the picking. Deer are darting across crisp babbling creeks. Ahhh, fall. So bucolic. So pretty. So perfect for fall weekend travel.
It’s the perfect time to be a “leafer” and explore the splendor of fall colors around the United States. If you want to get an eyeful of the nation’s best foliage for fall – don’t delay. Many places are peaking now through November. The window varies from place to place, state to state. The good news is that there are hundreds of state parks and forests to explore around the country.
One of the most popular destinations for leaf peeping is New England. The magnificent show starts in Maine and moves down until it reaches upstate New York. It’s tricky to predict as variables like temperature and moisture are different every year, meaning you may never see the same show twice or might just miss the peak. Ergo, if you miss peak color in one place, you just look somewhere else!
Regardless of your destination, several official state tourism and state park websites offer handy guides and updates on the current state of the fall foliage in their areas. We’re particularly impressed with the 2021 Fall Foliage Prediction Map, which is a great visual planning guide to the annual progressive changing of the leaves.
For low-tech fall travelers, several states even offer foliage hotlines! This is a real thing and you can call in to get updates. Search for your state and “foliage hotline” or go with the feds – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service has a toll-free hotline to provide national forest visitors updates on fall foliage color changes throughout the country. The toll-free fall color hotline number is (800) 354-4595. You gotta admit, that’s pretty cool.
Again, no tool can be 100% accurate, but maybe these informational resources can help you time a leafer trip for the best opportunity to catch the peak color. Whether you are a planner or a spur of the moment type of traveler who is in need of last minute travel and accommodations, you can count on Priceline or Hotelogical for fantastic deals on hotels in the heart of leaf country or even in your own neck of the woods. If you are an NPP business or employee member, you’ll save big on your next pilgrimage to check out perfectly pleasing pumpkin-hued trees. There, I said it.
NPP is a free member-based marketplace where more than 300,000 businesses and their employees gain access to top-tier discounts from dozens of brands, including a host of travel discounts. Travel all over and save on hotels and resorts for both work or play.
If your employer is not already an NPP member, it’s easy to sign up for NPP. It’s free! There are never any membership fees and there’s no obligation to buy. Once an eligible business registers, they give their employees a company code, so employees can save too with extra employee benefits.