Fall is right around the corner which means it’s the perfect time for a road trip! You’re not dealing with driving in snow or the brutal summer heat. Instead you’re enjoying the brisk air, apple picking, ,and the changing fall foliage. The bursts of yellow, orange, and red tend to start at the end of September through mid-November depending on what part of the country you’d like to visit. Plan a trip to one of the destinations below!
Blue Ridge Parkway – North Carolina & Virginia
Known as America’s Favorite Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles of highway that connects Virginia and North Carolina and winds through the Appalachian Highlands. Along the parkway there are many different family-friendly stops like the Museum of North Carolina Minerals and the Humpback Rocks. To stretch your legs, there are plenty of trails. One of the most notable trails is the Otter Creek and James River Hiking Trails.
The best part about this drive is that it is beautiful year-round. Even if you miss it at peak foliage, you’ll still be glad you made the trek.
Berkshire Mountains – Massachusetts
If you happen to be in the Northeast during September or October, one of the most popular places for foliage finders is located in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. Although Vermont and Maine are more popular destinations for people looking to see the beautiful reds and yellows of the leaves, the Berkshire Mountains are not to be overlooked. Driving through narrow roads and small Massachusetts towns only add to the experience.
If you make it to North Adams you can drive to the summit of Mount Greylock, which is the highest point in Massachusetts. Once you reach the top, you can see for 90 miles on a clear day!
Smoky Mountains – Tennessee & North Carolina
Peak season for the Smoky Mountain foliage is from early October to mid-November; visitors travel far and wide to take a peak at the bright changing colors. Depending on temperatures, the length of the day, and other factors, the peak season can last anywhere from five to seven weeks.
Once you reach Gatlinburg, there are many things to do and enjoy with the family. The Gatlinburg Space Needle is highly recommended to enjoy 360 degree views of the foliage. If that’s not your speed, you can visit Dollywood , Ripley’s Aquarium , and many more attractions.
Ozark Mountains – Arkansas and Missouri
There are too many places to list when driving through the Ozark Mountains in Missouri! The amount of stops, hiking trails, and camping areas are endless. Peak season typically occurs in late October or early November depending on the temperature. One of the best places to stop along your travels is Jasper, Arkansas, the town has the Arkansas Grand Canyon, Hillary Jones Wildlife Museum, and many other attractions for all ages to enjoy!
Typically weather in Arkansas ranges from the high 40's to the low 70's making it a great getaway before winter starts.
Gateway to Amish Country – Ohio
Unlike most of the drives listed above, the Gateway to Amish Country only takes about an hour and overlooks the beautiful landscape of Ohio. Along the way you can enjoy delicious homemade cooking, and shop for many different handmade items from food to crafts. During the drive you’ll also see two of Ohio’s most scenic rivers, the Kokosing and the Mohican.
One of the most exciting moments of the drive is when you come across Ohio’s second longest covered footbridge — the Bridge of Dreams. There is plenty of parking under the bridge to make sure that you and your family can enjoy the historic Bridge of Dreams.
Pineywood Autumn Trail – Texas
East Texas is one of the most popular destinations when it comes to leaf peeping. The Pineywoods Autumn Trail is one of the most popular. The 145 mile drive starts in Athens and ends in Palestine. There are activities for all ages, whether you enjoy wineries, fishing, hiking, or art. There is truly something for everyone along the drive!
One way to get up close and personal with the colors is by enjoying a zipline adventure with New York Texas Zipline Adventures. The longest zipline will take you 1,500 feet and offers 30-mile views from each platform.
Hopefully one of the scenic drives above piqued your foliage interest and you’ll give them a try. Before you hit the road, contact your local Acceptance Insurance Agent for a free quote on car insurance. We want to make sure you are safe before you hit the winding road!