There are the blues of tropical waters, the greens of verdant valleys, and the colors of this time of year – where yellows, oranges and reds are transforming landscapes into picturesque fall foliage scenery – a color palette that inspires fall-time travel around the U.S.
Travel agents can easily create for their clients a customized leaf-peeping journey to various U.S. destinations where seasonal colors and fall-time natural beauty are on full display. Here are the top four places in the U.S. for fall foliage travel. Book your clients with Excite Holidays whose easy-to-navigate platform provides agents with comprehensive hotel and destination information and booking simplicity.
Exploring Upstate New York
Spectacular fall foliage blankets parts of upstate New York with splashes of red sprinkled among shades of gold and rust. Send your clients to the Catskills, approximately 2.5 hours from New York City, to the famous Five State Lookout for simultaneous views of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Embark on the Scenic Skyride, a six-passenger chairlift that takes visitors up 3,200 feet to the summit of Hunter Mountain where they’ll be surrounded by the fall-colored peaks of the northern Catskills, Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains and the Green Mountains of Vermont. The ride is approximately 11 minutes each way.
Stay at the 55-room Wick Hotel, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel and full-service boutique property in Hudson, New York, located within close distance to the Catskills.
Sweeps of Fall Shades in Stowe
Vermont is more than maple syrup and the birthplace of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – it is one of the best places in New England to view broad sweeps of bright red and golden-hued leaves. Native to the northeast and adjacent parts of Canada, the sugar maple deserves much of the credit for Vermont’s spectacular fall colors, but oaks, alders and basswood trees also add splashes of yellow and orange to the landscape.
Stowe is the perfect home-base for embarking on leafy adventures in the Green Mountains, while also exploring a quaint New England town lined with restaurants and shops. Take a leisurely drive along VT Route 100, known as the Green Mountain Byway, or venture on less-traveled back roads. Cruise, kayak or stand-up paddle board on the Waterbury Reservoir, and admire the vibrant foliage scenery. Go hiking for grand views of the Stowe valley, and mountain bike up Cady Hill.
Book your clients at Topnotch Resort, set against a Green Mountains backdrop, or the Lodge at Spruce Peak (formerly Stowe Mountain Lodge), located at the base of the Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak trails, where foliage splendor is right at your clients’ doorstep.
Aspen – More Than Skiing
Rightfully known as a ski haven, Aspen is also ideal for fall-time leaf-peeping experiences. Vivid yellow, rust and orange leaves set against the backdrop of evergreen and snow-capped mountain peaks create a scenic contrast of colors.
Aside from the picturesque scenery, Aspen generally has less crowds in autumn than during the winter season, another bonus for visiting during the fall. Your clients can hike, bike and golf while appreciating the incredible fall colors around them. Approximately 10 miles from Aspen, the Maroon Bells are considered the most-photographed mountain range in Colorado – and in the fall, they come alive with brilliant hues framed by bright blue skies.
There are abundant choices of accommodation in the heart of Aspen for a wide variety of travelers. The Limelight Hotel features large windows, contemporary décor, and gourmet comfort food. Nestled at the base of Aspen Mountain, the five-star St. Regis Aspen Resort is distinguished by luxurious rooms and suites, the award-winning Remède Spa, and top-rated culinary experiences.
Vibrant Colors In Great Smoky Mountains National Park
On the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to more than 100 species of native trees, including scarlet oaks, hickories, and sugar and red maples that reveal a breathtaking autumn display of gold, orange, purple and crimson.
Clients can spend several days exploring the park’s 800-plus miles of scenic roads and hiking trails, plus viewing the vast blooms of wildflowers along the roadways. Appreciate the array of colors and mountain vistas in Cades Cove, the rich hues in Cataloochee Valley, and the rush of Looking Glass Falls.
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, borders the park, making it a great entry point for fall foliage excursions. Within minutes of the park and walking distance to downtown is the Hampton Inn Gatlinburg Historic Nature Trail featuring complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi. Also near the park, the Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg is a great home-base for outdoor adventures.
There’s still time to go leaf-peeping, and it’s never too early to book next year’s fall foliage journeys for your clients with Excite Holidays.