7 Last-Minute Fall Foliage Getaways
Enjoy brightly-hued leaves during a getaway to one of these longer-lasting foliage destinations.
Leaf peepers, there's still plenty of fall foliage to enjoy well into November, particularly in the South. Even better, there are lots of different ways to experience the foliage, whether by boat, by train, by bike or even by zipline. We've rounded up your best options you'll want to book now for getting a final look at the very best leaf colors of the season.
Mild fall temperatures make Asheville a prime pick for outdoor-loving visitors eager to see colorful foliage on full display late in the season. Scarlet and amber leaves peak in early-November, well after leaves in much of the country have come and gone. Stroll the grounds of the legendary Biltmore Estate, then take in a colorful bird's eye view of the leaves from the basket of a hot air balloon. Enjoy a day trip to Table Rock State Park in Pickens, South Carolina, for stunning views of Linville Gorge from the rocky summit of Table Rock Mountain.
In Southern California's Temecula Valley, the vineyards in this charming wine region explode in November with ambers, maroons and crimsons. Stroll the grounds of award-winning Mount Palomar Winery with a glass of wine for striking views of hued grape vines and the majestic Temecula Valley. More than 40 vineyards and wineries call this region home, so there are plenty of vibrant vines to behold. Explore lush vineyards from the vantage point of a saddle on a guided horseback trail ride or take a hike along Vail Lake for spectacular foliage views across the valley.
For unexpectedly spectacular foliage, plan a late-fall escape to Congaree National Park, one of our most underrated national parks. A short drive from Columbia, South Carolina, Congaree boasts towering trees and dense foliage best seen by way of a paddle on kayak trails along Cedar Creek. Fall is the best time to explore by kayak too, when water levels are high, humidity is low and temps are in the 70s. In town, stroll along Main Street, which bursts with vibrant colors thanks to tree-lined streets and an eclectic arts scene.
While much of the Midwest has seen their leaves come and go, spectacular foliage displays can be seen across southern Indiana into November. A small-town gem, Bloomington is home to Indiana University, Hoosier National Forest and Monroe Lake, the largest lake in Indiana. Climb to the top of the Hickory Ridge Fire Tower for sweeping fall views and spectacular sunrises to boot. Or, get low and take in vibrant colors from a canoe or kayak. Bloomington's three lakes are perfect for a leaf-peeping paddle. In town, rent a bike to see stunning foliage all along the B-Line Trail.
One hour north of Atlanta sits Dawsonville, Georgia. A stone's throw from the Southern Terminus of the nearly 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, this area is rife with outdoor adventures. Explore Amicalola Falls State Park, including the sparkling waterfall that cascades 729 feet into a reflecting pool, then hike the 8-mile trail (one-way) to the start of the AT at Springer Mountain. In nearby Dahlonega, sample varietals at gold medal wineries, then pack a picnic to take in the scenic vistas of Blood Mountain Cove from the Chestatee Overlook of the Chattahoochee National Forest.
As the weather cools and leaves transition to variations of red, amber and gold, a late-fall getaway to Chattanooga, Tennessee, offers a multi-hued wonderland for leaf peepers. Set sail aboard the Southern Belle Riverboat through the Tennessee River Gorge – known as the "Grand Canyon of the South" – for an unparalleled display of fiery fall colors. A relaxing ride on a vintage train at the Tennessee Valley Railroad, whether 55 minutes on the Missionary Ridge Local or nine hours on the Summerville Steam Special, allows dramatic foliage views across the valley. In town, take in the leaves by bike along the 13-mile Tennessee Riverwalk.
More than 12 million acres of forests (half the state) make Kentucky an ideal destination for stunning foliage, particularly in early-November when leaves are at their peak. In Lexington, take in colorful leaves across the 1,200-acre Kentucky Horse Park. Pick up the new Horse Country Passport and collect stamps at thoroughbred farms across the Horse Capital of the World. Beyond horses, thrill-seeking visitors can see foliage from high above the treetops on a zipline canopy tour with Boone Creek Outdoors. A stroll across the historic Henry Clay Estate affords plenty of sensational foliage-filled views, too.