The weeks after Labor Day can be a drag. The neighborhood pool is closed, temperatures begin to drop and you start bringing out extra layers of clothing. It can be a brutal time for those who love warm summer months.
Maybe it helps to remember the fun seasonal events and products that fall brings. We have Halloween to look forward to as well as crisp apples, pumpkin carving and the beautiful fall leaves. And of course, pumpkin spiced everything. No one can hate on Starbucks’ new and improved Pumpkin Spice Latte too much, right?
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Take a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Once there, you can choose to leave the car and explore one of the many hiking trails, or continue driving along the famous Skyline Drive. The road runs for 109 miles and has been named a National Scenic Byway.
As you travel along Skyline Drive, there are over 75 scenic overlooks to view the surrounding valleys. Be warned that as you travel along this road during the early morning and late evening, you might see some wildlife. The Shenandoah National Park has one of the largest black bear populations in the U.S.
You’ll have to get moving if you want to experience Aspen’s fall colors. The leaves start changing color mid-September and begin falling very quickly. By the second week in October, there won’t be any color left to see.
Start your road trip in the town of Ridgeway and take Colorado 62. This’ll take you over the Dallas Divide mountain pass. Then head towards Telluride on Colorado 145 to reach Lizard Head Pass where you’ll drive through a forest of white-barked aspens and see beautiful panoramic views of Wilson Peak.
Green Mountain Byway, Vermont
Vermont’s Green Mountain byway (otherwise known as Route 100) runs for nearly 200 miles. It takes you through charming towns, along river valleys and the peaks of the Green Mountains. The route’s most popular natural feature is Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak.
If you want to make a trip out of it, check out Hamilton Falls, where Cobb Creek falls nearly 125 feet over the granite structure. If you cross to Interstate 89, you can visit the town of Stowe, the village where the Sound of Music’s Von Trapp family attracted worldwide attention and fame for over 50 years.
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, New Mexico
Maybe New Mexico wasn’t your first guess for a fall foliage road trip destination. However, the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway is full of stunning fall colors in late September and early October. The 83-mile loop showcases yellow and deep orange aspens as it circles around Wheeler Peak, which at 13,161-feet is New Mexico’s highest point.
If you want to see some different colors along the route, keep an eye out for the purple cinquefoil. There are also a number of cottonwoods that turn a fiery shade of red and yellow.
Upper Peninsula, Michigan
This is another destination that strays from your average fall road trip. Take a drive to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where you will find over twenty forested state parks. The ash, aspen, beech, birch, maple, oak, sycamore and tamarack trees look absolutely stunning by the water.
The best time to catch the fall colors is from mid-September to mid-October. If you want to extend the trip, check out one of the historic lighthouses in Keeweenaw, located at the northernmost part of the Upper Peninsula.
Take one of these road trips to help ease into winter. If that doesn’t help, we wish all you summer lovers a peaceful winter hibernation.