The Best Scenic Drives for Leaf-Peeping In the Northeast

If you live in the northeast, you know that leaf-peeping is no joke, especially during peak foliage season. Once that crisp fall breeze rolls in, and the leaves begin to change, it’s time to get behind the wheel of your car to take a scenic drive and enjoy the view. And if you’re unsure of where to head off to? Consider checking out one of the best scenic drives for leaf-peeping in the northeast.

Visit Vermont for some of the best scenic drives in the northeast

Scenic autumn drive through Smugglers Notch, one of the best scenic drives for leaf-peeping in the northeast
Smugglers Notch | John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Vermont is known for many things. It’s home to the Green Mountains and is where Ben & Jerry’s was founded. The state also has some of the best scenic drives in the northeast, especially once peak foliage season comes around. In fact, according to Travel + Leisure, Vermont is one of the best states for fall foliage. 

Visit Stowe, a small town in Vermont, during October, and you’ll be treated to peak fall foliage. Take a drive through Smuggler’s Notch, and the views become even more impressive. And if you’re hoping to get out of the car to stretch your legs? Grab a cup of fresh-pressed apple cider from Cold Hollow Cider Mill and visit Hope Davey Park in Waterbury Center, where the maple trees are known for turning a deep shade of red come autumn.

Fall is the perfect time to take a trip to Newport, Rhode Island

A Clapboard Home in Newport, Rhode Island, USA with fall leaves in front of it
Newport, Rhode Island | Tim Graham/Getty Images

If you’ve never been to Newport, Rhode Island, there’s no time like autumn to make your first trip, especially when taking into consideration that the waterfront town is home to one of the best scenic drives for leaf-peeping in the northeast. Don’t just take our word for it, either. Travel+Leisure is more than willing to sing Newport’s praises too.

Though, it’s no surprise as to why. Take a drive down Ocean Road during peak fall foliage season and enjoy a coastal drive featuring vibrant colors and views of Newport’s most extravagant mansions. Then, take a drive to Fort Adam’s State Park and take in the beautiful fall views over Narragansett Bay. 

Take a scenic drive through Evans Notch this leaf-peeping season 

Fall foliage in Evans Notch, one of the best scenic drives for leaf-peeping in the northeast
Evans Notch | Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

If there’s one thing New Englanders know best, it’s that leaf-peeping season can make things a bit crowded. Fortunately, there are ways to beat those leaf-admiring crowds. Instead, take a quieter fall foliage drive through Evans Notch. According to New England Foliage, the drive is one of the best scenic drives for leaf-peeping in the northeast.

Start your fall road trip in Maine and follow Route 113 along the New Hampshire border. The drive is a steep one, but it’s well worth the view, according to New England Foliage. You won’t just see beautifully colored trees, either. “Trailheads lead to spectacular waterfalls and high mountain vistas. And Basin Pond is one of the true gems in the White Mountains,” New England Foliage added.

Visit the Adirondacks for one of the best scenic drives for leaf-peeping

Autumn lake house on Lake Luzerne in the Adirondack mountains
Adirondacks | John Greim/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Adirondack Mountains during peak foliage season, you absolutely should. Whether you find yourself driving north on the Northway or driving up Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, the Adirondack mountains are home to some of the best scenic drives for leaf-peeping in the northeast.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. If you’re in the middle of planning a fall road trip, why not consider exploring one of the best scenic drives for leaf-peeping in the northeast? Between Newport, Island, and the Adirondack mountains, you’ve got plenty of places to explore this foliage season.

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