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5 Awe-Inspiring Drives This Fall

5 Awe-Inspiring Drives This Fall


Pumpkins, Leaves, and a Lot of Open Road


Shelly Cone, October 7, 2013
One of the best ways to get into the fall mindset is a long leisurely drive to check out how nature showcases the fall. Bright crispy yellows, hot reds and deep burgundy browns grace the hillsides and byways of many lucky locales. But where to start?

First pick up a travel guide that can guide you in travelling anywhere on the globe. A travel guide will help you plan your drive and build a list of activities to partake in after the drive. To help get you there and back be sure to take along a high-quality travel map. Atlases, folded street maps or travel maps are a must to help you navigate your incredible fall drive.

So where to go? The Eastern U.S. usually comes to mind and with good reason. Spectacular foliage displays await and now is the best time to go.
North Carolina's Mount Mitchell State Park
 

North Carolina's Mount Mitchell State Park



Mount Mitchell State Park is the highest peak in the Eastern U.S. Take the 75-year-old Blue Ridge Parkway to some of the outstanding sites to view fall foliage. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at the summit of Mount Mitchell or sit and enjoy the forest views of Mitchell State Park, which are always enrobed in a serene mist.
Massachusetts
 

Massachusetts



Fall trees aren't the only things that put on autumnal displays. Try something different and take a fall driving tour to witness the cranberry harvest, complete with its own color change. This crop is big in Massachusetts so you won't have a hard time finding a cranberry harvest to watch.

Of course you can always stick with the classic tour and take in the scenery around Cape Cod. Or include a favorite drive of autumn color seekers everywhere and travel the 63-mile Mohawk Trail, which includes a variety of viewing sites like Whitcomb Summit, Mt. Greylock and the French King Bridge.
South Dakota, Black Hills
 

South Dakota, Black Hills



South Dakota may not immediately come to mind when you think fall drives but this mid-western state has a lot of offer in way of awe-inspiring scenery. Not only can you take in colorful aspens, oaks, elms and ash, but you can take Highway 14A, a National Scenic Byway to catch even more fall scenery.

Take the Highway 14A to Spearfish Canyon and marvel at the steep limestone cliffs on either side. Waterfalls, wildflowers and wildlife round out the fantastic foliage.

Or take the Native American Scenic Byway to where the bison roam. The route follows the Missouri River cresting river bluffs and descending to the river bottom. The 101-mile byway is highlighted by the Big Bend of the Missouri River. You'll see deer, eagles, pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs and waterfowl

Also following the Missouri River is the Lewis and Clark Trail. The trail was the primary route used by the explorers through South Dakota in the fall of 1804. You can even visit sites that the expedition wrote about 200 years ago like Spirit Mound, Big Bend and the Arikara villages.
Columbia River Highway, Oregon
 

Columbia River Highway, Oregon



The Columbia River Highway in Oregon is the first scenic drive in the U.S. to earn National Historic Landmark status. When it was built in 1913 it was actually designed to place emphasis on the area's natural beauty.

The route winds up to 900-foot cliffs—a great place to take in all the brilliant autumnal colors. When you've taken in the views along the route see the area from a different perspective and stop to hike the 620-foot-tall Multnomah Falls.
Vermont's Byways
 

Vermont's Byways



Vermont's fall foliage is something to behold. Mountains bearing fiery trees start to put on their show mid-September and remain that way through mid-October. Vermont's Byways are an excellent way to take in the sights. Whether it's the Green Mountain Byway, Molly Stark Byway or one of the many others you'll take in the fall colors as well as the small picturesque river towns along the way.



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