• The Catskills, New York, is the place to be this fall with its stunning fall foliage and vibrant colors from September to October.
  • Visit Salem, Massachusetts in October for Halloween decorations, festivities, and magnificent fall foliage.
  • Central Park in NYC is a scenic escape with beautiful fall colors peaking from late October to early November.

The East Coast of the United States is arguably the best part of the country for fall foliage. The northeast, in particular, experiences cooler temperatures during autumn. As winter approaches, the leaves turn stunning shades of crimson, burnt orange, and vibrant yellow before falling to the ground. For a scenic autumn road trip or a weekend getaway, check out these ten destinations on the East Coast for the best fall foliage.

UPDATE: 2023/09/11 16:41 EST BY NOAH STAATS

The East Coast Continues To Dazzle Us This Fall!

This article has a new place to see this fall, as well as expanded points for existing East Coast locations. From red, orange, and yellow leaves to fall festivals, the East Coast is one of the best places in the United States to see the colors change. Happy autumn!

11 Catskills, New York

Autumn colors and fall foliage in the Catskill Mountains, The Catskills, New York, USA
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
Autumn colors and fall foliage in the Catskill Mountains, The Catskills, New York, USA
  • The best time to see the leaves change is during September and October.

The Catskills in Upstate New York boast some of the most stunning fall foliage in all of the country. With miles of trees and hiking trails, people can drive winding roads filled to the brim with orange, red, and yellow leaves. Fall here always impresses, with many nearby towns and villages being equally festive. With more than enough to see, do, and experience, the Catskills is THE place to be this September, October, and beyond.

10 Salem, Massachusetts

Haunted Happenings in Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Haunted Happening's event during October in Salem, Massachusetts, USA
  • Leaves and festivities begin here in late September, reaching peak season in October.

Salem is a famous town known for being the location of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. Due to its mysterious and tragic past, fall is a popular time to visit this town when it’s decorated for Halloween. Heading to Salem in October means Halloween decor all month long, plus magnificent fall foliage to enhance the atmosphere. However, travelers can visit as early as mid to late September to start the fall colors, with colors peaking in early October.

9 Central Park, NYC, New York

A view of fall foiage in Central Park in Manhattan and the New York City skyline in the fall, New York, USA
A view of fall foiage in Central Park in Manhattan and the New York City skyline in the fall, New York, USA
  • Most leaves will be changing by mid-October in New York City.

In the Eastern United States, NYC is a stunning destination for fall colors, especially in Central Park. As a naturalistic area in the middle of a bustling city, Central Park provides a scenic escape from the chaos of everyday life year-round. Still, during fall, its beauty is unmatched. The leaves typically begin to change color in Central Park in early to mid-October, with the peak time to see the vibrant colors being late October into early November.

Related: 10 Places In Canada To See Fall Foliage

8 Woodstock, Vermont

Fall foliage in Woodstock, Vermont
Photo by Tom Dils on Unsplash
Fall foliage in Woodstock, Vermont
  • Leaves begin to change here in mid to late September, with peak color-changing happening during October.

Woodstock, Vermont, is a picturesque New England town that is known for being one of the best spots in the United States to visit during the Christmas Season. However, Woodstock’s Christmas spirit isn’t its only asset. The quaint farming town, home to many entrepreneurs, is also a gorgeous spot to experience fall foliage at its finest. The leaves begin to change color in Vermont in mid to late September, with the peak colors extending through late October.

7 Boston, Massachusetts

Green grass field with trees near city
Photo by Sean Sweeney on Unsplash
Boston's Back Bay from Boston Common - Boston, Massachusetts
  • Mid-October brings the most fall foliage to the Boston area.

Boston is the capital of Massachusetts and is a vast city best known for its baseball team, clam chowder, and its annual Boston Marathon. Boston is a lively city with an incredible food scene and lots of old, large trees scattered throughout the city, making it a beautiful urban destination for experiencing fall colors on the East Coast. The best time to visit Boston for peak autumn leaf colors is in mid-October.

6 Acadia National Park, Maine

Fall foliage on the Beehive Trail in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA
Fall foliage on the Beehive Trail in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA
  • This park boasts 158 miles of hiking trails.
  • The best time to see fall foliage is in late September through mid-October.

Acadia National Park in Maine is one of the ten most visited National Parks in the United States annually, receiving approximately 4 million visitors per year. The park has 158 miles of hiking trails, and there are campsites available within the park, but they must be booked in advance. Acadia National Park is pet friendly, but pets must be on a leash, and owners are required to pick up and dispose of any waste. Fall colors in the park begin to appear at the higher, cooler elevations during late September, continuing into mid-October.

Related: Scenic South: A Guide To The Best Fall Foliage In The Southeastern U.S.

5 North Conway, New Hampshire

Chocorua Lake in Tamworth in the fall, North Conway, New Hampshire, USA
Chocorua Lake in Tamworth with fall foliage, North Conway, New Hampshire, USA
  • Part of the Mount Washington Valley.
  • The leaves begin to change rapidly starting in mid-end September.

Located in Eastern New Hampshire, North Conway is part of the Mount Washington Valley and is a quaint village for viewing vintage train cars and fall foliage. It’s also a common starting point for hikers looking to explore Mount Washington. North Conway is a gorgeous destination in all four seasons but is set against more than 700,000 acres of the White Mountain National Forest; it’s especially breathtaking during the fall when thousands of trees turn vibrant shades of crimson and yellow. The leaves start to change at the end of September.

4 Asheville, North Carolina

Tree-lined street in downtown Asheville, NC
Photo by Jehu Israel on Unsplash

Tree-lined street in downtown Asheville, North Carolina
  • Located within the iconic Blue Ridge area.
  • Late September through later October is when leaves change the most.

North Carolina might not be top of mind for fall foliage in the United States, but this Eastern state has gorgeous fall colors that travelers shouldn’t overlook. Asheville is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the western part of the state and is known for its downtown art district with galleries and museums. Travelers coming to Asheville during the fall can enjoy scenic hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Pisgah National Forest. Visit from late September to late October for incredible fall colors.

3 Old Lyme, Connecticut

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Old Lyme, Connecticut
Photo by Jillian Werner on Unsplash
Bird flying over the beach in Old Lyme, CT
  • Leaves tend to change color the most during September through November.

On the Eastern side of the Connecticut River, Old Lyme is a small town in New London County with around 8000 residents. The town has a thriving art community, with the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts and the Lyme Art Association located here. Visitors can also explore the Florence Griswold Museum, which features historical art exhibits. The charming old town becomes even more beautiful in autumn when the fall colors brighten the streets from late September to November.

2 Bristol, Rhode Island

Colton Point State Park, Bristol, Rhode Island
Photo 199501252 Khairil Junos | Dreamstime
Colton Point State Park, Bristol, Rhode Island
  • Bristol, RI, is easy to walk around.
  • October brings the best fall foliage to the area.

Bristol, Rhode Island, is a city worth visiting in any season. This port town has made a reputation for itself as one of the safest cities in the country and one of the best places to live in America. It was settled in 1961 and had a population of nearly 23,000 people. Bristol is a port town and is extremely walkable, making it a fantastic vacation destination for Americans from across the country. Although it gets a lot of attention during the summer months, it’s worth visiting in the fall for its gorgeous colors. To see the colors at their peak, travelers should plan a visit to Bristol during October.

1 Portland, Maine

Portland Head Light

Portland, Maine, USA at Portland Head Light.
  • Portland's peak season is typically from June to August.
  • Fall leaves are prettiest in October.

Portland, Maine, is a coastal destination in the Eastern US that is home to many of the state’s most beautiful lighthouses. Travelers who enjoy fresh seafood will love exploring the foodie scene in Portland and can wash dinner down with a tour and tasting of the local craft beers at Allagash Brewing Company. Many people choose to visit Portland during peak season, from June to August, when temperatures are warm and the beaches are busy. However, for more affordable prices and fewer crowds, travelers should visit Portland in the shoulder season when temperatures are slightly cooler and fall colors are at their peak during the first two weeks of October.