Columbia River Gorge, Ore.
In the Pacific Northwest, this divide between Oregon and Washington is a sight to behold any time of year — a deep gorge winding through the Cascade Mountains. But the basalt cliffs and waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area are beautiful enough to make your jaw drop when the scene is ablaze with fall colors courtesy of big-leaf maples, Oregon ashes and cottonwoods. Explore the colors while driving, hiking, kayaking or — for added thrills — whitewater rafting.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Va. and N.C.
"America's Favorite Drive" presents explosions of yellow, reds and oranges as it winds its way 469 miles from Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, through the Appalachian Mountain chain, and to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Red maples, scarlet oaks, yellow poplars and hickories — just some of the 100 species of deciduous trees — show off their colors against a backdrop of evergreens in places such as Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in the eastern United States.
Moosehead Lake, Maine
While Vermont gets all the attention, Maine is an emerging fall foliage mecca. At Moosehead Lake, the largest lake east of the Mississippi, the surrounding mountains and forested wilderness serve up a burst of yellow, scarlet and orange thanks to the resident beeches, maples and witch hazels. Hike a section of the Appalachian Trail or explore the lake waters by canoe or on the historic steamship Katahdin. Bonus: You might spot a moose among the leaves.
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