At, we love road trips. The wind in our hair, the freedom of the open road, and all the quirky, unique, and downright beautiful stops we get to make along the way. There’s nothing like a good road trip across America, and thanks to the pandemic, many are changing their vacation plans and experiencing the magic of road trips for the first time. Fall is an especially beautiful time to get out and take to the roads, and today we’ll highlight our top fall road trip stops you won’t want to miss! 

From stops featuring scenic fall foliage, to towns and lakes and everything in between, we’ve got the best fall road trip stops to make for an unforgettable trip. 

Bryce Canyon, Utah

When it comes to fall scenery, Utah is probably not a place that immediately springs to mind. But, during the fall season, Bryce Canyon comes alive in hues of red, green, and yellow that contrast beautifully with the terra-cotta colored desert. Just be sure to make this stop early, as fall in Utah doesn’t typically last much longer than early October!

The Berkshires, Massachusetts

On the other side of the country, New England is famous for its gorgeous fall scenery and lush woodlands. For an affordable fall road trip destination, take a drive around the scenic Berkshires of Massachusetts. From quaint shops around town to idyllic country roads and beautifully wild forests, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here. 

The Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina/Virginia

I myself am from North Carolina, so I might be a bit biased when I say that the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most beautiful spots to visit during a road trip at any time of year. From stunning overlooks, to hikes, to scenic towns and cities like Asheville to stop in for a meal or two, riding the Blue Ridge Parkway for a day or a long weekend is simply perfect. 

Finger Lake District, New York

If you’re heading toward New England, don’t forget to stop and enjoy New York’s Finger Lakes! From leaf peeping to wine sampling in this famous wine country, there’s plenty of gorgeous scenery and friendly small towns to enjoy. 

Twin Lakes, Colorado

Always a spectacle to behold, Colorado’s Twin Lakes are perhaps even more beautiful during fall. You definitely won’t want to just drive by this one, either. A quintessential fall road trip stop, the Twin Lakes offer hikes, kayaking, horseback riding, and more to fill your day. 

Elk Country Loop, Pennsylvania

road trip stop at elk country loop pennsylvania

This 127-mile route through the Pennsylvania wilds is packed with stunning scenery and 23 designated viewing sites for visitors to watch native elks in their natural habitat. Along with getting a closer look at the elk, the loop also offers distinctive camping, hiking, and other outdoor adventure spots as well.

The Pacific Coast Highway, California

fall road trip on pacific coast highway

Of course, the PCH is a super-famous summer destination, but did you know it’s also just as beautiful in the fall? The great thing about driving the PCH in fall is that you won’t have to deal with all the other travelers on the road. Plus, there’s just something more special about visiting all those sleepy little seaside towns during the off-season. 

Before heading out on your fall road trip, make sure to check out the Headlight’s blog for more roadtripping resources and tips.

Claire Biggerstaff
Claire Biggerstaff is a freelance writer and photographer from Charlotte, NC. Her curiosity leads her to write about a wide variety of topics. On her off days, she enjoys reading Polygon articles, and curling up to a good YouTube playlist.

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    1. With all of the road trips I have done, I have not visited any of these destinations. Some scenic routes actually make me quite nervous. The Blue Ridge Parkway looks pretty, but driving on that windy road would give me severe anxiety. It reminds me of driving up and down the Smoky Mountains, which was beautiful but also a bit scary.

    2. I’ve been to both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Finger Lakes. I can attest to their beauty, and strongly recommend them as road trips.

    3. I would much enjoy going on a road trip to any of this places. It would be amazing to see the tree in different color as well as to be around pure water. The idea seeing animals be free its very exciting. It will be in my to do list for sure.

    4. I dream of doing a road trip with my three closest friends one day. We’ve talked about a few times. This article really reignited that dream. I’m gonna have to save these stops for the trip.

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