Getty Images/MargaretW

Fall is pretty much here, even though it technically doesn’t begin until Sept. 23. Pretty soon, the leaves will be vibrant shades of reds, oranges and yellows. Many of my friends say fall is their favorite season. But, I’m not a big fan of autumn, mainly because of what comes next. But, the fall is a perfect time to plan a fun, relaxing getaway. As it turns out, one North Carolina area and one South Carolina area are among the most perfect fall getaways in America.

The study comes from USA Today. “One of the best things about fall is the opportunity to travel to gorgeous places that showcase the vibrant colors and scenery of the season,” they state. They add that, “These 10 places have been voted by our readers as the best places to visit in the U.S. during fall for their beautiful scenery, fantastic weather, and wealth of seasonal activities and events.”

No. 1 on the list of the best fall getaways in America is Gatlinburg, Tennessee. What makes it so special? According to USA Today, what’s extra great about this spot is that you can tour incredible places such as Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and check out the Gatlinburg Space Needle. In other words, there are lots of things to do in Gatlinburg, in addition to the beautiful fall foliage.

North Carolina, South Carolina Areas Top List of the Perfect Fall Getaways

We’re really ruling this list. Coming in at No. 6 is Greenville, South Carolina. “During autumn, visitors can explore Greenville’s thriving food and drink scene and wealth of outdoor attractions with the added bonus of gorgeous fall foliage,” USA Today notes. Greenville is a popular spot, so I’m not surprised to see it so high on this list. Also, at No. 10 is Asheville, North Carolina. In addition to the fall colors, they suggest visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway and the North Carolina Arboretum. Find the full list here.

North Carolina Has 2 of the Most Beautiful Areas for Fall Colors in America

  • Vogel State Park in Georgia

    If you’re looking for a late spot to view vibrant fall colors, then we have just the area for you. Vogel State Park, located around the Chattahoochee National Forest in Blairsville, Georgia, is a great area to see fall foliage going into the first half of November. It’s a great late-season trip.

    Vogel State Park

    Reservations Events Photos Park Map

  • Cape May - New Jersey

    Cape May in New Jersey is a delightful area to see autumn colors later in the season. From mid-October and through November, the colors here are bright. Don’t miss the views of the historic lighthouses in the area, too, plus all the area parks.

    CapeMay.com - Free Cape May Travel Guide

    Cape May distinguishes herself in many ways. We have the pristine beaches, promenade, and all the amenities that make any seashore town worth visiting, but we also have a rich history and an architectural diversity equal to none. Plan your visit

  • Lamoille Canyon - Nevada

    Lamoille Canyon in Nevada offers some stunning looks in the autumn months. The area is located in the Ruby Mountains and offers a wide array of fall colors with plenty of different kinds of trees. You can drive on the 12-mile Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway for a prime view.

    The Ruby Mountains of Nevada | Lamoille Canyon | Travel Nevada

    Just 20 minutes from downtown Elko are the Ruby Mountains of Nevada, flush with wildlife, alpine lakes, and lush canyons. Go backpacking, hiking, fishing, and stargazing in and around the Ruby Mountains range, or get a taste of this spectacular countryside on the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Drive.

  • Traverse City - Michigan

    The north parts of Michigan are glorious in the fall months. Traverse City is located on Lake Michigan, and in the fall, the trees turn bright orange and yellow. This area gets really cold in the winter, so the summer and fall months are the best time to travel there. Spring is nice, too.

    Traverse City

    Traverse City combines breathtaking attractions with a rich blend of adventure and relaxation. Sled down the Sleeping Bear Dunes, voted the "Most Beautiful Place in America" by Good Morning America viewers. The cobalt blue waters of Lake Michigan make a stunning backdrop to the fresh white snow.

  • Torreya State Park - Florida

    I know what you’re thinking. Fall colors in Florida? The Sunshine State isn’t known for their fall colors, but Torreya State Park offers some great, late-season views. The area has quite a few varieties of trees that show their colors in early November. It’s worth the road trip, if you live south of there.

    Torreya State Park

    High bluffs overlooking the Apalachicola River make Torreya one of Florida's most scenic places. The park is named for an extremely rare species of Torreya tree that grows only on the bluffs along the Apalachicola River.

  • Tahquamenon Falls State Park - Michigan

    Waterfalls and fall colors? That sounds great to me. The Tahquamenon Falls State Park has one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. This state park is huge, too, offering 50,000 acres of forest. It’s beautiful in the fall.

    Tahquamenon Falls State Park

    Tahquamenon Falls State Park encompasses nearly 50,000 acres and stretches 13-plus miles in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The park is home to multiple campgrounds, overnight lodging facilities, a boat launch, more than 35 miles of trails and multiple overlooks to the Upper and Lower Falls.

  • Blue Ridge Parkway - Virginia and North Carolina

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is stunning any time of the year, but especially in the fall. The trees on this 469-mile Appalachian attraction turn beautiful shades in the fall, so it’s a splendor for the senses. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina and is divided into four districts: the Ridge region, the Plateau region, the Highlands region, and the Pisgah region.

  • Washington Crossing - Pennsylvania

    The Washington Crossing Historic Park is a special, historical area, because it’s the spot where George Washington crossed the Delaware River from Pennsylvania to New Jersey in 1776. Aside from its history, this Pennsylvania landmark is beautiful in the fall. It offers plenty of bright trees, as well as a colonial reenactment event.

    Home - Washington Crossing Historic Park

    Contribute Now: Help us save our national heritage The mission of the non- profit Friends of Washington Crossing Park is to support the programs of Washington Crossing Historic Park. Your tax-deductible gift will assist the Friends to support and promote the park as an historic site and aid in the preservation, collection and maintenance of materials, buildings, equipment, machinery and artifacts relating to the colonial period.

  • The Great Smoky Mountains - Tennessee and North Carolina

    The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee has some of the greatest fall foliage in America. It also has one of the longest fall foliage seasons, so you get plenty of time to take it in. The colors can arrive as early as the middle of September and go all the way through the middle of November. Take it in.

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

    Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park.

  • Lenox - Massachusetts

    Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary offers a great spot for a hike in the middle part of October, because the colors are so vivid. Expect a delightful view of the vibrant colors. It’s a nice area if you don’t want to travel to New Hampshire or Burlington, Vermont, and it’s a bit more off the radar.

    Lenox, MA |

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Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio. She started on the airwaves shortly after graduating from MSU. Anne has a passion for rock and metal, and she also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com, follow her on Instagram at @EricksonAnne and tweet at her @AnneErickson! Anne covers the Detroit, Philadelphia and Las Vegas markets and beyond.

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