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Wondering how to take a luxurious family road trip this Fall? Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has curated the best fall family road trips to take in the United States.

The best places for a luxurious family fall road trip

Is fall the most popular season? It just might be. With summer and winter alienating everyone who falls too strongly on one side of the temperature divide, and spring often getting lost in the post-holiday blues, fall is waiting around to quietly – or not so quietly – claim the title as everyone’s favorite.


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After all, who doesn’t love steaming cups of mulled cider or pumpkin spice, and donning their favorite fuzzy sweater to traverse a golden forest? And we haven’t even gotten to Halloween yet.

Just because airplane travel is still a risk, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the best time of the year. Here is a list of twelve unforgettable fall road trips you can take, all from the safety of your very own car.

The best places for a luxurious family fall road trip

1. Blue Ridge Parkway

Featured on every road trip list you’ll ever read, the Blue Ridge Parkway – a 469-mile sprawl between Virginia and North Carolina – is a perfect adventure any time of the year. And the fall might just be when it’s at its best.

best fall family road trip

How to take a summer family road trip in the United States: Blue Ridge Parkway. Courtesy Photo.

Unlike other scenic routes, where fall colors make their splash and then fade, the Blue Ridge Parkway maintains its autumnal look for multiple months, making it a trip you can take at any point this season. Be sure to pause at the point of highest elevation, the Richard Balsam mountain6,410 feet with which to gaze down at all that autumn splendor.


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2. Shenandoah National Park

If you’d like to see some of the gorgeous sights of Blue Ridge Parkway but can’t commit to the full drive, consider heading to one of the best parts: Shenandoah National Park.

best fall family road trip

How to take a luxurious road trip: Shenandoah National Park. Courtesy Photo.

If what you’re looking for is gorgeous fall color and leaf peeping, this is where you want to be. Ride along Skyline Drive, or take a short and special hike to Little Stony Man Overlook. October is the time to get the most out of these surroundings, so start planning.

3. Vermont Route 100

If there were a single state that personified what fall feels like to us, it would have be Vermont: maple syrup, towering trees, and endless pick-your-own farmland.

best fall family road trip

Vermont Route 100. Courtesy Photo.

Vermont Route 100 runs straight down the center of the state, from Newport all the way to Stamford, Massachusetts. Inhale the natural fall beauty of the Green Mountains, pass through popular resort towns Stowe and Warren, and make sure you stop for cider while you’re there.

4. Kancamagus Highway

Also called “The Kanc,” the Kancamagus Highway is likely New England’s single most popular fall road trip – high praise, in a region that does fall so very well.

best fall family road trip

How to take a summer family road trip in the United States: Kancamagus Highway. Courtesy Photo.

This is the kind of trip that lets will both let you appreciate nature – make sure to hike out to  Lower Falls Scenic Area – and also attend the area’s best fall events. The Kancamagus is definitely the way to make the most of the season.


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5. Rangeley Lakes

A majestic region in Maine composed of six stunning lakes, a drive down The Rangeley Scenic Byway might be exactly what this fall needs. The star of the show here is definitely Height of Land, an elevated lookout just off of Route 17.

best fall family road trip

How to take a luxurious road trip: Rangeley Lakes. Courtesy Photo.

With the backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll never feel further from your problems than you will on this super-special fall drive.

6. Finger Lakes

A criminally underrated destination of eleven finger-like in Upstate New York, this is one of the places to go to feel most in the spirit of the season.

Finger Lakes. Courtesy Photo.

Of course you have plenty of natural delights, such as Letchworth State Park, but also a full calendar of fall festivals, and a long list of pick-your-own produce destinations too.  For a road trip that has lots to see and also to do, check out the Finger Lakes this fall.

7. The Last Green Valley

Though it says ‘green’ in the name, don’t be fooled: the Last Green Valley, nestled in between Massachusetts and Connecticut, is an incredible fall road trip. A prime spot for hiking, they have officially coined the term ‘Walktober,’ encouraging visitors to attend one of their 50 fall foliage adventures this season.

How to take a summer family road trip in the United States: The Last Green Valley. Courtesy Photo.

If that’s not enough to pique your interest, there’s also biking, paddle boating, and even a Taste of the Valley Harvest Tour , so that you can enjoy all the best farms, orchards, and brewers in the area.


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8. The Enchanted Circle

If you don’t happen to live on the east coast, don’t worry. There’s plenty of autumn joy to find throughout the rest of the country too. And we think The Enchanted Circle – also called the “Land of Enchanted” – sounds pretty appropriate for the most magical season of them all. Boasting the best views of foliage in the state of New Mexico, this 84-mile drive can be done in three hours by car, but you’re going to want to leave time to get out and explore.

How to take a luxurious road trip: The Enchanted Circle. Courtesy Photo.

We definitely recommend Wheeler Peak – the highest point in the state – and the town of Red River, as well as Elizabethtown. Once a place where gold miners lived, Elizabethtown is now a completely abandoned ghost house, and the perfect Halloween hotspot.

9. Hocking Hills

Ohio’s Hocking Hills is a hiker’s paradise. Not only are there countless trails and waterfalls to enjoy, but there is even an opportunity to zipline. For a truly unique fall experience, you can fall alongside the leaves, attached to an iron-secure wire.

Hocking Hills. Courtesy Photo.

Of course, if you want to appreciate the foliage with your feet on the ground, you can head over to Hocking Hills State Park to see all of the gorgeous yellow leaves that the season has in store.

10. Cascade Loop Scenic Byway

West Coast, we would never forget you. Even though autumn may look a little different – and a little damper – in the Northwest, it’s still an absolute gem worth experiencing.  This scenic byway is 440 miles long, and an absolutely unforgettable view of Washington state.

Cascade Loop Scenic Byway. Courtesy Photo.

This is a big road trip, and one that provides a long list of activities. You can hike and boat, eat freshly grown vegetables, and of course enjoy all of the best fall colors along the way.

The best places for a luxurious family fall road trip

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Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.

Abbie Martin Greenbaum

Abbie Martin Greenbaum is a writer, reader, and pop culture connoisseur, who loves storytelling, coffee, and dessert. Her work has also appeared in Playbill.