Best Places to Live

2010 10 Best Places for Fall Foliage

Great tours, like great stories, must have a good beginning. It's hard to get on the right track if you start in the wrong place. That's why we hit the proverbial road and mapped out the best places to begin a tour of fall foliage.

The cities we've chosen are located by natural wonderlands, lush forests and scenic mountain sides that burst with color when temperatures cool. To make our list, they not only had to be located near pristine wilderness but offer high quality-of-life amenities, cultural attractions and be within proximity to scenic routes. Residents in these places embrace their natural surroundings.

We looked for places where you could do more than just take in the views. But if all you want to do is look, you'll have plenty to see when you're driving through these towns. Cities on this list are close to amazing hiking and biking trails, interesting geological formations, and activities that help you embrace autumn. So take a look at our picks. You might just find they're the perfect place to begin more than just a tour, like a whole new chapter in your life.


Ranking Criteria
Nearby forests
Great scenery
Accessible trails
Cultural amenities
  • 10

    Duluth, MN

    Population: 86,178
    Photo Courtesy of nonafmec

    Living in the largest metropolitan city on Lake Superior, residents of Duluth, MN spend most of their time by the water. However, the fall color cannot be missed in this Midwestern town. There are several hiking trails in Duluth, many of which lead to fantastic views of the lake. The North Shore Scenic Drive, which connects Duluth with Grand Portage, leads to cliffs and beaches bordered by the Sawtooth Mountains and thousands of acres of aspen, birch and pine trees. Strolling among the trees is nice, but the Timber Twister Alpine Coaster at Spirit Mountain can take you into the leaves and up in the air. Much like a roller coaster, tree-loving daredevils sit in their own cars on this elevated 3,200-foot track. Riders control their own speed, so there are no worries about missing any great views.

    Don’t Miss: Timber Twister Alpine Coaster

    Trees: Pine, aspen and birch

    Great Drives: North Shore Scenic Drive, Skyline Drive Parkway (beginning at US Hwy. 2 and I-35).

    Learn more facts about Duluth, MN.