RV Destinations Perfect for Viewing the Fall Foliage


Lindsay McKenzie

Favorite Trip

Our favorite trip was when we first hit the road full-time and drove all the way up the coast of California and into Oregon. Our first 3 months as full-time RVers we drove the entire Pacific Coast Highway and camped at different beautiful beaches along the way. We then drove through the towering redwoods in Redwood National Forest and continued on through Oregon and Idaho on our way to Glacier National Park in Montana. There was so much stunning scenery and adventure around every corner that entire trip.

Home Base

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Favorite RV

We loved our Winnebago Navion 24D. It was nimble so we could park it pretty much anywhere but it still gave us a comfortable living space with the Murphy bed. We drove it all over the country!

About Contributor

Lindsay McKenzie travels full-time in her Winnebago Navion with her husband Dan and their 2 dogs. Originally from Colorado, they have been seeking adventure together for 10 years now and have done a lot of international traveling, including living in Costa Rica. They took the leap into full time RVing after experiencing life-altering news. They viewed the news as a life “detour” and started a travel and inspirational blog called Follow Your Detour. Lindsay has grown more passionate about pursuing her dreams and a leading a fulfilling life, while inspiring others to do the same. She loves that RVing allows her to be in nature and do more of what she loves. You can usually find her on the river fly fishing, hiking to sunset spots, or at a local brewery. (All photos by Lindsay McKenzie, except where noted.)

While it’s always hard to say goodbye to summer, your RV adventures don’t have to end. In fact, fall is the perfect season for camping. There’s fewer crowds, cooler temperatures, and nothing beats the beautiful fall foliage.

Here are 5 perfect destinations for leaf-peeping, orchards, festivals, and everything else we love about fall!

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is home to the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of America’s most popular scenic drives, especially in the fall.

You can also drive to Grandfather Mountain and walk across Mile High Swinging Bridge, which is almost to the top of one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Just an hour drive from Asheville is America’s most-visited National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With all these mountains, there’s of course plenty of hikes where you can do more leaf-peeping and enjoy several waterfalls in the area, including Looking Glass Falls and Rainbow Falls

As if that’s not enough, Asheville is also one of the top apple-growing areas in the U.S. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the many apple orchards in the area during harvest and pick your own apples.

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe is one of the most picturesque fall destinations of all. The Mt. Mansfield Auto Toll Road takes you to some of the best views in the area, but hiking or strolling along the many trails will offer even more stunning fall scenery. See the foliage from the sky in a hot air balloon or while zip-lining from tree to tree.

Afraid of heights? No problem. You can view the beautiful colors from the many lakes and rivers in the area too. You can paddle along the rivers right through the forested countryside and farms, or enjoy a day swimming and boating on Waterbury Reservoir.

You’ll get even more in the fall spirit at Stowe’s annual Oktoberfest celebration and Foliage Arts Festival.

Estes Park, Colorado

Fall is arguably the best time of year to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. The air is crisp, the colors are vibrant, and wildlife is abundant.

Estes Park is a great place to kickoff fall because the season starts a little earlier than much of the country. Their annual Estes Park Autumn Gold Festival is the third weekend in September and celebrates autumn with a variety of bands, brats, and beers.

There’s plenty of hiking in the area, and if you need even more beauty, take the drive along Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake. You’ll be treated to Fairview Curve, which sits at 10,000-feet and offers some of the best views of the colorful aspens and towering peaks.

Willamette Valley, Oregon

The harvest and fall activities are abundant in the Willamette Valley. This fertile valley along the Willamette River stretches from the Cascade Mountains of Eugene all the way to Portland.

The 150-mile long valley is filled with farm land, orchards, and vineyards. The drive through the Willamette Valley offers prime leaf-peeping with it’s scenic byways and plenty of possibilities for detours on side roads that lead to the foothills for New England like foliage.

There are fall festivals nearly every weekend in September and October and endless amounts of opportunities to enjoy the fall bounty and sip on the local beer and wine.

Branson, Missouri

Photo credit: ExploreBranson.com

Experiencing the Ozarks’ change from lush green to rich shades of red, orange, and yellow is truly spectacular. There are several ways to see the changing foliage—from a boat on Table Rock Lake or Lake Taneycomo, to the area’s many nature trails, to the 165 Scenic Overlook or the Dewey Bald viewing tower.

Either way, the views of the rolling hills will make it an autumn to remember. Take a ride on the Branson Scenic Railway or enjoy a self-guided driving tour that will take you on the best leaf viewing routes in the area. Be sure to also visit Silver Dollar City for their autumn displays, play a round of golf on one of Branson’s award-winning courses, and explore Branson’s 200 miles of trails.

We hope these destinations inspire you to continue camping season and take an RV road trip to experience autumn. There are wonderful fall RVing destinations all over the U.S. and these are just a few favorites. Share your favorite spots for viewing the fall foliage in the comments below!

  • Comment (2)
  • Ed Chittim says:

    My wife and I exploring the idea of moving into an motor coach
    we are both in our late 70’s but in good health any suggestions

  • Tom Wirch says:

    Hi Ed,
    My wife and I just started RVing full-time. We bought a 40′ long 5th wheel, and a Ford F-350 SD to pull it. It has taken us a few weeks to adjust to moving from a 3 BR home, to this 1 BR home. But we are getting acquainted with the ins & out of RV living. We live near Portland, OR.
    There are several things you need to consider first. I’ll just name a few of them.
    1. If you are planning to do a lot of travelling, remember the cost of fuel is at an all-time high. A trip across the country could cost you $1200 or more, just for fuel.
    2. Downsizing to an RV can be very difficult, My wife actually cried when she had to decide what to keep, and what to give to a charity.
    3. Are you willing to spend $1150 – $200 a month for a storage locker, for things you won’t need every day?
    4. Don’t forget to consider the monthly rent on a RV park space to call ‘home.’
    5. If you, like us, plan to winter in the south, and summer in Portland. Make sure you can make reservations well ahead of time, to insure a place to park your RV.
    6. The last one I’ll mention is (Grand) kids. Do you have relatives that might want to visit you? Is you RV going to have enough beds to accommodate them?
    These are just a few ideas to to kick around.
    I wish you Luck! If you love to travel, and don’t mind the downsizing, I am sure you will love full-time RVing.
    Happy Trails,
    Tom Wirch

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