In Vermont they call it “leaf peeping,” a phrase one-part awkward and one-part charming—as if the people doing the looking were catching nature in flagrante. Technically they aren’t wrong: “in flagrante” translates from Latin to “in blazing,” and what are these stately Vermont mountains, undulating Vermont forests, in autumn if not ablaze with color? Periods of peak foliage, when the leaves are at their most riotous and vibrant, move from the north of the state to the south, and from its highest elevations to its lowest, as fall progresses. Gorgeous vistas lit up with gold, orange, yellow and red (and everything in between) are visible from mid-September through mid-October, but it’s a good rule of thumb to head farther north the earlier it is.
A car provides the maximum flexibility for traveling around Vermont, but several train and bus options are also available—many catered specifically for those who want to see the change of the seasons. Billboard-free Route 100 and even I-91 provide good views as you traverse the state on your search for the best fall foliage shows, though state roads can be crowded with other leaf-seeking travelers. (Because this one of Vermont’s busiest times of year, it’s best to book well in advance.) Why not enjoy the scenery from one of Vermont’s picturesque lake, river, or mountainside villages? Whether you’re pulling up a porch chair or pulling on your hiking books, there’s something here for everyone.