Best places to go leaf peeping this season

Six stunning vacation homes for your fall leaf peeping getaway

A cherished fall activity is upon us, and given its CDC-friendly nature, we’re excited as ever to celebrate the return of leaf peeping, otherwise known as viewing, photographing, Instagramming, or even TikTok-ing the colorful fall foliage.

In August 2021, Vacasa surveyed travelers about which activities would inspire their fall getaways—and while leaf peeping fell behind family-related activities like reunions, weddings, and anniversaries, it jumped ahead of sipping reds out in wine country. In the spirit of the changing colors, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite vacation homes in markets where the fall leaves are the star of the show.

leavenworth cabin with large grassy yard

Leavenworth, Washington

A quaint, Bavarian-style town that welcomes visitors year-round, but is especially delightful during peeping season.

This expansive Leavenworth home allows leaf peepers to view the changing trees from virtually anywhere in the home, thanks to windows that span the entire property. Curl up on the couch, take a gander from the grill, or better yet, soak up the view from the hot tub.

Featured Vacasa home: Forestside Lodge

Vacation rental in Portland living room.

Portland, Oregon

If visiting the largest city in Oregon is on your bucket list, traveling to the Rose City during the fall months is a truly colorful experience.

You don’t need to get way out into nature to take in the oranges, reds, bronzes, and yellows that take over Portland’s lush green leaves. The city’s urban landscape offers plenty of options for peeping throughout its varying neighborhoods. But if you get the itch to get out of this classic Southeast Portland craftsman, you can access plenty of hour-long drives to the Willamette Valley or Mt. Hood region.

Featured Vacasa home: Rose City Chic

adirondack chairs face the water at Idaho cabin

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Come for the leaves, stay for the lakes. In addition to Lake Coeur d’Alene, there are more than 50 lakes within driving distance of this Northwest Idaho town.

If you’ve been waiting for summer to wrap up so you can get downright cozy, this luxe vacation home on Lake Coeur d’Alene offers that feeling in spades with lakefront views of the changing Pacific Northwest trees. CDA—as it’s fondly known to those who don’t want to botch the town’s spelling—offers a variety of ways to peep, be it walking, hiking, running, paddleboarding, or kayaking.

Featured Vacasa home: Paradise Regained

vacation home with detached garage surrounded by fall foliage in telluride

Telluride, Colorado

A ski town with four-season appeal, thanks to the foliage season that hits in mid- to late September.

Golden-topped trees await at one of Colorado’s most beautiful resort towns. While vacation homes and condos are prevalent throughout the area, we can’t get over how idyllic it would be to relax in this retreat that gives us major farmhouse vibes. Gazing at the autumnal scenes might make you recognize the four-season beauty of the area, and inspire you to take up residence.

Featured Vacasa home: Columbia East 985 - East End Retreat

outdoor hot tub with views of fall leaves in vermont

Killington, Vermont

Located in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Killington sees plenty of leaves falling before the snow takes over.

Another popular ski town that produces a kaleidoscope of fall foliage colors can be found in Killington. An ideal spot for heading out on a hike is the Aspen Gondola House, where you can take to the trail straight from the home or paddle out for a quick kayak venture. Upon return, hop in the hot tub for a 360-degree view of nature’s vibrant display.

Featured Vacasa home: Aspen Gondola House

outdoor pool of large vacation cabin in maine

Newry, Maine

A seasonally driven vacation destination busts into a beautiful fall to welcome visitors.

If you’re looking for the perfect backdrop to your proof of leaf peeping photo, look no further than Newry. Not only will you have various types of trees to fill your lens, you’ll also encounter great spots for shooting throughout this stunning mountain escape. Or, take a quick walk over to the historic Sunday River Bridge, where you can channel your inner model under its covered trusses.

Featured Vacasa home: Mountain Estate Family Getaway

Leaf peeping FAQ

Leaf peeping is a popular fall activity where people travel to view and photograph the changing fall leaves, often near state and national parks or national forests. Many travelers take a road trip to a destination known for peeping season.

Leaf peeping season typically runs from early September through mid- to late October, depending on the region. It’s important to view a fall foliage map to see when peak color will occur and the best time to visit.

Typically we see the fall colors changing in New England in late September or early October.

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