Mid Atlantic Fall Foliage While New England may offer the best of the best when it comes to fall foliage, the mid-Atlantic region comes in a close second. In fact, some people may even argue that the changing colored leaves of western Pennsylvania or the fall foliage of the Catskills are second to none. Also, since it takes longer for it to get colder in the mid-Atlantic region than in New England, the states of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York are awarded with a longer fall season, and hence, time to enjoy the magical fall foliage scenery, when the show further north is over.
Mid-Atlantic fall foliage can be viewed in a number of different ways. Hiking and traveling by foot is the best way to get an up close and personal view of the changing colored leaves. There are certain prime hiking spots that you should add to your itinerary if you'd like an unforgettable view of the fall scene: Consider taking a hike through the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia, the Adirondack Mountains of New York, or the woodsy area right outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Even a walk in Central or Prospect Park is a treat during the foliage season.
Mid Atlantic Fall Getaways Another way to take in the colorful outdoor scenery is by car—driving is perfect for people who only have a short amount of time to view mid-Atlantic fall foliage. If you're traveling from Point A to Point B during your mid-Atlantic fall getaway, anytime between September and December, consider taking "the scenic route" rather than busy highways—you'll get to experience as less busy look at nature.
More expensive—and, let's face it, more exciting—options include taking a hot air balloon ride, helicopter ride, or boat ride to view the fall foliage from different vantage points. In some areas (like around the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia or Maryland), you can even book a fall foliage cruise.
Maryland Fall Colors With major cities like Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, DC nearby, the state of Maryland is often overlooked as possessing some of the most amazing fall colors on the east coast.
First of all, even in the city centers you'll find magnificent fall foliage. Walk down the Washington Mall; take a walk around Baltimore's Inner Harbor; or tour the grounds of Annapolis' Naval Academy, and you'll experience DC and Maryland fall colors at their best. Move out from the cities in the direction of the Shenandoah Mountains, the Potomac River, Rock Creek Park, or Theodore Roosevelt Island and you'll experience colors like you thought only existed in New England. Take some pictures—the folks up north will ask for proof when you tell them Maryland's got just as serious fall foliage to offer as Vermont!
One benefit of fall foliage touring in the Maryland / DC / Virginia area is that alongside much of the orange, yellow, and red vistas are amazing historical sites and family-friendly vacation spots. For example, the historical tree-lined streets of Alexandria, Virginia will provide you with a look at Virginia fall colors, as well as an insider view of one of Washington, DC's most popular suburbs. A walk through Colonial Williamsburg will also give you that dual-perspective: You'll experience fantastic fall scenery amidst one of Virginia's most visited and beloved living museums.
Of course, as you head north into Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, you'll also be able to combine the beautiful and natural with the historical and fun. Heading to Lancaster, Pennsylvania? Bring the kids to Amish Country before hopping back in the car and enjoying the Pennsylvania fall foliage. Heading up to Lake Placid, New York? Go boating on the Finger Lakes, visit a winery, and tour some of the area's historic mansions—all the while taking in the fantastic western New York fall colors.