Northeast: New England’s famous sugar maples offer vibrant colors. In late September, drive New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Highway through White Mountain National Forest. Along the Swift River, you’ll see spectacular leaves (www.visitnh.gov ).
Midwest: The Great Lakes region peaks at about the same time. Head to Michigan’s northwestern Lower Peninsula and drive from Harbor Springs to Cross Village under the Tunnel of Trees, a 23-mile canopy of crimson and chrome maple, beech, birch and oak (michigan.org ).
West: Even before fall’s official start on Sept. 22, Colorado’s Rocky Mountains will turn golden. Horseback-ride through shimmering aspen groves during the Fall in Love With Aspen Snowmass festival (snowmassvillage.com).
Northwest: In early October, bike-ride Oregon’s 30-mile Cottage Grove. Or drive the McKenzie River Highway for orange vine maples and chartreuse cottonwoods (www.travellanecounty.com ).
South: Wait until mid-October to see the gorgeous leaves of Arkansas’ Ozark National Forest. Hike the Highlands Trail and camp near hickory, sassafras and sweet gum trees that turn lemon yellow, scarlet and purple (arkansas.com).