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Travel Etiquette

Best Places to Go Leaf Peeping This Fall



From our friends at Vacasa

Warm sweaters, crisp air, the scent of wood smoke on the breeze—what’s not to love about fall? If we had to pick our favorite thing, though, it would have to be the trees bursting into incredible shades of gold and red.

Watching the colors change is a cherished tradition in New England and beyond, to the point that it even has its own name: leaf peeping. Here are nine of this year’s best places to see fall foliage in states from coast to coast. Full list can also be viewed here.

#1: Stowe, Vermont

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 Tucked into a densely wooded valley, Stowe is the quintessential New England town in many ways. It has a tiny population, a picturesque main street, and a white church steeple rising against the hills. Above all, it lays claim to a stunning display of Vermont fall foliage. It feels like every inch of town explodes into exquisite yellows and golds during peak leaf peeping season.

Featured home: Stowe Pond Chalet

#2: Newburyport, Massachusetts

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 Perched on the Merrimack River at the very northeastern tip of Massachusetts, Newburyport is home to Maudslay State Park, a 19th-century estate that has since been converted into a 483-acre park. Maudslay’s stone bridges and walking trails are beautiful any time of year, but peak season is unquestionably autumn, when the meadows and gardens transform into a patchwork quilt of yellows, oranges, and reds. The park doubles as a bald eagle sanctuary, so keep an eye open and you might spot one of these majestic birds among the fall leaves.

Featured home: Artist’s Waterfront Retreat

#3: Camden, Maine

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Let’s be honest: Camden doesn’t need to be any prettier. A coastal town whose harbor is perennially dotted with the white curves of sailboats, Camden is blue-skied in the summer and snow-dusted in the winter. But then there’s fall, when the dense wall of maple trees surrounding the town erupts into a blazing shade of red, resulting in some of the best Maine leaf peeping you’re likely to find. You can enjoy the colors from anywhere in town, but the best view is from the nearby summit of Mt. Battie, which offers a sweeping panorama of the town and harbor below.

Featured home: 6 Central 

#4: Oakland, Maryland

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The Deep Creek Lake area is home to Maryland’s tallest free-standing waterfall (Swallow Falls) and its largest lake (Deep Creek Lake). On top of that, the oaks and hickory trees that blanket the area put on one of the state’s most stunning shows of autumn foliage. Visit Oakland in early October for its annual Autumn Glory Festival, or hike along the banks of Deep Creek Lake to see the colors reflected in its mirror-like waters.

Featured home: Good Time Pine

#5: Ellijay, Georgia

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Of all the towns on this list, Ellijay might take the prize for most autumnal. The self-proclaimed “Apple Capital of Georgia,” this charming town is home to the Georgia Apple Festival, a celebration of all things red and delicious held each October. Sip a mug of freshly pressed hot cider, go for a hay ride through the fields, or pick your own apples right from the trees as the leaves change around you. If there’s a better distillation of all things fall, we haven’t found it.

Featured home: At Last Cabin

#6: Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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Colors right out of an oil painting, rolling hills fading into the distance, and the cold mountain air against your face: it’s autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains. With more than 100 different types of trees—including sugar maple, scarlet oak, and American beech—it’s no accident that this 800-square-mile park boasts one of the most vibrant expanses of color in the country. Plus, fall foliage is more vibrant at higher elevations, giving the Smokies an extra advantage. Take the Gatlinburg Sky Lift to the top of Crockett Mountain for a jaw-dropping 360-degree view.

Featured home: Appalachian View

#7: Aspen, Colorado

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Leaf peeping is traditionally associated with New England, but there are plenty of other places to watch the colors change if you can’t make it out to the East Coast this fall. Try Aspen, whose magnificent combination of snow-capped mountains and brilliant colors gives New England a run for its money! From hiking to biking to scenic drives—not to mention some of the most sought-after skiing in the country—this popular mountain town is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to combine their leaf peeping with exhilarating outdoor recreation.

 Featured home: Mountain Valley Hideaway

#8: Sandpoint, Idaho

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Nestled between Schweitzer Mountain and Lake Pend Oreille—the fifth-deepest lake in the United States—Sandpoint has beautiful foliage. Perhaps even more notable is the town’s placement on the Selkirk Loop, a 280-mile scenic drive that circles through Idaho, Washington, and British Columbia. With the Cabinet Mountains rising imposingly in the distance, and yellow and orange foliage thrown into sharp relief against dark evergreens, this breathtaking route is one of the best ways to experience autumn in the Northwest.

 Featured home: Idaho Club Lodge Home

#9: Hood River, Oregon

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Oregon is, in many ways, a microcosm of the rest of the country, combining forests, deserts, mountains, and beaches into one spectacularly beautiful state. One of the state’s gems is Hood River, a picturesque town in the Columbia River Gorge that lies 60 miles east of Portland. Beautiful hikes through rolling hills? Check. Local farms flooded with crisp apples and pears? Check. A lively harvest festival with music, pumpkin carving, and art vendors? Check, check, and check. Bundle up against the chill, breathe in the smell of leaves, and let the colors of an Oregon fall sweep you away.

Featured home: River Song Country Chateau

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Travel Etiquette

Amtrak Offers BOGO Valentine’s Day Tickets



Amtrak has announced a Valentine’s Day Buy One Get One Free Sale. From Thursday, February 13, through Monday, February 17, customers can buy one coach ticket and get the second free for nationwide travel between March 9and August 30, 2020, with no blackout dates. Customers can receive discounted tickets by using the code V214 at checkout or at

Amtrak is offering a great way for customers and their loved ones to travel for a weekend away or on a leisurely vacation. From couples to moms, to friends, to every loved one, Amtrak encourages individuals to give more than chocolates, flowers, and valentines this year. Instead, consider gifting a trip on Amtrak with a two for the price of one, Buy One Get One Free Sale.

Amtrak Fare Sale

The discount is valid for travel across the national network including most long-distance routes as well as the AcelaAdirondackCarolinian/Piedmont,CascadesDowneasterDownstate Illinois Services, Empire ServiceEthan Allen ExpressHeartland FlyerMaple LeafMichigan ServicesMissouri River RunnerNortheast RegionalSan JoaquinsValley FlyerVermonter and reserved sections of the Pennsylvanian and Keystone Service. Two customers can travel together in coach for as low as:


New York – Washington, D.C (Acela) $183

Los Angeles – Seattle $126

Washington, D.C. – Boston (Acela) $192

Seattle – Portland, OR $36

Washington, D.C. – Chicago $105

San Francisco – Denver $149

San Francisco – Los Angeles $66.50

New York – Atlanta $164

New York – Washington, D.C.$98

Chicago – St. Louis$31

Los Angeles – Albuquerque $86

St. Louis – Kansas City $36

Portland, ME – Boston $29

Richmond, VA – Charlotte $54

Detroit – Chicago $40

Washington, D.C. – Orlando $139

Fares will vary by train

Being able to easily travel to/from city centers, Amtrak has one of the most generous baggage policies in the travel industry, applicable for two personal items and two carry-on bags. Amtrak also offers the freedom to use phones and electronic devices at all times (no “airplane mode”), the ability to travel with small pets on many trains, large spacious seats with ample legroom and no middle seat.

This sale is valid for one free companion rail fare traveling on the same reservation as one full adult coach fare. This offer is valid for travel on all reserved service except the Auto Train. Adults must travel together and be booked in the same reservation. Valid for coach seats only; no upgrades allowed. This offer is not combinable with any other discount offer. All prices will be automatically discounted from the standard fare when accessing this promotion at or by using the discount code (V214) when booking their trip. Other terms and conditions apply.

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