LUX Celebrate Fall: Best Fall foliage drives
Mother Nature sure is graceful with her fiery colors this time of year. She dances with ruby red and sings with canary yellow as if it's the first time they've met. And with each passing year, her harmonious hues get richer across the states. If a Fall foliage trip is in the cards for you, keep in mind that with the beauty of nature, also comes the excitement of autumn activities. All you gotta do is get behind that wheel and get set to explore!
1. The Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway // Taos, NM - 84 miles.
So much to love about Taos! You’re sure to find some of the best southwestern Fall foliage from Taos to Eagle Nest (where you’ll see 13,161-foot high Wheeler Peak), then to Angel Fire and back to Taos. Take in the aspens range in color from brilliant gold to dark orange, zesty! Feast on purple cinquefoil and golden and red cottonwoods while on the lookout for elk, black bear and eagles. Swing by the old gold-mining town of Elizabethtown.
2. Big Sur, CA - 90 miles.
There are, believe it or not, other roads besides Highway 1. Explore them. Narrow Palo Colorado Road disappears into a redwood forest dotted with envy-inducing Hobbit houses, while superbly treacherous Nacimiento Road (be careful!) makes a spectacular climb up and over the coastal range and down into a remote valley, where the remarkably primitive Mission San Antonio de Padua sees few visitors. Note to self: Pull over at one of the many turnouts and chill for a minute, breathe in deep and feel the ocean rush through your blood!
3. Eastern Sierra // CA - 125 miles.
For blinding displays of yellow and orange aspens, golden willows, crimson cottonwoods amid sapphire alpine lakes, gushing waterfalls and snow-frosted 12,000-foot-high mountain peaks. This is Cali! Start in Coleville to Lundy Lake, and then continue on to the June Lake Loop and Mono Lake. Go through Mammoth Lakes where orange streaks the mountainside, and finally to Rock Creek Canyon. Feel free to get your hike on for a view of Lundy Canyon Falls that plunges down hundreds of feet; visit the West’s largest unrestored ghost town, Bodie, in the Basin Range; and don’t miss the lobster taquitos at the unusual Whoa Nellie Deli inside the Tioga Gas Mart in Lee Vining. Yes, please!
4. Skyline Drive // Shenandoah National Park, VA - 105 miles.
This park in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the quintessential fall foliage destination for Southeast travelers, and Skyline Drive has been called one of the top 10 scenic mountain drives in the U.S. Cruise along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Front Royal, VA, to the Waynesboro-Charlottesville area, and ogle at the bright red Virginia creeper vines, yellow and orange hickories, and deep purple dogwoods. Make sure to visit the Skyland Resort Gift Shop for local Virginia wines, and stay at the historic Skyland Resort, 3,680 feet above sea level. Ride horseback through the park’s scenic wooded trails, and don’t miss Luray Caverns.
5. Oregon Coast - 300+ miles.
It doesn’t matter where you are during the fall season along the Oregon coast, there will be plenty of fall foliage for you to enjoy. We especially love Lincoln City! Highway 101 is the road that serves the Oregon coast and driving along it take you through historic fishing villages, small towns, cities and Pacific Ocean beaches. The coastal area during fall is ablaze with color as the oak and maple trees that populate the coast dress themselves for Fall. Cultural Oregon has given a variety routes accessible, and one is near you. Renew your love of Oregon during fall and go on one of these Oregon Scenic Fall Drives.