Welcome to the leaf peeping season of fall. I’ve mapped out, a fall foliage for introvert travel personalities vacation plan. Autumn is the celebration of leaves. Brightly colored leaves beg us to stop and pull the car over to ooh and ahh. The sounds of leaves crackle underfoot while the crisp cool air is fresh and invigorating. It’s also the time of year where travelers begin a quest to map the best destinations in the US to enjoy the glorious colors of fall. I’ve mapped out a few suggestions for places to visit in the US that are well suited to most introvert travel personalities.
Fall Foliage for Introvert Travel Personalities
Introvert travel personalities can enjoy fall in a variety of ways, but leaf-peeping is always best done on foot, and I think most introverts will agree. Introverts tend to be; quiet, reflective, private, and thoughtful. They typically prefer the inner world of ideas, are fabulous at communicating using the written word; you may spot them journaling atop a mountain overlook. An autumn vacation may be just what the doctor ordered before the craziness of the upcoming holidays set in. Or you may need a break from the 24/7 news cycle, and the noise the world seems to generate ad nauseam.
Beyond New England
New England is a top leaf-looking town brimming with people from across the U.S.; taking it off the list for fall foliage for introvert travel personalities — to many people!
Let’s begin at the beginning. Starting in mid- September through October, fall leaves are at their peak. You should know that fall foliage season, like most things in Mother Nature, has a smart plan. Which means the higher elevations of the country display fall foliage first and the lower mountains is where you can view colorful fall leaves through mid-October. Fall lingers a bit longer on the West Coast sometimes well into December. Here are a few places to visit beyond New England, one of the most popular fall foliage destinations in the United States.
Fall Foliage for Solo Travelers: Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan
For those seeking an otherworldly experience, you may want to plan and visit Keweenaw Penisula, located in the upper Great Lakes of Michigan. It’s 70 miles of beautiful autumn colors; ruby reds, sunburst yellows, and pumpkin oranges that defy any hi-def computer screen on the planet. Oh yeah, did I mention the backdrop for all of this fabulousness leaf-peeping is Lake Superior? Did you know once you make it to the northern part of the peninsula, you’re actually at the same latitude as Seattle, Washington? Mind-blowing. Rocky shores, dense forests, and never-ending hiking trails are ideal for the more adventurous introvert who wants to experience this “The Lost World“ for a few days or maybe even weeks.
Stay & Eat
Keweenaw offers a variety of places to stay; B&B’s, hotels, rustic cabins, and of course, camping. You’ve probably have worked up an appetite, so I’ve included a few places to stop the hungries while enjoying the area’s best local eats:
- Fitzgeralds Restaurant is a place to enjoy a variety of plates; pork shank, pecan Walleye, blacked-eyed peas, and dirty
rice (for the vegan in the crowd) plus the brews on tap are local. But the best part is the views of Lake Superior. Make a reservation, eat, drink and be merry and feast on a fiery sunset. They also offer luxury lodging at Eagle River Inn, which is notable in its own right.
- Early risers will want to head straight on over to The Jampot where house-roasted coffee and eco-friendly specialty foods are the call of the day. The bakery is an extension of the local monastery. How cool is that!
- Stay and dine if you will at Harbor House, where local seafood; like lake trout and whitefish, plus other seafood dishes, and a vegetarian option is on the menu. What makes this a must try is every seat in the house offers picture-perfect lake views.
Fall Foliage for Couples: Fall Leaves & Romance
Introverts and their partners can enjoy time spent together during the spectacular season of fall. As the fall leaves drop to the ground, couples can pile them up and jump in together. Oh yeah, go ahead jump in with a lollipop, to honor Charlie Brown’s best pal, Linus.
A few places to make this happen:
- Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, Kentucky – Hand holding walks around the 1200-acre Buckhorn Lake, bicycle rides that lead to an autumn picnic and hikes that transcend time to jaw-dropping overlooks. There is a lodge, and cottages on site. Cottages now accept pets, plus there’s a homestyle restaurant on site, too. Note: the restaurant closes for the season on October 29, 2018.
- Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness, Arizona – One of the last places to get in a fall foliage escape in the US. Peak foliage
viewing starts in late November to mid-December, presenting couples with breathtaking hikes to vistas on unmarked trails, one of which stretches more than 12 miles long. Along the way, hikers and photographers may see ringtail cats, javelinas (which look like wild pigs), coatis (tree-climbing mammals related to raccoons), bighorn sheep and various birds. Picture-perfect Saguaro cactuses are surrounded by colorful sycamore, ash, cottonwood, and willow trees. If you and your partner love fall and nature, this is the one for you. Come early as the area is popular with the local crowd.
- Wellsboro, Pennsylvania – Some call Wellsboro, the Grand Canyon of the East and a visit to Lenard Harrison State Park or Colton Pointe State Park won’t disappoint. Couples who are up for a vigorous hike will want to explore the canyon’s east rim to capture the splendor of autumn’s most celebrated gifts; the fall leaves that brightly decorate the trees in shades of flame red, amber yellow, and rust-colored, orange. Atop the canyon’s east rim hikers will have a swoon-worthy view with an overlook of a 1,400-foot drop. Experience the west rim via Colton Point State Park, which provides a more primitive look with easy access to the canyon’s floor.
- For couples who are into strolling, shopping, and snacking, Wellsboro provides a glimpse of life from the bygone era portrayed effortlessly by Norman Rockwell. Shop boutique retailers and sneak into Dunham’s Department Store to grab a bite at Wellsboro Diner a throwback to 1950’s when diners were a thing!
Fall Foliage for Families: Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi
The Natchez Trace, also known as the “Old Natchez Trace,‘ is a historic forest trail over 444 miles of winding commemorative scenic highways, stretching from Mississippi to Tennessee. The park was established in 1938 in partnerships with the National Parks Association.
Families will appreciate the opportunity for hours of history lessons while taking in the gorgeous fall foliage. Diverse Native American settlement stories whisper from the forests, while later this picture perfect superhighway became the link between communities and the thriving port towns of New Orleans and Mississippi. Families will ooh and aah at the magnificent autumn colors as they drive through 10,000 years of history where Kaintucks, Native American, European settlers, slave traders, soldiers, and future presidents came before them.
Today, families can take advantage of the great outdoors, so kids power down the electronics and get ready to hike, bike, horseback ride, and embrace a night under the stars camping. Vacation memory building at its finest.
Fall Foliage for Introvert Travel Personalities
I hope you find this blog post useful. It’s always my intention to create itineraries that meet and exceed your unique travel personality needs. Let me know if you do happen to visit any of the places I mentioned above. I would love to hear more about your experiences.
Stay Tuned — There’s More
I am working on a free quiz and developing detailed e-books for each travel personality types. It’s taking me longer than anticipated because I am a perfectionist, and its part of my personality type to search for the best outcomes, so I tend to take a bit longer to make a decision; it’s the “P” in me! But know when they are ready they will be uber useful. Contact me here if you have any questions or want to share some of your photos, would love to feature them on my Pinterest boards.
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Happy Leaf Peeping Season
Photo Credit: Midwest Living (2011)