The signs are there, teasing the Northern US and Midwestern states with nippy air and barely tinged maple and aspen leaves. It’s time to plan a fall color getaway.
But before you pencil in your destination there are a few tips to consider so that fall color fever does not have to be treated with two aspirins a day.
1. Even though weekends may be easier on your work schedule, it won’t be easier on your drive or stay at popular fall destinations.
Do try to go during the week or you will find yourself in bumper to bumper traffic along normally scenic roads, staying at less desirable locations and grabbing “to-go” from a drive-in instead of relaxing at a good local restaurant.
2. Once you have determined where you want to go, take a look at that area’s Convention and Visitors Bureau websites for accommodation listings.
It is OK to call the CVB for suggestions and recommendations. They want visitors to be happy. They may even have a list of places in your price range and that meet your needs that are booked and those with vacancies.
3. Accommodations in popular color destinations are often filled months, sometimes a year, ahead so book as early as possible. Also, broaden your options to include Bed & Breakfasts, condominium rentals and suite hotels.
Remember that a place that may sound pricey but includes breakfast could end up cheaper than somewhere without breakfast. Also a condominium with kitchen facilities may also save on meal costs.
4. Choose an area that has more to do than drive around looking for the best snapshot to post on Facebook or go into the family album. Areas rich in fall color often have additional attractions such as wineries, harvest festivals and art galleries.
Knowing more about an area than its reputation for color may help deciding when and where to go.
5. Whether you have a destination in mind or not, you will have a better idea on when peak color comes if you check a state’s website. States want you to come so they have color watch and color information.
Knowing ahead that color comes the last week in September in one state or area of a state and mid-October in another state or area, will help you schedule your trip.
Here are some Midwestern scenic and color websites sites to check (other states have similar sites):
Visit Illinois and Color watch. See Indiana and check Color information. Go to Ohio and its Color information. Also see Michigan and its Color information. Visit Minnesota and its Color information. In addition go to Wisconsin and Color information
Photos by Jodie Jacobs