The most variety: New York's Adirondack Mountains
When to go: Late September through mid October
Why go: To get the most variety, you need to go where there is geographic diversity, and contained within the Adirondacks you'll find marshes, river valleys, hardwood forests and high-elevation alpine environments. "These areas have a good population of sugar maple trees which, in my opinion, are the most attractive in the fall," Rzonca says. "Other popular species include birch, aspen, oak and silver maple, all of which turn yellow. These trees are then complimented with the brilliant crimson of the red maple. When you put all these trees together, it provides a fantastic contrast and variety of color."
Where to get the best view: "One of my favorite locations is John Boyd Thacher State Park, located on the Helderberg escarpment in Voorheesville," says Eric Scheffel of the Empire State Development Bureau of Media Services. "It not only has great fall foliage, but also offers amazing views of the Hudson-Mohawk lowlands—including the City of Albany—and the southern Adirondacks. While it’s known to many Albany-area residents, I’ve found that most visitors from outside the area have never heard of it."
Insider tip: If you want to make a weekend of it, you can watch the foliage show unfold from your window at the Point (518-891-5674; thepointresort.com). The Relais & Châteaux property is styled to feel like a throwback to the Adirondack camps of old.