The most intense color: Vermont's Green Mountains When to go: Late September to late October
Why go: There are just some places where the reds are deeper, the golds are brighter and the oranges have more pop to them. You have to cross your fingers and hope that the weather cooperates to get the palette just perfect: "The brightest fall colors usually occur when there is a long stretch of warm, sunny days accompanied by cold overnight temperatures," Monkman says. But it isn't all luck. Maples are known to produce the most intense colors, and Vermont's Green Mountains have them in spades—there's a reason Vermont is the country's largest producer of maple syrup.
Where to get the best view: Hit the road. Vermont's Byway Program, which spotlights scenic and historic routes, means you can easily find country roads that’ll lead you through postcard-worthy landscapes. The Green Mountain Byway takes you between Stowe and Waterbury, past meadows, farms and quaint villages.
Insider tip: About that maple syrup—while the Vermont maple sugaring season starts in March, the Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm in Stowe, VT, is open year-round to guests looking for a sweet fix (802-253-4655, nebraskaknoll.com).
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