I grew up in Southern Connecticut and without a doubt, the prettiest time of the year there is autumn. The reds, oranges and yellows of the trees in peak leaf-peeping season are just as spectacular as they are in other parts of the country. The photo below is one that I took with my beloved late father one November when I surprised him with a visit. RELATED: 12 Things in Travel You Need to Know Today
Better yet, the photo below, is from New York City’s Central Park, which is just 42 miles from where I grew up. I took this photo on November 20, 2018 from the JW Essex House Hotel.

Right now is a good time to start planning a leaf-peeping trip. I don’t usually recommend traveling anywhere last-minute since it tends to cost more but timing a fall foliage trip can be tricky since no one really knows when the leaves are going to start to change except Mother Nature.

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We all know that weather patterns have been changing so the tricky part of any fall foliage trip is getting the timing right. That’s where SmokyMountains.com‘s annual fall foliage map comes into play. They have just released their interactive 2023 map, which breaks down the continental U.S. into counties and uses a blend of sources to predict when that county’s trees will be in peak color. To use it, you just move the slider at the bottom of the map from left to right. As you move the slider, you’ll see the map change colors in accordance with the date.

How accurate is this fall foliage map?
This is a fun tool to play around with and as far as I can tell, it’s one of the best predictors of fall color you’ll find anywhere. The data powering this interactive fall foliage map includes, among other sets, NOAA historical temperature data, NOAA historical precipitation data, NOAA temperature forecasts, NOAA precipitation forecasts, historical leaf peak trends, and peak observation trends. Give it a try for yourself and start planning your perfectly-timed leaf-peeping road trip.

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